I just finished reading the kindle version of Susan Alcorn's book 'We're in the Mountains, Not over the Hill.' Targeted for women of all ages that are interested in backcountry hiking, it offers through the voices of three dozen women, personal stories of inspiration and first hand experiences and snippets of practical guidance and tips on where to start, what to take and so on. For any woman (and man for that matter) it is an excellent book to read and great place to start if you at least interested in staying healthy and active throughout your life, participating in one of the least expensive and most accessible forms of social and physical activity available to humankind.
Susan starts the book describing her personal experience of getting into backpacking at the tender age of 48 back in 1989, when she joined the Sierra Club, and how she met and later married her current partner Ralph, himself an enthusiastic backpacker. She also introduces a number of women, some pioneers of backpacking like Irene Cline (who was until 2004, the first woman the hike the entire Appalachian Trail), Emma Gatewood and Laurie Frost. She also introduces briefly the three dozen women, really co-authors, who for much of this book, describe their personal experiences, initial challenges and rewards, and likewise dole out advice, on various topics from equipment, clothing, footwear to safety, body care and health, and on bears and other wild animals.
Susan concludes the book with some suggested trails in America to try and some associations to join. She even offers up her own personal packing list of gear and equipment.
It is not a comprehensive guide to backpacking in America. It does not cover all the finite details of backcountry hiking in America. Instead, as one reader suggested it is really an Every Woman's guide to where to start, especially if you have never hiked or backpacked at all. For somebody like me that spent most his younger adult life backcountry hiking in northern Ontario in Canada, the book includes all those things that most guidebooks leave out. Only through time and experience do you learn out about these other things. Susan's book through the words of three dozen experienced women backpackers achieves this aim for the benefit of the reader.
A highly recommended read for any person of any age
Neville Tencer, author of 'An Italian Odyssey: One Couple's Culinary and Cultural Pilgrimage'