Hi! I’m Nicole Antoinette.

For over 30 years, I spent the majority of my life indoors.

Camping? Hiking? Sleeping on the ground? Getting dirty? Filtering water? Dealing with bears and blisters? Pooping in the woods? Absolutely not. No way.

But in August 2016, against all odds, I completed a 460-mile solo hike.

Here’s the truth: it was awful.

I cried almost every single day during that hike—the pain, loneliness, and ego beating were unlike anything I had ever experienced. It was just so hard. And I was so, so soft. Soft and new to the wilderness and absolutely terrified.

That hike was excruciating, and the first thing I said to myself when I finished was, “Never again. Never, ever, ever again.”

But here’s the thing about hard things: they change us. As miserable as I was throughout that first long hike, I also felt alive and awake in a way that I have come to crave.

And so “never again” soon became “well, maaaaybe one more time,” and in late September 2017 I thru-hiked the 800-mile Arizona Trail.

In 2018, I hiked another 1,600 miles of the PCT. And so on.

Inside the pages of this website you’ll find my honest stories about being a beginner in the wilderness. I also share resources for other beginners, my current gear list, breakdowns of the financial side of my adventures, and more. I’m so grateful I decided to choose courage over comfort and step out on trail for my first long hike; if you’re looking to do the same one day, I hope these stories make you laugh, think, and feel less alone.