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How a Hike Lead Me to MyTrailPals

Updated: Oct 5, 2023

About Me


I am Gunjan Utreja, a mommy of two lovely daughters, an avid hiker, technologist & founder of MyTrailPals. I am also a community leader, passionate about bringing people together for the greater good as a way to give back to the community. Co-founded the women hiking community HikeQueen Buddies


Journey on trails


My journey on trails started in 2017 when a friend reached out to me if I would like to hike over weekends, and without a thought, I said “would love to”. All I needed was a trail pal. We hiked every weekend, we were loving every bit of it. Every hike I felt an awe, a magical connection with mother nature and was connecting with myself in a way that I never had before. I felt refreshed and energized after each hike and was ready to take on coming week's personal and professional challenges.

We shared our experiences on social media, and slowly friends, and their friends started joining. Without knowing we were inspiring fellow women and building a community, today it's a private Facebook community of 450+ women across silicon valley. This journey has empowered many along the way, made fitness fun, and many founded a solace and much needed support system.


MyTrailPals


The spark for MyTrailPals was lit around Dec’2021 when after one of the hikes a girl gave me a hug and thanked me, sharing what an magical experience it was for her. She was going through the worst phase of personal and professional life at the time & how this one hike changed the trajectory of her life in many ways, unlocking the doors both at professional and personal levels which she was struggling with for so long. Multiple research studies have proved that being outdoors in nature stimulates all five senses and positively impacts physical and mental health and when mixed with social elements the impact is multifold. That hug was a euphoric moment of the same realization.

I started researching, and did many user surveys, within the hiking community as well as outside it. A common theme occurred that the desire to be outdoors often diminished due to a lack of finding someone like-minded, with a similar fitness level. There are many outdoor communities with thousands of members, and there are products focused on users with advanced fitness levels. However, no solution to connect with like-minded fitness enthusiasts at any fitness level to enable the journey to the outdoors.

MyTrailPals is a platform creating opportunities for everyone to connect outdoors. It’s a mobile app that enables real-life connections [opposite of metaverse :)] with like-minded outdoor fitness enthusiasts, making outdoors accessible for everyone, anywhere. Especially for those who have the desire to be out on trails but are perhaps hesitant to do it alone.


The beauty of MyTrailPals is that it is not limited to hiking, you can be a biker looking for someone to accompany you on a bike ride or looking for a buddy to walk with you. It's a platform that enables anyone anywhere to build their own fitness community and allows them to discover, host, and join outdoor events happening around.

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Gunjan Utreja - Your outdoorsy pal

Let's plan next trail adventure on MyTrailPals!

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