Why Women Shouldn’t Hike The Appalachian Trail

I am sure I’m not the only female who has repeatedly heard the same discerning comments when sharing the news of an upcoming hike. I always get the same “Who are you going with?” question. I have heard it so many times I figured there had to be a reason why nobody believed or thought a woman could hike, especially alone. After racking my brain for months, here are three logical reasons I came up with.

1. Women can’t pee with their pants on

Did you know there are super humans that can pee while standing? Yes. They exist. They are the ones with faces hidden behind a furry wall of masculinity. All they gotta do is unzip, and whiz. Peed and relieved. Ladies? Unzip AND unbutton, drag the pants down, and uncomfortably squat. You have to master this act. Know the angle at which you have to position your body so that you don’t (completely) saturate your pants and shoes. Males are the blessed ones that don’t have to worry about where or what their pee will splatter on. Since people pee an average of six to eight times a day, a woman on a five month thru hike is probably going to get urine on her boots over 1,050 times. And I’ll stop here before before I get into the menstrual cycle, cause we all know women are useless on their periods!

2. Women hips weren’t made for hip belts 

Women’s hips are sacred. They are designed to accommodate and shift for a living, growing fetus. Men’s hips don’t have to spread open to create the birth canal. Men can toss on their pack and strap on the hip belt without a further thought. But women, we should think about it. Really think about it. This is a 4-6 month long commitment. Ask yourselves: am I prepared? Are my hips and back ready for this extra weight? Do I understand I will be putting 30lbs+ on my body? And do I understand that I can voluntarily take this weight on and off as I please? Pregnancy is what females are built for. It should be no surprise that people are going to doubt a woman’s ability to endure the challenging expedition that is thru hiking the Appalachian trail. Especially since only hundreds of thousands of women a day are strong enough go through child birth!

3. (Most) Women are incapable ……….. of growing facial hair 

Unfortunately the majority of woman aren’t born with the magical power of being able to grow a beard. In fact, most of the places woman do grow hair that’s not on their head is removed in whatever way possible. Seriously, woman are drastic when it comes to hair removal. I mean, who on this planet other than women would willingly pay another being to apply hot wax to the most private and sensitive part of their body and then have it ripped off, painfully yanking the hair right out of its folicals? And it doesn’t end there. Razor blades, lasers, chemical filled creams that literally just take the hair right off your skin. Males on the other hand embrace their excess hair growth, that’s what make them so manly and capable! I mean c’mon, have you seen The Real Hiking Viking? And you know they don’t just have burly beards and mustaches. They grow duck tails, goatees, handlebars, french forks, chin straps, soul patches, what is it about this facial hair phenomenon that gives men the ability to hike without being convinced to take a knife and pepper spray? Maybe if I had just grown some muttonchops I wouldn’t have so many people trying to convince me to get my license to carry.


*Disclaimer: this post is sarcastic and I do not believe any of the points I made, and I am not trying to offend anyone of any specific gender. I just wanted to let off some steam in my favorite way: humor. I know people are just concerned for my safety as they would be for anyone attempting this journey, male/female, young/old, solo/with a partner or group. Thanks for reading, hope I got at least one person to chuckle. We are all on this journey together.*


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Comments 5

  • Denise McNamara : Mar 14th

    Happy Trails Vanessa,
    Hell yeah, you go girl. Coming from a soloist. Yup people will think your crazy and try to figure you out. I believed in hike your own hike. Have a great time, use your 6th sense and you will be fine.
    GA-ME 2007

    • Vanessa Lane : Mar 14th

      Thanks Luna! Solo hikers are boss. And anyone attempting it is a little crazy but that’s what makes us such an inspiring and awesome community!

  • br : Mar 14th

    Vanessa, you raise some good points about the difference in male and female. That is just the way God made us and that is perfect. There is no doubt that you can do this. My wife is my hiking partner. There is no one I would rather hike with. And while we do have different needs, we make it just fine. Being 60, we just don’t do it as fast as we use to. She is as great a hiker as I have ever been. And no doubt she could thru hike all by herself if she wanted to. We do help each other out a lot. Such as splitting the load like our tent, food etc… And yes, it is a little more difficult for her to go to the bathroom than it is for me. Thank God she can’t grow a beard. I am not retired yet so right now, we could not do a thru hike. Maybe in 2 years we will become a part of the “Class of 2019”. I don’t have any daughters, only 3 sons. My youngest (28 yrs old) thru hiked the AT last year. His plans were to do it alone. And as a father, I was deeply concerned. Why? Not because I didn’t think he could do it, or that he would get hurt, or _______ fill in the blank. But because I’m his dad. That’s what dads sometime do. But just before he left, his college roommate decided to go along. We had a great time following, supporting and just keeping up with him. And there were a lot af girls out there that started all by their selfs. One thing I learned early was that you are never really alone on the AT. Unless you want to. But the one difference about male and female that you left out was that you ladies seems to have better discernment than us guys. Sometimes that “furry wall of masculinity” blocks our ability to make good judgement call. So please be safe and enjoy the hike. Use good judgement and “walk you walk”. I look forward to following you.

    • Vanessa Lane : Mar 14th

      Thank you! Wow, congratulations to your son and I hope you and your wife get out there and then I can follow you two on your journey! And it is very comforting knowing that I will never be truly alone on the trail 🙂

  • Doctari : Sep 14th

    ROTFLMAO! Way funny! Mostly because I have heard all that & more, from well meaning but stupid people! Hike on!


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