Meet Our #GWHAmbassadors: Becky Trujillo
Name: Becky Trujillo
Hometown/Current Home: Aztec, New Mexico/Bakersfield, California
What chapter are you an Ambassador for?: Central Valley
How long have you been apart of Girls Who Hike for?: 2 years!!
How did you find the Girls Who Hike organization?: Girls Who Hike LA "liked" one of my pictures on Instagram. I had been looking to meet more people who enjoy hiking, so I looked them up. I went on my first group hike soon after, became a moderator for the LA chapter soon after that, and the rest... well... is history!
What made you want to become a Girls Who Hike Ambassador?: I have been blessed to have the LA chapter in my life for the last two years. It has introduced me to so many people and experiences, and I wanted to give those same opportunities to women in my own area. When the opportunity came to moderate a Central Valley chapter, I was in! And getting to continue to meet and lead women as an Ambassador? Totally in!
How did you get into hiking?: My parents have always enjoyed the outdoors. A lot of my favorite childhood pictures are of me hiking in the four corners area where I grew up. When I got to college, I had a lot of fun hiking in Albuquerque too. I lived a long time without hiking when I lived and worked in the south (I didn't know about the trails there), so I was excited to jump back into it when I arrived in California!
What's your favorite thing about spending time in the outdoors?: Fresh air. I live in a pretty polluted area, so any time I can get above the smog and clear my head is a good time to me. I also enjoy the solitude. I tend to be a pretty social and active person, so sometimes it's nice to cut away from everything and just be alone with my thoughts outside. (I enjoy hiking with others too. I just tend to be a slow hiker... haha).
List three things you can't go hiking without: Water, my iPhone (for safety and for picture taking), and my baseball hat
What do you love the most about being a Girls Who Hike Ambassador?: I enjoy searching for new places to explore in the Central Valley. Although I have lived here for 6 years, I spent the bulk of my time here only exploring the trails along the coast or in the Los Angeles area. I have also really enjoyed meeting and getting to know so many other women in the Valley that enjoy hiking as much as I do. My favorite thing in the world is to meet a new hiker, and getting that hiker to see how much further they can go than they think they can. It's always inspiring!
What advice would you give ladies who are new to hiking?:
1 -- Each person's hike is their own journey. Try not to get too much inside your own head, and don't let other people's speed or ability deter you. Hiking is just one foot in front of the other. Take your time, and enjoy the view.
2 -- Ask lots of questions. I would much rather have someone bend my ear with a million questions than to not ask me anything and end up lost or hurt. We have all been beginners at some point. I have been hiking my whole life, and I still ask a ton of questions too. Use this group to your advantage. It's free, and we have some pretty incredible women to learn from!
3 -- Know your limits. When I first joined the group, I saw so many stories of girls jumping on the peak-bagging train before they were ready. I've also seen countless tales of hikers needing to be rescued because they didn't know the trail, weren't good with way finding, or tried snow or ice hiking before they were ready. Again, ask questions! And don't feel pressured to go out and try something new until you are ready.
4 -- Be prepared. Get to know the "ten essentials," and make sure to use them. Carry water. Let others know where you're going if you're hiking alone. Study the trail. Don't try to wing it! And learn from the group!
5 -- Follow trail etiquette. I wrote a blog post for Girls Who Hike in March 2017 called "Hike Like a Lady: The #GirlsWhoHike Guide to Trail Etiquette" that covers some of these details. In short... stick to the trails, yield to the right-of-way, leave no trace, don't feed the bears (or any other critters, for that matter), enjoy the sounds of nature (instead of your boombox), and know the rules of the trails you hike. No one is perfect, but we can all do better if we protect ourselves and our wilderness together.