Hiking... it is both calming and energizing. It is when I often feel most free. It can be whatever you want it to be- thoughtful or meditative, relaxing or challenging. It is a way to connect with the natural world, with others, and with yourself. It makes you more appreciative, and helps you understand your relative size. You discover beautiful things on every trail. It is one of the healthiest and most refreshing activities available.
Hiking is for you. If you are a beginner hiker looking to get out more, your best times on the trail are ahead. If you are a highly experienced outdoor adventurer, there are hikes you have not seen yet that will inspire, challenge, or give you an opportunity to take in the power of the natural world. If you have never pulled on a pair of hiking boots or packed the 10 essentials in a backpack, an entire world is out there waiting for you!
Beginning to hike can feel daunting. Often, articles and guides about starting to hit the trail can feel discouraging, dangerous and expensive. On the other hand, beginning to hike safely does require a certain level of preparation, fitness and knowledge. What you need to prepare for a hike seems very different from the sales floor of a gear shop than it does from watching hikers armed with cotton t-shirts and single water bottles around a trailhead. Where does a new hiker begin?
In the coming months, a series of articles will come out on the Cloudline blog to help you start hiking. From selecting the right gear to not spending a fortune, and from determining a route to being ready for the unexpected, tools for safe exploring will come out at the beginning of each month. The full “Hey Friends, Let’s Hike. A Beginner’s Guide to Hiking” series will include:
Thinking back, some of my favorite moments have been on trails: some of them difficult, and some of them easy. The experiences gained from hiking often are not just practical for other hikes, but have impacted me in every area of life. Hiking has taught me about overcoming fear, taking time for myself, and being open with others. It has fueled a fire in me for adventure and exploration. In the coming months, I hope the practical tips and guides for starting to hike will enable you to hit the trail!
In full embrace
My eager skin
Each step I count
Attentive, I discover
The spaces between
Sand and sky
This mountain and me
No spaces now
Unless I make them
The world unreal
Nature claims me
Again her own
Wild and free to explore and be
I pause and stare
To find inside
Winding paths of dirt and stone-
The best of myself
The best of us all
The beauty of life
On a hiking trail.
Hey friends, let’s hike. See you out there!
Snowshoeing is an activity that can open your eyes to breathtaking new dimensions and faces of nature. Not only is it a fun and achievable goal to help you get outside during the winter, but it is an experience unlike any other that is sure to make an impression.
Though it can be overwhelming to think about planning a beginner trip in the winter weather, anyone can take a snowshoeing trip with the right preparation and mindset. For me, a cold-natured summer hiker, snowshoeing offers confidence in my own abilities and an outlet to enjoy the winter that I have grown to anticipate and love.
My favorite family Christmas tradition has always been driving up into the mountains and cutting our own Christmas tree. We grew to perfect the process, carefully judging potential trees for our own living room and for the growing number of family members who began to ask for real trees, too. Grandma likes her tree not too full, but Nana likes it when the branches droop, like trees on vintage postcards. Each year, we would cut a little bit off of the trunk and add it to our quirky collection.
Though you probably do not know her name, Whitney Thomas is a true outdoorswoman.
When I set out to interview her about women in the outdoors, I had no idea how strikingly real and powerful her insights would be. Instead of lingering on the lack of quality, technical women’s gear (and how so much of it is pink) or on the gender gap in guiding, Whitney took time to talk over why she loves the outdoors, and what all it has offered her.
|Small||4 - 6.5||2 - 4.5||35 - 37||20.5 - 23|
7 - 9.5
|5 - 7.5||38 - 40||23.5 - 25.5|
|8 - 10.5||41 - 45||26 - 28.5|
13.5 - 15
|11 - 13.5||46 - 49||29 - 31|
|Small||N/A||N/A||N/A||20.5 - 23|
6 - 8.5
|5.5 - 8||39 - 41||23.5 - 25.5|
|8.5 - 11||42 - 44||26 - 28.5|
12 - 14.5
|11.5 - 14||45 - 47||29 - 31|
|WOMEN'S||FITS SIZES||US Sizes (Inches)|
|Small||2 - 4||Length: 26"||Width: 15 ¾"|
|Medium||6 - 8||Length: 26 ½"||Width: 16 ½"|
|Large||8 - 10||Length: 27 ⅛ "||Width: 17 ½"|
|X-Large||10 - 14||Length: 27 ¾"||Width: 18 ½"|
|2X-Large||14 - 18||Length: 28 ⅜"||Width: 19 ½|
|MEN'S / UNISEX||CHEST TO FIT||US Sizes (Inches)|
|Small||34 - 37||Length: 28"||Width: 18"|
38 - 41
|Length: 29"||Width: 20"|
42 - 45
|Length: 30"||Width: 22"|
46 - 49
|Length: 31"||Width: 24"|
|2X-Large||50 - 53||Length: 32"||Width: 26"|