Meet our #GWHAmbassadors: Amanda Jennings
Name: Amanda Jennings
Hometown/Current Home: Kinderhook, NY
What chapter are you an Ambassador for?: New York
How long have you been apart of Girls Who Hike for?: About a month
How did you find the Girls Who Hike organization?: Instagram
What made you want to become a Girls Who Hike Ambassador?: I've had such a dreadful summer that's been lacking on the adventure side. After my vacation to Florida, I had no more vacation time to go camping or do anything more for the remainder of my summer. Now that it's the end of my summer, it has consisted of an insane amount of overtime, and my semester starts next week. I can never find people to hike with at the same time I can because of my schedule, and because of where I live. I figured becoming an Ambassador would ensure I at least get to make new friends once a month if not more!
How did you get into hiking?: I was raised in the outdoors. Okay, not literally, like I lived in a house obviously, but our summers growing up always consisted of camping and the great outdoors. There's a photo of my daddy and I when I was still a baby in a back pack, standing in front of Bash Bish Falls. I've always loved to be outside, and being raised in the generation that played with sticks and built tree forts, I guess a lot of that has stuck with me. I actually grew up with a waterfall in my backyard! How many girls can say that?!
What's your favorite thing about spending time in the outdoors?: There's no stress in the outdoors. I have an incredibly stressful job, and it's very draining sometimes. My favorite thing to unwind is pretty much anything outdoors. It could be the tiniest hike, it could be watching birds, or hunting down a field of sunflowers. Anything outdoors will make me happy, even the most simple encounter with an animal.
List three things you can't go hiking without: A LOT of water. I have Menieres disease which is something most people have never heard of, and it's not common for someone my age, but I have it. Basically what happens, is if I have too much salt, I'll start getting dizzy spells. I don't really track my salt intake, I just avoid things I know will cause the issue for me. I try to drink as much water as possible to flush out the salt, and of course regardless it's important to stay hydrated! I also always bring snacks, and again, I can't bring salty foods so I typically bring fruits such as apples, bananas, melon. And lastly, I always have my cell phone in case of an emergency! Often my cell phone is also my means of photography if it's a spontaneous hike and I don't have my canon with me. I recently got a REAL hiking backpack with a hydration bladder, and it's a lot bigger than my other one so of course I'm going to add a first aid kit in there as well!
What do you love the most about being a Girls Who Hike Ambassador?: So far it's been the ladies I've gotten to interact with! My first meetup only had one woman show up, but with it being just the two of us it kind of formed a stronger bond for us in a sense. Of course I do hope my next meetup has more women show up!
What advice would you give ladies who are new to hiking?: Just do it, but don't push your limits! I know some people who will go and tackle Kaaterskill as a first hike, without the proper knowledge or footwear and that's such a huge no-no. Set goals for yourself, but make sure they're realistic. There's plenty of easy hikes around New York that are perfect for beginners, and then you can work your way up! Make an Instagram like mine (@live.laugh.love.adventure) for all your hiking photos so that others can see, and if you're lucky like me, you'll make friends that way too! The power of social media is SO strong.
You can join Amanda's group hikes through the New York chapter by clicking here!