60-Year Old Woman Hikes to Inspire

(Photo from womensvoicesforchange.org)

At 59 years young, Emily Kelting promised herself a slew of adventures after turning 60. Once that birthday came and went, Kelting’s escapades truly began. Kelting first tackled the Inca Trail, hiking to the lost Incan city of Machu Picchu. Ascending over 13,000 feet during the 27-mile hike, Kelting celebrated her big 6-0 “the Inca way,” in other words, enduring grueling hikes with no luxury trek accommodations like hot showers, running toilets, or comfortable beds at the end of the day’s hike. Kelting was adopted as a mascot of sorts among her group, immensely inspiring those around her. “We hope we’re doing this when we’re 60,” Kelting’s new hiking buddies said of her accomplishment.

Kelting’s inspirational journeys didn’t stop with the Inca Trail. She recently returned from an excursion to what she called “the rooftop of Africa,” Mount Kilimanjaro. The week-long excursion took Kelting over 19,000 feet above sea level and provided a multitude of challenges and opportunities to turn back. Aside from the potential of dehydration, malnutrition, sleep deprivation, and the effects of altitude sickness, Kelting’s group encountered horrific weather on the final leg of their trek. Hiking through the night amid icy, gusting winds and blizzard-like snowfall, Kelting found herself wondering, “What is a 60 year-old Connecticut suburbanite doing in a place like this?” That 60 year-old suburbanite was following her dream of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, living adventurously, and inspiring women everywhere.

Emily Kelting’s two-part essay about her hikes to Machu Picchu and Mount Kilimanjaro can be found on WomensVoicesForChange.org.


Posted in backpacking, climbing, Hiking, Outdoor Adventure, women's issues | Leave a comment

‘Happy’ to Help the Environment

Pharrell Williams has been everywhere lately. With the release of G I R L and the immense success of “Happy,” the album’s first single, the Grammy-winning, Oscar-nominated, creative extraordinaire seems to never stop. His recent musical successes and that already-infamous giant hat have been hot topics of conversation for weeks, but Williams’ lesser known endeavor as creative director of Bionic Yarn, a company that uses recycled plastic in the production of a first of it’s kind, high-performance eco-thread, deserves some of the spotlight. This eco-friendly yarn can be manipulated for use in the making of nearly any kind of fabric, from cotton to nylon to denim to wool.

The company, which has been garnering some (although not nearly enough) attention, namely because of Williams’ involvement, has partnered with Sea Shepherd Conservation USA to found The Vortex Project. The partnership will use plastics gathered from oceans and shorelines for use in the sustainable thread. Unveiled at New York Fashion Week to 300 industry professionals, the alliance seeks to raise awareness of the detrimental effects of ocean pollution. Of the collaboration with Bionic Yarn, Sea Shepherd founder Captain Paul Watson said to the crowd,  “Plastic is choking our oceans and precious marine wildlife at an unprecedented rate…It’s time humanity takes responsibility for our actions and cleans up the mess we’ve made. We hope this is the first of many meaningful collaborations to come.”

Bionic Yarn and The Vortex Project will be teaming up with Dutch designer clothing company, G-Star RAW in a collaboration called Raw for the Oceans, a line of denim that will be made with Bionic Yarn’s recycled-plastic thread. Williams will be at the forefront of the line’s collection, which will be available August 15 online and in select G-Star RAW stores.

This story was written by our intern Katie Butts

Posted in Site News | Leave a comment

Are You Wearing the Right Sports Bra?

With all of the gear required for hiking, you’re probably not concerned about your sports bra. But you should be. While all women know the feeling of an uncomfortable bra with inadequate breast support, few women wear the right type of sports bra. Not only is the wrong bra uncomfortable, but it can affect your running stride and put you at risk for a stress-related injury, according to the New York Times.

So why do women wear the wrong type of bra? Most women wear compression bras (aka “uniboob” bras) that limit the up-and-down movement. But researches from England’s University of Portsmouth found that breasts don’t just move up and down like previously thought, but rather in an “arc through a complicated figure-8 pattern.”

Encapsulation limits this bust movement better than compression, because encapsulated bras have separate cups for each breast (like a regular bra). These cups not only support your breasts from underneath, but they limit the figure-8 pattern that strains Cooper’s ligaments (the tissue that keeps breasts perky).

In addition to the type of bra you wear, make sure you wear the right size. Never wear sports bras that are in a size range, as these won’t offer you the fit and support you need to be active. Also, choose a bra that has a firm back closure; bras that you can pull over your head won’t be firm enough to support you as you take on the mountain path.

This article was written by our intern, Robyn Campbell.

Posted in Site News | Leave a comment

5 Reasons to Keep a Hiking Journal

Nature-Journal_product_mainTrack your progress.

Whether you’ve been hiking for years or are setting out on your first hike, a journal will help to track your progress. Charting your time and distance on the trails will help remind you of all the good you’re doing for your body and mind and of your continuing self-improvement.

Connect with nature.

An afternoon trekking through the wilderness is a great way to connect with nature. Why not take a few moments to jot down your reactions to the scenery? Nature is a powerful thing. The sprawling beauty of a good hiking trail can inspire in unexpected ways, and a journal is an ideal way to hold onto those moments of awe.

hiking journalRelieve stress.

Studies have shown that exercise is a great way to relieve stress, that part is no secret. Hiking is an great and fun way to get moving. But did you also know that studies have proven the stress-relieving effects of journaling? “Free writing”- a stream of consciousness writing exercise with no rules and no expectations is one of the easiest and best ways to process what is happening in your life. The combination of hiking and writing will work wonders for your mental health.


Know yourself.

Hiking is an opportunity to let your mind wander. After all that mental wandering, take a break from the physical wandering and write down whatever it is that you’re thinking about. Journaling is a great way to connect with your thoughts and feelings. You can learn more about yourself than you could ever expect or imagine through journaling. Take the time, learn yourself.

Chronicle your story.

5, 10, 50 years from now you’ll be thanking your past-self for keeping a journal. Like a time capsule, a journal can take you back to who and where you are in life here and now. You can relive all the amazing moments you’ve experienced and adventures you’ve gone on. Chronicle the moment, you’ll thank yourself later.



Posted in Accessories, Hiking, hiking tips, Outdoor Adventure, Site News | Leave a comment

Surviving the Pollenocalypse


Spring has officially arrived and with it comes the joys of longer days and warming weather, giving us all the opportunity to shake Winter’s cabin fever. We’re beginning to see that idyllic spring weather that is perfect for everything from fishing to flying kites. With the joys of crisp, bright mornings and rising temperatures come the pains of allergy season.

But fear not! Hot on the Trail is here to provide you with a few simple ways to help you through the Pollenocalypse of 2014.

First things first: know what to expect. Most weather-related news sites and apps include a pollen count that can show you what you’ll be up against for the day. You can even sign up to get Allergy Alert emails–they’ll send you an email once allergy levels reach a moderate level (which is when allergens begin to affect most people) and provide you with a two-day forecast for your local area. Being able to anticipate allergy levels means being able to plan accordingly. Generally, pollen counts peak between 5:00am and 10:00 am, so you may want to turn your morning jog into an evening one if allergies hit hard. Pollen levels also peak on warm, dry, windy days and tend to be at their lowest amid cool, damp conditions. Even without an Allergy Alert or pollen count, these little tidbits of information can help you navigate your way through allergy season.

April showers may bring May flowers, but those showers will help quell the pollen from those flowers.

Accessorize! Rocking those big, bold, diva sunglasses can actually help prevent pollen from irritating your eyes on that afternoon stroll through the park. Wearing a baseball cap when jogging provides a little extra protection from the sun as well as preventing pollen from getting caught in your hair. Taking the extreme route, you can wear a face mask to stop allergens from irritating you via mouth and nose. It won’t work quite as well, but the more stylish alternative to face masks is a scarf around your nose and mouth while you’re out and about.

Clean it up! Regardless of how many pains you take to avoid pollen and other allergens when enjoying the outdoors, it’s going to stick to your body and clothes. After a lengthy period of outdoorsy fun, it’s important to shower (particularly if you were sweatin’ up a storm on a good run or hike) and to wash the clothes you were wearing. Whether or not you abide by this rule in your house, it’s a good idea to leave your shoes outside or by the door to avoid tracking pollen all over your house, and even if you don’t have time to shower, a quick washing of the face and hands will help get rid of irritants. Another good practice during allergy season is to shake your blankets out outside and to wash your bedding weekly.

Don’t let your allergies spoil the season! Get outside and enjoy that fresh, Springtime air!


Posted in Site News | Leave a comment

The Perfect Pair

Julia Kastner, like so many of us, was sick of the search for the perfect pair of jeans, so she decided to create her own. Eva & Paul Denim is comfortable enough for an afternoon of errands, chic enough for a day at the office, and stylish enough for a night out on the town. As if that weren’t enough, Eva & Paul is environmentally-friendly and socially-conscious, using only fair-trade and organic materials, and the clothes are produced in New York City.

eva and paul

Posted in fashion | Leave a comment