I wish that I could call 2016 the year of crushing big peaks and epic adventures but that would be a lie. Instead if was the year of hours behind my computer, burning the midnight oil, 4 am wake-ups and getting sh*t done.
While I hope to make 2017 a little bit more awesome I do have to say that 2016 was a pretty great year for the Hike Like A Woman community.
Here are just a few of the highlights.
- In August we added 34 women to our team as part of our Ambassador Program. You’ve met most of them through their blog posts or social media updates on our facebook or Instagram pages. What you might not know about them is that they are from all over the world–South Africa to Colorado and they do a ton of work on HLAW for me….as unpaid volunteers. Sometimes I throw some free gear at them but they love this community just as much as I do and love being part of our team. I’m happy to have them here.
- In August I also finished my first two books, How To Hike With Kids & How To Hike When You’re Pregnant. I spent years on these books and getting them written, edited and done was a huge learning experience for me. If you have kids or are expecting a baby or know someone who might need a few tips to get outdoors with children check them out and let me know what you think. I wish they weren’t just e-books, I’ve been getting a lot of feedback from readers hoping for a real book that you can hold in your hands. Maybe someday, I’m working on it.
- A few weeks ago we finally launched the Hike Like A Woman Podcast. You might have caught glimpses of our updates and the story behind the podcast. If you did and you’re a listener thank you so much. If you didn’t you can check out our podcast page for all of our previous episodes and get a sneak peak of future shows.
Top Blog Posts of 2016:
Did you miss any of these blog posts? If you did just click the title and you can check them out.
- You See A Cold Baby Bison, I See A Wild Animal
- Meet #teamHLAW
- Girls Getaway To Rocky Mountain National Park
- From 0-100 Miles. How Each Step Transformed Me
- Meet Andrea: Buddy Backpackers Mom
- The Truth About Outdoor Women In the Media
- Four Words We Need To Hear More Often
- Top 10 Reasons Why Hiking Is the Best Hobby
- What A Tragic Death Taught Me About Risk In the Outdoors
- The Truth About Mother’s Day
Top Podcast Episodes:
Our podcast is still very new but just in case you missed it you can see our top episodes right here.
- Forging New Territory with Kate Blazar
- The Brave Ski Mom Kristen Lummis
- Storyteller and Filmmaker Jennifer Fontaine Talks About Outdoor Families
- Exploring With Gale Straub
- It’s Here! The Hike Like A Woman Podcast
A HUGE thank you to the following brands who partnered with us during 2016.
It’s always fun to work with new brands, and with other brands who have partnered with us in the past. We know that good gear keeps us on the trails and keeps us having good experiences in the outdoors so we are ever so thankful to the following companies for their support and partnerships.
- #takeahike sponsors
- Granite Rocx
- Action Wipes
- Salazon Chocolate
- Stonewear Designs
- Rheos Gear
- Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen
- High Sierra
- JWalking Designs
- Lightspeed Outdoors
- Sierra Trading Post
- SPOT Satellite Messenger
- Mountain Khakis
- Teton Sports
- Seek Outside
- UR Sportswear
- Hummingbird Hammocks
- Otium Brands
- Onya Baby
- Adventure Through The Holiday Sponsors
- Gear Review Partners
- Skhoop – Read our review.
- Woolit – Read our review.
- Armaskin – Read our review.
- Arctic Cool – Read our review.
- Oboz – Read our review, we have another Oboz giveaway and review coming.
- Animosa – Check out their kickstarter!
- LuLaRoe (Laura Ingalls Connell) – Read our review.
- Survival Hax– Sleeping pad review coming soon.
- Hitcase – Read our review.
- Oakiwear– Rain boot review coming soon!
Last year several outdoor authors who reached out to us with new books to read and review. We love this opportunity to spread the word about new outdoor books.
- Kate Dyer Seeley- Read our interview & a book review
- Traveling with Baggage: A Guide for the Hesitant Hiker by Sarah D. Tiedmann- Review coming soon
- Diane Spicer– Reviews coming soon
- A Woman’s Guide to the Wild By Ruby McConnell – Read our thoughts
- When Grandma Gatewood Took a Hike By Michelle Houts and Erica Magnus – Read our review
So what’s new for 2017?
I fee like 2016 was about discovering what works best for our community. In 2017 we’re just going to take it one step further with a few new projects.
We’re pretty excited about them and see each of these projects as a way to expand our virtual community and provide some opportunities to hang out and hike together in person too!
- 365 Mile Challenge
I’m excited to announce the launch of our 365-mile challenge. The idea for this actually grew out of Summit, our goal-setting group for outdoor women. We have partnered with Alyssa Erickson – The Kid Project, Kathy Dalton – Go Adventure Mom, & Amelia Mayer – Tales of a Mountain Mama and a few outdoor brands that we know, like and want to work with to put together a unique member-only group of outdoor loving people (you can invite the men in your lives to join in the fun too) with the goal to complete 365 “self-propelled” miles in 2017.
We just launched a special website for this event and are talking about it all over the place.
For a small membership fee, you’ll get lots of love, support and exclusive deals on clothing and gear as well as entries in giveaway prizes for kick ass gear. This challenge will be replacing our summer #takeahike challenge but I promise that it will be that kind of awesomeness for 365 days, not just a few months in the summer. You can sign up here…almost 200 people have registered for the challenge and our members-only facebook group if on FIRE!
[p.s. If you’re an outdoor brand or gear company we are looking for sponsors for this event. If you’re interested shoot me an email (email@example.com) and I’ll send you our press kit and information on how to participate.]
- Hike Like A Woman Locals
We’ve been getting a lot of requests over the past few years from women looking for local meet up groups to hike with. Currently, our Ambassador team is looking at launching several local meet-up hiking groups near their homes. Hiking with a HLAW Locals group will merge our online community with our physical community, all hikes will be free and led by our own Ambassador team. We hope to have our HLAW Locals program launched mid-March just in time for summer hiking.
- Guided Trips
This summer we plan to start offering guided women-only trips and adventures! Right now we’re in the process of obtaining permits, acquiring gear, website redesign and working through the logistics of adding this to our menu of awesomeness. But you can expect an official announceent about HLAW offered guided trips by February 1st. Stay tuned! This is going to be epic.
- Online Courses
We’re preparing 4 online courses right now for our community. Here’s what we’re working on and when you can expect to see them offered right here on our website. Courses will be affordable and fun.
- February 1st: How to Hike in Cold Weather
- March 1st: Snowshoeing 101
- April 1st: How To Hike With Kids
- May 1st: Hiking For Beginners
- Merge of Moms Who Hike with Hike Like A Woman
And finally, we have decided to merge our Moms Who Hike website with Hike Like A Woman. Since we know a lot of you don’t hike with children this has been a tough decision. We’ll be adding a special section to the website just for those of you who hike with kids (or anyone who acts like a kid). Hopefully, we’ll do it in a way that won’t alienate those who don’t hike with kids but still be able to provide great information to those of you who do.
Phew! Does that sound like a busy 2017 or what?
You can follow along on our progress right here or be sure to check out Summit, our goal-setting group for outdoor women. It’s where we go to stay on track for goal crushing!
Do you have any goals for 2017?