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HIKE IT OFF A

MAGAZINE

MAGAZINE

FOR

DAY

HIKERS

ISSUE NO. 4 AUGUST 2020Â

WHAT TO DO IF YOU ENCOUNTER A WILD ANIMAL ON THE TRAIL. PART ONE: MOUNTAIN LIONS PAGE 6

THE UNSPOKEN CUSTOM OF THE WHITE OWNED WILDERNESS PAGE 25

FROM COUCH TO KILIMANJARO: A WELLNESS DESIGN CONSULTANT'S HIKING ADVENTURES AND HOME HEALTH ADVICE PAGE 18

HOW COVID-19 MADE ME APPRECIATE THE OUTDOORS MORE PAGE 44


Contents 3

56

EDITOR'S NOTE

TOP FALL HIKES IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

6

62

WHAT TO DO IF YOU ENCOUNTER A WILD ANIMAL ON THE TRAIL. PART ONE: MOUNTAIN LIONS

MUST HAVE FALL HIKING ESSENTIALS

18

LETTERS TO THE LOLLYGAGGER

FROM COUCH TO KILIMANJARO: A WELLNESS DESIGN CONSULTANT'S HIKING ADVENTURES AND HOME HEALTH ADVICE

70

25 THE UNSPOKEN CUSTOM OF THE WHITE OWNED WILDERNESS

32 WILD WOMEN IN HIKING: ANASTASIA ALLISON

44 HOW COVID-19 MADE ME APPRECIATE THE OUTDOORS MORE

48 DIET CULTURE IN HIKING HIKE IT OFF MAGAZINE |

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editor's note

Hike It Off was conceived a few years ago deep in the heart of the Sierra over a campfire and strong mountain cocktails. My husband, and CoFounder Tony Purinton, and his best bud Rick Beach, always came home with much more than memories and bruises while on their many hiking trips.They are notorious for mantras and catchy sayings inspired by their biggest muse, the mountains.They would discuss putting some of their favorites on t-shirts.They always wanted clothing that represented the way they felt about hiking, but could never find what they were looking for in stores. Hike It Off was always the first mantra they talked about putting on a t-shirt, but once they were back to the daily grind and distractions of life, the t-shirts never became a reality. Then something happened that would change everything for us. On June 4th, 2014 while celebrating my birthday, the universe decided to change our lives forever. While stepping over some rocks on a trail I have hiked a hundred times before, I lost my balance and in a split second shattered all three bones and dislocated my right ankle. We had no idea how much our lives were about to change, lying in the dirt waiting for help to arrive.

When you are unable to do what you love and are forced to be still and really think about your life and what is most important, your perspective changes. After two surgeries, a prognosis of a year of recovery, and an uncertain outcome, the thought of not being able to hike again was a real fear that crossed both of our minds daily. We both realized then how much hiking meant to us and even though this was the most difficult obstacle we had ever needed to overcome, we knew that the universe in its tricky little way had created an opportunity for us through this misadventure. While I was in recovery, Hike It Off was born. I was determined to bring this dream to life- both in the t-shirts Tony had always envisioned and in writing, my true gift. Now we live, breathe, eat, and sleep Hike It Off. It is our dream, medicine, and future. We are so honored to be able to share it with hikers that are just like us. Hikers who live to hike it off!

Jaime Purinton Jaime Purinton EDITOR IN CHIEF

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Add a subheading


If you’re measuring yourself against other people, then you're climbing the mountains for the wrong reasons. The true soul of being here is to measure yourself against the mountains. Nature is our greatest teacher. - Melissa Arnot


What to do if you encounter a wild animal on the trail. Part One: Mountain Lions Series by: Duke Brady, Survivalist

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My name is Duke Brady and I am an environmental scientist, backcountry guide, and part time TV survival expert. I have trekked and "scienced" from the arctic shores of Alaska to the sweltering jungles of the tropics. I am currently looking for a cabin, dog, and girlfriend, in that order. I've spent some quality time out in nature, joining the food chain with a bit more zeal than an average day hike.

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There was the bear-strewn tundra of the subarctic, where only a thin layer of wool and goretex stood between me and the teeth of my predator. And then there were the weeks spent in the remote corners of the Philippines, naked with only a knife, for the TV show Naked and Afraid; no goretex that time. Spoiler alert: I survived. You can do the same! Here are some wildlife survival tips to remember when traveling in Mountain Lion Country:

DOING INVASIVE PLANT RESEARCH ON THE CHANNEL ISLANDS.

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1.

MAKE NOISE, ALREADY!

YOUNG FEMALE LION BEING MEASURED DURING CONSERVATION RESEARCH.

As serene as your wilderness experience is "supposed" to be, wild animals live there full time, and always appreciate a heads up when your clifbar munching, shampoo-smelling body enters their territory. Your voice works best; more on that later. This should be happening before an encounter. Just don't sing anything from the Cats musical. HIKE IT OFF MAGAZINE |10


If a mountain lion shows signs of aggression, such as standing its ground, approaching you, has its ears back, or makes vocalizations like hissing etc., it's time to engage, starting with looking AS BIG AS POSSIBLE! Gather your group of people/dogs/goats as one, raise your arms/trekking poles/cool stick you found. The point is to be as wide and as TALL as possible. Your attitude and confidence should grow up too, as it will be crucial to stay calm and collected [in front of such a razor-pawed, dagger-mouthed, oversized kitty cat].

2.

GROW UP!

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3.

MAKE NOISE, AGAIN!

Any unnatural sounds are unwelcome to a wild animal. In other words, don't mimic an injured deer, or try to "speak lion". Clank water bottles, clap hands, tap hiking poles, etc. Strong, low, loud and calm voices are your friend.


YOUNG LION PRINT ALONG THE SANTA MARGARITA RIVER.


4.

LOOK AT ME-OW!

Maintain eye contact, so you can monitor what the lion is focusing on and also to express your intent to "act defiant, not afraid". Maintain a firm presence, not bending, cowering, turning, and of course NEVER running. HIKE IT OFF MAGAZINE |

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5.

END THE RELATIONSHIP, SLOWLY.

Sometimes you want a quick and clean break, but this would not be the time for one. Gradually increase the distance between you and the animal, backing up slowly, still facing the animal; designate someone to be the eyes for the retreat, and steer the group if possible. If you're curious why you would have to be the one to initiate the "break up", many factors could be involved, such as a nearby kill, cache, or cub that makes the lion reticent to leave.


6.

FIGHT!

If you find that physical contact is imminent, you. must. fight. Protecting your neck, throat and face are critical here. It's super scary to think about, but just know you will have to fight for your life, using any and all objects you have in hand or nearby. Put your pack between the animal and yourself, have your pocket knife unfolded and locked, bludgeon with your camera tripod...whatever it takes. Focusing your strikes on the sensitive parts of the animal, like the eyes and nose, will help deter them. There are successful instances of people defending themselves against lions using these methods; do not EVER let fear keep you away from nature! That's all for this edition Duke's entertaining and hopefully useful guide to animal encounters. Have fun out there, respect nature, and always remember: situational awareness is your first defense! You can follow Duke and his adventures on Instagram here.

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FROM COUCH TO KILIMANJARO: A WELLNESS DESIGN CONSULTANT'S HIKING ADVENTURES AND HOME HEALTH ADVICE by Jamie Gold

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My earliest hiking recollection is completely mixed up with my childhood memories of summer storms. The way my parents told it, smiling indulgently, was that they dressed me up in a rain jacket for a sun shower outing near our Catskills Mountain summer home, my hands in theirs, my five-or six-year-old self tucked lovingly between them. Ready for our family adventure, we stepped onto the back porch to go for a short family hike. We didn’t get farther than the steps when lightning streaked across the afternoon sky and thunder cracked hard and fast on its tail. The way they recall that moment, I fell to the porch floor and refused to budge. Our hike didn’t happen that day, and my fear of thunderstorms still intrudes sometimes on my outdoor adventures. I no longer

fall to the floor –a decade of living in the Southeast inured me to all but the worst of them when I’m sheltered –but I still have a healthy respect for their power. Fifty years later, thunder rolled in the distance as our trio of midlife women descended Mt. Whitney, the highest peak in the lower 48 states, after a very long climb. We’d started just past midnight for a one-day trek, relieved that storms weren’t predicted to interrupt our plans as they’d threatened the weekend before. Storm warnings on that trail can be literal nonstarters. Though it took hours longer than any of us had anticipated, largely because of my hesitation on the last two miles approaching the summit,

"The way they recall that moment, I fell to the porch floor and refused to budge." HIKE IT OFF MAGAZINE

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(a span aptly dubbed by a friend as the “cliffs of insanity”), I was proud of myself for reaching my summit goal despite my fears. I was OK accepting the help of friends in making it, just as I’d been OK accepting the help of Spartan strangers in completing a challenging series of obstacle course races, and from teammates in completing two military-style GORUCK endurance events the year before. Even slowly, even

clumsily, even nervously, even with help, a goal completed is a goal worth celebrating. Goals have played a pivotal role in my staying healthy these past eight years. After losing about 100 pounds, I was having a heck of a time keeping them off. Losing weight is much more exciting than maintaining it, as anyone who has yoyo-ed can tell you, and the techniques that worked before didn’t seem to be working any more.

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After discovering obstacle course racing as a volunteer, I won a free Spartan Race entry, signed up for a 5K-ish Sprint, and started prepping for it with a local OCR group and coach. Hiking and running local trails, climbing trees and walls, carrying heavy rocks, army crawling uphill and doing endless burpees all got me in better shape than any gym workout I’d ever done before. Even more helpful, I learned that training and fueling toward an event goal was much more motivating to me than dieting and exercising, and I’ve been setting mentally and physically-challenging goals for myself ever since. (I was never an athletic kid, so this transformation in my life from girl chosen last in gym class to weekend warrior has been rather gratifying.) I’ve done six OCRs, two marathons (one road and one trail), one triathlon, two GORUCKs and the Mt. Whitney summit. This year, as I approach my 60th birthday, I’m training for a December Mt. Kilimanjaro

summit.. I'm hoping that the pandemic gods here and in Tanzania cooperate so I don’t have to postpone! Another lesson I’ve learned during my couch to Kili training is that my home plays a supporting role in my wellness endeavors. Yours does too. Let me share a few of the how and whys. If you run trails, hike or backpack, you likely store and clean your gear at home. Having a designated place for cleaning and storage in your garage or mudroom makes hitting the trails with everything ready to go, and nothing accidentally left behind, faster and easier. If you participate in serious peakbagging, having your kitchen optimized for healthy fueling, your bedroom optimized for sleep, and your bathroom optimized for hygiene can support you in your goals. I’m a big fan of two affordable elements that can be added to any residence, whether a first apartment or forever retirement home: I keep an anti-fatigue mat HIKE IT OFF MAGAZINE

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on my kitchen floor for long meal prep sessions so I’m not adding unnecessary stress on my joints, and I had a hand-held massaging shower head installed in my bathroom. The latter gets trail dust out of hard-to-reach places and can be aimed at sore muscles for soothing aches. There’s another, fun way your home can help support your goals: Include mementos from your outdoor adventures in your living space to make yourself smile whenever you see them.

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My race medals hang in my garage and greet me every time I arrive home and I’ve hung a vintage-style framed Mt. Whitney poster in my living room. I often joke with friends that my Kili goal gets me off the couch six days a week. That colorful, very visible reminder of a past goal accomplished reminds me of what’s possible when I lace up my trail shoes and keeps me motivated for ‘train or die’ mode.

I share many more tips, both for renters and homeowners, hikers, runners, cyclists, swimmers and Boomer class weekend warriors like myself, in my new book, written as much for me as for you! I also created a free Healthy Home Tips for Your COVID-19 Quarantine guide that you can download here. See you on the trails soon...Unless there are thunderstorms on the horizon. Jamie Gold, CKD, CAPS, MCCWC is a San Diego-based Mayo Clinic Certified Wellness Coach and the author of three books on design and remodeling. Her latest, Wellness by Design: A Room-by-Room Guide to Optimizing Your Home for Health, Fitness and Happiness, (Simon & Schuster/Tiller Press), publishes September 1, 2020. Follow Jamie here: Instagram Facebook Pinterest Twitter HIKE IT OFF MAGAZINE

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“FOR ME, TREES HAVE ALWAYS BEEN THE MOST PENETRATING PREACHERS”HERMAN HESSE


WRITTEN BY MONET YELSNICK

T H E U N S P O K E N C U S T O M T H E

O F

W H I T E

O W N E D W I L D E R N E S S

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As I drive out of Seattle

I am seeking, but the draw

heading towards the Hoh

is too strong, the reward

Rain forest on the

too great to be thwarted.

Washington state

Though hiking is

peninsula I start to see my

something I couldn’t see

surroundings change.

myself living without

Suburbs fade to forests,

these days, getting into it

apartment buildings

did not come without its

packed like sardines and

barriers. If you flip

sitting sky high are

through any outdoor

suddenly ocean shores. I

magazines or equipment

see fewer and fewer people

ads I would bet a healthy

in general and even less

wager that you will find

who look like me and

about 0-2 images of people

before I know it, I’m

of color, let alone Black

sticking out like a sore

people in those

thumb. My hair, my hoops,

publications. There is the

my lips, my nose, I am an

common (but wholly

anomaly in these parts of

inaccurate) stereotype

the state and I am an

that Black people just

anomaly at the

don't like hiking or

destination

camping, and the lack of diversity on the trails is taken for granted. But why? What is this unspoken custom that the outdoors are mostly for white folk? If we hop back HIKE IT OFF MAGAZINE

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to that same outdoor equipment ad you will see some price tags that are out of reach for most people in the low income bracket, and at least in Seattle, the median income for a Black family vs a white family is less than half, sitting well below the ‘very low income’ category. Lack of financial resources are

person who was seen as

one barrier to the beauty

being ‘suspicious’ or

and peace of the great

‘threatening’ for simply

outdoors. The gas, the

sitting on a bench in their

gear we are often told we

own neighborhood, bird

need, the time off, are not

watching, or having a

accessible to many people

barbeque at a public park

living paycheck to

which resulted in police

paycheck with a family to

being called - and these

support, and it may not

are just a small fraction

seem worth the risk if you

of baseless and

think you might come to

unwarranted police calls

harm. If you scroll the

Black people endure for

news on any given day you

existing in the outdoors.

will see a story of a black

This trifecta of economic

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constraints, lack of

during a camping trip

representation, and being

because some locals

targeted for partaking in

assumed they were up to

leisurely outdoor

no good. It makes me more

activities while Black

hesitant to go alone and

sends an overt message:

usually looking for a

the outdoors are for

white friend to go with me

white people and

to help ease my anxieties. I

explicitly not for Black

take extra care to blend

people.

in when I’m on the trail.

I venture into the wilderness often and try to keep my head up but sometimes I get murmurs and stares when I go into town in Forks to pick up firewood or grab some water or fruit in preparation for a hike or overnight. It makes me think of the interracial family that was stalked by men with guns in this very same town at this very same store last June

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For me this means

subtle signals that you

covering my natural hair,

are taking up too much

making sure I wear neutral

space where you are so

colors, being as quiet as I

graciously being allowed

can. When I realized I was

to trek. Despite the fears

holding my breath as I

and constraints, I find

passed people I had to

myself returning again

come to terms with the

and again.

fact that I was not able to

I have always felt deeply

get the full healing and

connected to the land of

rejuvenating experience I

the Pacific Northwest. I

was craving. Our behavior

have traveled the globe,

is policed in every public

sometimes for months on

space, we are too loud,

end, and as much as I

having too good of a time,

cherish those experiences,

anything we are doing is

I find myself yearning for

seen with an eye of

the cold rocky beaches,

suspicion because

the damp old growth

Blackness in itself is the

Olympic forest, the rugged

boogeyman of white

mountains, the

America. This translates

unforgiving weather of

on the trail via stink eyes

my beloved PNW. I yearn

for laughing out loud,

for it in my bones, in the

stares if you deviate from

very core of my being.

the traditional hiking

When asked about my

look,

relationship to the land here all I can say is that I

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love it like a person. It is a

we can start to knock

relationship, a give and

them down. This land we

take, and it teaches me as

inhabit has so much to

much about itself as it

offer us beyond raw

does about myself. Just

materials–there is peace,

like a person I love there

beauty, comfort, healing

is not much that can keep

to be had by immersing

me away from it, despite

yourself and that is

the risks. The reward is

something we should all

too great and too

feel welcomed and

profound to give it up,

encouraged into.

and where I have had the will I have always found a

Monet Yelsnick is a

way. My hope is that

musician and outdoor

through sharing the

enthusiast in Seattle, WA.

challenges and barriers to outdoor experiences,

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WILD WOMEN IN HIKING Meet Anastasia Allison, Founder of Kula Cloth & Musical Mountaineers by Jaime Purinton


Meet Anastasia Allison, Founder of Kula Cloth ® & Musical Mountaineers What I love most about Anastasia is her strong vision.

about what she does and who she is.

She is a master at manifesting the life she wants all while

Jaime: What is a Kula Cloth ®?

contributing to the well being

Why did you start Kula Cloth

of our planet. She is such an

®?

inspiration- not only because

Anastasia: Kula Cloth ® is the

she climbs mountains to play

very first antimicrobial pee

the most beautiful music I

cloth for all the places you

have ever heard, but because

‘go’. As a former park ranger

she saw a need for a piece of

and backpacking instructor, I

gear and jumped in 100%

was frustrated by the amount

seeing it through from

of toilet paper that I found

concept to reality and has

discarded in fragile alpine

believed in herself the entire

environments. I started using

way.

a pee cloth as a Leave No

The Kula Cloth ® is something

Trace option, and I was

that I now carry with me every

shocked to find that I loved it.

time I hike. It is such an

I started telling all of my

important piece of gear, and I

backpacking students about

can't imagine hiking without

it. One year, my husband went

one now. So let's jump in and

on a 9 day trip to the Wind

meet Anastasia and learn

River Range in Wyoming. I was taking a photograph of HIKE IT OFF MAGAZINE | 28 HIKE IT OFF MAGAZINE | 33


my pee cloth in a spectacular environment as a joke to send to a friend, when I had a sudden idea pop into my head – “Why isn’t this a real piece of gear?”. I realized that I was spending $500 on a tent, but the one piece of fabric I was using as a pee cloth looked like I had pulled it out of a rag bin at jiffy lube. I had no clue had to sew and no experience in the textile industry. It took me a few years of getting over some pretty hefty fears, but I finally launched Kula Cloth in 2018. Since that time, we’ve sold close to 15,000 Kulas. Nothing makes me happier than seeing so many thousands of people adventuring all of the world with this tiny piece of gear.

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Jaime: What is your

became a Law Enforcement

background? Did you like

Ranger in Washington State. I

being in law enforcement?

was laid off from that job in

Anastasia: When I was 12

2012 and I took a job as

years old, I started

Railroad Police Officer with

volunteering as Hopewell

BNSF Railway for about 5.5

Furnace National Historic

years. After a nearly fatal close

Site. My love affair with parks

call, I left my police job in 2017

and the wilderness

to pursue my dream of

started at a very young age. I

creating my own, adventure

went through a quarter-life

inspired life.

crisis in college and ended up studying pre-med courses

Jaime: Who is Mare? How do

and working at a trauma unit.

you come up with your most

Ultimately, I came back to my

entertaining marketing

first love, and I went through

campaigns? Are unicorns

a police academy and

really your favorite “mythical” animal? Anastasia: Mare is my sister. When I started Kula Cloth ®, I was a true solopreneur. Initially, I did everything including sewing the product. Eventually, I had a manufacturing team that was making the Kulas for me, but I was still handling all of the social media, customer service, production logistics HIKE IT OFF MAGAZINE

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and fulfillment. Needless to

sister showed up at the right

say, it got overwhelming very

time and she is somebody who

quickly. When you have a

cares about the business and

customer, that is not a simple

our customers just as much as

relationship where you send

I do. I honestly couldn’t do this

them a product and then you

without her. Our marketing

never hear from them again –

campaigns are honestly

having customers is an

completely spontaneous – we

incredible responsibility, and

are always coming up with

there is nothing more

ridiculous ideas and we thrive

important than nurturing

on being in the creative flow.

that very real relationship. In

We both spend a lot of time

my personal time, I love going

meditating and being in

backpacking and hiking, and

nature so that we can be open

it got to the point very quickly

to receiving the ideas that we

where I wasn’t going to be

are meant to bring to life.

able to do that anymore

Maybe that sounds a bit ‘woo’,

unless I had somebody to

but we don’t follow any type of

help me answering e-mails

plan – I honestly think that the

and managing the social

universe uses us and Kula to

media aspect of the business.

bring a lot of laughter and

Kula is like my fabric child – I

light into people’s lives.

love it more than I can put

I absolutely love unicorns! I

into words. It was scary, in the

think a unicorn represents the

beginning, to ‘give away’

magic that lives inside each of

some of those early responsibilities, but my HIKE IT OFF MAGAZINE

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us. So often we argue for our

process in your life, focus all of

own limitations and we think

your attention on visualizing

that we aren’t ‘good enough’

what you WANT, not what you

or ‘special enough’ to do

don’t want. Very often, we

something incredible. We look

spend so much time focused

at other people who are doing

on what we don’t want or

amazing things and think that

spending time feeling worried

they got ‘lucky’. I know this,

or fearful – in doing so, we

because that was my story for

actually attract more evidence

most of my life. I think that the

of what we don’t want. When

unicorn represents the truth of

you stare at the reality of ‘what

what lives in each of us – a

is’, you just create a whole lot

mythical creature who is capable of anything. Jaime: What advice would you give to someone who is afraid to take the next step in life whether it’s starting their own business or just attempting a more challenging hike? Anastasia: First and foremost, you don’t have to be any different than exactly how you are right now. There is never the ‘perfect’ time for anything, because it’s always just right now. As you begin


more of ‘what is.’ So, allow

Jaime: What is your "all time"

yourself to dream about what

favorite trail?

you want, and be ok with not

Anastasia: Well, this isn’t

knowing how it is all going to

entirely a trail… but without a

happen. The answers will come

doubt, I think that my favorite

and find you – not the other

back country experience was

way around. Spend time every

completing the entire Wind

day connecting with yourself

River High Route. This is a

either through meditation,

primarily off-trail, semi-

spending time in nature,

mountaineering objective in

listening to music, or writing

Wyoming. It is nearly 90 miles

letters of appreciation to

long, and there are huge

others. As your energy rises,

stretches (30+ miles) with no

you will become inspired to

trails whatsoever. The altitude

ideas and opportunities that

combined with the navigation

will appear seemingly out of

tested every part of my

‘nowhere’. When you realize

knowledge and physical

the power that you have to

abilities. Plus, it’s probably

create anything you want,

some of the most beautiful,

you’ll never doubt yourself ever

rugged terrain I’ve ever seen.

again.


Jaime: We are so inspired by

was pretty special. I had the

your other project, The Musical

chance to perform ‘Pure

Mountaineers. How did that

Imagination’ while Rose ice

adventure start? What was

skated, and that was a wonderful

your best hike to date and

experience.

what song did you play? Anastasia: The Musical

Jaime: What does Hike It Off

Mountaineers is a duo

mean to you?

consisting of me and my friend

Anastasia: When we spend time

Rose Freeman who plays

in nature, we connect with the

piano. We carry a violin and a

truest part of who we are. As we

keyboard to the summits

walk away from the trailhead, we

of peaks for unannounced

leave behind the stories, fears,

wilderness sunrise serenades

doubts and worries that we

to nobody. Rose and I met

often carry with us – sometimes

through a serendipitous series

those invisible burdens are

of events, and we’ve since

much heavier than any pack.

performed over 40 unique

Nature has a way of reflecting

concerts and had the

back to us the eternal beauty

opportunity to perform for the

that lives inside each of us – a

She Explores podcast and on

deeper truth about the

stage at Benaroya Hall in

connection that we all have to

Seattle to benefit the

each other, ourselves and our

Washington National Parks

planet. When we hike, whether

Fund. It’s hard to pick a

we can articulate it or not, that

favorite hike because they all

sense of belongingness is what

so unique and special. If I had

we remember. We leave behind

to choose, I’d say that hiking to

the things that no longer serve

a secret frozen mountain lake

us. HIKE IT OFF MAGAZINE

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Jaime: Who are your mentors?

support Kula – it is not, and

Who inspires you?

could not possibly be, a one-

Anastasia: A long time ago, I

woman show. Rose still takes all

made a decision that I thought

of my Kula product photos, my

was ‘crazy’ at the time – I hired

friend Allison has become our

a coach to help me ‘figure out

event planner, and our designer

my life’ when I was still a police

Amanda has brought

officer. That coach (who works

unthinkable beauty to Kula. My

with the Seattle Coaching

sister has invigorated the brand

Collective) Hasna Atry, made

with her endless humor and

such a profound impact on my

inner brilliance. I’m also hugely

life that I can’t quite quantify

grateful for the thousands of

it. My husband has also been a

people in the Kula community

tremendous support for me.

who show up to support us every

Let’s face it, when your spouse

single day. I don’t ask for these

decides she wants to quit her

people to share our product or

$80,000/year police job to

say kind things about Kula, but

‘pursue her dreams’, there are

they do. Again, and again, they

a lot of fears that surface.

show up. Honestly, it brings me

Aaron has never once doubted

to tears just thinking about it.

me – and, in fact, has believed

There is nothing that we do that

in me even during moments

isn’t entirely for them.

when I thought I was completely nuts for quitting

Jaime: What is one piece of

my job to start a pee cloth

advise you would give to

company. There are so many

someone who is feeling down or

other friends and family

like their life isn’t going the way

members who have showed

they want it to?

up during this journey to HIKE IT OFF MAGAZINE

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Anastasia: What you focus on

for fulfillment or happiness. A job

is what you will create in your

or a career or a certain amount

life. I don’t say this to be harsh,

of money in the distant future is

I say it because it was a bitter

not the answer to your

pill that I had to swallow in my

‘problems’. You have to find the

own life. A few years ago, I was

peace now, and then those

deeply depressed. I was

things will come. You must start

focusing on how bad

with yourself, and then watch

everything was in my life. I was

the whole universe shift to give

handling multiple railroad-

you the things that you are

related fatalities per week and

wanting.

I was, quite honestly, questioning everything about life. From the depths of that despair, I was able to find one glimmer of light– the fact that my heart beats itself and that my lungs breath themselves. It was a profound realization for me. I started focusing more and more on the things that I wanted to create, and as I started to do that, things in my life began to shift and opportunities started to open up for me. This is a duplicatable process that anybody can do – it’s not just for me. Don’t look externally HIKE IT OFF MAGAZINE

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Jaime: What’s next on the horizon for you and your company? Anything else you’d like to share? Anastasia: I’m extremely excited about some of our upcoming collaborations with non-profits such as The Venture Out Project and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. As we’ve streamlined our production, we are really focusing on using Kula as a vehicle for good so that we can support organizations that are making a difference in the world. I’m really looking forward to our big Kulapalooza event in October in the North Cascades. Last year, the event was really magical, and I can’t wait for it again this year. I think my favorite quote of all time (by Herman Melville) is, “I know not all that may be coming, but be it what it will, I'll go to it laughing.” You don’t need to know all the answers. You only ever need to believe that things are possible. More than anything, I want Kula and The Musical Mountaineers to inspire people to look in their own hearts and see what light wants to shine through. Get your own Kula Cloth ® here. Follow the Musical Mountaineers here.


HOW COVID-19 MADE ME APPRECIATE THE OUTDOORS MORE By Michelle Jackson In my other life, the one before the Coronavirus, I would go hiking once or twice a week in the Colorado Rockies. Some weeks you would find me exploring the trails of Chautauqua Park in Boulder, other weeks I would sign up for Meetup groups and try out new trails that more experienced hikers had discovered. But, without fail, each week I would spend some time re-energizing myself outdoors. The outdoors represented a legit excuse to decompress. We would also talk about random stuff like which Star Trek series was the best one? Or, spend entire hikes comparing equipment and complaining about tourists destroying trails. I would take endless pictures of columbines, the Colorado state

flower, even though I’d seen them in bloom every single year. There was nothing better than walking through quiet forests smiling at other explorers on the same path and breathing in air that doesn’t smell like car exhaust. Then, everything changed the second week of March 2020. We’d all heard grumblings about some virus that was overseas but it felt so far away-until it wasn’t. When the ski resorts were shut down, I knew that we were dealing with something unprecedented. We were told to hunker down and self-isolate and so I did. For the next three months I stayed close to home by myself because I’m single. The state’s Governor had mandated that we recreate no further than 10 miles from

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home during that time and I respected that mandate. And, it sucked. Denver, where I live, is 40 miles from the mountains. I found myself staring at the same four walls in my home during that time while trying to remain optimistic. I would question the sanity of the people who would talk about how productive they were during this time while I was emotionally eating. I walked endless times around the pretty park in my neighborhood and would sit and look at the lake in the middle and wonder if this was it? And, I would miss the mountains. I missed the sense of freedom, of escape, and peace that I had every time I would explore the woods. Self-isolating during the third month was the worst because I knew that there were people who were breaking the rules. But, I couldn’t, because there were a whole lot of people who looked like me who were

dying from this disease and I didn’t want to become a part of the problem. Finally, the quarantine orders were lifted and I was surprised to find myself a bit nervous to venture out. I decided to jump in with both feet and took a socially distant staycation road trip to Salida, Colorado. It was just what the doctor ordered. However, I realized that one quick trip to a cute town wasn’t going to be enough. So, I looked for a better way to get back to nature and found an opportunity that was almost too good to be true. I went on a three day backpacking trip along the Beaver Creek Trail here in Colorado. For three days I was able to forest walk endlessly, making up for the lost time that I used to spend in nature and even though I overpacked, ended up with the blister from hell on my toe, and questioned my life choices towards the end, the magic of that first trip in nature after three months under quarantine will be something

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that I will remember for a long time. We saw two moose about ½ mile from the end of our trip and reflected I’d missed how magical the outdoors could be and as I ate trail salad (dandelions), soaked my feet in the river, tried not to freak out during a crazy windstorm, I was already thinking about my next adventure and what I wanted to do next.

Moving forward, I won’t ever take the outdoors for granted again. Next year I plan on doing a through hike via the Colorado Trail. For the longest time I’ve talked about doing a through hike. Now, no more talking, it’s time to do and, I’m going to donate more to programs that help people of color get outdoors. The mountains are calling and I must go-will you join me?

The Coronavirus made me appreciate the outdoors more because I never imagined that I wouldn’t have the freedom to enjoy it. For me, nature is where I re-energize after a hard day, ignore microaggressions, and spend time reconnecting with myself. I never realized how much enjoying the outdoors was a part of how I managed my mental health and physical wellness. I’d also never really understood how much nature was the embodiment of freedom to me.

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Michelle Jackson runs the website and podcast Square State, where she gets to unapologetically geek out about her state of Colorado. When she's not having random conversations with new people, she can be found hiking, biking, sitting on a patio, or exploring the mountains. Her ultimate goal is to normalize POC faces in outdoor spaces and stop surprising people when she says she's from Colorado.

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DIET CULTURE IN HIKING BY JULIANNE MAHONEY HIKE IT OFF MAGAZINE | 48


When our minds go to the trail, we think of freedom, adventure, and soulful experiences. We think of beautiful overlooks, rocky climbs up to peaks, and water crossings through canyons. What often gets overlooked is the fatphobia, thin-privilege, weight-focus, imposter syndrome and diet culture that is flooding into the hiking community. We turn to the great outdoors to feel free, so why are we bringing the weight of diet culture out there with us? Diet culture is defined as a system of beliefs and values that equates an individual’s thinness to health and moral virtue. Within this system, weight-loss is the highest achievement an individual can reach. Additionally, those individuals living in larger bodies are automatically assumed to be unhealthy and morally inferior to those in smaller bodies. It’s easy to brush off the idea that diet culture exists but it’s not so easy to brush off the effects it has on everything in our lives.

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Photo: Heather Zubro

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A quick google search of nutrition for hikers brings up millions of results of articles discussing “eating better on the trail”, “clean eating for your hike”, and exactly what to eat to hike your best. What’s the issue with this? It moralizes food and thus moralizes those who consume such foods. By separating foods into “good” and 'bad” based on arbitrary guidelines, this introduces guilt and shame into the eating experience on and off the trail. To avoid being labeled as unhealthy, hikers will pack snacks that fit into the “good” category, regardless of whether or not it’s the fuel that makes them feel the best mentally or physically, or if that’s what they actually want to consume. Hikers that pack food out of these guidelines tend to eat quickly and alone out of guilt and shame for their “bad” choices or make self-demeaning comments when consuming these foods in front of their hiking partners. Even the snicker lovers out there praise the “healthy” hikers for their extra effort in choices while laughing about their own “lack of will power.”

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Besides snack choices, how else does diet culture affect our hiking experience? Take one look at the majority of social media hiking accounts and you’ll see one thing; predominately white, thin women with gorgeous hair hiking on a picturesque trail. While it’s wonderful and wanderlusting to see the beautiful spots people are recreating on, photos can be deceivingly harmful. The constant exposure to this image formulates the belief that there is an “ideal hiker’s body” and, for many of us, that figure is unachievable.

Photo: Keely D'Amico

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In combination with our societal diet culture, the diet culture in hiking instills the belief that individuals in thin bodies hike further, faster, and better than those in larger bodies. The complimentary fatphobic belief is that those in larger bodies are inexperienced, slow, and simply there to lose weight. Thin-privilege does not mean that those living in smaller bodies do not face struggles while hiking, but their body size is not one of those struggles. They do not have to worry about automatically being judged morally and physically as soon as they step foot on the trail. For any individuals living outside of that ideal body, it can be quite difficult to claim the title of “hiker.” This imposter syndrome occurs not because of a lack of love for hiking but because of the difference between their appearance and that put forth as the hiker standard. Without a perfectly toned body, you are simply someone who enjoys hiking but not someone who can claim themselves as a “hiker.” Those living in “ideal” bodies also experience the effects of diet culture. They may feel pressured to keep their physique or prove themselves as a “hiker” compared to the influencer hikers on instagram.

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Diet culture adds additional obstacles to hiking for those not fitting the ideal. Without having prior representation in the hiking media, a layer of self-doubt covers every ambitious goal. From completing long miles to an intense uphill hike, it’s difficult to believe in one’s self when it appears in the media that only ultra-fit and thin individuals can do such things. This keeps people in larger bodies from going after their goals or from even stepping on the trail in the first place.

Photo: Misty Little

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There has been an effort to bring these issues to light in recent years. From individuals being open about their experiences in outdoor spaces to accounts focused solely on featuring hikers outside of the “‘ideal” physique, a change is coming to how companies represent all individuals in their marketing. Diet culture negatively impacts the hiking experience for all of us. Let's bring awareness to the fatphobic and diet culture thoughts we have. Let’s work together to keep the stigmas, weight-bias, and food morality off the trail and in the trailhead trash can where it belongs. Julianne Mahoney is a registered dietitian and avid hiker. She helps active women improve their relationship with food, their bodies, and exercise through personalized intuitive eating coaching. You can get more information on her website here. Or follow her on her Instagram here.

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TOP FIVE FALL HIKES IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA Fall colors in Southern California? Believe it or not, we have a few local places that show off their fiery colors each year when the temperatures start to drop. We put a list of our top five favorite Southern California Fall hikes for color. From scarlet sycamores to orange oaks you'll be sure to see shades of yellows, oranges, and reds on any of these trails.


1. Palomar Mountain State Park Palomar Mountain State Park is magical all year long, but in the Fall that magic gets turned on high. The black oaks on the Boucher Trail put on the most spectacular show of yellow and orange before taking their long winter nap. This short trail leads to the Boucher Fire Lookout where you can catch views of the ocean on a clear day. Make sure to stop at Mother's Kitchen for some veggie chili on your way home. For more information, including trail maps and directions visit Friends of Palomar Mountain State Park. Visit Mother's Kitchen's website here.


2. San Gorgonio- Vivian Creek Trail Vivian Creek Trail is known as the shortest and steepest route to get to the highest summit in Southern California, San Gorgonio sitting at 11,499ft. The trail is already gorgeous, but add in thousands of trees with shimmering gold leaves and it becomes breathtaking. You can make this trail as short as you'd like or hike all the way to the summit and have a full day's adventure. For directions and more trail information, visit San Gorgonio Wilderness Association.

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3. Mt. Laguna- Big Laguna Loop Located 60 miles East of downtown San Diego, Mount Laguna is an easy mountain get away from the city. Come Fall, the sycamores and black oaks on Trail change into eye Add a littlethe bit ofBig bodyLaguna text popping shades of Autumn. The entire loop is just about ten miles but can be shortened if needed. After your hike, stop in Julian for a piece of warm apple pie or for some hard cider at Calico Cidery. For more information on the Big Laguna Trail click here. Visit Calico Cidery's website here.


4. Los Coyotes Reservation- Hot Springs Mountain The hike to Hot Springs Mountain on the Los Coyotes Reservation is about as rural as it gets in San Diego. Just getting there is a mini adventure in itself as it is located 75 miles North East of downtown San Diego. We promise you the drive is worth it. Not only can you hike to the highest point in San Diego at 6,533ft, but you will see the historical fire lookout that was originally built in 1912 (it has been rebuilt twice since then). During the Fall, the trail boasts some of the most amazing colors that can be viewed in San Diego county. For more information, including how to gain access to the reservation, visit the tribe's Facebook page here. Keep in mind you are a guest of the tribe, so the utmost respect for their land is required, including following strict Leave No Trace Principles.

Photo: Gina Norte

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5. Big Bear- Pine Knot Trail The scenic Pine Knot Trail winds through tall pines and oaks with stunning views of Big Bear Lake up to Grandview Point. With Fall comes cooler weather and changing leaves. Big Bear is widely known as a great spot to see Fall colors and the Pine Knot Trail is no exception. If you're really lucky, you might spot the two resident bald eagles, Jackie and Shadow working on their nest in late September. For more information visit the San Bernadino National Forest's website here.

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MUST HAVE FALL HIKING ESSENTIALS

Check out our must have Fall hiking essentials. From a cozy fleece hiking dress, that is perfect for the nightly campfire to windbreakers for when the weather turns blustery, we've named our favorites. Get ready for cool Autumn mornings and warm days. when layers are needed.

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WOMEN

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1. KIND APPAREL FJORD DRESS As comfortable as sweats and a hoodie, but a helluva lot cuter! Kind Apparel mastered the fusion of comfort while thinking of you, a woman on the go. Must have features like a front pocket, a snap-up hood and our favorite: stretchy venting sides so you can wear it to catch all the Fall colors and be comfortable at the same time.

2. MOUNTAIN HARDWARE DIAMOND PEAK BASE LAYER HOODIE Perfect layer for those cool Fall mornings and brisk evenings! With an active fit and non chaffing seams it fits perfectly under any light jacket or hoodie.

3. STANCE GRANITE TREK SOCKS Moderate cushioning and seamless toe ensure all day comfort plus their performance arch supports fight off strain and fatigue. They are super cute too!

4. MARMOT SADIE BEANIE Keep your head warm with Marmot's Sadie Beanie. The faux fur pom and chunky cable knit add stylish details and a fun flair.

5. BLACK DIAMOND SCREEN TAP GLOVES Ultra light weight and stretchy these gloves still provide enough warmth for a Fall day. Black Diamond's touch-screen-compatible palms and fingers are handy for taking photos of the Fall leaves while on the trail.

6. FJALLRAVEN STINA JACKET A practical everyday jacket that is perfect for those blustery Fall days. It features a fixed hood and pre-shaped sleeves for a comfortable fit.

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MEN

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1. BLACK DIAMOND SCREEN TAP GLOVES Ultra light weight and stretchy these gloves still provide enough warmth for a Fall day. Black Diamond's touch-screen-compatible palms and fingers are handy for taking photos of the Fall leaves while on the trail.

2. ICEBREAKER ANATOMICA BOXERS Super soft and warm with extra length for comfort these boxers are a great choice for cooler days. Core-spun fabric wraps merino wool around a nylon core for enhanced durability and Lycra® spandex adds stretch and mobility. Flatlock seams prevent chafing.

3. PATAGONIA HOUDINI JACKET Packable, yet durable with a weather resistant coating, the Patagonia Houdini is a jacket you can count on to block wind and resist abrasions while keeping you dry in light Autumn showers.

4. THE LANDMARK PROJECT JOSHUA TREE BEANIE Show your love for Joshua Tree while keeping your ears nice and warm!

5. MOUNTAIN HARDWEAR DIAMOND PEAK THERMAL BASE LAYER HOODIE Perfect layer for those cool Fall mornings and brisk evenings! With an active fit and non chaffing seams it fits perfectly under any light jacket or hoodie.

6. DARN TOUGH MICRO CREW A warm and comfortable sock with mid-level cushion density under foot that provides reinforcement at the heels and toes and elastic support around the arch. A ring-toe construction hides seams and enhances comfort.

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LETTERS TO THE Lollygagger

GOT A BURNING QUESTION ABOUT HIKING THAT YOU JUST CAN’T SEEM TO FIND THE ANSWER TO? ASK OUR VERY OWN CHIEF LOLLYGAGGER! HIKE IT OFF MAGAZINE

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LETTERS TO THE

Lollygagger

Dear Chief Lollygagger, How do I feed a family of four while backpacking when three are vegetarian, one who is keto, and two that are super picky kids that don’t like anything but plain noodles?! They are making me crazy! Sincerely, Food Crazy in California Dear Food Crazy in California, To give a good answer I would need to know if you’re doing all the cooking. I’m going to assume you are for this article. I did a little research, and there are several dehydrated backpacking food options for all of the diets you have mentioned. I personally am a vegan, and have done multi-day trips with no problem sticking to my eating habits and maintaining my nutritional needs. For your needs, I would say just boil the water for the different dehydrated food entrees and let everyone pick their own snacks that they want to carry. Then just sit back and laugh to yourself about what our parents would have told us. Also, feel free to reach out to me or the Hike It Off Community Facebook group for some brand suggestions.

Dear Chief Lollygagger, I am new to hiking and have no idea what gear I should buy. What are your recommendations for must have gear for a new hiker? Sincerely, Newbie Hiker in California

Dear Newbie Hiker in California, Let’s just start with the ten essentials right off the bat. There is an article in the 2020 summer issue about what those are. The next thing that I think is paramount, is footwear. This is a bit tricky and is partial to fit, preference, and terrain. Some people like the feel of light weight trail shoes and some like and/or need boots for stability. This is something you’ll have to figure out through your own experience. The common component between the two that is important is traction. I’ve seen first hand life changing slips due to poor traction. After footwear, the next thing to consider is applicable clothing. Again this is up to personal preference and your style. Stay cool in the warmer months and warm in the winter keeping in mind that hiking warm is HIKE IT OFF MAGAZINE

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LETTERS TO THE

Lollygagger

different than sitting still warm and may require some extra layers to switch out as needed. Also sometimes covering up from the sun with a good hat and long sleeve shirt is actually cooler than being exposed to the sun’s rays. Now the most fun piece of gear to pick out is a backpack. I like packs that have a suspended mesh back panel which helps with airflow on your back. When picking the size of your pack it’s important to be realistic about what you’re going to be hiking. The smallest pack that meets your load and weight specification will usually be the best choice. Mesh pockets on the side are also nice to have for items that you will use while cruising down the trail. Lastly, trekking poles are a nice addition to help with stability and leg fatigue. They’re not necessary, but the science is there for how well they work. Have fun and enjoy the freedom.

HAVE YOUR OWN QUESTION FOR OUR CHIEF LOLLYGAGGER? SUBMIT THEM TO: info@hikeitoffmagazine.com

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DESIGNED FOR HIKERS BY HIKERS

www.hikeitoffclothing.com


WHAT DOES HIKE IT OFF MEAN TO YOU? We asked some of our followers what Hike It Off means to them. This is what they had to say.

“Whatever has transpired in your life that isn't your favorite you can take to the trail and leave it there!”- Lola CervantesPraytor

"Hike it off, like walk it off, to me, means that you get up, dust yourself off, and keep going. When life gets you down, get up, get on a trail, and hike those bad vibes off!"Heather Zubro

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From the Facebook Group What is one thing hiking has changed about you?

No matter how dirty and smelly I get, I can always dirtier and smellier. -Scott I have lost close to 50 lbs and completely gone off all triglyceride medication I was told I would take for life. Re-energized my passion for photography. -Doug I got interested in hiking following the death of a parent and in the middle of a divorce. It kept me positive through all that and I have been remarried happily for 8 years and counting. -David I can poop

outdoors. -Nell

It gave me an appreciation for the natural world around me. -Nick Fear of being alone. I realized that the world is big for me to just sit in the corner and feel sorry for myself! - Gina I’ve been hiking my whole life so I can’t really pinpoint any changes in particular other than hiking keeps me sane and connected to nature and it’s better than going to the gym. -Kelli Peace. Solitude. Especially desert hiking... the vastness of it all. Key to my recovery from cancer. -Jennifer I too have learned to appreciate solitude. -Larry Hiking has taught me to step back, acknowledge what is causing my anxiety, and really to be present and enjoy the moment. -Aimee As a person who suffers from depression, hiking has changed my general mood. I am happier and more pleasant in general and when asked if I hike for exercise I tell people no. I say that I hike for my soul! -Christiann

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Fall 2020 Issue Four CEO & Chief Editor- Jaime Purinton Chief Lollygagger & Director of Vibe- Tony Purinton Writers: Duke Brady Michelle Jackson Julianne Mahoney Jamie Gold Monet Yelsnick Jaime Purinton

HIKE IT OFF MAGAZINE 2020 All Rights Reserved

Profile for Hike It Off Magazine

Hike It Off Magazine Issue Four  

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