I don’t know about you, but finding a new routine has really been helping me get a sense of normalcy right now. I’ve spent more time online than ever. I’ve been more social than ever. I’ve been taking great comfort in all of the interaction. I’ve been connecting with friends, making news ones and generally had a social life that is on par with my hiking adventures. I am so blessed with a growing community. My hiking community is resilient and caring. For of these things I’m grateful. If you haven’t yet jumped into the myriad of conversations, I’d encourage you to re think that. So what have I been up to? Well, here’s a recap of how I’ve been filling the hours that I’m not on trail.
Connecting Socially Online
I’ve written often about the amazing community of Women Who Hike (WWH). We share a love of time on the trails and connect over gear, great views and challenging adventure. As an ambassador for WWH I’ve also been incredibly lucky to have a growing network of women who are leaders in the outdoor industry across the country. In my travels over the last year or so, I started connecting in person with my fellow ambassadors whenever I could. Spread across the U.S. and beyond, that’s a simple challenge of geography.
In the last two weeks, through the magic of Zoom, I’ve been part of several socials with these ladies. It’s been nothing short of magical. Our shared love of hiking has provided the opening to be honest and vulnerable together. It’s wonderful to find relationships strengthening when we need to be physically separated. This time only increases my desire to share the trails with them in the future.
If you are considering joining any group, I encourage you to explore as much as you can! Joining any hiking group is really pretty easy. Do some research. Take time to read the group guidelines and spend time on the group’s website to see if it’s a good fit. If you like it, jump in and get involved by asking questions or posting answers. Participate. Treat the other group members with respect and you’ll gain more than you give.
If you don’t like the first group you find, keep looking. There is a group for every interest. Whether hosted by your local outfitter or part of a nationally based group they are out there. For ideas you can head over to the Links and Inspirations to Get Outside page for ideas of groups to start with. If you find one that you think I should include in my list, please share their information with me.
Join in the Fun
This last week I’ve taken advantage of several virtual events that were so much being fun, my favorite being the March 27 National Camp at Home Day launched by gear retailer Kammok. When I saw the first announcement of this I knew I’d be participating. March 27 was supposed to have been the first day of what is now a postponed road trip adventure. There was to be camping and driving and more camping. But alas that trip had to be put on hold.
At first I wasn’t sure how I’d participate. Then I started seeing the posts that day of the camping set ups that were popping up in my social media feed. With rain in the forecast for the weekend, I opted to cowboy camp indoors. But I also decided to set the tone, adding string lights and some fabric draping to remind me of the clouds and the sky. I had some fun with the idea of hiking through the various parts of my house to end up with my near perfect campsite.
I hunkered down in my set up and spent time around the campfire with a group of the Minnesota Women Who Hike ladies. While we weren’t physically together, we had the same types of conversations that happen outdoors. The same kinds of laughter, vulnerability and kindness that happen when the only worry is where you’ll sleep and what you’ll eat. Those are the moments that I have cherished on every backcountry adventure and hike I’ve experienced in the last six years.
So as I settle into my new normal, for however long that will be, I keep the plans for adventure alive with these connections. I hope you can do the same as you consider what’s truly important in your life in the days to come. In the meantime, I’ll be getting back to those posts I’d planned about gear, how to plan a big adventure and whatever else makes sense.
Just like a hiking adventure, you never really know what the trail will throw at you, but your attitude and perseverance will take you far.
Next Post Preview: Just because you might be hiking closer to home, doesn’t mean that making an effort to leave your trails better can’t happen. I’ll break it down on including an 11th essential for your hikes (urban or not).
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