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About Ruth

Photo taken at Lake Vermillion-Soudan Mine State Park, Soudan, MN

Who is this woman with wanderlust?

A lot of different things all rolled into one: mom, daughter, sister, friend, hiker, backpacker, biker, Scouter, event/project manager and (I’ve been told) Superhero with wings and radar.

In addition to all of that:
I’m a Women Who Hike Ambassador for Minnesota.
I’m involved with Scouts BSA as a committee member and merit badge counselor with Troop 1 in Minneapolis.
I’m a proud to have worn a Green Vest at REI before starting a role with REI Experiences in 2022.
I’m an active volunteer with the National Park Service.
I’m a gear ambassador for Granite Gear.
I am a Leave No Trace Trainer and believe in Leave No Trace principals, not just in the outdoors, but in life. I am trying to reduce my impact wherever I can.
I love to travel and have been fortunate to find myself in some really special places in this world.

When did I catch the hiking bug?

In 2014 I agreed to be an adult advisor for my son’s Scouting Crew going to Philmont Scout Ranch for the 2015 hiking season. I’d never really hiked, let alone backpacked. I was into something way beyond my knowledge or comfort level.

So I tackled the challenge by training, listening and learning. We hiked and then hike some more. In Minnesota State Parks, on the Superior Hiking Trail and anywhere else time allowed. I bought gear as inexpensively as I could, investing where I knew it mattered (Footwear people, footwear. Don’t scrimp on footwear.).

When we finally got to Philmont, I was hooked. It was 10 days of hard, liberating work. I learned so much about being part of a team as well as simply trusting myself. Most importantly, I had found exercise I really enjoyed because I was able to see places of such great beauty that so many don’t.

That one trip lead me to have the confidence to solo backpack Isle Royale National Park in 2017. It lead me to seek other women who enjoy hiking, finding my hiking stride with Women Who Hike. It lead me to my first 52 Hike Challenge. It’s lead me here to share my story and encourage anyone who isn’t sure to get outside and try something new.

What’s next?

I’m currently working on two hiking goals:

1. My fourth 52 Hike Challenge

2. Picking the next adventure! Will it be the North Country Trail or the Ice Age Trail? Or maybe something completely different.

And I’ll take any opportunity to hike during my travels. So hit me up anytime for a hiking adventure!

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Disclaimer: Please note that the postings, comments and information provided on this blog reflect my own opinions and not necessarily those of my employer.

Copyright Ruth Wikoff-Jones, | No Use Permitted Without Prior Permission

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