Why I'm Not That Superficially Hot Gal on the Trail

Marinel de Jesus

The definition of beauty among outdoor woman all over the world varies. When in China, dressing up, with heels and make up are the norm. Regardless, we celebrate all women in the mountain trails.

As I entered the Longji Rice Terraces in the Yunnan Province of China for some spectacular hiking experience, I thought, “It’s irrelevant," referring to the notion of bringing make up and fixing my hair up, the way I normally did back in Washington, DC to dance the night away. Trekking, after all, is a MESSY business. Put on make up, and you know it will only last on your face until you reach that first uphill that you would have to climb. Soon enough, you’re drenched in sweat. Once done with the struggle, you then will have to deal with retouching a face that’s been caught in the chaos of the very make up that you thought will turn you into a model from a front cover of a fashion magazine.

That’s very much why in a nutshell.  However, let me tell you a few other things from an honest standpoint.

1. I’m NOT that superficially hot gal on the trail because the best parts of the hike are the ones up on the summit. And when I say summit, that means the higher the better! Again, that entails climbing uphill for hours which will render your attempts to beautify yourself futile. See my note above as to what happens with uphill hiking. You get it now, I hope? But here’s the thing: WOULD YOU REALLY COMPROMISE A SPECTACULAR VIEW FOR HAVING A PRETTY FACE?

The mighty mountains along the Tiger Leaping Gorge trail in China. Worth the sacrifice for a surreal view!

Say no...please. But, if yes, then read on.

2. I’m NOT that superficially hot gal on the trail because hiking has risks. STAYING ALIVE is the goal besides enjoying the views. That means be prepared to wear proper hiking clothes. No revealing tank tops when hiking in near freezing temperatures. Please no “short” shorts either while you pretend to be cute in your freezing ass. Nothing is cute about that especially when you inconvenience others in a group who have to care for you in the event of you falling ill. I suppose you brought your boots, not the red fashionable sneakers that you adore because a broken ankle is no fun. There’s a peak to conquer and a personal achievement to attain. Stay focus on the goal. Not the guys.  Soon enough, the guys who are meant to see beyond your superficial hotness will notice you for the real you.

No, try again!
That's the one. Better!See, hot or not, you get them all!

3. I’m NOT that superficially hot gal on the trail because being dirty is liberating. It’s FREEEEDOOOOMMM! Forget showers when you trek.  Are you kidding me? The more you desire to see amazing-out- of- this- world landscapes, the more you have to embrace your own dirt and smell.   Be one with the two.  Sorry, I know this stinks, but hey, it’s a sacrifice worth having once you see those once in a lifetime photos. The good news is photos are odor-free so regardless of whether you decide to have yourself in these photos or not, you’re safe! No one will ever criticize your hygiene.

A few days without showers in the cold wilderness of Nepal's Himalayas along the Gokyo to Everest Base Camp trail. By that point, you would rather not have close up shots. The further you are, the better. No smell like I told you...at least not on the photos.

4. I’m NOT that superficially hot gal on the trail because you know what? IT’S TOO MUCH WORK. That fact applies universally to all scenarios, not just life in the mountains. Why would a girl leave the pressures of being a city girl just to go to a mountain and still subject herself to the same torment? No, no, no. I don’t think so. “No mirror” on a trekking trip is always a good advise especially when you’re struggling NOT to be that hot gal on the trail (but keep it as part of your first aid kit while promising yourself to resist the allure of vanity).  After all, summit days start early and you'll hardly have the time to put on that make up.  If at all, you ought to use that time to double check your water bladder and head lamp.

Trekking turns you into a sleeping beauty. It's work.

5. I’m NOT that superficially hot gal on the trail because, well, you ought to know YOU ALREADY ARE. Be like nature. Authentic. Your real beauty lies in your ability to fully accept that you are beautiful, inside and out. So, drop the stiletto style walking, and strut those high cut hiking boots like you’re completely blister-free.  Take a deep breathe and read the following with me:  I'm more than just that hot gal on the trail.  I'm the fearless trekker that the hot gals on the trail secretly admire and look up to.  I'm beautiful as my natural self.

Going natural on a trek in Iceland. Double dose of beauty.

There you go.  You did it.  Congrats!!! You’re no longer that hot gal on the trail.  But, phew!  Now, hit the shower!

***This post is inspired by Brown Gal Trekker’s semi-awakening of an experience while trekking solo in China where national parks are full of hot girls with make-up who wore party dresses and heels. Culture in this part of the world dictates that a woman must preserve that level of femininity even on the hiking trails. It is so ingrained in the Chinese females’ psyche to appear feminine that the women themselves perpetuate this social expectation. Without judging, as we all have differences on this subject, the experience left BGT a feeling of increased appreciation for her ability to be authentic, raw, carefree and essentially unmoved by the pressures of society. Regardless, any woman who hikes a mountain trail is beautiful in her own unique way. So,  really, BGT writes this post to celebrate this universal truth with all the “hot gals” worldwide.  Keep on trekking, be it on heels, or boots, or otherwise.***

The hot girls on the trail of Longji Rice terraces. Although Brown Gal didn't quite fit in by looks, her hiking skills fit quite well.

BGT became friends with a hot girl who gave BGT a pink scarf as a gift to make her feel more "feminine" on the trail. It turns out "hotness" was an easy thing to overlook when it comes to friendship. Hot or not, we felt beautiful.


I leave you with a video of Longji Rice Terraces in the Yunnan Province of China.  It's easily accessible by bus from the city of Guilin.  Overnight stays can be had in any of the guesthouses in the villages at cheap hostel rates.   At Longji, you can hike from one village to the next to enjoy the landscapes.  However, be warned that there's frequent occurrence of fog, which was the case when I visited; hence, I saw a limited glimpse of the rice terraces.  Relaxing, rejuvenating, and still off the beaten path (many folks stay back in Guilin) - Longji is a true oasis for those seeking solace.  Go.

Published: October 17, 2016

Marinel de Jesus

Brown Gal Trekker is a nomad at heart and a mountain worshiper who lives in pursuit of far away adventures, mostly by foot.

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