Fat Girls Hiking
An Inclusive Guide to Getting Outdoors at Any Size or Ability
by Summer Michaud-Skog
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Pub Date 29 Mar 2022 | Archive Date 21 Apr 2022
From the founder of the Fat Girls Hiking community comes an inclusive, inspiring call to the outdoors for people of all body types, sizes, and backgrounds. In a book brimming with heartfelt stories, practical advice, personal profiles of Fat Girls Hiking community members, and helpful trail reviews, Summer Michaud-Skog creates space for marginalized bodies with an insistent conviction that outdoor recreation should welcome everyone. Whether you’re an experienced or aspiring hiker, you’ll be empowered to hit the trails and find yourself in nature. Trails not scales!
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 98 members
This book was amazing and so needed for me as a fat woman who enjoys hiking, but sometimes feels embarrassed because of my size. There are a lot of personal stories in here that I enjoyed and it has also a lot of practical stuff about hiking in here (that's not only useful for bigger people).
Fat Girls Hiking: An Inclusive Guide to Getting Outdoors at Any Size or Ability by Summer Michaud-Skog is the most encouraging book for women to get out and walk, hike, and gather in the outdoors. I enjoyed this informative book with beautiful photographs and a friendly approach to an outdoor activity that should be acceptable for all. Many women who are considered overweight are often excluded or discouraged from hiking in groups or even thru-hiking longer distances. If you feel unaccepted by the stares of others as you walk a trail, hike, or get in line for an adventure park, this book is for you!
The author also realized the need for more trails to be available for those who have a disability. Many outdoor walking, hiking, and adventure trails still have not made these activities easily accessible according to the ADA guidelines.
This is not a "Let's Get in Shape", or a group dieting movement. It is for the acceptance of living as you are and being accepted in outdoor activities, hiking, or walking trails.
There are FGH chapters available for joining. The author has organized information resources for parks, trails, and groups. The book has personal profiles of some of the members of this growing group of women that is a joy to read.
Publication Date: March 29, 2022
Thank you to NetGalley, the publisher, and author for the opportunity to read this new book.
Fat Girls Hiking by Summer Michaud-Skog
First, thank you to Netgalley, the publisher and author for an advanced readers copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I was a bit apprehensive to request this one based on the title and the use of the word “fat” but I overall enjoyed it!
Fat Girls Hiking is a book loaded with hiking tips, trails, rating of trails and little stories of real life hikers. Each of the personal stories in this book included the pronouns by which the women prefer to go by and include their struggles with learning to be the “big girl” hiking.
Many of these stories I could relate to because I myself am a big girl and love to hike. I could relate to almost each and every single woman. This book is LOADED with amazing photographs and I really felt empowered as I read it. I applaud this book for trying to normalize big girls hiking and building up body positivity . You don’t have to be fit to hike or to love hiking.
Trails NOT scales! <——LOVE THIS
I am giving this book a solid 4 stars. I like that it included simple hiking tips but wish there were more personal stories included.
* AVAILABLE March 29, 2022
* 224 pages
* Slow-Medium Paced
I read this book in one sitting because I loved it so much. If you want to hike but are intimidated by experts, unsure of where to begin, uncomfortable for any reason, or just kind of scared you will find support, advice, and comfort in this book. I HIGHKY recommend this book to all the fat girls who want to hike more!
This book is packed with advice for folks looking to get out hiking - and I was delighted to hear about FGH & that there's a chapter not that far from me! I enjoyed this and could see it being a useful reference for someone not used to hiking.
The revolutionary thing is that this gives us fat folks permission to take up space on the trails, hike in clothes that fit properly & feel good on our bodies (because we all know the outdoor companies do NOT market to us), to hike slow, to enjoy the experience, to listen to our bodies.
I love the emphasis on accessibility for all - there's honestly so much to love in here & if you are a hiker of ANY kind, I would highly recommend it for the straightforward advice on how to make group hikes more inclusive.
I was provided a free copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review, but I'll be buying a copy for myself anyway.
I received a copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
This is a great book!
The book is a guide to Fat Girls Hiking and talks about how the idea started and the chapters around the US. The book talks about the importance of accessibility and inclusivity in the outdoors. There are trail reviews by people in the Fat Girls Hiking chapters and interviews that talk about their experiences with the outdoors.
The book talks about what to wear, how to prepare to hike, and how to take care of yourself while hiking. There's also information about van life and sharing information on social media.
Overall a great read for getting outside and making inclusive connections in the outdoors.
I gave this book five stars. I wish this book came out a few years ago to help me on my journey in the world of hiking. This book is a guide for hiking - whether you're plus size, new to hiking or have a disability that may limit your hike.
Not only does this guide give you tips on the best way to start hiking, but it also emphasizes on not getting stuck on how far you can go. It's helpful that they included a section on what to wear. Picking out a backpack for a hike is scary and so are finding the right shoes that would be beneficial for you to your hike. It's not a one size fit all. The guide contained reviews and locations to hikes that might seem intimidating, but you hear about their personal experience. It helps that its personal, because you realize that you may have the same struggle, but it's worth it for the view at the end. Most of all, it's good to know you're not alone.
This guide isn't focused on the fitness or weight loss of hiking - or getting prepared by going to the gym every day like I did when I first started. This guide is about connecting with the outdoors. It also talked about the struggles of being overweight in a society that pushes diets.
As stated earlier, this guide couldn't come out soon enough. The pictures were amazing, it showed the trails, the end game and the inclusive reviewers. It was diverse and refreshing, not fat shaming or participating in diet culture. I think this guide will help a lot of people, it's informative to all sizes and abilities capable in the world of hiking.
Makes me want to go to trails they reviewed, but most importantly it makes me want to get outside with the right equipment and nutrition to see the beautiful ways that Nature presents itself.
I received this book for free for an honest review from netgalley #netgalley
Facebook and a lot of great information and was very body positive which I love!
I LOVE this book. As a plus-sized lady who loves being outdoors but is sometimes intimidated by big hikes, this was such a great read. I loved the inclusivity included in the book, and the diverse voices and perspectives included. This makes me want to start hiking again and inspired me to find a hike to do this weekend. Summer's stories she shared, tips and realistic advice was so incredibly helpful. I can't speak more highly of this book!
Thank you NetGalley for the copy of this!
This book is a very refreshing take on hiking and enjoying nature as a pleasurable fun activity. It also preaches to stand up for your needs (both physically and mentally) and to prioritize them in whatever journey you are on.
I really enjoyed all the essays and community profiles, but I connected the most with the essay on body liberation. As a person who has struggled with body acceptance my whole life, hearing how she has come to accept and celebrate her body was inspiring. “My goal is to help every fat person find peace in the knowledge that there is room enough in the outdoors to celebrate however our bodies show up.”
The photography in this book is beautiful, and if I ever end up in the US, I look forward to trying out some of the recommended hikes - going at my own pace and enjoying the journey.
Reading this book was a gift. It felt like a book I could’ve written myself. I felt seen and understood. It’s part memoir, part guidebook, a collection of profiles, and an intro to the outdoors for folks who feel it’s not a space they belong in.
The author of the book and founder of the Fat Girls Hiking community, Summer Michaud-Skog is self-described as midsize fat, white, and queer, but throughout the book, she makes sure to make note of her privilege and how certain experiences may be/feel less safe, less appropriate, etc for folks of more marginalized identities.
Fat Girls Hiking is full of beautiful pictures, acknowledgment and awareness for the Indigenous peoples of the land we’re residing on and exploring, and stories that prove representation matters. I cried my way through the book and read it all in one day.
This book is meant for fat folks, for queer folks, for folks of color, but it shares a meaningful message that all folks could read. It would maybe give them an awareness of how the outdoors is meant for everyone.
I loved this book so much.
An awesome exploration of what it is like to hike as a fat girl and how to do it with pride. I loved reading about the different tips and hiking trails. This book made me want to get out there and get after it!
I fully plan on buying this book once it comes out- It's really just what I've been looking for.
I love being active, but, it's hard to see myself as an 'active person' when the rest of the world seems so convinced that I must never exercise because of my body type, and that in turn makes me nervous to show my face in active spaces.
This book has personal essays as well as reviews of trails- a great resource as well as a way to see myself. I love how it also brings up the barriers of race and ability as well- with solid advice and encouragement to get out there even if some others may not want you.
The photos and layout of this book are also lovely!
This is such a helpful and realistic book about hiking containing great information for hikers of ALL abilities. The author stresses the importance of accessibility for everyone regardless of size, age or ability. Nature is healing and everyBODY deserves to participate.
Thank you Netgalley, Timber Press and the author for this eARC in exchange for my honest review. Publication date is March 29, 2022
I'm really enjoyed this book. I like the layout of intermixing essays full of tips and advice on different outdoor activities with personal short bios that talked about different people's experiences of being fat outdoors.
I think this is a book you would not want to read all the way through like I did. You might I want to flip through it and not read it all-in-one go. I thought this book was full of great tips and body positivity and inclusivity in the outdoor spaces. It both celebrated the joys and benefits of being outdoors while also calling out for change in the outdoor industry. I thought it struck a perfect balance between the is between being a joyful celebration and outlining the very real prejudices that people experience outdoors.
wow. wow wow wow wow wow. what an incredible book. i first want to thank net galley and the author for the privilege of reading this. as a larger woman myself, and also an avid hiker, i have never felt so seen before in my entire life.
from a multitude of captivating and unique stories, to basics to think about when hiking/respecting our environment, to other nature related topics, this book was a gift from start to finish. not only did i learn more about hiking etiquette and things to keep in mind when hiking, but i felt a sense of community and camaraderie when reading the contributions made by the points of view in this book.
this movement is incredible, and the importance cannot be understated. everyone should feel included in thinking about hiking and nature, and this book helped me move towards that mentality. additionally, there needs to be improvements in accessibility so even more people can be included in these spaces. i think this is a great read not just for fat women, but for everyone, especially people who spend a lot of time outdoors.
there were also great recommendations for places to explore; i know i will be making trips to some of the places mentioned in the near future!
Fat Girls Hiking rekindled my desire to get out in the trees again. I have been a large person my whole life and have felt society exclusion from many activities available to straight size people. This book makes me feel seen and is wonderful encouragement for women of all sizes and abilities to get out and enjoy nature (or what ever it is they want to do).
Fat Girls Hiking offers readers a chance to see themselves in places that main stream media often excludes them from. Part outdoor guide (there are lots of tips, advice and even trail reviews), and part self help book and part biography. The author shares what she has learned about accessible hiking options and how she came to start the FGH group that now has chapters all over the country. There are also community profiles from other FGH members and their experiences. You are sure to see yourself reflected somewhere in this book and be sure the check out the Resources at the end to keep the good vibes and motivation going. Find your community.
This book is a love song to those of us who want to get out there and explore the trails, but feel discouraged by societal bias against our bodies. I love the tips for beginners, as well as the epic inspiration. I definitely feel more empowered to get out there!
What an uplifting read! The entire book radiated body positivity and enjoying a healthy life outdoors. I enjoyed the resources and photographs accompanied with great detailed information.
'Fat Girls Hiking' is bound to inspire and motivate any person to get out and go, accomplish what you want to!
Thank you so much NetGalley and Timber Press for the opportunity to read 'Fat Girls Hiking' in return for an honest review.
This was a great book which almost felt like a magazine or something else because it flew by so quickly and had so many great writings in it. I loved the body positivity and plan on following the group online. Overall, a quick, positive read for anyone looking to get out hiking.
This was a five-star read for me and exceeded my expectations. Firstly, I want to credit the author for her writing style. While reading it felt like a friend talking to you and at no point was I ever confused about the subject matter or topic being discussed. Everything was explained well and even someone with no hiking experience could pick up this book and be inspired to get outdoors. Throughout this book there are profiles of not only hiking trails but people who shared their story of how they found the outdoors. I found this enlightening as well as incredibly interesting because of how different every person was, whether it be their location, age, ability etc. I feel as though most people who read this book can identify with someone within these pages which is so important in the outdoor industry due to its complete lack of diversity in every possible aspect. This book is a breath of fresh air and really breaks through so much of the noise that the outdoor industry pushes.
Another aspect of the book that I really loved were the acknowledgments of First Nations and the importance of accessible trails. As someone who is able bodied, I personally had never thought about accessibility. This book makes me rethink trails and had me looking from a different point of view and I love that!
Finally, the resources at the back of the book are incredible. Book and movie recommendations for anti-racism and fatphobia, as well as suggested articles and places to find community are just the cherry on top. I didn’t expect that, and it was the perfect ending. I recommend this book to everyone who loves to hike, wants to hike or is curious enough to explore hiking from a different lens.
What a delightful book about the "non-outdoorsy stereotype" saying screw you to social norms and getting out to enjoy nature and each other. Started small, and then with a facebook group, and then with chapters all over the country, this book includes personal stories as well as trail hints.
I love the practical advice given that all hikers should know. And while my family isn't obese, we do have physical problems that could use hints about accessibility on trails. As a fellow Portland, OR resident, I appreciate this book and can't wait to share it with all of my friends!
This book is exactly as advertised - an inclusive guide to hiking for fuller-bodied women (or really anyone) that doubles as a pep talk to help you get past insecurities you might have about exercise as a fat person. As someone who is plus-sized myself, I found the author’s personal stories and reasons for writing the guide to be extremely relatable. I love the stories shared, the practical advice given, and the overall inclusivity which offers something for everyone who is looking to get past insecurities they may have about hiking. Also, I LOVE the cover - it perfectly captures the energy of the guide.
I'm so glad this book exists. I think more and more people have felt a pull to the outdoors in the past couple of years and I love that Fat Girls Hiking carries the message that enjoying nature is an activity that belongs to everyone. Full of helpful hiking information, inclusivity, and personal member stories to connect to, Fat Girls Hiking really spoke to me.
In addition to the valuable "Trails not Scales" message, this book also contained loads of practical information to prepare the reader for the realities of hiking. As a very anxious person who talks herself out of new things because of fear of the unknown, this aspect of the book was a godsend for me. I now feel much more mentally prepared to take on hiking as a hobby.
Thank you to Netgalley and Timber Press for the ARC!
Fat Girls Hiking: An Inclusive Guide to Getting Outdoors at Any Size or Ability by Summer Michaud-Skog is a true gem of a book. Its premise is to be a guide for inclusivity in hiking for bodies that don’t conform to the basic body standards; this includes people who aren’t in thin bodies, have chronic pain & disabilities, use mobility devices, and need access to gender neutral bathrooms. The author is so relatable because she went on this same journey herself with her body size not fitting society standards and dealing with chronic pain.
I really enjoyed reading this book as I can relate to disability and chronic pain that keeps me from doing certain things that I like to do such as hiking. It showed me that I am not alone and that I don’t have to miss out on the things I enjoy because there are ways to prepare both mentally and physically to better enjoy a hike in a different body that isn’t pushing myself. The book encourages the mindset of hiking as a form of relaxation, enjoyment, and community. You can do the activity by setting up accommodations to support yourself and the book gives you tips and tricks to do this.
The included personal stories from the people in the hiking group touched me at my core and were enlightening. They demonstrated that hiking is not just for those who are athletic, able bodied or white, cis-gendered. The stories encourage doing what feels best for you, such as hiking in a skirt, not worrying about buying or wearing the most expensive gear, and being free to document (photograph) yourself as you are in nature. They also share stories of plus sized rock climbing, van life, biking, and even activism!
The inclusivity shown throughout the book made my heart sing with joy! It was a delight to see so many pictures of women of different body types and skin colors out in the beauty of nature enjoying Mother Earth and the community of one another.
The book also has numerous reviews of trails from across the United States that have been reviewed by the people in the hiking group. They include helpful information such as distance, elevation gain, cell service, ADA accessibility, if a trail is dog friendly, bathroom availability, the park address, how to find the trailhead, what native land(s) the trail is on, and trail description.
I really like that this book exists as a resource for those that are marginalized. It’s great to have a guide like this written by an author who also understands the struggle because she lives it. I hope to see more editions to this. Bravo!
I really enjoyed this book. It was real and honest. Not many books speak on what everyone is talking about and do it in a way that doesnt talk down to anyone. It was practical and gave great tips on hiking. Loved reading the different experiences from people. Definitely recommend this book.
This is a great book for anyone looking into hiking. It covers the basics of what you will need and basic safety tip. Sprinkled throughout the book are trail recommendations from places across the US.
The book does a fantastic job including people with varying physical abilities by offering different tips to make hiking and spending time in the outdoors accessible for yourself.
I love the profiles throughout the book that highlight different individuals experiences with the outdoors. Each person comes from a different background and has different experiences. I loved reading how they were able to claim some space in the outdoors for themselves.
Overall, a great inclusive positive book for anyone looking into hiking and spending more time outdoors.
*thank you NetGalley and publisher for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
I have no desire to really be a hiker, but I really like to dance and do physical activities and for a long time everyone told me that I was not qualified for many activities, including dancing (and I am learning how to free myself through dance now). I think this book is helpful not only to the fat people who want to do hiking, but for every person, especially us that are fat, who wants to move their bodies and were not allowed, or just don't allow themselves.
We have every right to do any exercise we want, to simply shake our beautiful bodies if it will make us comfortable! We need to be more gentle with ourselves, and we need to celebrate our bodies. And that's what this book is about. I loved all the personal stories, a big thank you to all those people who took the courage to share, especially the BIPOC ones.
It's important that we can see all different bodies taking the places that usually only white people, especially cis and heterosexual men, have occupied. Thank you Summer Michaud-Skog for such a beautiful work like this one!
“There is no single way for people to enjoy outdoor or physical activities. When I was able to allow myself to participate in physical activity in a way that met the needs of my body on any given day my perception completely shifted. I realized physical activities didn't have to be hard or challenging of uncomfortable, although sometimes they were. I could honor the needs of my body on a hike, go as slow as I wanted, and take as many breaks as I needed.”
As a plus size woman , i really enjoy this book, usefull tips and tricks.
Appealing cover, a delightful read.
I read this book in one day! It is an excellent guide to being a fat person who likes to hike. I loved the diversity of the women profiled and reading about their experiences. American readers will enjoy the inclusion of information about specific accessible trails in the U,S.
I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Fat Girls Hiking is an inclusive collection of personal stories, trail reviews, and resources for hiking and general enjoyment of the outdoors. The author Summer Michaud-Skog seeks to bring to light the imbalance in outdoor communities.
The interviews from members of the Fat Girls Hiking community are both encouraging and thought provoking. The variety of trail reviews is extremely helpful. I would have liked to read a few more. There are beautiful photographs shared throughout the book.
The author has included a fantastic list of material and online resources for further guidance.
Fat Girls Hiking is an outdoor community that promotes body liberation and fat activism. (Please note, I use the word “fat” throughout this review and I use it with love). I was not previously familiar with this group but I was immediately on board with their mission and I want to be friends with everyone involved. I even found out there is a chapter in my town! 😍. I requested an advanced release copy from Netgalley because of the title alone, and I’m please to find out that fat girls who love hiking is actually a whole movement.
This is more of a coffee table style book and not a memoir, although there are several personal testimonies from group members. We also get treated to beautiful photos of women of all body styles enjoying themselves outside.
One aspect of the group that I love is that there is no expectation that you should have fancy workout clothes and gear. Just be comfortable! The gals in the photos have quirky cool getups that are more in line with something I would wear while hiking. I just found it refreshing. That being said, almost all of the women being interviewed said they wished there was hiking apparel with inclusive sizing. (Major business idea for anyone out there who is looking to start a company.)
The book contains tips that perhaps would apply to any hiker, but I found them to be particularly helpful for fat hikers. For instance, you don’t need expensive shoes but you do not sneakers or boots that support your ankles, and if you are in a wet place, that are relatively waterproof. The author recommends keeping a second pair to change into after the hike, such as some flip flops. Why didn’t I think of this before? Taking off my heavy sneakers and wet socks and slipping into flip flops must feel so good. Another tip was regarding finding backpacks that fit, and the suggestion was to check the men’s section and consider a extender for the hip belt if you use one. Also, trekking poles are a great investment if you have chronic pain or otherwise need to take some strain off your knees and back.
There’s a great section on respecting the land that we are on. And a chapter on dealing with bugs and humidity. The author covers it all!
Comes out 3/29/22 from Timber Press.
This book is brimming with not only brilliantly written stories about the love of nature and the outdoors, but also information and guidance for folks who are generally left out of conversations about outdoor activities.
As a once-thin-but-now-fat queer woman who finds an incredible amount of solace in nature (but is often intimidated by the expectations placed on bodies navigating outdoor/adventure activity spaces), I found this book to be refreshing, insightful, and so incredibly needed. The blend of storytelling and practical information is gorgeously executed. Any person whose body isn't visibly thin/white/cis/straight/abled enough to be represented in mainstream conversations about the outdoors will find useful information about gear, logistics, sustainability, and accessibility while hiking that actually speaks to your specific needs. Overall, this book is an enchanting and informative read from start to finish.
There are oftentimes when plus-sized women can feel excluded, especially in the area of fitness. There is a feeling of anxiety and powerlessness when it comes to your body and its environment. This Guide is so amazing because it is a step-by-step layout of how one can get started, keeping to mind not only one’s limitations but integrating socialization in its movement.
The use of the Guide is inspiring, using pictures and personal accounts that can inspire others to become motivated in themselves and the idea of hiking.
The writer made sure to include not only etiquette that pertains to the individual but also the environment, the trails that can be hiked, and how one can respect it. All around fun read, a fascinating guide, and a goal post I would look through in the future for further inspiration.
As a hiker myself this is the best book I've read on the subject. Lots of information which I definitely appreciate for new hikers or beginner hikers. It's intimidating to set out on the trail for the first time. My favorite parts were the community profiles and the trail reviews. Plus that cover is the best cover of the year. Definitely will be buying for my shelf.
This is such a beautiful and empowering collection. I really connected to it as a fat woman who loves nature, but hasn’t always felt comfortable hiking — I enjoyed the mix of tips/guides with essays and inspiration from FGH members sharing their experiences. I will almost definitely be purchasing a physical copy of this to revisit in the future (worth it for the photos alone tbh), as well as taking advantage of the wealth of resources and book recs the author listed at the end.
Fat Girls Hiking is part trail guide, part memoir, and all encouragement for those who don’t fit the mainstream “outdoorsy” profile. The author, Summer Michaud-Skog, reflects on how she came to start the Fat Girls Hiking community, and many of the challenges she has faced on her outdoor journey. Included is practical advice such as how to find gear and what to include in a day pack on a hike. Community members profiled range from fellow fat hikers to bicyclists, rock climbers and van-lifers and provide examples of fat people recreating in spaces where they see very little representation. The trail descriptions throughout the book written by Fat Girls Hiking ambassadors cover trails across the country.
I enjoyed reading Fat Girls Hiking and recommend it to any woman who already loves to be outside or wants to begin their outdoor journey.
** Thanks to NetGalley, Summer Michaud-Skog, and Timber Press for this ARC **
Fat Girls Hiking: An Inclusive Guide to Getting Outdoors at Any Size or Ability by Summer Michaud-Skog is a lovely collection of photography, advice, and short essays about hiking, biking, and rock climbing as a fat person. Written by the creator of Fat Girls Hiking (https://fatgirlshiking.com/) and featuring content from a variety of other activists in the sphere of outdoor activity, this book was inspiring, beautiful, and supportive. It made me want to get outside! I had not ever had to think before about the challenges of accessing specific outdoor gear, like sleeping bags, as a fat person, and finished this book feeling newly comfortable with the idea of approaching activities like hiking as a beginner and in the body I have.
4 stars - I really liked it!
Publication Date: March 29th, 2022
There is so much beauty and joy in this book! The deeper I get into my health and sustainability journeys, the more I realize that the outdoors need to be accessible for everyone in order for it to be enjoyed and admired so it can ultimately be protected. This book opened my eyes to a lot of obstacles I was not aware about for fat people and it also taught me some tips for my own planning of outdoor excursions- I took notes! I loved the photographs, the stories, the nature, and the people highlighted throughout this book. It’s very well done and obviously made out of love, wanting to welcome even more people to the outdoors.
Thanks to #netgalley for access to this title.
A guide to hiking but so much more!
As an avid outdoors enthusiast and fat hiker, I was immediately drawn to this book. It provided practical information on how to hike, invaluable resources for where to hike and insight into becoming a part of the community. I especially loved the community spotlight sections of the book!
Fat Girls Hiking is an inspiring book for those whose body image or self belief is holding them back. Its full of tips, inspiring words and stories of curvy/fat/fluffy (insert the word that makes you comfortable) women who are hiking.
The photography is divine. If you live in the US, go hike those trails depicted! For me, in the UK, it's inspired me to look for similar places on my home ground that offer accessible trails and such awe-inspiring scenery.
Thank you to Netgalley, publisher and author for allowing me to review this fabulous book.
Fat Girls Hiking: An Inclusive Guide to Getting Outdoors at Any Size or Ability is a outdoors guide and reference book by Summer Michaud-Skog. The eBook version is around 262 pages.
Michaud-Skog is the founder of the Fat Girls Hiking community, and this book is full of heartfelt stories, practical advice, and personal profiles of members of that community. It also includes helpful trail reviews! I really appreciate that the author has created a safe space for folks with marginalized bodies, and especially with the empowering idea that outdoor recreation should welcome everyone, no matter what they may look like or what kind of previous experience they have had in that sphere.
The cover art is beautifully illustrated and includes women with larger bodies, one wearing a headscarf and another with a differently-abled body as well. The book is dedicated to friends and family of the author, but also "to every fat person who was told they couldn't or shouldn't and did it anyway, I'm proud of you." There are multiple color photographs throughout the book that show people with bodies similar to my own, and I have never felt so seen.
Chapters detail how Michaud-Skog founded Fat Girls Hiking, a helpful guide on how to hike, how to find joyful movement while simultaneously dealing with fitness trauma, and pitfalls of hiking like bugs or humidity. It is so important to have information on accessible trails with inclusive information, including whether bathrooms at a trailhead are gendered or gender neutral. The prose is easy to read and parse. There are also multiple profiles of community members, to showcase the importance of multiple perspectives, along with several reviews of trails across the United States. Lastly, there are tons of resources in the back of the book in case you want to read further about body liberation, fat activism, fat positivity, and outdoor recreation.
This book really intrigued me because, even though I’m a thin person, my ability is variable and I want to spend more time outdoors. I grew up canoeing and camping so I hope this book would help inspire and give me advice on how to continue that journey as an adult.
My main critique of the book is that it is billed as “An Inclusive Guide to Getting Outdoors at Any Size or Ability” but contains mostly personal essays. I enjoyed this content but it wasn’t what I expected. I also would have enjoyed more “how-to” content. The author’s perspectives and tips for finding good, comfortable gear were really interested and I think if this segment were expanded it would have been really helpful to a lot of people.
I loved the photography throughout the book - it had me itching to pull out my hiking boots. I imagine it will look stunning in the physical book. I also really liked how the community profiles were spaced throughout the book rather than grouped together. I think if it had been the latter I would have skipped over many of them. It was great that so many community members had additional outdoor interests - kayaking, bikepacking, rock climbing - as this really connected the book to the wider world of outdoor recreation.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book and look forward to following Fat Girls Hiking on social media.
I LOVE LOVE LOVE this book! Fat people are so often excluded from athletic pursuits/spaces, so often discouraged from movement, and so often completely unacknowledged in guides that it feels an act of rebellion to make a guide specifically catering to us. I hope so many people can get this book and see themselves on the page and realize that they have just as much reason, and right, to pursue hiking (or anything else they jolly well please!) as anyone else.
This is a wonderful combination of a practical guide to hiking, especially issues unique to hiking in a larger and/or different abled body and/or as a member of a marginalized community, as well as trail reviews, personal memoir, profiles of other hikers, and a self-care guide. It's a deeply affirming and inspiring read, even for someone as "indoorsy" as myself. On top of all that, the photography is stunning! I'm looking forward to getting my own copy, and I would love to see this in community libraries!
Many thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review!
This book is absolutely gorgeous and so beautifully inclusive. It really does have It all with helpful advice, personal stories and lots of great recommendations for gear and trails.
The imagery and pictures included are really top tier and really take the book to the next level, I will most defiantly be buying a physical copy for my coffee table to flick through. Never has a book made me want to keep reading yet simultaneously put it down and get outside.
A must read for anyone interested in hiking but especially for larger people who may feel self conscious about hitting the trails, a book clearly written with love and total inclusivity at its heart.
I’ve been waiting for a book like this! Summer Michaud-Skog, the founder of Fat Girls Hiking, has blessed us with this invaluable volume full of trail reviews, advice, stories, and profiles, alongside beautiful photographs. #TrailsNotScales!
As a plus size woman, this was the book I needed. I loved the personal stories throughout the guide and the photos were absolutely beautiful. I’m very self conscious of my weight, especially when I go on walks or try hiking but this guide gave me the confidence to do that without feeling awful about myself. This book is definitely worth checking out!
I loved this book so much.
Fat Girls Hiking: An Inclusive Guide to Getting Outdoors at Any Size or Ability is a combination of practical advice + gorgeous photography + motivation + encouragement + guide book + activism + self help + memoir all wrapped up in a message of body acceptance and positivity. It includes stories from multiple women of various sizes from different backgrounds, and every single one of them is inspiring.
Nature does not belong to white people in smaller bodies, and Summer Michaud-Skog and her fellow hikers are doing amazing work reclaiming space for people in larger bodies or with mobility issues to comfortably and confidently spend time outdoors.
This is the book that I didn’t know that I needed. This was such an interesting book to read, and the photos are stunning. I really want to pick up a physical copy, because I think it would be a gorgeous book to flip through and the photos would stand out even more.
For anybody who wants to get out into the great outdoors, but doesn't know where to start, this one is for you.
Packed with the experiences of different women throughout their journeys of searching and finally finding a community where they belong, FGH is an informative guide to hiking and how you can witness and appreciate the beauty around and within you. It's truly inspiring.
What a great book! I wish every book could make me feel like this one. Being a larger girl I enjoyed the book immensely but it’s more than that— the author does everything possible to acknowledge all who may at times feel less than. Also a wonderful homage to nature and the great outdoors that we are able to explore no matter our background or ability. Thank you NetGalley and Timber Press for providing me with an ARC in exchange for my honest review.
Yes yes yes! Loved this. Want to shout from the rooftops about the sheer delight of finally seeing this in the world.
I really enjoyed this as it gives ideas for what to wear- their group- group members - van life and hikes that are great hikes. I'm really glad more and more people are getting out in the outdoors since they are for everyone and from reading these stories I really hope people remember everyone is welcome and its everyone's public land.
YES. This book is fantastic and needs to be talked about. The instructions given inside this book include many details to help anyone who has not seen themselves represented in outdoor spaces know where to start and what to expect. I've never seen a book before with so many women who I can relate to physically, enjoying outdoor spaces. I have experienced my own discrimination being a fat person in the outdoors. I have also been told people aren't inviting me out to participate in outdoor activities because they assume I can't do it or wouldn't want to. I have curves, and I like to be in nature. It was refreshing for me to see groups of other women in this book who look like me, who enjoy exploring nature, and are showing up and helping bring some size diversity to outdoor spaces. #representationmatters
I was able to read this book a bit early in exchange for an honest review, and once again I am very glad I did! Fat Girls Hiking is a love letter to fat girls, women, and femme folks - the stories, pictures, and practical tips weave together throughout the book to create something simultaneously informative and empowering. I'm planning to order this one through my local small book store soon and I hope to meet up with a FGH group near me! I'm looking forward to recommending this to my library system for purchase.
Finally, a truly inclusive book on getting into the outdoors when you aren't what people picture on the hiking trails. Especially appreciated is the inclusion of people who are disabled but also want to spend time in the great outdoors. More of this!
This book is a welcome addition to the health and wellness, body positivity, fierce human non-fiction out there. Fat Girls Hiking is a great guide to getting outside and enjoying the beauty of nature. It also falls prey to the very pitfalls it tries to avoid - it's hard to have a guide to inclusive hiking for "any size or ability" when there aren't many locations that truly are inclusive.
This book shares different people's stories about how they got out into nature despite their sizes or abilities or geographic locations. The lack of diversity in the outdoor industry is a huge obstacle. People other than fit, white, and physically able are rarely shown in catalogs, advertising, and video of outdoor activities. Just knowing that there are other people out there who don't fit the mold is liberating.
Fat Girls Hiking also offers reviews of certain hikes/parks and there are beautiful photographs. Sadly, most of the hikes that are highlighted aren't accessible to people needing assistive technology. People who can walk may do OK, but if you're in a chair, you're going to be out of luck more often than not. I would love to see more accessible trails, especially at the bases of mountains or more challenging trails, so that more people can get out and about.
Ability is one of the hurdles I hadn't given a lot of thought to, privileged person that I am. Also the thought process that causes so many of us to see hiking as a challenge to be conquered - summit every time, hike 10 miles, bikepack your next adventure - can cause people to feel like failures when they don't meet that goal. This book tries to say, "so what if you don't achieve /x/, if you're outside and happy." But a lot of contributors fell into that trap themselves, and I found that sad rather than empowering. I do that, too, and now realize I have to work harder to accept what I can do rather than wish for what I can't.
Bottom line, I think this is a great start for people who have been feeling held back by their bodies or minds when it comes to getting outside and enjoying the nature that can be found all around. It also lets us see how far we still have to go.
My thanks to Timber Press and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
*I received a copy of this book on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for this opportunity.*
FAT GIRLS HIKING is an anthology of hiking tips, personal essays, and ADA trail reviews. A companion to Fat Girls Hiking (FGH) on instagram (@fatgirlshiking), this book has the feel of more of a collaborative effort between the author and founder, Summer Michaud-Skog, and her community. Michaud-Skog and her publishing team has done an amazing job of making a truly beautiful book-- the graphics and photographs highlight the powerful anecdotes and Michaud-Skog's writing.
This book is not so much a detailed guide as a piece of inspirational literature. It covers so many topics of outdoor enjoyment-- hiking, biking, rock climbing, and van life-- and the way people in the FGH community have carved a place for themselves and their fellow fat and disabled ladies. The book also addresses many of the issues deeply ingrained in outdoor communities-- racism, fatphobia, and ableism-- in sensitive and meaningful ways. Several of the anecdotes discuss the difficulties of not only being fat and in the outdoors, but also the additional complexities of being a person of color in the outdoors and/or being disabled.
If you're looking for more in depth information on the technicalities of finding a properly fitting backpack or sleeping bag, this is not the book for you. However, if you're looking for inspiration on enjoying the outdoors and a community of supportive women, then search no more!
Fat Girls Hiking has, at its core, a message that I can’t support enough: hiking and the outdoors is for everyone. The focus on diversity and inclusivity is a highlight of this book, and the book contains many helpful advice and trail guides. Whether a person has some hiking experience or none, there’s something to learn from the author and the many guest writers that feature throughout the book. Even though the title focuses on hiking, the book covers so many more activities. The photography and formatting in the book were beautiful. Despite this, I wish that there had been more focus on making this a guidebook. The personal stories included are interesting, but it wasn’t what I was expecting based on the title and the description.
Many thanks to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for the digital copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
I love how inclusive this is. I appreciate the focus on going at your own pace, I have always felt bad about how slow I hike but I also didn't understand why there was always such a want to speed through. I appreciate that my pace allowed me to see every detail and soak in my time in nature. This made me feel like I could start hiking again and not care about the judgement.
This is a great read for fat girls that want to enjoy nature but have been held back by everyone that makes it seem like it's not for us.
The book includes tips on enjoying the outdoors, finding the right equipment, finding community, and is full of stories about fat girls who love to hike. The profiles of fat girls who hike was my favorite because I really haven't seen representation like this before. The people in the book have become role models. There are specific trail guides and beautiful pictures. It has made me want to experience the outdoors even though I've always preferred the indoors.
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.