Vanessa is the founder of Her Wanderful Life, an inspirational Instagram account featuring adventurous outdoor women who inspire through active living. She also has a blog called Forever We Wander that features her hiking adventures. Here's why she hikes.
Why do you hike?
I hike to break away from routine. There is so much to see and so much to explore, it has become my passion to visit and explore as much as I can. I feel a sense of freedom on the trail, wandering where I may and at my own pace. I become my own motivation to reach a summit, or make it to camp, and those feelings when accomplished can only be earned.
What’s your favorite place to hike?
This is a tough question, for I have many favorite trails and backcountry camps on my list. But if I had to choose just one, I would have to say any hiking on Catalina Island, especially backcountry Catalina!
Where would you like to hike?
Oregon, Washington and definitely more of Utah & Arizona!
What’s the coolest animal you’ve seen on trail?
The coolest animal I’ve seen on trail, the American Bison on Catalina Island. I have come across these amazing creatures multiple times on different occasions while hiking on the island, and what a sight to see.
What piece of gear do you love and why?
My backpack, Osprey Aura AG 50L is my favorite piece of gear, though soon hoping to upgrade to a 65L. With just enough pockets, and compartments this pack has the perfect fit and is very adjustable. The backpack is durable, water-resistant, and built with an Anti-Gravity (AG) suspension system that is extremely helpful on those extended backpacking trips.
What advice would you give to people wanting to start hiking?
Start where you’re most comfortable and track all of your hikes. Setting personal goals and challenges can be a fun way to keep you motivated. Always check the weather and know about the trail you are going to hike: mileage, elevation, water availability, and trail conditions…just to name a few; oh-water and snacks, always!