Summer is in full bloom (in the Northern Hemisphere at least!), providing great weather for you to get out and try out those outdoor sports you’ve always been eying. Want to run a half marathon? Sign up now (and train!), and you’ll be ready for fall. Want to become a surfer? No better time than now to escape to the beach.

One of my favorite activities in the summer (and year-round if I’m in New Zealand!) is hiking. It’s straightforward and doesn’t have to be intimidating. It just requires some planning, a few pieces of gear, and some shoes.

Planning for your trip

Planning a day hike or multi-day hike doesn’t need to be stressful. My advice is to check out Outside and Backpacker magazines. They both provide excellent ideas and routes for hikes from Alaska to Florida – and I’d be willing to bet there are more hikes in your neck of the woods than you think!

Reading List

Need a little hiking inspiration? Check out Cheryl Strayed’s Wild about the Pacific Crest Trail, or my personal favorite, Becoming Odyssa by Jennifer Pharr Davis. Another good one is Gail Storey’s I Promise Not to Suffer.

Packing Essentials

Yes, you need clothes and shoes that are proper for any weather you might face during your trek. But there are a few extra things that women especially need:
1. Go Girl Female Urination Device: This device will become your best friend while hiking or camping. Don’t forget to practice at home first!
2. Diva Cup: It’s much better than carrying around an endless supply of tampons or pads of your choice. Trust me, it works.
3. Small towel and large towel: Seems straightforward, but I had to learn the hard way that you always want one clean towel on a multi-day hiking trip!

Your Hike

The best part of hiking is getting outside and enjoying nature. Take your friends, kids, pets, and enjoy yourself!

Tell Us

What’s a hike you’d recommend for other Go Girl Travelers? Do you have a favorite place close to home or did you experience amazing views on a hike in Southeast Asia? Let us know!