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Reader Poll: Most Admired Female Backpacker?

Liz Thomas - Speed Hiker
Liz Thomas – Speed Hiker

What’s the name of the FEMALE hiker or backpacker that you most admire and a brief explanation of the reason why. The person you name can be a rock star hiker or someone you hike with locally that you think is the bee’s knees.

Example Responses

I really admire Heather “Anish” Anderson, who set the new un-supported speed record for the PCT last year, hiking over 2000 miles in 60 days. I admire her physical and mental strength to keep up that kind of pace, day in and day out.

I really admire Christine Benton, a hiking and backpacking leader with the New York- North Jersey Appalachian Mountain Club. A cancer survivor, she’s been leading trips in the Catskills and Adirondacks for as long as I can remember and has mentored dozens of hiking and backpacking trip leaders, including myself.

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149 comments

  1. My pick is Chrissy Ford. She may not be known to anybody else but she is a personal hero of mine. Quite simply, she is the one that introduced and taught my wife and myself backpacking, one of the most priceless gifts either of us have been given. She continues to inspire us to go out and do more every day. She has set up her life in such a way that she is able to work from the road and travels around the country going on bucket list backpacking trips seemingly monthly. My wife and I continue to evaluate what’s really important in our lives so that we can more completely enjoy her gift to us.

  2. I think my wife Dianne is an amazing trekker. She loves the outdoors, especially discovering new trails and looking for the next panoramic view. She is an inspiration to her kids because her passion for hiking and camping has given the bug to go out and see the world.

  3. I cant think of one female hiker… I just want to thank all the past, present, and future female hikers……you make the trails a better place to be.

  4. I admire my wife Paz Hart. Though she is from SE Asia she is game to try most of my outdoor interests even though they are completely alien to her context.

  5. I admire Danny Bernstein, a hiker from Asheville who’s written several popular books on day hiking in North Carolina plus a complete guide to hiking the MST. I’ve met her once on the trail, and am always surprised how she manages at her age to lead such grueling hikes for the Carolina Mountain Club. She blogs, hikes, runs clubs, and more.

  6. I know a young woman named Rachael who lives in a remote part of Washington State in a small village surrounded by snow-capped mountains. She hikes every day and writes encouraging/observational articles about her time in nature.

  7. Kevin Thornsberry

    I admire my daughter, Abigail Thornsberry, who never complained once on my first overnight backpacking trip into the Chisos Mountains of Big Bend National Park even though I had to stop and rest many, many times.

  8. I admire my wife, Kimberly. She works incredibly hard to hike the AT with me, I am always impressed.

  9. Arunima Sinha is my inspiration, she persevered over the loss of a limb and became the first amputee to summit Mt. Everest.

  10. I admire my wife, Laura! She puts up with my foolishness and makes every hike worth it! She pushes me to do my best and encourages me whenit gets difficult. I love you, baby!

  11. My favorite hiker, male or female, is Nicky DeRosa. She’s a friend and a fellow lover of nature. There’s never a hike or trail that she’s afraid to conquer. She always encourages me to have fun, enjoy what’s all around, and make the most out of each adventure! Thanks Nicky!

  12. My favorite female hikers are my wife Brittani and our 3 year old daughter Rylee who on most of the hikes we’ve taken so far in her life have been on my back. Her first overnight hiking trip is coming soon!

  13. My wife Kat is an amazing lady. She’s super dedicated to all that she puts her mind to. I can’t wait to put some more miles behind us on the trails this summer.

  14. I’d give another shout out for Heather Anderson. Her accomplishment of hiking the full length of the PCD trail unsupported in 60 days, averaging 45 miles per day is amazing.

  15. Without question it is my fiancé, Jamie “Blue Bin” McCune. She hike the first 58 miles with me on my Long Trail thru hike last summer. It rained every day and the trail was more like a stream than a foot path. Despite being wet, muddy, and injured from a fall near Stratton Pond, she never complained, and was a terrific partner through it all.

  16. there was once a local gal, now a sandy ego type, who backpacked a lot of cool places. her name is elizabeth planteen. if you’ve never heard of her, dont worry, she never shuts up.. so give it time. lol.

  17. For sure, it is Lenore “Lennie” Steinmetz of the AMC-Delaware Valley. Lennie (and her husband Bill) volunteer countless hours with the AMC, leading hikes, weekend trips, and recruiting new leaders. One of the highlights of Lennie’s repertoire is her annual Catskills Winter Hiking Weekend, where she and a group of leaders lead winter hikes to various high peaks in the Catskills, helping people check off some 3500′ peaks on the list. I had an opportunity to go on one of these weekends once, and thoroughly enjoyed myself, and with her guidance, became much more comfortable with hiking during winter conditions.

  18. my girlfriend paige always smiling no matter where when time of the day smile like Chesire[alice in wonderland] even smiles GLOW IN THE DARK LOVE HER DEARLY

  19. I admire Deb Lenker because she’s my hiking partner, and she’s always game — she really loves the outdoors, and she loves to be out there with me :-)

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