Tom Mangan on Starting Your Own Blog

John Muir's letters, essays and books tell of his adventures in California's Sierra Nevada Mountains and are widely read today.

John Muir's letters, essays and books are still widely read today

Tom Mangan wrote a couple of good posts yesterday on his Bay Area Hiking Blog, Two-Heel Drive, about starting your own blog. Tom says that documenting your hiking experience and sharing it with the rest of the world is a great way to connect with other interested hikers.

Heck, if John Muir were alive to day, he would have a blog. How do I know? Because the only thing as voluminous as Muir’s backcountry travels was the volume of his writings documenting them.

Indeed. Our greatest gift to others is the stories that we tell and the Internet is a wonderful medium for telling them. Unlike Muir, however, you are free to tell your stories in any manner you choose. Traditional text and pictures? No problem. How about just using your voice? Podcasting is very easy and popular. Can you tell a story with just photos? You bet, and there are lots of photoblogs to prove it.

Regardless of the format, it’s the content that makes your little piece of the Internet something that someone, anyone, seeks out from somewhere around the world. In the 1870’s John Muir’s papers were being published as far away as New York. Today, your papers, voice, or photos can instantly be published to the entire world using a blog.

We all have a story to tell and telling it today is easier than ever before. There is a certain satisfaction in sharing your life-experience with others, and we all gain from sharing these experiences. And maybe that’s the most surprising facet of blogging; it’s not a one-way street.

Do you have your own blog? Tell us about it and post a link.

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4 thoughts on “Tom Mangan on Starting Your Own Blog

  1. Great comments – thanks! CJ, that was a great article on ProBlogger, would love to hear someday how you got invited to do that (not for me – just interested in the process).

    Adam – I know so little about camping in the northeast, it’s always an interesting subject to me. I’m working on an article about 10 places to camp before the kids move out of the house, so I’m doing a lot of research on that area.

    John – my goal is to someday channel all this writing into a book. I like to mix-it-up a bit too, that’s why I do some posts on WordPress and blogging. My first blog was on Movable Type, so this was a big change for me.

    VE – you never cease to amaze me, I thought you were going to tell us you hiked the PCT (come one, you biked 200 miles in 12 hours!).

  2. Hello Roy,

    I started my Northern California Hiking Trails blog,, as a companion to my main website, I created the latter site in part to help promote my two hiking guides (100 Classic Hikes in Northern California, third edition, and 75 Hikes in California’s Mount Shasta and Lassen Volcanic National Park Regions, revised edition), but mainly to provide more resources to readers of the books, including updates to trails.

    Since I’ve started blogging I’ve found I really enjoy it, especially researching potential posts and writing. I live near Mount Shasta in the far northern part of California, so I focus many of my entries on the places I go around here, and related news items. But I do extend my focus to all of Northern California.

    However, I also cover other things that interest me, like how climate change affects the high country, hiking how-to tips, hiker encounters with animals, and other things that I think my readers will find intriguing.

  3. I’ve been following you’re website for a while, and while I wish you posted more, I really enjoy when you do. John Muir is one of my favorites and I’ve read everything he ever wrote.

    I wish I had the time for a hiking blog, as it is, I have an environmental blog, and do some freelance writing for an alternative fuels website, and hold a full time job.

    My wife and I live in Virginia and spend a lot of time hiking in Shenandoah N.P. in va and Lost River S.P. in West Va. I’ve section hiked a lot of the A.T. including the infamous “100 mile wilderness” in Maine. THAT, was awsome!

    My site is at, pay a visit if you like and feel free to check out the “list of environmental topics” page. Lots of green news and opinion, videos, photo’s etc…

    Keep up the good fight, and alter the eco!

    Adam Shake

  4. I’ve follow the Pacific Crest Trail hikers for years and years. I enjoy all of the yearly hiker journals on their hikes. I almost did the trail back in 1978 as a teen but my fellow hikers backed out…