From Happy Trail Beginnings
BLOOMING WHERE YOU ARE PLANTED.
Although we did not know it at the time, the seeds for Lady Hike were planted many years ago on the trails of New Mexico’s Gila Wilderness. Unable to find any hiking dresses or even skirts back then, my husband and I made my first hiking skirt by modifying an old pair of denim jeans and adding large pockets from an old pair of cargo shorts. This skirt met my needs for many years, however, as my backpacking escapades began to exceed 100 miles and we attempted to become ultralight, and I could no longer afford the weight of my denim skirt. For our 200+ mile John Muir Tail hike, I wore two thrift store polyester dresses over the ten days. These dresses worked, but lacked many of the features that I would like when spending day after day on the trail. Specifically, pockets! Furthermore, the fabric was not well suited for off trail excursions and didn’t dry well. Don’t you just love starting the day in fresh wet clothing? I used a similar system on our 180 mile through hike of the Collegiate Peaks Loop in Colorado, but tried a new fabric.
From the top of Angel’s Landing with my baby on my back to the finish line of my first marathon (yes, I ran in a Lady Hike dress!), I have found myself visualizing exactly what a woman’s dream hiking gear would include.
Thus, Lady Hike sprouted and began to grow as I set out to design and manufacture:
· One piece hiking dress, constructed from technical, quick drying, ultra-light fabric, waterproof pockets, collar for sun protection
· Panties that allow me to pee standing up
· Leggings that can be put on or taken off over my hiking shoes
· Arm sleeves that provide UV protection and a little warmth but also include sufficient ventilation
People, mostly women, comment on my outfits. Many people want to take my picture on the trail and call me a fashionista. Women commonly say, “That is not fair, you get you wear that and I am hiking in my husband’s cloths.” I explain that the real beauty of my outfit is its functionality, not its fashion. Then I discreetly tell them how I like the expediency of standing to pee as well as the ease of a full body wash inside my dress, all without exposing myself in the great outdoors. It is fun to watch the facial expression change from surprise to interest as I expound of the benefits of wearing my Lady Hike gear. Out on the trail, we saw a need for women specific hiking gear. Apparel that is technical, expressive, and packed with features that are unique to a woman’s needs on the trail.
So those seeds, planted in New Mexico long ago, have now bloomed into Lady Hike.