Posts in inspiration
Baby Steps to Hiking My Own Hike. What's so Hard?

I’m sure we all have teachings we fully agree with in theory but have troubles with implementing them in real life, right?

The Hike Your Own Hike saying is pretty standard in the hiking world. We kind of all agree with it, but it seems I have a problem to internalize it and walk the talk.

Struggling to hike my own hike

When we add to it the tendency of some people (like myself) to harshly judge oneself in comparison to others, the infamous impostor syndrome many people (women especially) suffer from, we see why it’s so hard to really, truly, hike our own hike and let others hike their own hike.

I talk and write a lot about self-acceptance not because I’m such a brilliant champion of that but precisely because I struggle with it and need a constant reminder that I should accept my self (my body) just the way it is.

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Are You Sure You Can Call Yourself a “Hiker”?

So you would like to call yourself a "hiker" but do you have the right to do so? Are you doing all that is required to be able to call yourself that? Not everyone has earned the right to talk about themselves as a hiker or trekker. Like with everything else, there are limitations and requirements one need to fulfill to have the right to use a particular term.

To make it easier for you, I have created a checklist.

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How to Be Eco-Conscious on the Trail: a Hiker’s Guide to Sustainability

No matter how small we might think we are, everything we do have an impact on the environment. Some people are more some less aware of the dare state our Planet is in. As I live in a heavily polluted area, with smog rates up to 11x the norms, where anti-smog mask is a must-have not just for running errands but for sleeping - I try to do whatever I can to lower my negative impact.

The very nature of hiking makes it a very ecological-friendly activity already. You use your own legs to propel yourself, no gas or harmful emissions. Hiking teaches us to live on less, make do with whatever we packed, appreciate water and natural resources. Yet, there is still more we can do to make our hiking trips as Nature-friendly as possible!

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The Top 10 Articles You Loved Most on A Woman Afoot in 2018

When I looked at this year's statistics, I must admit that I was taken aback by some data. It's quite evident from the list that you like reading advice and gear tips. Only one destination-related article made it to the Top 10: the West Highland Way hiking guide. It also seemed that my readers searched for information on Scotland a lot - I am not surprised here, who doesn't love Scotland?

I think my biggest surprise was the high position of the review of the Vango Blade 200. Thank you, my British readers! Vango is not well-known outside of Europe, so I never thought that article would get so popular. I always read gear reviews before I buy anything (thank you, buying anxiety), so I understand why that kind of posts are searched for. Over the past two years, I’ve written multiple gear reviews, for boots, rain jacket, two backpacks, a gas stove, a camera, two tents, a pillow, sleeping mattress… The Vango review is one of the earliest ones, so it had enough time to build its popularity.

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Why I Do What I Do: On Hiking Solo & Taking Selfies

Why do I go alone into the Mountains? And what’s the deal with all these selfies?

I can’t help the smile. It doesn’t matter that I’m puffing, I am sweating, and there is some aching in my knees. The smile is there. It’s probably not even visible all that much to passing me hikers (although I always try to smile nicely to all hikers me on trails) but I feel it. I sense the smile.

And it’s a different kind of a smile than the one I give a colleague at work in the morning or after hearing a cute joke. This one is different, it radiates from a different place, somewhere deep inside. It’s a bit like when we fall in love, the smile we can’t stop after remembering the cute moment a day before.

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Outdoor Blog of the Year Award Nomination - or Why I'm Bursting with Pride!

Recognising those who inspire others! Each year GO Outdoors likes to recognise some great outdoor bloggers that take their own time to encourage and inspire others to head outdoors through tips, routes, kit lists and more. This year, the blog A Woman Afoot has been nominated for the award. Learn more about the award and the blog.

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Quitter and Proud. On the Life-Saving Skill of Knowing When to Quit

I believe knowing when to stop, turn around, give up - is the most important skill any hiker or mountaineering can have. Writing into the culture of wrongly understood "motivation" can be deadly.

There is no shame in quitting. Anyone who says so has blood on their hands. As I already stated a few times, I find the ubiquitous "fitspiration" of "never give up" disgusting and dangerous.

But we are surrounded by the macho culture of winning, being the first to reach a “never before” place, be better than the other one, risking life to achieve some Big Goal.

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9 Sure Ways to Conquer Your Hiking Anxiety

A lot of women who would like to go hiking, don’t do it because of fear. Sometimes it’s even hard to identify what exactly it is that scares them off - it’s just the generalized fear of Nature, hiking or camping solo or the unknown.

There is this anecdote asking how can a person lift a huge rock? The answer is: by breaking it into much smaller pieces and lifting each one separately, step by step. Same is with fear: when it’s unidentified, generalized fear of an idea, it’s hard to do anything about it, it’s paralyzing. But when you are able to name the particular source of anxiety, there is a chance we can work around it or with it.

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Pros and Cons of Hiking Solo

What does it really mean that you are alone? 

Before you head off to your first solo adventure, it's worth going through some pros and cons. I love hiking solo and am a big supporter of the idea. But it's best to be prepared and know what you are getting yourself into. Below are various possible cons and pros - they don't work that way for all but read them all to see if hiking solo is for you!

In the typical case of "good and bad news" I start with the cons:

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Hiking with Fibromyalgia: Benefits, Tips, and Recommendations

I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia some nine years ago. Unexplained pains, nothing on x-rays, and jumping reaction to the doctor pressing some well-chosen spots on my body. A well-known story to many who struggle with fibromyalgia and sometimes wait for years for a diagnosis.

I am lucky – my version of FM is pretty light. I could still work, take care of myself and generally, the disease did not mess too much with my life. My doctor told me about the importance of exercise and active lifestyle no matter the pain it could cause.

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