Femme, queer, fat, mid-thirties, writer, Unlikely Hiker. I always considered myself an indoor kid, a city kid. For a long time, I was a party girl and DJ. In 2012, an accidental hike led to an unlikely discovery. Hiking became my therapy, my church, my medicine. Nature feels like the only place I can turn down the noise in my head and disengage with the harmful dominant culture. I can take up as much space as I want and also revel in the minuteness of my existence. This is such a gift.

The healing power of exercise was totally unexpected. Body-negative culture and the moral capital it puts on “good bodies” and “bad bodies” mostly ruined the idea of it for me. We are told we can exercise to “fix” ourselves and achieve unrealistic body goals. We aren’t told it just feels good. It makes our bodies work better, our minds clearer, our sleep better. It’s meditative. It can even be a spiritual practice.

Most nature blogs seem to keep it light, polite, apolitical, family friendly. There’s nothing wrong with that, generally, but there’s so much of it and so little about the real dirt of life. Through sharing my personal writing along with the resources I find on diversifying the outdoors, I hope to bust up tired ideas of what an outdoorsperson looks like. I aim to put a spotlight on diversity, inclusion and visibility and show anyone how to heal their lives mentally, spiritually and physically with nature.

-Jenny Bruso (thejennybruso@gmail.com)

For more information about me see media and writing.

Instagram: jennybruso *and* Unlikely Hikers
Facebook: Jenny Bruso & Unlikely Hikers

If you use or enjoy the content I create, please consider making a donation to help it along! It will also help me make more frequent updates. Thank you for the support!



  1. So excited our mutual friend Jane Cowan pointed me toward your blog. I am also a queer unlikely hiker and post lots of pics of my hikes on Instagram. Thanks for sharing and I look forward to following you on here and Instagram.


  2. I just finished reading the very controversial post on IG and all I want to say is… I freaking adore you!!! You go girl.. Keep doing you and keep doing the amazing work your doing. I too am a writer and will definitely be attending some of your hikes and events as soon as I get back out to the West coast… Thank you so much for sharing YOU… I am grateful 💗😘💗😘


  3. Grateful and thankful to you so much for creating Unlikely Hikers. Follow it. And I love it.

    Thank you for the inclusiveness and diversity you bring to the outdoors here in the PNW.

    See you on the trails and may all your hikes be be amazing and full of wonder!


  4. I am currently listening to your interview on she-explores, and I am inspired and energized by your words and thoughts. I also grew up a city kid, and while I didn’t have many opportunities to hike (my parents don’t share my love, alas), I became an enthusiastic disciple of the natural world when I became an adult. Nature is my church, and I worship as often as my severe bipolar disorder allows me to. I am a fat hiker, as well, and at 6′ tall, happily take up some space on a trail! Just hearing your eloquent views on unlikely hikers is moving me to tears. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve felt self-conscious while on a trail in places such as Utah, Oregon, and Alaska, when in reality, my body is doing amazing things and experiencing such joy. I just need to completely open myself up to it and shed any remnants of shame. Thank you for your wisdom, thank you for your determination, and THANK YOU for creating this movement.

    I live just north of Atlanta. If you ever find yourself wanting to hike in the Southern Appalachians, you have a place to stay and a warm heart to welcome you. I grew up near the Great Smoky Mountains, and I would consider it an honor to show you around.

    (I hope that offer did not come across as strange. It is as sincere as I find you to be.)

    I can never say thank you enough. Forever grateful.


  5. I would like to join hikes! I’m a 65 yr old woman. interested in hiking and meeting people in or of all ages and cultures!


  6. Oh wow, I found you through the “She Explores” podcast, which I found by doing a search for “podcasts about hiking”. I literally have chills all over, and tears in my eyes, and can’t wait to read more! I’m so pumped about this, and grateful for your message and for what you are doing! -Louise


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s