Touring Mont Blanc with the BFF: Celebrating Female Friendship and Badassery.

Two women. Twenty(ish) mountain passes. One hundred miles. And a lot of cheese. * "Sitting up here, I feel immensely proud of what we just did," Kirstin said as she looked down the valley and pointed to a mountain far in the distance, "I can't believe we came from all the way over there." "Me…Read more Touring Mont Blanc with the BFF: Celebrating Female Friendship and Badassery.

Setting My Default to Happy – The Name that Changed My Life

The first time I truly enjoyed myself on a camping trip was two months ago in Moab. I have loved camping and backpacking my whole life, and I often experienced joy on these adventures, but underlying that happiness I always felt anxious, scared, or stressed. The quiet of wild spaces that most people find to…Read more Setting My Default to Happy – The Name that Changed My Life

Ditching the Mascara is not a Prerequisite for Outdoors[wo]manship

I grew up thinking that confident women almost never woreย makeup, especially not while doing outdoor activities or playing sports. While I don't judge the adults in my life at all for imparting on me this ideology - their intentions were good (as were those of many '90s parents who wanted to raise strong, confident daughters)…Read more Ditching the Mascara is not a Prerequisite for Outdoors[wo]manship

The Mountains: Not Yet Cool Enough

I grew up in Atlanta myself, and understand the unavailability of the outdoors and lack of connection with the outdoors for many multicultural urban youth. And it doesn't seem to be getting better. One thing I did connect with was hip-hop. Atlanta is a music city. Hip-hop influenced every aspect of my life in one way or another. At six years old, I had three main influences: my friends, popular trends, and my favorite rapper, Lil Wayne.

Imperfect Progress is Progress Nonetheless – “Welcome to the conversation, REI!”

This campaign is neither the start nor the finish of the discussion concerning gender equality and diversity in the outdoors, and we as a community have a lot of work to do. I am glad, however, to have one of the major outdoor gear outfitters onboard, and using its enormous platform to call attention to these issues. Imperfect progress is still progress. In climbing a peak, I would rather take one shaky step up and slide halfway back, then to stand paralyzed, waiting for the perfection, while looking at the summit from far below.

Not Throwing Stones from My Glass House – Surprises, Mistakes, and Lessons Learned in the Smoky Mountains

Theย phenomenon of judging others is not uncommon in the hiking world, or outdoors community at large. For example, in an opinion piece in the Denver Post, Gail Schoettler criticizes those who enter wilderness areas unprepared, saying, "taking the proper equipment is just common sense โ€” and a lifesaver in case of emergency." Schoettler's use of…Read more Not Throwing Stones from My Glass House – Surprises, Mistakes, and Lessons Learned in the Smoky Mountains

Blazing the Trail – Literally: The Story of the First Female Hikers to Complete the Continental Divide Trail

I had originally planned on a different topic for my second post. This week, however, my mom decided that she and I were going to attend a free lecture, hosted by the Boulder REI, discussing the first two female through-hikers ever to complete the Continental Divide Trail (CDT). In typical style (my mom and I…Read more Blazing the Trail – Literally: The Story of the First Female Hikers to Complete the Continental Divide Trail