Monet Izabeth on the trail in Merrell gear.

Monet Izabeth

  • Five Hiking Essentials:

    Great shoes, delicious snacks, chapstick, plenty of water & my phone.

  • Indulgent Backpacking Item:

    I always bring either my journal or a book. A kindle would make so much more sense but I'm just a sucker for the real thing.

  • Favorite Trail Snack:

    Sour gummy candy for sweetness & Chex mix for saltiness.

  • Favorite Hike Podcast/Playlist/Artist:

    I am a Swiftie through and through––Taylor has (figuratively) accompanied me on every hike I’ve done! I also highly recommend listening to Jon Henrik Fjällgren inthe mountains. His traditional Samì music was made to be heard around towering natural beauty, and really got me through some tough days on theAnnapurna Base Camp trek in Nepal.

  • Favorite Hikes:

    Mount Monadnock
    Monet walking on a sand dune.
  • What's your favorite trail for beginners in your are

    I grew up hiking Mount Monadnock with my family, and later my friends. It’s a great full day hike that includes some light scrambling up at the top with that classic New England scenery of rolling hills and lots of trees

  • What’s your favorite Merrell gear and what do you use it for?

    I don’t do any hikes without my waterproof Moab 3 boots! They’ve come with me on hikes all over the world at this point, including summiting Mount Kenya & Mount Olympus in Greece, and reaching Annapurna Base Camp in Nepal. Apart from my shoes, I’ve also fallen in love with Merrell’s fleeces & jackets. They are seriously cozy.

  • Monet sitting in a field.
  • What advice do you have for a woman who is just getting into outdoor adventures?

    An adventure doesn’t have to be the absolutely hardest thing you’ve ever done––the key to keeping up a new hobby is to actually enjoy it! Start out small, and always bring delicious snacks.

  • What's your favorite app for trail maps?

    I use All Trails for general information/reviews and FarOut for more detailed map information.

  • Monet sitting in an alpine field.
  • How do you find likeminded women in your area?

    I travel almost constantly these days so my community tends to be more online based. Being vocal and honest online––and being intentional about the people I follow––has helped to make connections with people who have the same passions and interests.

  • How do you prepare for a hike?

    I tend to go on longer backpacking trips mostly, so I’ll start off my physical preparation with strength training & taking long walks to get my body used to long bouts of daily movement. I can probably pack my backpack blindfolded at this point, so I usually don’t do that until the night before I set off.

  • How did you start backpacking? What was the most intimidating thing about it?

    My best friend from childhood is one of the most experienced long-distance hikers I know (she’s walked from Mexico to Canada TWICE!) and it was with her that I went on my first week-long backpack on Vermont’s Long Trail. For me, the idea of having to be self-sufficient for that many days was completely intimidating. I packed SO many snacks for fear of being hungry! Having my more experienced friend with me was a huge help, and just generally really fun.

  • Fears + the outdoors: what was your biggest fear and how did you get over it?

    I think my constant fear is not being prepared. I haven’t conquered this fear, and I hope I don’t ever, because I find it a healthy fear that pushes me to do the proper planning needed for each adventure.

  • What’s one thing you wish you’d been aware of when you started out?

    I wish someone had told me earlier that it’s normal to be a li"le bit miserable someFmes on a hike, especially the long ones. At first, I would second guess if I was meant to be in the outdoors when I wasn’t enjoying every single second of it. But as I’ve challenged myself more and more in the outdoors, I’ve learned it’s completely normal to struggle through parts––and when that happens, it can be really helpful to just say it out loud: “This part sucks!”

  • Why do you get outside?

    I love pushing my personal limits––the harder a place is to reach, the more I want to get there! And my mind is able to wander during a long hike in a way that I don’t really experience elsewhere. It’s sort of like staring out an airplane window for hours, but with a lot more sweat 😂 The feeling of having accomplished something hard that even scared me a little bit, it’s what keeps me returning to the mountains over and over again.

  • What does 'outdoorsy' mean to you?

    Anyone who appreciates and respects the power of the outdoors qualifies as “outdoorsy” to me!

  • Tell us about your favorite hiking experience to date. Who were you with? What made it memorable? Where were you? Set the scene!

    I’ve been traveling to Nepal for the past ten years, but I never thought either of my parents would ever visit me there. Yet this past year, my mom joined me in the Himalayas. We spent five days trekking through the rhododendron forests at the base of the Annapurna range. To share with my mom such incredible natural beauty in a country that means so much to me was an incredibly meaningful moment.

Monet's trail favorites

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