Jess Miller is a great outdoors spirit. She has a hiking blog that highlights her hiking adventures and offers tips on the hikes she does. She also has a great Instagram account with some spectacular shots. Here's why she hikes.
Why do you hike? Hiking is my passion! I’ve always had a thirst for adventure and a desire to explore. Hiking not only challenges me mentally and physically but, spiritually as well. Whether it’s a 14er or a nature walk, just being present in nature cleanses my soul and renews my spirit. John Muir says it best, “In every walk with nature one receives far more than s(he) seeks.”
What’s your favorite place to hike? One of my favorite places to hike is Southern Utah. There’s so many beautiful national parks near each other and each one is unique, but the beauty of Bryce Canyon left me in awe and amazement. Frost weathering and stream erosion create the unique hoodoo rock formations. When I watched the sunrise illuminating the canyon, it was truly a spectacular sight!
Where would you like to hike? Last summer I hiked Mount Whitney (the highest point in the contiguous 48 states) in one day! Although exhausting it was an incredible feeling of accomplishment! Since then I’ve had the itch to bag more peaks and hope to someday hike Kilimanjaro!
What’s the craziest animal you’ve seen on the trail? Luckily I’ve never had a crazy encounter with an animal. Although when I was vacationing in Alaska, I saw three baby bears eating blackberries from a bush. They were the cutest animals I’ve ever seen in the wild, but made me think that momma bear was most likely close by!
What piece of gear do you love and why? My favorite piece of gear is definitely my Salomon Quest hiking boots. As any avid hiker knows, you’re not going to get very far without a solid pair of hiking boots! I’ve hiked many a mile in these boots and they’ve never let me down. Although Salomon boots take time to break in, they have conformed to my feet and are super comfortable.
What advice would you give to people wanting to start hiking? The beauty of hiking is, you don’t need much skill to start. If you can put one foot in front of the other, you can hike! My advice is to be aware of your surroundings, take proper precautions, and always carry the essentials: water, sun protection, flashlight, first aid kit, food, and knife! It might seem excessive, but you never know what might happen on the trail and when you truly need those essentials.