Emma (Pepper) - Hiker

Emma grew up in Southern California and has always had a deep love of the outdoors, hiking and camping from a young age with her family and Girl Scout Troop. She is an avid hiker and on the trails, she goes by "Pepper". She started backpacking in 2014, with the Trans-Catalina Trail on Catalina Island and fell in love. 

  1. What's the worst trail/adventure meal you've ever concocted?

    On my first backpacking trip, I packed nothing but tortillas and tuna. Those aren't necessarily that bad, but after eating nothing except that for 4 days, just the sight of either was pretty sickening!

  2. What animal would be most terrifying if it could speak?

    I would not want to hear what a louse has to say. 

  3. What do you appreciate most in your friends?

    I appreciate the ability to pick up where we last left off. Many of my friends have their own thing going on and live far, but whenever we do get the chance to see each other we can catch up as if we were never apart, and I really like that. I also like people who genuinely listen and care, I tell a lot of boring and pointless stories, and it is nice to know that someone likes me enough to truly listen to them. 

  4. What is the dumbest way you've been injured?

    I once sprained my wrist by tripping over nothing while walking at a normal pace over flat pavement. It was such a bad sprain I had to wear a brace for almost a month, just because I am clumsy! 

  5. If you had a billlboard, what would it say to represent you?

    It would probably just be a big picture of my bearded dragon, Hemingway. He's pretty cool, I'd be fine with it. 

  6. Who or what inspires you?

    I am inspired by women who have come before me and helped pave the way for the progress of the future. That sounds kind of cliche, but I am truly grateful to those who sacrificed much in order to create a better future for those who will come next. I am also inspired by the women who are currently leading the way and creating positive changes today! 

  7. What are five things you cannot do without?

    Water, books (ebooks are acceptable too), great podcasts/music, a great hiking buddy and a beautiful spot to enjoy it all in

  8. What is your favorite breakfast meal?

    I don't really have a name for it, but I like to take a thin bagel, fry it in butter, and crack an egg in the center of it, then top it with whatever I happen to have in the kitchen at the time, spinach, cheese, onions,  etc. It is so simple and so good, even without any toppings! Can be eaten breakfast, lunch and dinner, plus its fast, easy and cheap! Win-win-win! 

  9. If you came with a warning label what would it say?

    Warning: may go into nature for weeks at a time and ignore you/responsibilities.

  10. If you could time travel when/where would you go?

    I would go to the first World's Fair in Chicago, in 1893. I read about it when I was little and have always wished I could have experienced it!  I think it would be so cool to see the "new inventions" of the day, and compare them with the current technology we have, and even see where our current technology may have originated!

She had dreamt of backpacking the John Muir Trail since she was a child and had decided it was time to make that dream a reality. In the summer of 2018, Pepper completed her 250-mile solo hike of the John Muir Trail, leaving Yosemite the day before it was closed due to fire, and returning the day before it reopened. She loved this trip and felt like it was too short, but really enjoyed having great, real food along the way to help fuel her journey. The food she ate was definitely a huge part of her adventure, and she is planning more adventures in her near future! 

In her free time, when she's not hiking, she volunteers at local non-profits in the Bay Area where she lives, educates others about sustainability issues, updates her blog, challenges herself by rock climbing, and painting pictures of the nature she loves. 

You can follow her adventures at or on Instagram @pepperhikes.

Also, she’s a great painter! You can check out her art on her blog at