I recently wrote about how I have decided to tell the stories of the amazing people I meet along the PCT who help support hikers. I quickly realized that I needed to start by introducing you to someone who has done and is continuing to help thousands of women from all over the world with all things hiking related. I first met her online in 2012 when we were both planning our AT hikes. I was fortunate to meet her in person briefly on the trail near the famous McAfee Knob section but most of my relationship with her has been completely online. When we were newbies and asking a lot of questions online back in 2012 she noticed a lot of mean, cruel or sarcastic comments directed at newbies and especially to female newbies. When she got back from her hike in 2013 she decided to do something about it by creating a safe space online for women. A place where women could learn about hiking the Appalachian Trail and ask any question they wanted without being belittled or made fun of or worse.
Today this is a group 14,141 women strong who are the most supportive and encouraging women you will ever encounter online. On top of that she has gone on to create many more safe places online for people to learn and encourage one another. Her All Women All Trails group currently has 23,164 women and again is one of the few supportive and encouraging places online where one can learn about hiking. Not just learn about hiking but share their experiences, discuss how we handle certain hiking related situations and for me it is a place I where I feel instantly understood and can easily relate to most of the conversations happening on the forums at any given time.
These groups gobble up a lot of her time. She often spends 70 hours or more per week monitoring comments keeping things supportive and helpful and providing useful information. At any given time there are a hundred new people waiting for approval to join the group and this all takes time. It has become a full time job for her with one major exception- she isn’t making any money doing any of this! She has literally helped thousands of women learn about hiking, learn about gear, learn about leave no trace and has done it in a way where the women feel completely safe asking even the most private and personal questions online. This woman should be rewarded! But because her goal is to make an online space safe she has excluded the marketing and advertising that could potentially provide her with an income.
She has recently started her own Patreon account and I am posting her link here in hopes that some of you will support her endeavours. Bunny is an idea person with plans to help even more women get out on trail but doesn’t have the funds to proceed. Your support through Patreon will allow her to provide even more support through podcasts, call ins, and more opportunities for hikers to share their own experiences and advice.
Please consider helping her help others. This is her Patreon link: https://www.patreon.com/WEHike
For those of you not familiar with Patreon, Patreon is a membership platform that makes it easier for creators to get paid. It’s a way for you to support the content and community you love on a monthly basis. Members or patrons gain a direct connection with the person who they are supporting and have the opportunity to engage in a supportive way. As a supporter you also receive rewards set by the person you support.