Now, more than ever, I am proud to be a woman immersed in the outdoor culture.
We are surrounded by powerful woman and woman-driven campaigns promoting the general badassery of the professional and recreational ladies of nature. My daily inspiration to get outside comes from so many, and Rebecca Walsh of Hike Like a Woman is high on that list. Her life and work are dedicated to the outdoors, and she has created an amazing community for all woman who are addicted to the trail. She's as adventurous as they come, and it is so awesome to be able to work (virtually) along side her to promote this community of rad ladies!
Introduce us to Rebecca! Tell us a few things that make you, you.
Well, I describe myself as a serial entrepreneur who is addicted to the outdoors. I own a small outdoor business with my husband called Just Trails where we write trail guides and teach backcountry navigation classes. I also founded Hike Like A Woman just over two years ago and it's evolved into an incredible community full of information and mentorship for outdoor women. When I'm not doing all that I'm usually on the trails with my husband and children, two boys ages three and five, or my local hiking group.
How did the idea for Hike Like a Woman come about?
Honestly, I was blogging every day on our Just Trails website and it was turning into too much of a "mommy blog" and not helping expand our business since our content is so regional. My husband and I had a conversation and decided it would be best to just have my own platform separate from Just Trails. It was a good decision. In the past two years, HLAW has seen incredible growth beyond what I ever expected and it's been a fun creative outlet for me.
What are the top five on your hiking bucket list?
The Colorado Trail is number 1 on my list. I hope to do it as a family in a few years when my children are able to carry packs for longer periods of time and when I get to the point with Just Trails and Hike Like A Woman that I can take a full month off work.
Other than that I see Kilimanjaro and Mt. Rainer in my near future and some new 14ers this summer, Longs Peak and hopefully Handies.
What is your best kept trail secret (I promise, I will only tell a few thousand people)? Do you have a favorite trail that you’d like to recommend as a must do?
Oh, we don't keep secrets when it comes to trails! I live in Laramie Wyoming, so we aren't far from the Colorado border but our trails aren't crowded and our scenery can be just as majestic. I love climbing to the top of Medicine Bow Peak. The summit is just 12,013 feet, so not too high, but I love hiking through high alpine areas. It's beautiful there, we do this hike as a family at least once every summer.
One piece of gear you cannot live without – what is it?
I tend to be pretty minimal when it comes to gear but I am really picky about what I wear on my feet, so good hiking socks and boots or trail shoes. I'm not much of a gear snob, except when it comes to footwear.
Whats the weirdest/most unique/interesting thing that you carry in your backpack?
I always have a few plastic grocery sacks in my backpack because I can't stand seeing garbage in the wilderness, or anywhere really. Usually, I finish every hike with a full bag of trash from other people so I guess that's the most interesting thing I always carry.
If you could hike with one person (dead or alive), who would it be?
It would be my great-grandpa Lester Bagley. He was the Wyoming State Game Warden from 1938-1948 and then the State Game and Fish Commissioner and in charge of all wildlife management and enforcement in the state. He was also a conservationist who worked toward the protection of places like Grand Teton National Park. He wrote about things like keeping a clean camp and there are so many family stories about him tracking elk herds on skis and a few scary encounters with wildlife. If I could go back in time I'd love to spend a day learning from him, he didn't know at the time but he worked to protect some of the places here in Wyoming that I treasure the most. I hope I can leave that kind of legacy for my children and grandchildren someday.
Check out more intrepid adventures from Elisa Rispoli and fam: