backpacking, hiking and thru-hiking

The soul should always stand ajar, ready to welcome the ecstatic experience.

Emily Dickinson
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Backpacking and long distance thru-hiking is not always blissful. It takes hard work, dedication and determination to stay the course when walking, tramping or trekking. But like life, the rewards are sweet for those willing to put one foot in front of the other.

My smiling avatar sitting in her lotus position was named in a contest by my followers “Anita Hike.”

Throughout my hiking career, my feet have moved me forward on six continents, in the United States, England, France, Argentina, Chile, Peru, Pakistan, New Zealand and South Africa. Check the dropdown menu above for specific hike diaries and gear lists.

Bear biologist Tom Smith has co-authored nearly every major bear study. Includes a free handout!
The highest rating of Five Anitas for pants made of soft, durable fabric that's both rugged and stylish.
Luck, Plus a Whole Lotta Pluck: A thru-hike of the Pacific Crest Trail.
Slovenia is one of greenest countries in Europe with 10,000 marked hiking trails.
I didn't walk every step of the Cape Wrath Trail, but got in the best parts before a whirlwind tour
It’s a long, tough slog to the lonely Cape on trackless moorland, but our favorite days by far.
A bothy stay of mussel harvesting and seal watching ends in spectacular weather.
It’s an easy day on farm road along a beautiful fishing river in fall colors and horrendous rain.
It’s dead easy walking on track with fall colors to the loch, then back to a gorgeously restored bothy.
It’s an out and back to a high boggy plateau in gale-force wind, spitting rain and utter beauty.
Continuing the ‘sampler,’ we walk to a lovely bothy but are kept awake by obnoxious hikers after midnight.
Testing the ‘Cape Wrath Sampler’ we walk in sunshine to Scotland’s remotest bothy.
Torrential rain pauses the hike, but a side trip up the UK’s highest mountain makes up for it.
It’s only seven miles, but muddy and slow with many fords, the rain spitting down.
Knoydart is wild with steep climbs, rushing waterfalls, rock and bog. I slip and hit my head.
It’s tough and wet walking to one of the most spectacular bothies on Loch Nevis.
The first climb is easy if wet to the bealach as the rain comes and goes to the first bothy.
After a ferry across the loch, it’s easy on track past crashing falls to a locked bothy in wind and
Travel clicked in place perfectly for the drive north through brooding mountains to Fort William.
Tomorrow, I'll begin a walk in Scotland's West Highlands on the hardest route in the British Isles.
A creature walking past my tent wakes me up before I head to Ski Lake and back to civilization.
Thunder brings Blissful down from scrambling then tachycardia brings her down from a high alpine lake.
Sheep Steps leads to the "cobble stones" of Death Canyon Shelf and scrambling up Spearhead Peak.
Switchbacks over Hurricane Pass take Blissful into the magical polished granite of Alaska Basin.
The trail traces Cascade Canyon to Avalanche Divide where an off-trail scramble takes me to a remote lake.
The Divide is short but steep to Lake Solitude where I nab the best site with its own resident moose.
Feeling strong with a mostly "all-clear" from my cardiologist, I begin hiking the Teton Crest Trail.