Backpacking 101 In The Wild

Backpacking 101: IT’S OUT THERE!

It’s a weird thing when you devote such a large chunk of time to one project. After it’s completed, turned in, and finally processing, there is almost a sense of helplessness. Did I include everything I wanted to include? {Nope.} Does it sound like me? {Yup.} Did I explain this one section clearly? {I sure hope so!} Are there mistakes in there? {Probably.}

My first-ever book {<—affiliate link} hit shelves three weeks ago and it’s been an absolute trip to watch it grow legs. I smile every time a follower tags me on IG stories, showing off their copy. I laugh when someone messages me after reading the hygiene section, horrified at my suggestions for backcountry pooping. And I downright grinned yesterday when I saw that I received my first five-star Amazon review.

And I’m sure I’ll cry a little bit when I receive my first one-star review. Because, let’s face it; we all know it will happen, and it’s gonna hurt.

It’s all real, isn’t it? Life continues to amaze me at how it twists and turns and eventually rights itself to follow the path you wanted in the beginning. When I was a little girl, I always wanted to write a real live book. In fact, our elementary school had a publishing center and I practically lived there. I would take my “manuscripts” down to the center {aptly located in a rather large broom closet behind the gym} and agonize over the various fabric color options for my book cover material. Did I want a spiral binding or glued? Fabric cover or see-through plastic? Hardback or flimsy? Oh, and the illustrations! Because *of course* my book needed illustrations!

Backpacking 101

PC: Will Rochfort

There were so many choices but I reveled in the opportunity. To my 12-year-old self, those flower-deco covered books were as close as I was going to get to the real deal…until I was an adult.

Now I’m that 35-year-old adult, looking back at the Kohl Elementary publishing center with a bit of fondness as I remember that I really am living my long-ago established dream. How often do we use the expression “living the dream” without actually considering what those words mean? How often do we recall childhood aspirations only to realize they came true?

Huge thanks to everyone who has supported me, this blog, and my family by buying a copy of Backpacking 101. I appreciate the support more than you realize and I truly love seeing all of your photos pop on social media. I may dislike the cover of my book {Why is there a water bucket?!} but the sight of it sure makes me happy! I am hoping to have a one or two local book signings this summer at local stores, so I’ll be sure to keep everyone posted

Wait, what’s that? You haven’t been able to snag a copy of the book yourself? Never fear; it’s going to be available FOR-EV-ER! Just kidding; that’s likely not true. But it is available via Amazon or Barnes & Noble currently, so you can easily hop over and snag your own copy. I’ve been told it’s in quite a few brick-and-mortar Barnes & Noble establishments, but haven’t had the time to check myself. I’ll send a huge hug and a high five to the first person that spots it on a bookshelf!



  • Reply Patrice La Vigne at

    So happy for you Heather!!! It is amazing when dreams really DO come true!!!! It speaks volumes to your tenacity and dedication to the written word. Definitely let me know if there are any local book signings; we’ll be in CO late July/early August (after OR), so would love to catch one!

    • Reply Heather at

      Thank you, Patrice! I’ll definitely keep you posted if that happens!

  • Reply Trish at

    Heather – wow – what an amazing life you have led! I have not had the opportunity to do the things, embrace the adventures you have conqured, but I do love reading about your accomplishments! Writing a book about these times in your life is awesome indeed! I love that you have had the inspiration and will to write since you were a child! I have not written a book, but have many journals about my everyday life, my family and those perhaps mundane but very special times. Continue your dream, you are an amazing young woman!

    • Reply Heather at

      Thanks Trish; appreciate it!

  • Reply Lynn @ The Not Dead Yet Blog at

    Congratulations! I bought copies for my friends, because we’re planning a trip together. Apparently I’m the only one with experience, and considering I don’t have a lot of it, that’s scary. I’m counting on your book to save us all.

    • Reply Heather at

      Whew, that’s pressure! 😉 Here’s to hoping it works for all of you….let me know what you think!

  • Reply Mary E Emerick at

    I have had two books published and by far the hardest thing are the critics. My advice: just don’t read reviews. I mean, you aren’t going to change the book now! Congratulations. Wish I had had a book like this thirty years ago. Ha.

    • Reply Heather at

      You speak the truth! 🙂 Thanks for the kind words, Mary.

  • Reply Kayla at

    Congratulations!!! It’s so wonderful that you got to wrap up some of your knowledge and hobby-life in a real live dream AND get paid for it!

  • Reply Jaime at

    Congratulations! So inspiring!

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