best hiking bloggers

Interview: Top Hiking Experts Reveal Their Secrets For Blogging Success

Disclosure: Your support helps keep the site running! We earn a referral fee for some of the services we recommend on this page. Learn more

Sharing is caring!

Last Updated on March 23, 2020

Want to hike up that snowy mountain peak but prefer to go with a trained guide? Need to know how to handle bear or cougar encounters on the trail? What about the basics of camping out in bad weather while hiking?

You may not encounter all these questions at once, but you’d be well prepared if you’re a reader of our experts’ blogs.

Our interviewees took a passion for the outdoors — and their own frustrations — to create valuable information for fellow hikers.



Meet Our Panel of Blogging Experts

Each of our experts has turned their love of the outdoors into a rewarding blog.

By learning from their own hiking mistakes and wins, they were able to craft content of significant value to fellow travelers.


Mark Kelly, Halfway Hike

halfway hike blog

Mark started hiking as a way to get fit and improve his blood pressure.

He’d always loved the surrounding vistas of the Marsden and Saddleworth moors; now he traverses them frequently with his faithful dog Brodie in tow.

Kelly says his blog is “mostly about hikes I’ve done both in my beautiful corner of the West Yorkshire hills and moors . . . and further afield.” How much further? “North Wales, Scotland, Cumbria, The Ridgeway Path, Italy and USA, to differing degrees.”

Visitors to Mark’s blog will find out about area resources like walking and hiking groups, events, and historical societies.

They’ll also find kit and app reviews, van trips, book reviews, and even a poetry trail trip he devised.

Most of all they’ll find their thirst whetted for exploring these ancient rolling hills that span “Roman roads,” “rare bird species,” and even evidence of Mesolithic hunter-gatherers.


Branch Whitney, Hiking Las Vegas

Branch Whitney brings 20 years of hiking experience to his Hiking Las Vegas site and blog.

hiking las vegas

His first mountain hikes were “frustrating.” “[T]he trails were not marked and there wasn’t any accurate hiking information,” says Branch.

Like all entrepreneurs, he turned a problem into an opportunity, through his hiking books, his 52 Peak Club (you earn a playing card for each peak you climb), his 2,400+ member Hiking Las Vegas MeetUp club, and countless blog posts.

“I help hikers, who love hiking, but are having trouble finding the routes to peaks, waterfalls and other special places, because there are few trails and virtually no trail signs,” says Branch.


Greg and Jen Seymour, Appalachian Trail Tales

appalachian trail tales

Greg and Jen are proud quitters. They work to live and chase adventure. Following that philosophy led them to chuck their corporate careers and relocate to Costa Rica for 4 years.

That led to the authoring of several bestseller Amazon books. (See Jen’s author page and Greg’s author page.)

It was the decision to repatriate back to the United States that led them to create their current blog.

Appalachian Trail Tales documents their inaugural 6-month hike along the trail that culminated on Mount Katahdin, Maine.

They created a daily vlog on YouTube and became known by their trail names “Chica” and “Sunsets.”

Soon they’re taking on the Camino de Santiago, a 500-mile pilgrimage walk in Spain, which will be documented on their blog and YouTube channel.


Lauren, The Helpful Hiker

the helpful hiker blog

Lauren loves hiking in the beautiful wilderness of Great Britain.

“The ethos behind The Helpful Hiker,” she says, “is that it’s easy for anyone and everyone to enjoy the outdoors. You don’t need to spend a lot of money and you don’t need lots of expensive equipment.

She reviews gear like hiking boots and tents .

She also offers trip ideas, tips for hiking with your children, campsite reviews, and much more.

Lauren was named an Ordnance Survey Get Outside Champion for 2017.


Trevor Joy, Colorado Hiking

coloradohiking blog

Trevor Joy is a recreational specialist who works with individuals who have developmental disabilities.

Passionate about the outdoors, he started ColoradoHiking to share recreational opportunities with others.

Visitors to the site can buy recommended outdoor gear, rent gear, find guides, and of course, get tips and product reviews from the blog.

Trevor combines video resources for some blogs like this 20 Quick Tips from Teton Sports  or 20 camping recipes from REI.


Q&A With the Hiking Blogging Experts

Each of our experts took a unique path to blogging.

You’ll find intriguing tips and advice here that you can use to craft your own rewarding blog.
starting hiking blog


Why did you start blogging?

Mark Kelly, Halfway Hike

I wanted to share my enthusiasm for the hills and moorland I have been surrounded by for many years.

That expanded to cover others parts of the UK and then other countries.

That and I’m a naturally gregarious person and that extends online – I love to share trip insights and my emotional responses to landscape of all types.

Trevor Joy, Colorado Hiking

I wanted to create a community to share all of the awesome outdoor experiences that Colorado has to offer.

Branch Whitney, Hiking Las Vegas

To make people become aware of all the great hiking around Las Vegas, Nevada.

Greg and Jen Seymour, Appalachian Trail Tales

My wife and I each started a blog when we moved to Costa Rica. We had quit successful corporate jobs, sold everything, and moved overseas. We each started a blog to document our new life as expats.

The new blog began when we decided to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail. Once again, it was a way to keep friends and family appraised of our new adventure.

Lauren, The Helpful Hiker

I started my blog primarily as a way of recording the walks and camping trips that I went on with my then boyfriend (now husband!).

He’s a great photographer and I’ve always loved writing, so I thought it would be a great way of remembering all the places we’d been. I also wanted to share the tips that we picked up along the way.

helpful hiker reveiw
Lauren, The Helpful Hiker, reviews this Scottish campsite at Loch Leven. After becoming a mom in 2015, Lauren began sharing tips for parents planning hikes with their families.
motivation hiking blog


What’s your secret to staying motivated & inspired long term?

Lauren, The Helpful Hiker

I think that it’s very important to have a clear purpose in mind.

My main aim is to inspire people to spend more time outside, that is always at the forefront of my mind.

I didn’t have a lot of experience — or money — when we started so I love sharing my experiences and making it easy for people to get out and have fun.

Trevor Joy, Colorado Hiking

Focus on your long-term goals.

Getting started can be frustrating, but work hard at creating great content and visitors with start showing up.

Make sure your blog is about something you’re passionate about. It’ll seem more like fun than work.

Mark Kelly, Halfway Hike

It can be tough sometimes to write up a hike or longer mountain trip when work and other family ‘stuff’ gets in the way.

But in some ways, blogging becomes a relaxing diversion.

Reviewing the photos I took on a trip, recollecting special moments or tips I want to impart to the reader, that keeps me blogging.

Branch Whitney, Hiking Las Vegas

Constantly reminding myself of the reason I blog: to get people to hike.

We have so many great hiking opportunities around Las Vegas, Nevada.

From the best sandstone in the country to an almost 10,000-foot difference in elevation from Las Vegas to Charleston Peak (11,918 feet).

Greg and Jen Seymour, Appalachian Trail Tales

We are passionate about the subject matter. We spent 179 days hiking from Georgia to Maine.

In addition to the many stories we have to tell we have tips and information to share with others interested in taking on this epic trek.

Through his 52 Peak Club and Hiking Las Vegas MeetUp, Branch Whitney has fostered a sense of community — and fun — for area hikers. 
successful hiking bloggers


What do you think had the biggest impact on making your blog a success?

Branch Whitney, Hiking Las Vegas

Publish great content that will help people.

Greg and Jen Seymour, Appalachian Trail Tales

We chose to blog about a topic that is interesting to a wide variety of people. Also, we don’t just blog about it, we live it.

Our blog is not some theoretical discussion. We write about what we know and what we experienced on the trail.

Trevor Joy, Colorado Hiking

I’m passionate about Colorado and hiking and I think it shows in my blog. Make sure you find passion.

Don’t start a blog just because you think it’ll make money. It probably won’t.

Mark Kelly, Halfway Hike

Reading the posts of and interacting with other outdoors bloggers.

I picked up some great approaches and soaked up their enthusiasm to spur me on in the early days.

Lauren, The Helpful Hiker

I think that the fact that I didn’t start with the intention of making money has led to a really natural, organic growth and has given my blog a very engaged and loyal readership.

I’ve always been myself and taken great pride in staying authentic.

In this video, Greg and Jen Seymour answer questions — as they train — about their upcoming Camino hike in Spain. 
lessons for hiking bloggers


What lesson about blogging do you wish you’d known before starting out?

Trevor Joy, Colorado Hiking

Share what you love and don’t think too much on negative comments.

Mark Kelly, Halfway Hike

That staring at a blank screen can be daunting, so I always have a couple or more new post ideas sketched out on my Google Keep account.

Branch Whitney, Hiking Las Vegas

It takes a long time to get results.

Greg and Jen Seymour, Appalachian Trail Tales

All of social media works together. Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or YouTube choose two or three of your favorite social media platforms and incorporate your blog into it.

We were most successful with our Facebook page, YouTube channel, and Instagram.

Also, on Facebook, sharing blog posts from your Facebook page to other appropriate “fan” pages can help build your blog subscriber list as well as your Facebook page “likes.”

Lauren, The Helpful Hiker

That it’s ok to wing it a bit. I hung back a lot in the early days, I didn’t see myself as a ‘proper blogger’ so didn’t push myself forward.

I really wish I’d jumped in and had a bit more faith in myself.


Mark’s channel trailer for YouTube is a simple introduction of himself and his Halfway Hike blog filmed in his hiking environment.
advice for hiking bloggers


Best advice would you give a new blogger?

Greg and Jen Seymour, Appalachian Trail Tales

Write incredibly useful content and don’t give up.

You have to provide readable, relatable, and reliable information for the reader to stick.

And, it’s going to take a while to generate organic traffic, so patience is a must while you build your blog.

Lauren, The Helpful Hiker

See above! Don’t overthink things and don’t hang back.

Throw yourself in, you’ll learn as you go along and the blogging community is generally a very supportive place.

Join a few blogging groups on Facebook and just ask for advice if you’re not sure.

Trevor Joy, Colorado Hiking

Don’t look towards friends and family as an audience. A lot of people keep their blogs separate until things are a little more established.

Friends and family can be supportive but this is your dream, not theirs.

Mark Kelly, Halfway Hike

Write about what you love, your Why, not what you think others may want to read or what you think might make you ‘influential’.

Keep it real, kids.

Branch Whitney, Hiking Las Vegas

Know your audience and give them great content.

Final Notes and Resources

A big thank you to our interviewees for sharing their insights and experiences with blogging.

We encourage you to visit their blogs and social media.

Key Takeaways

Here are some standout lessons from our interviewees:

  • Know your audience and give them great content.
  • Share solutions you’ve come up with for problems you or your audience commonly experience.
  • Don’t overthink things at the beginning: put yourself out there and start doing.

And don’t overlook “offline” means of creating community. Consider creating or speaking at MeetUps as a way to grow awareness of your blog or business.

What’s Next?

Looking for more tips? Try our interviews with travel bloggers.

Sherrie is a former magazine editor and marketing executive who helps small businesses identify and solve their biggest digital problems. That includes helping clients discover the power of a good blog.