Friday, March 22, 2019

Photos from the Trail: March 22, 2019 at 01:16PM


#FridayMood: When you’re #Fabulous and you know it. This little #pony goes 💯 #slay whenever he’s got an audience. #TeamCanon feeling that #FarmLife in #blackandwhite with the #CanonEOS T7i, EF-S 55-250mm STM lens. #canonfanphoto #ncphotographer via Instagram https://ift.tt/2Fnoiih

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Photos from the Trail: March 21, 2019 at 12:30AM


#SuperWormMoon -Can you believe the last #SuperMoon of 2019 is called #SuperWormEquinoxMoon? Yeah, 2019 turning out to be a weird one. #TeamCanon & @slikusa #explore the magic of the #SpringEquinox with the #CanonEOS 6D MK II, vintage EF 75-300mm Lens, Slik Pro 700DX tripod. The #fullmoon for March is called the “full worm moon” because earthworms start coming from the ground as the weather warms and snow melts, according to @theoldfarmersalmanac. #CanonFanPhoto #ShootForGreatness #itsamazingoutthere #sky #nature #moon #Equinox #Ostara #wildernessculture #natgeoyourshot #luna #springequinox2019 #mystery #nightsky #nightphotography #EOS6Dmkii #digitalphotography via Instagram https://ift.tt/2WdwjwX

Photos from the Trail: March 20, 2019 at 08:44PM


#SuperWormMoon -Can you believe the last #SuperMoon of 2019 is called #SuperWormEquinoxMoon? Yeah, 2019 turning out to be a weird one. #TeamCanon & @slikusa #explore the magic of the #FullMoon with the #CanonEOS 6D MK II, vintage EF 65-300mm Lens. via Instagram https://ift.tt/2Y9TAl4

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Photos from the Trail: March 19, 2019 at 06:54PM


“Tourist Tuesday” - #TinyDog thinks #tongueouttuesday is beneath her. #RealLife, just hanging out at Andrews Geyser in Old Fort, North Carolina. Andrews Geyser is a man-made fountain in Old Fort, North Carolina in McDowell County. The fountain is named for Colonel Alexander Boyd Andrews, a North Carolina native who was the Vice President of the Southern Railway Company and one of the men responsible for the construction of the railroad between Old Fort and Asheville, North Carolina, in the late 19th century. The fountain was constructed in 1885 with a dual purpose: it was a feature of the Round Knob Hotel, and a tribute to the approximately 120 men who died building the railroad through this particularly treacherous stretch of land, that culminates with the crossing of the Eastern Continental Divide through the Swannanoa Tunnel. #iphonephotography via Instagram https://ift.tt/2Oh3Xzg

Monday, March 18, 2019

Photos from the Trail: March 18, 2019 at 05:43PM


#ShootForGreatness: Shoot for the #moon, even if you miss, you’ll fall amongst the stars. Kicking myself because I had 2 sec. delay enabled. #TeamCanon & @slikusa exploring the #nightsky with the #CanonEOS 6D MK II, vintage EF 70-300mm lens, Slik Pro 700DX #Tripod. via Instagram https://ift.tt/2HGHUk0

Photos from the Trail: March 18, 2019 at 01:56PM


Sometimes, I’m NOT a #photographer. Sometimes, I’m the #Artist’s Assistant. I noticed a bit of #creative stagnation since I uprooted my entire life and disappeared into the mountains. Maybe I’ve changed, or maybe my following has. In either case, why not share a bit about the #girlbehindthecamera? Let’s actually be #friends and get to know each other, I’ll start. This #MondayMotivation is all about the #IRL. via Instagram https://ift.tt/2HFxCAS

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Photos from the Trail: March 16, 2019 at 08:55PM


“Miyagi Power Move” -If you don’t #zoom in on this #portrait of a #predator then you’re life is pretty much incomplete. #TinyDog taking the #mannequinchallenge to 💯 at an overly confident Fly. PS: If you don’t appreciate my on-the-nose #puns, I will feed you to the #chihuahua and record it in #blackandwhite like a retro horror movie. via Instagram https://ift.tt/2HpZt8G

Friday, March 15, 2019

Photos from the Trail: March 15, 2019 at 01:45PM


“Perplexed” - This very charismatic #pony was eager to be BFF’s til I whipped out the camera. Maybe I caught him on a #badhairday? #TeamCanon capturing #candid #portrait shots in the #SmokyMountains; #CanonEOS T7i, EF-S 18-135mm STM lens. #FridayMood #SpiritAnimal via Instagram https://ift.tt/2Holzsq

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Photos from the Trail: March 14, 2019 at 11:12AM


#Portrait of a #Throwback -Yesterday’s IG & FB crash really put a dent in my style, unlike this sweet #classiccar hidden away in the mountains of #WNC. #TeamCanon & @slikusa #explore the #abandoned with the #CanonEOS T7i, EF-S 18-135mm STM lens. #ThrowbackThursday #canonfanphoto via Instagram https://ift.tt/2XWDrPX

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Photos from the Trail: March 12, 2019 at 05:39PM


“Bandido de Vaca” -Holy #Cow, I don’t want any trouble buddy, just trying to get a photo of you! This little #masked bandit kept a close eye on me... #TeamCanon practicing #portrait #photography with the #CanonEOS T7i, EF-S 55-250mm STM lens. #CanonFanPhoto #ShootForGreatness via Instagram https://ift.tt/2HgfZYU

Photos from the Trail: March 12, 2019 at 09:26AM


“Grumpy Neighbors” - #Local #Portrait Week kicks off with these two nippy neighbors 🤬. I’ve stared down a wolf, survived encounters with rattlesnakes, and acted as TinyDog’s “security team” when she tried to take on a pack of coyotes. But if you wanna hear the whole valley light up, let one of these turds sneak up on me while I’m trying to take pictures or not paying attention. #TeamCanon running for safety while practicing #depthoffield in the #blueridgemountains: #CanonEOS T7i, EF-S 55-250mm STM lens. via Instagram https://ift.tt/2TC9Fkn

Monday, March 11, 2019

Photos from the Trail: March 11, 2019 at 02:01PM


“Field Reporter” -Since I’m stuck #takingpictures in my #local area, my #MondayMotivation starts with a few #portrait shots of my neighbors, myself, and all the things I see while I #wander. #Selfie with #TeamCanon & #Baofeng in the #BlueRidgeMountains; #CanonEOS T7i, EF-S 55-250mm STM lens. via Instagram https://ift.tt/2u2Lo8y

Friday, March 8, 2019

Photos from the Trail: March 08, 2019 at 12:18PM


“The Milk of Light & Shadows” - #BlackandWhite #Portrait of #freerange Cattle in the Ojito #Wilderness, New Mexico. #TeamCanon and #FindYourPark #explore the #Southwest with the #CanonEOS SL1, EF-S 18-135mm STM lens. via Instagram https://ift.tt/2TBLNgr

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Photos from the Trail: March 06, 2019 at 09:38PM


“Caramel Creme” - When you go for a #wander in the #desert and stumble upon a #hidden hoofer. #TeamCanon & #WomenWhoHike #explore the #Southwest with the #CanonEOS T7i, EF-S 18-135mm STM lens. Ojito #Wilderness, San Ysidro, #NewMexico. via Instagram https://www.instagram.com/p/BusajWFneOr/

Photos from the Trail: March 06, 2019 at 10:39AM


#TodayILearned -Okay, so I had no idea #cows are just giant #freerange doggos that also make us #milk. Look at this all-beef pupper licking her hoof-paws 🥰🤣. #TeamCanon living that #farmlife in the #blueridgemountains with #CanonEOS T7i, EF-S 55-250mm STM lens. via Instagram https://ift.tt/2Hf9Efw

Monday, March 4, 2019

Photos from the Trail: March 04, 2019 at 10:31AM


“Treasure Hunt” - Looking for #Treasure in all the wrong places... A tiny bit of #smokeyquartz, red and yellow #calcite, one #garnet and one #quartz crystal point out of a nearby #creek. #rockhound life in the Carolinas is tough... via Instagram https://ift.tt/2GZWG5M

Friday, March 1, 2019

Photos from the Trail: March 01, 2019 at 11:36AM


“Boots and a View” -Sometimes, all you need is a good pair of #hiking boots and a lack of people. #EnjoyTheSilence with @keenutility and #TeamCanon. Out in the #wilderness trying to #capture #serenity with my well-traveled Keen Durand Mids and the #CanonEOS T7i, EF-S 10-18mm STM lens. #Friday #Vibes #getaway #newmexicotrue via Instagram https://ift.tt/2UhKwIE

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Photos from the Trail: February 27, 2019 at 04:26PM


“Get your kicks” - It’s been over 30 years, but the spirit of the #openroad lives on in #faded #signs and the hearts of dreamers. #TeamCanon takes a #Roadtrip under #blueskies along the remains of #Route66 with the #CanonEOS T7i, EF-S 18-135mm STM lens. #shootforgreatness #canonfanphoto via Instagram https://ift.tt/2TnuT5d

#WordlessWednesday: The Fall

Get my Setup Here:

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Photos from the Trail: February 26, 2019 at 10:46AM


“Bones of the #Desert” -Plaza Blanca juts out from the barren #landscape like the rib cage of a fallen, ancient giant. #TeamCanon explores the #haunting #mystery of the #Southwest with #CanonEOS T7i, EF-S 55-250mm STM lens. via Instagram https://ift.tt/2XooGVI

Monday, February 25, 2019

Salty Pepper....gets a snack

TinyDog was quite salty that we didn't take her to the Western North Carolina Live Paranormal Roundtable yesterday.

After the RoundTable event, we had an opportunity to eat at a "local" steakhouse (the definition of local is pretty reaching out here).

The food was okay, but I had already filled up on snacks at the event, so a majority of my meal went home. 

Pepper was sooo pitiful, but I think the steak cheered her up.


Saturday, February 23, 2019

Photos from the Trail: February 23, 2019 at 08:59PM


“Canyon of Conquered #Souls” -The barren remains of the Jemez Historic Site. At one point, a Gíusewa Pueblo, then the San Jose de los Jemez mission, then overtaken again in the Pueblo #Rebellion, and finally, overtaken by nature. Officially adopted as a state monument in 1935. If you stand still, you can hear someone or something older than the stones around you...and if you wait long enough, you may actually see it... #TeamCanon and #PicsArt #explore the #forgotten #history of the #southwest with the #CanonEOS SL-1, EF-S 18-135mm STM lens. #newmexicotrue via Instagram https://ift.tt/2XmE8lw

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Photos from the Trail: February 21, 2019 at 02:11PM


#ComingSoon: Awesome #stickers for everyday #hikers. Amazing new #Swag from #StickerMule. #ProductPhotography in the #BlueRidgeMountains: #CanonEOS T7i, EF-S 55-250mm STM lens. via Instagram https://ift.tt/2V8rsMY

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Photos from the Trail: February 20, 2019 at 08:56AM


“The Chicken Lady” - #Update on the lovely lady I #rescued back in December! She #wandered into my yard this morning, looking #healthy and #happy. Her feathers have grown back in from where she was nipped by unseen foes, but she’s still a little wary of my zoom lens and had a few “choice words” for my new career as #barnyard #paparazzi! TeamCanon getting them #chicken #portraits with the #CanonEOS T7i, EF-S 55-250mm STM lens. #shootforgreatness #canonfanphoto via Instagram https://ift.tt/2Ipv4bZ

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Photos from the Trail: February 19, 2019 at 10:16PM


“The Chicken Lady” - #Update on the lovely lady I #rescued back in December! She #wandered into my yard this morning, looking #healthy and #happy. Her feathers have grown back in from where she was nipped by unseen foes, but she was still a little wary of my zoom lens and had a few “choice words” for my new career as #barnyard #paparazzi! TeamCanon getting them #chicken #portraits with the #CanonEOS T7i, EF-S 55-250mm STM lens. #shootforgreatness #canonfanphoto via Instagram https://ift.tt/2TXkqdL

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Photos from the Trail: February 16, 2019 at 02:13PM


Solid #Splash: There’s always an opportunity to practice #Aperture, ISO and #ShutterSpeed. #PhotographyTips: It helps to practice in #blackandwhite to avoid overly “blown out” shots. #ShootforGreatness and #FindYourPark with #TeamCanon #explore #waterfalls in the #blueridgemountains: #CanonEOS T7i, EF-S 18-135mm STM lens. via Instagram http://bit.ly/2Ne7qy0

Friday, February 15, 2019

Photos from the Trail: February 15, 2019 at 04:33PM


#FridayMood: #Majestic Pepper the #TinyDog walking up to the #trailhead like 💁🏻‍♀️. #TeamCanon #exploring #LinvilleGorge in #blackandwhite with the #CanonEOS T7i, EF-S 18-135mm STM lens. via Instagram http://bit.ly/2BzxOO4

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Photos from the Trail: February 13, 2019 at 01:03PM


#WaterfallWednesday: There’s always an opportunity to practice #Aperture, ISO and #ShutterSpeed. #PhotographyTips: It helps to practice in #blackandwhite to avoid overly “blown out” shots. #ShootforGreatness and #FindYourPark with #TeamCanon in the #blueridgemountains: #CanonEOS T7i, EF-S 18-135mm STM lens. via Instagram http://bit.ly/2UWCnZX

Monday, February 11, 2019

Photos from the Trail: February 11, 2019 at 11:50AM


“Solid Illusion” Practicing shutter speeds and still trying to master ISO. #PhotographyTips: It helps to practice in #blackandwhite so you don’t disappoint yourself with “blown out” shots. #ShootforGreatness and #FindYourPark with #TeamCanon in the #blueridgemountains: #CanonEOS T7i, EF-S 18-135mm STM lens. via Instagram http://bit.ly/2DuIBJB

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Photos from the Trail: February 10, 2019 at 12:20PM


“Fast & Still” -Practicing faster shutter speeds and still trying to master #aperture. #PhotographyTips: It helps to practice in #blackandwhite so you don’t disappoint yourself with “blown out” shots. #TeamCanon #explores the #blueridgemountains with the #CanonEOS T7i, EF-S 18-135mm STM lens. via Instagram http://bit.ly/2thsbiW

Friday, February 8, 2019

Photos from the Trail: February 08, 2019 at 10:08AM


#Discover something new- Drove out to Balsam Grove only to find everything closed up/blockaded. Along the #BlueRidgeMountains parkway we marveled at ice, rocks, and even some damage that happened during the shutdown 😡. I went out there for landscape and mountain photos, only to get the exact opposite. Check out these little tiny #fungi. I wasn’t prepared for #macrophotography but I gave it my best, lol. #TeamCanon #exploring the overlooked with the #CanonEOS T7i, EF-S 55-250mm STM lens. #VisitNC and #FindYourPark in #NorthCarolina. via Instagram http://bit.ly/2SvF1bR

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Photos from the Trail: February 07, 2019 at 09:23PM


#BehindTheLens and into the #Wilderness where I belong. #HappyBirthday & #TeamCanon #visitNC with the #CanonEOS T7i, EF-S 18-135mm STM lens. #FindYourPark, #FindYourSelf, take a #Selfie and #ShootForGreatness. via Instagram http://bit.ly/2BtU9MZ

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Photos from the Trail: February 06, 2019 at 02:00PM


#BirthdayWeek: Day 2. Take yourself to a place you’ve never been. I need to get better at framing my shots, and editing. Here’s my first attempt at a #selfie within a #blackandwhite #landscape. #TeamCanon & #PicsArt #hiking the #BlueRidgeMountains with the #CanonEOS T7i, EF-S 10-18mm STM lens. via Instagram http://bit.ly/2DVO5hQ

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Photos from the Trail: February 05, 2019 at 07:47PM


#BirthdayWeek - Day 1. Do something that scares you. #StoryTime: This is me & #TinyDog. Despite being avid #hikers, we’re honestly scared of something lurking in the #forest just outside our little 14 acre compound in the mountains of WNC. About 1.25-1.5 miles in, something spooked Pepper so bad she flipped out (bravest dog I’ve ever known), cried, made me pick her up and then our #chubby butts unintentionally went #trailrunning the whole way home. The #creepy thing was, before she got spooked, while we were ascending the #trail, a weird #silence and “vibe” overtook everything. The noise around us died, though we could hear all the people and machines carrying on in the valley below. Like a “bubble” of creep factor 💯. We still don’t know what monsters prowl the old logging road that wraps up around the mountain, but we’re also alive and planning to eat #dogfriendly cake. Not sure if we’re going to go #hiking that part of the mountain again without some friends....and laser cannons. Filled with holy water. Or bear spray. Or both. -Also, I dyed my hair #millenialpink even though I’m secretly an old lady. So that’s two scary things. #hikingselfie #selfie #birthdayselfie #unlikelyhikers #neverstopexploring #adventureisoutthere #thisiswhyIhike #womenwhohike #fatgirlshiking #fitnotfat #AmpleMovement #hikingwithdogs #scarystories via Instagram http://bit.ly/2UD46ie

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Photos from the Trail: February 03, 2019 at 09:18AM


Brush #Brunch - Young #bighornsheep graze along the most treacherous parts of the mighty #RioGrande Gorge. #Hiking along this windswept and craggy area, it was a first for me to literally stumble upon such large, well-camo’d #wildlife. #ThisIsWhyIHike the #Southwest with #TeamCanon & #CanonEOS T7i, EF-S 55-250mm STM lens. #MyCanonStory #SundayFunday via Instagram http://bit.ly/2t34UBt

Friday, February 1, 2019

Rough-Housing Hooligans (My Neighbors’ Dogs in Slow-Mo)

Living in the country. Lots of off-leash dogs. At least these ones are well-behaved (mostly) when Pepper is around. They mess around like this a lot, but then they will cuddle up with each other and Maverick will clean Coopers ears!



Thursday, January 31, 2019

Photos from the Trail: January 31, 2019 at 11:01PM


“Dinner and a Show”- The #GoldenHour brings out young #bighornsheep grazing along the most treacherous cliffs above the mighty #RioGrande. Loved getting curious looks from the local #wildlife. #ThisIsWhyIHike with #TeamCanon & the #CanonEOS T7i, EF-S 55-250mm STM lens. via Instagram http://bit.ly/2S6r2da

Photos from the Trail: January 31, 2019 at 12:21PM


“Highly Likely” - Despite super fast shipping & amazing customer service, I’ve been sitting on some new #swag I got in the mail. Thank you to @jennybruso and all @unlikelyhikers for making this #sociallyawkward #hiker feel included ❤️. Sporting my new patch with my new #custom #hiking pack for The #OrdinaryHiker #Blog and a very well-worn #HikingHooligans (the first group to take me under their wing). #ThisIsWhyIHike with #TeamCanon in the #BlueRidgeMountains with the #CanonEOS T7i, EF-s 10-18mm STM lens. via Instagram http://bit.ly/2WwETYB

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Photos from the Trail: January 30, 2019 at 09:46PM


#GoldenHour on the Gorge -The #bighornsheep find their own #path along the most treacherous parts of the mighty #RioGrande. #ThisIsWhyIHike with #TeamCanon & the #CanonEOS T7i, EF-S 55-250mm STM lens. via Instagram http://bit.ly/2GcBXul

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Photos from the Trail: January 29, 2019 at 12:31PM


“Distant” -We might be #happytraildogs, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t careful. As soon as those tiny ears go back and I see that look on her face, we’re done #hiking. Time to get home, curl up under a fuzzy blanket and snack on some duck jerky. #TeamCanon takes a #winter #wander thru the #BlueRidgeMountains with the #CanonEOS T7i and EF-S 18-135mm STM lens. #hikingwithdogs #unlikelyhikers via Instagram http://bit.ly/2Wsbgb2

Friday, January 25, 2019

Photos from the Trail: January 25, 2019 at 02:13PM


“How cold is it where you’re at?” -Y’all, it’s so cold the #icicles got icicles. Strange ice formations about an inch above a small cow pond, with tiny dangling icicles below. #TeamCanon #hiking in the #frozen #SmokyMountains with the #CanonEOS T7i, EFS 55-250mm STM lens. via Instagram http://bit.ly/2RgqnAm

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Photos from the Trail: January 22, 2019 at 04:07PM


“Adrift” - The #sky transformed into a tumultuous sea, carrying away the #moon in a current of careless #clouds. #TeamCanon & #PicsArt #shootforgreatness in #NorthCarolina with the #CanonEOS T7i, EF 75-300mm, and @slikusa tripod. #fullmoon via Instagram http://bit.ly/2B0b4GH

10 Things on Amazon not to get this Hiker for her Birthday (but YOU SHOULD)



Don't get me wrong, I LOVE Amazon.  If I'm not trudging through the mud, carrying a tiny chihuahua, or packing and repacking my camera gear, I'm scouring Amazon for the latest gadget or hiking accessory #MustHave.

And while I'm not persistantly pushing brand names down everyone's throat, I've quietly accumulated a decent amount of gear that inevitably gets duplicated come the Holiday season or my birthday.

But if you're the time that's looking for an upgrade, or just starting out, here's a rad list of essentials that would make any other "Ordinary" Hiker's Birthday List:

1. Osprey Pack -Seriously, I have enough Osprey's that I'm considering opening a falconery. Of course, that doesn't stop me from adding these to my cart and occassionally hitting the BUY NOW button when the price drops.

My current eye-candy? The Osprey Travel series: Urban color scheme and meant for travel, these sleek and durable designs can hold your latest iDevice or an overnight, spontaneous trek to nearby wilderness.

       

The REASON I love Osprey: Osprey Packs are the first name brand hiking pack that FIT me. You can go on their website and find a nearby fit specialist or go down to REI for a fitting. And guess what? A fitting isn't embarassing or anxiety-ridden. With the right specialist, I found out that even though I'm a PLUS SIZE HIKER at SZ 14/16, my frame is an Osprey Women's Small, and Men's XS (when available). It all comes down to your shoulders, back health, and where the pack sits comfortably for you.

2.  Hiking and Trekking Poles. So, unless you're a hardcore 20'something living in the Upper NorthEast or the PNW, entry level poles are a great way to put less stress on your knees, back, etc... Newer poles include tripod mounts for cameras with a clever cap design to prevent damage to hands in case of slips.  With lightweight, inexpensive options, these are a great hiking aid for all ages/body types and everyday use.


          

3.  Merino....Socks.

Okay, so this should be a blog post unto itself, but many of us that WANT to enjoy the outdoors are plagued by various ailments, annoyances, limitations. Personally, one of mine is poor circulation and nerve/joint damage from Lymes' Disease. Since shoes in my size aren't alway rated for cold or wet conditions, even day hikes can be frustrating. 70% of that frustration goes away with REAL Merino socks. Catch name-brands like Darn Tough or IceBreaker on sale, or experiment with any of the indie brands on Amazon.

         
Merino is still one of the only widely available, natural materials that RETAINS AND MAINTAINS body temperature while still allowing skin to breathe a little bit. What that means is from frozen winter conditions, to sleet, to hot desert temperatures, I will be wearing Merino socks when I can. They also don't break my feet out like some nylon/spandex socks available in the athletic/running world.

Helpful Tip: Be savvy, read the product details for the "no-name" brands. I've been burned in the past if anything has less than 35% Merino and have started to only buy items with details and reviews clearly proving a high Merino wool content.




4.  Waterproof storage bags/cases.  This goes without saying, if you hike, you're going to get rained on.  And for those of us that explore the tucked-away, remote, not-mapped-by-google places, you need a way to keep your navigation stuff DRY. When I first started hiking the Sandia Mountains, I was using commercial grade plastic freezer storage bags. Luckily, there's companies out there that make products to keep your maps, books, and notebooks dry.



5.  Bandanas. I never touched Bandanas til I started hiking. Yes, in the past, when I would run or jog, I would just stuff a paper towel in my hoodie or yoga pants and use it when needed. But when you're 8 miles from the trailhead and 20 miles from civilization, you need something lightweight, preferably cotton, and dries quickly (so you can re-use it). For peeps doing multi-day hikes, two bandanas are usually a good idea #Hygiene #Eww.



They also work as an impromptu wind shield, mini chihuahua first aid wrap, bandage, and I've even stuffed one between my underarm and sports bra when the wire broke. I prefer cotton bandanas over the polyester face shields because of the natural materials, and because polyester burns my nose when I'm at higher elevations and my nose is doing that "let's be all runny for the next half hour til she gets used to being this high" thing.

I'm a sucker for Southwest or Map bandanas. If it's got a map on it, it's in my Amazon cart.

6.  Multi-purpose Lens cloth. Sometimes Bandanas DON'T work for everything, or maybe I'm just particular. I refuse to wipe my camera gear with a bandana, and, over time, bandanas accumulate all that greasy hiker sweat or dust from high winds. A multi-purpose lens cloth packs tiny, can be stored in a clean dry case, and works for both camera gear and bird-watching gear, as well as scopes, glasses and sunglasses. Helpful FIRST AID tip: MicroFiber Lens cloths can be brushed WITH the grain of your skin and help work out cactus splinters!

7.  Noisemakers: Now, I know I may annoy some #hardcore LNT (Leave No Trace) folks here, but I think it's important. Most hikers that frequent well-traveled trails won't need these, but if your only hiking places that never see another soul, or rarely get frequented by group hikes, noisy accessories can HELP prevent certain animal encounter situations. I'm not saying buy a bluetooth speaker and blast it all the time, but a cool hiking keychain that hangs off your pack, or a steel multi-tool that clinks and jingles will scare off smaller wildlife, which means bigger wildlife won't be hunting those smaller creatures in your area.

Plus, they're great little "small gifts" with practical uses. I mean, more of us have needed a bottle opener while hiking and camping than we've really needed to have an emergency fishing hook....

8. Last season's Trail Runners. Hear me out. As soon as Spring hits, last year's trail running shoes will be on sale, but not as "on sale" as they are right now. January to early February are usually big "loss" months for retailers and they're trying to keep the momentum of the Holiday shopping frenzy. You'll usually find last year's shoes at a lower price and they're "new enough" that you can still find relevant reviews and your size in stock!



9.  Maps, Trail Guides, Destination Books. This is the season for planning, and Amazon KNOWS IT. Check Amazon's huge selection of books and Kindle books for research material regarding this year's "Destination Trip" -I'm currently looking for any guides regarding BLM lands since most of the people I would call (or websites I would check) are shut down.



10. The Knife. I'm still on the quest for the "right" pocket knife. Since I am a female and most hiking gear for women isn't designed to hold a knife (or anything for that matter), it's a struggle to find a balance between weight, size, durability and price. Being as picky as I am, I've found a lot of great pocket and outdoor knives, but not "MY" knife yet. It should be self-explanatory, but nobody should be without a knife in the great outdoors. Defense, Survival, First Aid, and trail-blazing, and trail work are just some of the reasons you need a pointy object in your gear. It's gonna take a lot longer than a month (my birthday, hint-hint) to find that perfect knife, so here's a couple that I've currently got in my various hiking kits:



I know that was a lot, but it's a bunch of ideas that usually end up gift-wrapped and under the tree or put into a cute little bag and set next to the birthday cake. While I appreciate all of them, I've currently got 99.999% of the stuff I need. Hopefully, if you're reading this, one of these ideas will work for someone you know or make a great gift.



POST Notes: A few of the above items have links you can click on to purchase directly from Amazon. The blog author gets a small bump from SOME of the items on this list, which helps keeps the blog running (paying for domains, storage and space cost $$, even on Google)