Why did you call your blog that?

girl [gurl] Noun
1. a female child, from birth to full growth
2. a young, immature woman, especially formerly, an unmarried one
3. a daughter
4. Informal: Sometimes Offensive. a grown woman, especially when referred to familiarly
5. a girlfriend; sweetheart.

promenade [prom-uh-nahd] Noun
1. a stroll or walk, especially in a public place, as for pleasure or display.
2. an area used for such walking.
3. a march of guests into a ballroom constituting the opening of a formal ball.
4. a march of dancers in square dancing.
5. a formal dance; prom.

All of these definitions describe me walking 😛 I am a girl who is now fully grown, who is unmarried and occasionally immature, a daughter, a girlfriend, and a woman who cops a lot of crap when walking just because they’re a girl, walking solo. I’m also prone to strolling for pleasure, and occasionally dancing around the track in an effort to energize myself. So Girl Promenade. It makes sense. No? Well, too bad for you.

Who are you?

I’m Lyndsay. I love to bushwalk/hike/tramp/whatever you like to call it. I’m 33, and I’m a girl. And I prefer to walk solo. Why? I guess I just don’t like people that much 😛 No, I just have trouble finding people interested in doing the same thing, with the same time up their sleeve to do it in, and so I just end up walking solo because I refuse to not do something simply because I can’t do it with someone else. I live in Darwin, Australia…not a place conducive to hiking. It just means I get to plan my hikes from a distance, and I’m used to it being hot. It’s pretty hard to find a day I think is too hot to walk in down south 😛

What frustrates you most on a walk?

Being asked where my boyfriend is. And the entourage of questions that follow when I say ‘at home, working’. Yes, women can hike alone. No, it’s not a death sentence. No, it doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with them. Yes, my parents probably worry. No, that doesn’t change anything. Yes, I am capable. Yes, I am strong. Yes, I love it. No, I do not need your permission. Suck it up and stop asking dumb questions.

What do you like most about hiking?

Nature. That’s why we’re out there, right? I love the isolation, I love the challenge, I love knowing the only person I have to rely on is me. These things are not, in my opinion, so different from normal life, and they make you better at normal life. Self sufficiency is a good thing. Sure, guys hate it. They’ll get over it one day. In the meantime, I’ll be hiking, seeing the world and loving it. I love nature. I’d much rather spend time with it than you. You’ll get over that too.

Why do you think all women should hike? 

I think all people should hike, period. But women are the ones taught they can’t do it. We’re told it’s unsafe, that you could be raped or murdered. Uh, that happens much more often in your own home, usually with someone you’ve known a very long time, more than on a hike. In fact, murders while hiking are exceptionally rare. You’re much more likely to die from a snake bite 😛 I hate that women are told it’s dangerous, but men are not. Do we not know men can be murdered too? They can! Shocking, I know. So it’s equally unsafe for all, but no less safe than hanging at home. Go figure. If you know what you’re doing, and you’re fit and you go through all the safety loops, hiking is fun and improves fitness. These are good things. But the most important thing about long distance hiking, I find, is it teaches you to be okay in your own skin. Just you. With no one else. If you can’t spend time with yourself, you’re going to have a hard life. Find ways to entertain yourself, learn to like the person who lives in your head. Realise they’re funny, and smart, and healthy and fun. Because if you don’t know that, and aren’t comfortable being that person, you’re going to piss me off in the real world 😛 It’s OK to spend time alone. It’s GOOD for you.

What do you think are the most important things to have on a hike? 

Everything. That sounds stupid, but really…you need everything. I won’t hike without Gaiters…If you’ve read my posts you know why. But honestly? Water. Duh. Water is the most essential. After that, shelter. After that, food. After that you’re looking at creature comforts. But if you can’t fit something in, and it’s essential, you shouldn’t be going. That simple, really.

How fit do you need to be? 

Do you have two feet? Two legs? Cool, go. If you’re not fit enough, you will get fit enough. Walking does that; it makes you fit enough to walk some more. Sure, it won’t be easy if you’re not fit, but you’re not doing it because it’s easy you’re doing it because it’s fun. If you’re not doing it because it’s fun then you’re an idiot who shouldn’t be walking. Go find something to do that you DO enjoy.

Don’t you get scared? 

Sure, everyone’s scared of something. If I see a snake, I freeze, have a panic, pray to whoever the god of snakes is that they’ll make it magically disappear, and then I wait like everyone else for the damn thing to go away and move on. If I hear noises outside my tent I like to remind myself that we don’t have bears or wolves in Australia, and dragons aren’t real so I’m not about to be eaten in my tent. I figure I’m strong enough to give a dingo a run for it’s money, so. If I think I’m lost, well the worst thing I could do is panic so I sit, calm down, drink some water, eat something, check my maps, check my compass, etc etc and actually I’m never lost. I’m just a stupid chicken who freaks out over stupid things, but if I was lost I’m confident I could un-lose myself. Fear is normal. Everyone gets scared. It’s how you deal with it that matters. Learn to control yourself, and you’ll be fine. You’ll find this happens pretty normally when you can’t freak out at anyone else and you’ve got to deal with your problems alone.

What gear do you use? Why did you pick that? 

Gear is such a weird thing to talk about, mostly because when you’re a solo girl hiker every guy you meet is going to want to tell you you’re an idiot because he thinks you should have the same gear as him, because obviously he knows better than you. You’re a girl. You’ve got different things to think about. I buy gear I know how to use. I make sure I like it. I make sure it’s comfortable. I make sure it’s light, functional and useful. I read reviews on it and I always look to see if girls have used it and what they thought. So it’s not going to survive the zombie apocalypse? Uh…not only is a zombie apocalypse not possible, but if it were I’m not likely to survive it anyway, so I’m not sure why I should be buying survivalist gear with that in mind. I don’t care if mine isn’t as big or strong as yours, it suits me just fine, and I’m the one using it. So there.

What is your favourite walk? 

You’re not supposed to have favourite kids. Good thing tracks aren’t kids 😛 You’ll see me say it a lot in my blog; I’m unusual for a hiker. I love rainforest, it’s where I feel most comfortable and most at peace. Most hikers hate it. Too bad for them. I like everything else, don’t get me wrong, I still have that ahhhhh moment when I see a great vista, I just don’t have that heart wrenching ‘I’m home’ feeling. So my favourite walks are ones in rainforest, and IMO you can’t beat the Lamington National Park for rainforest.

Why do you spell funny? 

Aus-tra-li-an. Seriously. AUSTRALIAN.