The Men Behind the Women of Hike Like A Woman

Hike Like A Woman is a brilliant website brimming with women who celebrate being a woman in the outdoors and who inspire each other on a daily basis. I am one of the lucky few who is both an Ambassador and a staff member of HLAW. We are first and foremost, adventurers. We are bloggers, vloggers and freelancers. We are day hikers and backpackers. We are horsewomen, skiers, snowshoers and climbers. We mothers, sisters, daughters and friends. We blog about our day hike to amazing waterfalls or our solo hike into the wilderness. We write articles about our hopes, our dreams, our families, our hiking buddies, and what scares us. We take our audience on a magic carpet ride in search of the perfect piece of hiking gear, backpack snack or the perfect trail. We tell stories of our time on the trail and share our victories and defeats with each other. We are a sisterhood. We are a tribe of outdoor women.

But hidden behind the curtains, standing in the shadows, are the men who support us and embrace our philosophy. Without them, we would not be the women we are today.

My husband, Dale, and I just celebrated our 33rd wedding 19884106_10155434598052398_6597964975313584957_nanniversary. We met in college and have been a couple for 37 years now. Throughout the better part of my life, Dale and I have adventured through life together, as a team.  He supports every zany idea I come up with. He is there to catch me when I fall, brush me off and set me back on the path.

Engineer pass

He wholeheartedly supports my position within the Hike Like A Woman community. He helps edit my blogs and articles. He makes suggestions for topics and takes me on amazing adventures so I may share them with others. He pushes me to be a better person than I was the day before and he inspires me to be the best I can be. We are a team. He is the man behind this HLAW woman.

I asked some of my fellow HLAW ambassador buddies to tell me about their behind-the-scenes man ~ Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you to some of the men behind the women of Hike Like A Woman: 


HLAW Ambassador Jennifer Simmons, her husband Scott, and their growing family

Kristin Smeltzer My lovely man is allergic to the outdoors. Literally allergic to all flora (he got tested). He is the only person I know who has managed to get bitten by a possum. The outdoors is just really not his thing. But he understands how much being outdoors means to me. He encourages me to take time out hiking and camping as he knows it strengthens me mentally and physically. He encourages me to do things he wouldn’t do – like go overseas for a month hiking and travelling with no fixed plan. You can’t get a lot more supportive than that … 

Rebecca Connell Walsh My husband challenges me to push myself harder than I think I can, to set bigger goals than I think I’m capable of achieving, and to reach for the stars. But if I miss he catches me when I fall, and lifts me back up again. He’s my best friend, my confidant, my mentor, and an amazing father to my little boys. He’s the best thing to ever happen to me. 

HLAW founder aka Bossypants, Rebecca Walsh and her husband, Al Walsh

Ruth Schmidt I must say that all of the guys I regularly hike with (husband included) have been fantastic and have helped me out on numerous occasions. My husband helped me when we were kloofing in the Magaliesberg and I started getting cramps from the cold water (, and of course my friend Ralph and cousin Benjamin carried all my stuff and helped me hike out of the Drakensberg when I dislocated my shoulder.

Amanda Lucy Haskins Where do I even begin??? Tim has carried me mentally, physically and emotionally through one of the most difficult and challenging parts of my life. He has helped me to work my way from the wheelchair up to 6 miles of hiking (and he hates hiking!). He carries me to bed when I am in too much pain to walk.

I ask him constantly why he would want to be with a broken girl when there are so many healthy girls out there. He still sees me as Wonder Woman even when I am sobbing from the frustration of not being able to be the me I used to be, from the pain and from countless doctors visits with no answers.

He has made all my dreams come true while carrying me. He took me and my dogs to see the ocean, which was my final wish before I passed away. He got me my dream farm to live on, which brings me so much peace and joy. He loves me through the good times and the bad (which have been many). I don’t know how he does it with the patience and kindness of a saint. I never imagined anyone would love me the way he does, or see me the way he does or stand by me through it all. I am truly blessed to be loved by this man! I wouldn’t be the strong woman I am today without my Beast giving his strength to me. 

Lucy and Tim
Tim and Lucy will be tying the marriage knot in September ~ Congratulations!!!! ~

Lucky Charms for the Trail

When we pack for a backpacking trip, we pack the essentials to ensure our survival.

Simply put ~ Food, clothing and shelter. But, there are other tricks we have up our sleeve that we can’t do without on the trail.

Please do not make me leave my 4 year old trusty compression gloves at home!

Lucky charms, tradition or superstition, call it what you will. I’m a firm believer. If it works to ensure a safe and uneventful trip for us, then I make sure I do the same thing over and over again.

I wear the exact same clothes. That way there is no overthinking of what to wear. Worked last time. It’ll work this time. Unless I’ve gained weight and have to buy something new ~ which now makes me cranky to think that I have gained some weight and I’ll be a Nancy-No Fun on the trail. 

I wear the exact same jewelry as I did on the previous backpack trip and I paint my nails the color of the trail I’m on.

Before our hike in the Grand Canyon, I had scheduled a nail appointment. I thought that was a silly thing to do, as I’d probably screw up a good manicure. Nope! It turns out that my nails were extra strong and didn’t break. Plus, they looked good, too! They hid the dirt well. We all need to utilize a little vanity every now and then, plus have fun with it.

The only jewelry I wear while backpacking and my CT green nails!

Before our hike on the Colorado Trail, I scheduled a manicure. My nail technician suggested I paint them the color of the iconic trail markers. They matched perfectly! I wore the same jewelry on the trail that I had worn in the Grand Canyon. 

Spidey always goes where Dale goes…. They’re a team!

Dale packs his lucky Spiderman bendable action figure as his co-navigator. He goes wherever we go. He transfers Spidey from his daypack to his backpack when necessary. That little man goes with us wherever we go. Why? No reason other than it wouldn’t feel right if we left him home. 

My trowel always clings to the left side of my pack ~ never the right. Do not ask me why…

Then there is the trowel I carry. It can always be found on the left side of my pack. Dale suggested putting it on the other side and I about stroked out. I don’t know why I can’t pack it on the right side ~ I just have a phobia about screwing up the good vibes. When I try to go against the grain, it just doesn’t feel good. 

I have an irrational fear of screwing up good karma on the trail. So I do everything in my power to make sure I won’t upset the trail gods. All our pack trips have been successful and uneventful. So, I believe all our charms, superstitions and traditions have paid off. What are your superstitions? Do you have any lucky charms to ward off the bad vibes one might encounter in the woods?

 *Remember ~ it’s only weird if it doesn’t work. *