5 FOR 2015: 5 Female Thru-Hikers Blogs to Follow in 2015

Did you grow up reading the Lord of the Rings, fantasizing over the long descriptions of rolling hills and dark forests and plants on gray, windswept hillsides? Did you imagine yourself traipsing across open moors without a path, sleeping under strange hillocks every night and stepping into a morning that stretches out in every direction? Did you read (or see) Wild? Are you tired of the world-as-we-know-it? Do you want true stories?

Thru-hikers are people who cut themselves off from the world-as-we-know-it to traipse across the open country for months at a time, looking for something that we can’t find anywhere else. If you imagine college grads with full beards, you’re only partly right: plenty of thru-hikers are no-nonsense women with muddy legs and sunburnt skin and sharp wit. Hikers don’t always start out of economic privilege; many work seasonally, scraping by on odd jobs in the off-season so that they can walk come summer. Hikers come from everywhere but they disappear onto the same trails, forming a tough, eclectic, tight community. Here are five female thru-hikers to follow in 2015, five indomitable women on five of America’s greatest trails this summer who tell their stories beautifully and honestly. Being a woman in the wilderness can be exhausting, terrifying, and right, they suggest. And once you’ve started, it’s hard to stop.



1. Carrot Quin


This summer, Carrot Quinn will be hiking the CDT (Continental Divide Trail), which cuts 3,100 miles across the middle of the United States, crossing New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana. And fortunately for us, she plans to update her blog every single day. Her sprawling descriptions of epiphytes and mountainsides and loving and losing crawl under your skin and refuse to leave. You’ll stay up late thinking wishing that you could see through the roof to the stars and in the morning, until you wake up hungry for a sugary pastry from a bakery in the middle of the wilderness. Her book about her 2013 PCT thru-hike, Thru-Hiking Will Break Your Heart, has just been released. It’ll break your heart.

 Credit:  Molly Katzman

2. Tick Tock aka Molly Katzman (icoulddriveforever)


Tick Tock describes the cold mud of the AT (Appalachian Trail), the pissing rain, the lukewarm coffee -- and she makes you want it. As she hikes north across fourteen east coast states, you’ll discover that you crave a different sort of normal. Read her blog for the swamps and rivers, muds and rain, but also for the people, the kind of hikers who share their potato chips or sit with you at a greasy spoon. Somehow, they make it all worth it. Also, Tick Tock sometimes makes playlists.

 Credit: Helen (ihavewalkedhere)

Credit: Helen (ihavewalkedhere)

3. Helen (ihavewalkedhere)

To round out the Triple Crown (the three greatest hiking trails in the US), follow Helen’s PCT (Pacific Crest Trail) blog as she hikes from the Mexican border to Canada, through California, Oregon, and Washington. Helen’s writing is simple and full. She shares pictures of the west coast’s snow-slick mountains and writes about the desert’s grit, the long water-carries, and the allure of eucalyptus. She writes of the people she meets, saying that they’re all looking for something out there in the deserts and the mountains.


 Credit: Notachance

Credit: Notachance

4. Notachance (asthetrailturns)

Notachance takes no shit. Notachance has thru-hiked the PCT three times and just completed a thru-hike of the Te Ararora, a long distance trail in New Zealand. She filled that story with love and loss and sweeping Tolkien-esque landscapes. Notachance’s blog is called “Dirtbag Drama” and there’s plenty of swearing and joking and boozing, but mostly there’s just plain honesty. Right now, she’s on the lesser- known Grand Enchantment Trail, 800 miles across the canyons and rivers and wilds of Arizona and New Mexico. Don’t be fooled by her conversational tone; her language is both sharp and beautiful.

 Credit: Katherine Cook

Credit: Katherine Cook

5. Katherine Cook (hayduketrail)

Katherine is hiking the Hayduke Trail across the rocky, mythic Colorado plateau. It cross six national parks and two states (Arizona and Utah). It cuts through washes and red rocks that look like muscle tissue, sand and canyons that seem sculpted. Her pictures are just as surreal as the lifestyle she describes. She reads on the trail, sings to herself, and writes about the warm and the cold as if it’s magical.

Curated by // Abby Rampone
Want to write your own Five for 2015?