What does the term Hike Like A Woman mean to you? Ambassador Jacquelyn poses this question and says what she believes it means.

As I was getting ready to head out for my second Hike Like A Woman Locals group my husband says to me, “What does it mean to Hike Like a Woman?” “How is it different from hiking like a guy?”

Since I was getting ready to leave I did not have time to engage in conversation with him about this.  Of course, because it is my husband, it probably would have been an entertaining conversation. While sitting at the trailhead waiting for the group members to arrive, I started thinking to myself, “What does it mean to hike like a woman and why is it different then hiking like a guy.”  When I applied to be an ambassador I had to answer this question. Now that I am part of Hike Like a Woman and have been more involved my definition has somewhat changed.

The meaning of Hike Like a Woman can be different for any woman who hikes. For me it is getting out and hitting the trails with women from all walks of life with one goal in common, to be outside.

I started hiking to give myself a hobby. Look what my hobby has turned into. Hiking helps wash away the stressors of my day to day life with alone or girl time. As a full time Social Worker, mom of a very busy eight-year-old, wife and trying to run a household, it can be hard to get time to clear my head. Don’t get me wrong, my husband is very good about giving me alone time, but sometimes mom guilt kicks in and I feel like I cannot take that time. Being out on the trail at least once a week allows me to get the balance in my life I crave.  Hiking helps remind me to sit back, enjoy the sounds and smell of nature and take in a beautiful view. It also means being a strong independent woman as it is not easy to get outside and hit the trail by yourself when you are female.

As group members started to arrive I posed this question to them. The biggest topic that popped up was safety.

Many of women said they did not feel comfortable or safe hiking alone due to potential concerns of other people or wild animals on the trail to not feeling comfortable with their navigation skills. There were also women who are new to the area and did not feel confident in their sense of direction to hike new trails alone. Others were looking for a like-minded woman just to spend a few hours outside with. There are also the mothers that are longing for some adult time and not hearing whining out on a hike. The women talked about how guys sometimes do not think about safety on the trails, they just go out and do it because they are guys. Also how some guys do not put as much thought into being out on a trail like a woman does.

As we started the hike I reflected on what the ladies had said. It made me thankful that I have been given the opportunity to lead an all women’s hiking group, so these women who want to get out on the trail, have a place to go.

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