Who is a “real” hiker?

Whether you hike a mile or fifteen, or only a few times a year; if you use a mobility device on trails, or don’t see anyone who likes you; You Are A Hiker. When we base our worth as hikers on how many miles and feet of elevation we crush, or on our physical abilities, or inabilities, we miss out on the journey, healing and connection to all-that-is that can be found in nature. It’s not a race. You don’t get to stop and smell the wildflowers or dip your tired feet in a creek on a race.

I invite you to move your body in ways that feel good, for the joy of it. Be in your own journey, don’t compare it to someone else’s. It’s the doing it that matters.

It’s ok to challenge yourself. It’s ok to want to do more, harder, faster, longer, but it doesn’t make one a “real” hiker. That standard Instagram summit photo at golden hour is beautiful, but it doesn’t tell the story of a “real” hiker.

The outdoors is for everyone. If you need an invitation, this is it. If you need an invitation to quit these thought patterns, this is it.

If you hike, you are a hiker. Welcome ♥

#sponsored #REI #ForceOfNature #OptOutside

Location: Ozette Triangle aka Cape Alava, Olympic National Park, Washington

Photo by, Brie Jones.

Originally posted on Instagram:

Who is a “real” hiker? . Whether you hike a mile or fifteen, or only a few times a year; if you use a mobility device on trails, or don't see anyone who looks like you; You Are A Hiker. When we base our worth as hikers on how many miles and feet of elevation we crush, or on our physical abilities, or inabilities, we miss out on the journey, healing and connection to all-that-is that can be found in nature. It’s not a race. You don’t get to stop and smell the wildflowers or dip your tired feet in a creek on a race. . I invite you to move your body in ways that feel good, for the joy of it. Be in your own journey, don’t compare it to someone else’s. It’s the doing it that matters. . It’s ok to challenge yourself. It’s ok to want to do more, harder, faster, longer, but it doesn’t make one a “real” hiker. That standard Instagram summit photo at golden hour is beautiful, but it doesn’t tell the story of a “real” hiker. . The outdoors is for everyone. If you need an invitation, this is it. If you need an invitation to quit these thought patterns, this is it. . If you hike, you are a hiker. Welcome ♥ . #sponsored #REI #ForceOfNature #optoutside . Location: Ozette Triangle aka Cape Alava Loop, Olympic National Park, Washington #olympicnationalpark

A post shared by Unlikely Hikers (@unlikelyhikers) on

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9 thoughts on “Who is a “real” hiker?

  1. Love this! I hear from people all the time “I’m not a real runner” – but the same is true for hiking! If you run, you’re a runner. If you hike, you’re a hiker! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank goodness! I work for one of the federal land management agencies and it is so frustrating to see all of this valuable public land not be enjoyed by a large segment of the public that OWN it!
    Get out there and use it. It doesn’t matter your age, gender, race, religion, orientation, etc. It was established for you to enjoy. Remember, there are National Parks, National Forests, Bureau of Land Management land, National Wildlife Refuges, State Parks, Forests, local parks etc. What does recreation mean? To re-create yourself. Just make sure you “know before you go ” on the local rules and regulations. We want you to enjoy your time out and not get hurt or worse.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Absolutely! And hopefully, with more efforts from these agencies and other platforms rewriting the outdoors narrative, the people who are missing out will finally be able to make their way.

      Like

      1. No, thank you! As a fellow “unlikely hiker” I appreciate it. Just had an experience in NC on my way to the NOC which I did not include in the blog post because I just didn’t want to give any more energy to it. In short, a woman, older, but more buff than my soft self, dissed me near the “jump-off”, super steep, eroded part of trail. Anyway, when she got to the NOC where my friend was waiting for me, and asked the woman if she’d passed me on her way down. The woman replied “Oh yes, she’ll be hours”. So my friend left! Meanwhile, I came down probable 30 -45 minutes later. When my friend came back, full of apologies, I said, “no worries, you gotta understand, people underestimate my hiking abilities ALL THE TIME.” We ran into the woman again in the outfitters and she says to me, “Oh, I see you finally made it down.” Wtf? Anyway, I responded, with a kind of screw you laugh, and replied, “Well, you didn’t think I was gonna stay up there did you?!” Then I turn around and put up a wall. You see I’m still slightly miffed!!😂😂😂

        Like

  3. I just stumbled upon your pdx article and absolutely loved it! I hate stereotypes and even though I don’t look like it I don’t fit into a box neither. It’s great seeing people like you who simply do what they love to do, no matter what others think. It’s our life, we gotta live it.

    Liked by 1 person

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