The Doctor is Out

by Kitsbow Sherpa

Content originally published 3/26/2020


Last week we ran a story about the need to be outside (we dubbed it #trail bathing) especially as we weather a time of isolation. One of the many enthusiastic responses came from a member of our own community, Suzanne Bartlett-Hackenmiller, MD. She is an OB-Gyn-turned-nature-doc who prescribes nature to her patients.

In fact, she has written a book on the subject called The Outdoor Adventurer's Guide to Forest Bathing. In it she describes that forest bathing techniques have been largely limited to to walking and hiking, but mountain bikers, paddlers, trail-runners, cross-country skiers, and climbers may reap the benefits of forest bathing too.

During our time of sequester, we thought you'd like to meet her, ask a few questions, and let you know about some of her great resources.


What are you most passionate about?
Joe and I met mountain biking. He’s a local bike mechanic and mid-pack endurance mountain biker (his words) who’s passionate about active transportation. I’m an OB-Gyn turned nature doc who prescribes nature to my patients among other things.  We are passionate about the place where outdoor adventure meets mindful connection. It’s a balance that just works! 

What kind of riding do you like to do? 
While we participate in the occasional mountain bike race, we are mostly in it for the adventure. Whether it be cruising to the local grocery store or coffee shop, riding local singletrack, or escaping to distant locales, our lives revolve around the mountain bike. Our favorite spots mostly sit in the Southwest in places like Tucson, Santa Fe, Moab and Lake Tahoe.

Are you spending time outside while social distancing?
We continue to ride daily. I have been doing a great deal of writing about the health benefits of time spent in nature during this time of “social distancing,” and can’t overstate the importance of getting outdoors. 

What are you looking forward to?
Traveling! Riding with friends! Human contact — hugs and handshakes again!

What is your favorite Kitsbow piece? 
Joe says his Kitsbow Icon has deemed his other flannels unwearable. Each of us have another Icon on the way.


You can follow Suzanne and Joe here:
@docsuzy @joehackenmiller

You can find out more about Suzanne here: