Group Hike – General – Powell Butte

RSVP on Facebook or via e-mail form. It’s important that I know who is going. Please note, you will only hear from me if there are updates.

Unlikely Hikers creates safer, supportive outdoor community for people underrepresented in outdoors culture. We hike together as a group. No hiker left behind! Absolutely no diet or weight loss talk. Be mindful of gender pronouns, group dynamics, microaggressions, cultural appropriation and different physical ability levels.
——————————————-

LOCATION: Powell Butte, Portland.

TIME: 10am

TRAIL STATS: 4.5 mile loop, 530 feet elevation gain

Continue reading “Group Hike – General – Powell Butte”

Advertisements

Group hike – Eugene, OR – Shotgun Creek

RSVP on Facebook or via e-mail form. It’s important that I know who is going. Please note, you will only hear from me if there are updates.

Unlikely Hikers creates safer, supportive outdoor community for people underrepresented in outdoors culture. We hike together as a group. No hiker left behind! Absolutely no diet or weight loss talk. Be mindful of gender pronouns, group dynamics, microaggressions, cultural appropriation and different physical ability levels.
——————————————-

LOCATION: Shotgun Creek Trail, Marcola, Oregon, near Eugene

TIME: 10am

TRAIL STATS: 3.4 miles, 300 ft. elevation gain, loop

Directions: https://www.oregonhikers.org/field_guide/Shotgun_Creek_Loop_Hike

Continue reading “Group hike – Eugene, OR – Shotgun Creek”

Does this Mountain I Just Climbed Make Me Look Fat?

(Yes, this image is being made into a sticker that will be available soon xo)

I was checking my e-mail for the zillionth time, as I tend to do, when I saw the subject line for the 2018 SHIFT conference. SHIFT (Shaping How we Invest For Tomorrow) is a yearly event exploring the issues at the intersection of conservation, outdoor recreation and cultural relevancy. Attending last November’s conference was one of my greatest, most transformative experiences of 2017. The organizers generously flew me out to Jackson, Wyoming, and put me up along with nearly all of my #diversifyoutdoors social media cohorts (Melanin Base Camp, Brown People Camping, Brothers of Climbing, Flash Foxy, The Great Outchea and many more). We then spent a few days collaborating, strategizing and ultimately putting on a panel about diversifying the outdoors that was so packed people couldn’t get in. These new in-person relationships have strengthened all of us and our work. In fact, as I am posting this, a website of all of our efforts is going live. Be sure to check out and utilize diversifyoutdoors.com!

I excitedly clicked on the e-mail. It was short, only about 100 words. Just a brief description of 2018’s conference. About halfway through, in a sentence about issues maligning Americans today along with opioid addiction and too much screen time, the word “obesity” jumped out at me. My stomach dropped clear down into my butt.

Technically, obese just means “very fat,” but now it’s validated as a “condition” by the BMI (Body Mass Index). The BMI has been the standard determination of fitness for doctors, insurance companies and government statistics since the 1970s. The main problem is while it’s technically just a measure of size (mass), it’s seen as a measure of one’s health. This makes little sense as it doesn’t differentiate between fat and muscle. A hulking football player would likely be considered “morbidly obese.” None of that matters anyway because the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is playing us by consistently dropping the BMI. It used to be 35, then it was 30. In 1998, the NIH lowered the healthy BMI percentage from 27.8 to 25–branding roughly 29 million Americans as fat overnight. What does this all mean?

You’ve probably heard the words “obesity epidemic.” The only epidemic here is capitalism. Essentially, overnight, insurance companies were able to force people to pay higher rates and the weight-loss industry was able to push more weight loss drugs and surgeries via doctors who are paid extra to do so. Nevermind how historically dangerous these drugs and surgeries have been, but that’s another rabbit hole for another day. (Fen Phen? Meridia? Oh, and there’s Alli, if you’re cool with orange grease leaking out of your butthole. Just wear dark pants, they say!)

So, why the strong response to the word “obesity?” The word is just too stigmatized it almost means something else entirely. Words change over time. (If you google “obesity,” peep the chart showing how the word has exploded recently.) When we talk about obesity, we are rarely expressing actual concern for fat people. If we truly cared, the conversation would be about what may be contributing to the “problem” instead of the usual offhanded talk about “rising obesity rates,” etc. However, there’s a catch. The things causing obesity, don’t always make people fat. If you mean to say that depression, poverty, lack of access to affordable, healthy food and adequate healthcare or feelings of not being safe to exercise in public for fear of judgement from others are the things maligning Americans, then say that. Because these issues don’t affect just fat people, the meaning of the word is already lost. Obesity is not an umbrella term. It’s not shorthand and when we use it in these ways, it’s not even really about fat people. It’s about the weight loss industry, “fitness” culture and insurance companies making money off of our self-loathing and “diagnosed” conditions, even if those conditions appear overnight. It’s also about fear and morality.

Straight up, the word makes fat people feel like shit, and when people say a word hurts them, stop using it. When I see the word “obesity” in something, I immediately feel targeted, excluded and unwelcome to what could otherwise be an important conversation. People with more social capital (privilege) having conversations about the issues of people who don’t, rarely go well without the input of those they are discussing.

Impact versus intent. While most people would tell you they mean no harm to fat individuals when they talk about obesity, unfortunately, this is exactly what happens. We are oversaturated in advertising every day via billboards, social media, radio, tv, etc. that make it sound like being fat is one of the worst things you can be. Whether directly or indirectly, fat people become villainized or a barometer of morality. When do you see happy fat people living full lives in media you consume? Or in any outdoor media at all? As I said in another post recently, fatphobia is one of the most oppressive forces in American culture and also the most accepted. Racism, transphobia and class are just as, and at times more, prevalent, but they are usually coded. People don’t have to code their fat hatred. Imagine being fat and seeing these messages or receiving them from actual people every day? Living in a world where you are told your body is wrong, overtly and covertly, rarely leads the horse to water, let alone makes them drink. (Um, I’m not calling fat people horses, though that wouldn’t be a bad thing anyway because horses are magical creatures surely existing in part to remind us that not everything is garbage.) These messages are harmful for everyone. They instill an irrational fear in people who aren’t fat of becoming so, which certainly comes out in hostile ways toward fat people who appear to not heed those messages. We’re living in a time that is so counterintuitive to our very nature, that values things that shouldn’t actually matter (our looks, productivity, jobs, possessions, etc) over our individual well-being. We’re depressed and unfulfilled and we want to fill the void. We soothe ourselves with whatever makes us feel momentarily better. Yeah, sometimes it’s food, but it’s also alcohol, social media, shopping, internet TV, drugs, sudoku, etc. (Just kidding with that last one.) We’re struggling with feelings of not enough control and fat people are often seen as lacking control.

If I can’t find plus sizes at most outdoor retailers, where do I begin to talk about the outdoor industry piece in all of this? In 2017, I was fortunate to attend a handful of conferences and outdoors events like SHIFT and at most of them, I was the only fat person. Figuring out where my fat identity belongs in outdoors culture will likely be the center of my work in 2018. The casual fatphobia and body-shaming I’ve heard from well-known and loved people in the outdoors has been galling. So many of the conversations about diversity and inclusion are about race and this is absolutely necessary and needs to continue happening and moreso. However, I have not yet found room for myself outside of where myself and very few others are creating it. While I feel confident in my sense of self as a fat person, being the only one in spaces stifles my ability to participate the way I would like to as I don’t feel safe enough to share my experiences without having to do a lot of educating and unsupported emotional labor.

What about how these messages might be affecting children? Studies show girls as young as seven are dropping out of sports at twice the rate of boys due to gender and body insecurities. If this is about saving people’s actual lives, we should be worried about the ways this culture is making people hate themselves. People, especially women, literally die from hating their bodies. And if they aren’t dying from this self-loathing, the pressure and obsession with looking a certain way isn’t exactly living, either. What about health issues, mental and physical, that we can’t see? What we see isn’t necessarily what is.

Spoiler: being fat is not the worst thing you can be. I wish we talked about people’s mental wellbeing the way we talk about how we perceive people’s physical health. Things would be so different! Though, that would eventually get capitalized on, too. Maybe, just try being a good person? That would be cool.

Where does being genetically prone to having a bigger body fit into this? Personally, I’ve always been fat. Without a lot of backstory, I was simply designed this way as most fat people are. Once, a doctor diagnosed me as morbidly obese, without measuring my BMI, when I went in for a sinus infection. A Sinus Infection, which I’m pretty sure I didn’t get from being fat. This stranger who I’m supposed to trust with my life, who is in the business of assessing health, who took a vow to “do no harm” flippantly decided I was dying because of the size of my body. The thing is, by every other medical standard, I’m about as healthy as one can be, but I’m going to stop that train right there. While I might be considered “healthy,” this doesn’t make me more entitled to respect or validation than someone who isn’t. I don’t play Good Fatty, Bad Fatty.

Where does body diversity fit into this? There are so many ways to have a body, but we are often talking about one kind of body and that body is usually white and it is definitely cisgender. In general, western beauty standards are dictated in ways that uphold whiteness and smallness. Small bodies, small features. The pressure is endless and insidious and racist and leaves absolutely no room for trans bodies.

Exercise is awesome! Even more awesome? We can talk about the benefits of exercise and how to encourage it in ways that aren’t actually about changing one’s body or about morality or cultural capital. Exercise because it feels good! Because it makes your brain work better. Because you want to sleep better. Because you want to. Or don’t! When we talk about people not exercising more or engaging with outdoors culture (yeah, I’m crossing a lot of wires here because if I don’t, we’re going to be here all day), white people need look no further than their own noses. Access (information, financial, etc) and representation remain huge issues in terms of people not getting outdoors. Let’s stop scapegoating people and bodies to make lazy points about what we want to see more (or less) of.

***

Please consider sharing this post and making a donation in support of my work ❤

Just a fat outdoorsperson trying to freaking live, man.

[Notes: The title of this piece is tongue-in-cheek and inspired by a comment someone left on the post above. You don’t need to be able to hike up a mountain to be worthy of respect as a hiker or fat person. We are all worthy of respect as we are, no matter our abilities or lack thereof and we can all be outdoorspeople regardless of what our adventures look like.]

Screen Shot 2018-01-24 at 12.58.01 PM
Seriously, click on this tweet.

Rough Thoughts

Or, as I like to think of this, All the Things I Didn’t Say in the Recently Posted All the Things I didn’t Say in 2017.

I went to a writer’s retreat this weekend on the Oregon Coast with some serious powerhouses: Carrot Quinn, Rahawa Haile, Vanessa Friedman, Lacy J. Davis, Chardonnay, Nicole Antoinette, Kelly Kate, Christina and Alley Hector (pictured above). This rough list of things was me trying to create a starting point. I wanna barf it out and move on to writing the good stuff.

Impostor syndrome. Definition: Impostor syndrome, also known as impostor phenomenon, fraud syndrome or the impostor experience, is a concept describing individuals who are marked by an inability to internalize their accomplishments and a persistent fear of being exposed as a “fraud.”

Survivor’s guilt. Definition: Survivor’s guilt, also called survivor syndrome or survivor’s syndrome) is a mental condition that occurs when a person believes they have done something wrong by surviving a traumatic event when others did not.

Figuring out where my fatness and queerness fit into outdoor culture. This is a big one and could likely be the center of my work in 2018. Judging by outdoor social media, advertising and all of the conferences I went to in 2017 (except for the LGBTQ Outdoor Summit), the answer is nowhere. Or maybe the better, more positive, answer is where myself and very few others are creating it. Being the only fat or queer person in groups or gatherings SUCKS. Being the only person with both of these identities is worse. Queerness and homophobia are rarely discussed. The casual fatphobia and body-shaming I’ve heard from well-known and loved people in the outdoors has shredded me, at times. So many of the conversations about diversity and inclusion are about race and this is absolutely necessary and needs to continue happening and moreso. However, I have not yet found room for myself in my queer and fat identities outside of where I am creating that room. This is both difficult to navigate and troubling to embody. Fatphobia is one of the most oppressive forces in American culture and the most accepted. I more than acknowledge that racism, transphobia and class are just as, and at times more, prevalent, but they are often coded. People don’t have to code their fatphobia. We aren’t yet in the foothills of this conversation, we haven’t even approached the parking lot of the trailhead to the foothills of this mountain of a conversation.

The extreme and not-so-extreme wealth in outdoors culture and the bitter reality of not fitting in. There is a lot of inherently entitled, privilege-based inspo in the outdoors world. “Follow your dreams!” “If you want something bad enough, you can have it!” “Work hard, play hard!” The other day a friend of mine made an FB post about how he wished he could just be an artist in the woods, but how impossible that was as a poor, fat, queer, person of color. I’m not a person of color and I don’t want to hijack his experience, but I know this so fucking well. That feeling of impossibility around things so many people do with ease. Because lack of money and time can translate to lack of energy and the stifling of creativity. Then there’s the depression and mental health stuff that often barnacle poverty. So many easy-seeming things feel impossible when you don’t have money. Taking any time off when you could be working and making money. Or having debt, which makes you feel like you can’t do anything fun in good conscience. And then there’s the whole visibly possessing certain identities (being a person of color and/or trans, queer, fat, etc) and how unsafe that makes so many things feel, in general, especially when in new situations and you’re The Only One.

I’ve found it really difficult to connect with so many people I’ve met this year. Hearing about casual trips to Sweden or about spending two months in a National Park for fun and not work-trade feels alienating and disenchanting, especially when I’m then asked about my adventures. Well, I did a lot of day hikes and I went camping for one weekend about 4.5 hours from home because I didn’t have the time or money to do anything more. And no, no one is doing or saying anything wrong because they have more wealth and opportunities than I do, but the disparity is palpable. Sure, I know plenty of people who aren’t wealthy who’ve had their share of international travel, etc. Resources aren’t always financial. Access and transparency with information (like how to do things on the cheap) and access to gear are also privileges. So is an inherent sense of personal safety in terms of people not messing with you or knowing that if something happens, you actually have the ability to ask for financial help from someone like a family member. There’s always so much more that goes into this than simply getting to a destination. As I find myself with more of this access now than I had even a few months ago, I am committed to sharing everything that I learn.

Lastly, there is a shit-ton of wealth in the outdoor industry and I can’t help but think about how weird the disbursement is. In short, always ask for money for your time.

Making mistakes. I am extremely hard on myself. I freeze in it. It’s joyless and disrespectful to the good work I do. Man, the scarcity runs deep. As if one mistake will topple everything. Yes, I am putting myself out there and naturally people will look at me as a figure of something, but I’m just another person doing their best. I can’t control the weather on group hikes or whether or not park services have properly stocked toilet paper in bathrooms or if you can’t enter my photo content because I’ve asked for selfies and you have a stalker. It’s all little things and clearly none of it is really about me even if it’s directed at me, but I internalize the hell out of it. Obviously, I also have to let other adults take care of themselves and their own needs! I feel embarrassed admitting this stuff, but I’m just going to leave it.

Success and the future. Maybe it’s foolish to call what I’m doing successful when I can’t even begin to think about doing this as my full-time job, but there have definitely been successes. There is a feeling of knowing more is to come and that feels absolutely wild to me. I don’t know if it’s because I am doing this in the wealthy outdoors world, but so often when people ask me what’s next for Unlikely Hikers I don’t even know how to answer because it’s all so new. Basically, I want to keep doing a good job. I want to keep learning how to make the outdoors as accessible as possible for as many people as possible. When working with big brands and even other small ones, people are often surprised to hear that I’m not pressed to get more followers (ie that I won’t simply volunteer my time for someone else’s work simply for exposure) and that I don’t intend to make this a big outdoors brand or take over the hiking world. There will be no ambassador program or anything like that. There are too many liabilities with how intentional this work is.

This quote from a recent facebook post by, Jainee Dial, of Wylder Goods, makes me feel really seen and also like I want to rip my skin off because every day I feel like I’m both nailing it and completely blowing it:

“The highs are sharp with knifeblade edges, the lows cut deep forming cavernous lines, and day in and day out the pattern looks like a graph charting an earthquake but extended out over hours, weeks, and months.

Thrilling highs.

Gut-churning lows.

Powerful growth.

Financial crisis.

Unbelievable generosity.

Utter desperation.

Repeat.”

Group Hikes!

We now have regularly scheduled group hikes! More will be posted this week including hikes across the country! I have put an obsessive amount of work into setting these up in ways that are as inclusive for as many Unlikely Hikers as possible.

The three series are General (every third Saturday), Low Intensity (every other first Saturday) and Nice & Slow (every few months or when requested). For schedule and details: https://jennybruso.com/events/

I would LOVE to host all three of these series every month, but it takes so many hours of unpaid work that it just isn’t realistic, which is really sad because this feels like one of the most important parts of doing Unlikely Hikers. Please consider making a donation if you enjoy my hikes or simply want to enjoy knowing they are happening and building invaluable community.

 

All the Things I Didn’t Say in 2017

2017 – place yourself directly in the trash

Every Day Was Bad News. If you survived 2017 with a modicum of good mental health, my hat’s off to you. If you tragically asked me at any point, “how are you?” I’m sorry. My blank, wide blinking eyes and mouth trying to fix itself into words that wouldn’t come out was not cute. I really tried, y’all. We are not even going to talk about The Circus Peanut, but white nationalists and sexual predators were a regular part of daily U.S. news and if that’s not enough of a synopsis of where we’re at as a country, I don’t know what is. I think depression, anxiety and terror are reasonable responses. In 2018, I will do everything in my power to not be taken down by the news of the world. I’m not going to duck behind privilege and stop paying attention either, but I’ve got too much work to do. Too much to give.

2017 was my own personal blooper reel in its own right. This time last year, I tore a meniscus in my left knee that left me unable to walk for weeks and living in poverty for most of the year because there is no paid leave in food service and my expensive health insurance hardly covered anything. I’m still in a lot of pain. Then both of my cats died. There were more bad things. Hiking is my therapy, it gets me through and I couldn’t hike for three months.

There were good things, too. It’s been humbling and confusing processing it all. I dug deep.

Who am I as a writer? And why can’t I just let myself have nice things?

I’ve always felt a call to share my process of figuring myself out through writing. I started keeping a journal at age six, graduated to LiveJournal like a good on-the-cusp millennial, made zines, started this blog, I say that I’m working on a book, etc. A few things nag at me about this. In the least, but okay, sometimes most, self-deprecating way possible: why would anyone care what I have to say about anything? What is my angle? Who am I in the world?

I am a naturally introspective person, but my trauma brain, ego and I are in a constant grudge match. It makes me lose my way as a writer. I forget what my intentions are and it turns into some wild self-loathing. We live in a time where many people, especially women, feel compelled to write about and share their lives, even on a daily basis thanks to the encouragement of social media, which is both comforting and confusing. Where am I in this sea of voices? What do I have to offer?

Everyone has a story and they should be able to tell it if they want to. Women and marginalized peoples voices are commonly and historically erased and, currently, more contentious than ever (Black Lives Matter, #MeToo, etc.). We’re fighting back with more platforms to be heard. This is enough of a reason to keep telling my stories and I need to grab onto this entitlement and stop questioning myself into quicksand.

In 2018, I will allow myself to tell my stories. I will allow myself to be a writer.

An Unlikely Hiker turned Unlikely Businessperson

I got lost with my writing last year, so I poured that energy elsewhere and things happened. Six years ago, I never would’ve guessed I’d become a hiker, start a blog about it and create some instagram community that would lead me to purpose. I was an adult well before social media became a thing and I still have a filter that finds these words strange. Instagram community? Social media platforms? This is life in 2018.

Hiking has taught me how my brain works and how to love my body. It’s the only thing that gives me enough clarity to keep moving through my days, so why wouldn’t it be the thing that helps me figure out What’s Next? I never thought about the future. I’m a fat, queer, high school dropout with chronic PTSD and depression. Every day is a survival. I know plenty of people have been through horrific things and still Dreamed Big and achieved. I deeply respect and admire them. Their stories are the ones I like best. However, I simply do (did?) not possess that strand of hope or entitlement or maybe imagination they have. There are many things I could’ve done, I should’ve done, but I was so tired and truly, I was giving my all.

I always knew Unlikely Hikers was special. I’ve told the story many times now, but I called myself an “Unlikely Hiker” in something I wrote early on in this blog and though I had few readers, it sparked. I knew seeing the same narrow definition of a hiker on all of the outdoorsy media I followed was harming me and it must be harming others as well. June 1, 2016, I made my first post as Unlikely Hikers (UH) on Instagram with the sole purpose of reflecting what was missing from my outdoors feeds. People of color, fat, queer, trans and gender nonconforming folks, people with disabilities and mental health issues, all benefiting from the healing power of nature. The response was bigger than I could’ve imagined. It gained 6,000 followers the first year, which felt like a lot. It was bubbling with potential and the question of what do with it started answering itself. Six months ago, REI got wind of it and asked me to partner with them on their Force of Nature campaign. A few days later, Portland Monthly published an article about me including a one-page glossy photo taken by an actual photographer at the summit of Wind Mountain. This gained a lot of local attention for UH, but it also got picked up by Huffington Post where it went viral-light. UH and I have since been written about in dozens of publications, spoken at conferences, did a few podcasts (I hate speaking live, why do I keep doing it?!) and led hikes in Oakland, California and D.C. sponsored by REI. Without this sponsorship, I wouldn’t have done most of these things. My well of gratitude for REI is an ocean. Currently, Unlikely Hikers has more than 28,000 followers in just a year and a half of existence. A lot has happened in the outdoor industry in this time. Not because of UH, but I, and many others, caught the kite string at a crucial point in time. Dozens of similar outdoorsy social media efforts have been created since. The conversation about diversity, inclusion and representation in the outdoors is happening in articles published by nearly every outdoor brand and project. It is amazing to witness.

I’ve been in a constant state of dumbstruck awe… on top of a lot of anxiety. The learning curve of going from a person who has no idea what they want in life to an accidental businessperson is complicated and counterintuitive to my nature. I’ve fought myself every step. I have to repeatedly tell myself this isn’t all simply happening to me. I wrote things, I created things. There was a trajectory. I deserve it. I can figure it out and when I can’t, I have people in my life who are so generous with their advice, perspective and love and it’s not only going to be okay, but I’m doing a great job. Mistakes and wrong turns have been made, but why wouldn’t there be? There will be more. It’s how I respond to them that matters. Knowing this is so freeing. The possibility that I have been successful because of my lack of knowledge or savvy has not missed me.

Understanding the value of my work and worth and learning how to ask for it have been huge challenges. I’m using my time and energy to create culture and resources for others. It is a service and people are using it. I am learning to expect compensation. Without it, I can’t spend all of the time on this that I do. I’m learning that it is okay to say “no” or even not respond to certain opportunities. In the beginning, I thought I had to say “yes” to everything or possibly lose it all. I’m now saying “no” more often than “yes,” and it’s made a huge improvement in my mental state and output. It’s empowering.

Another thing, sponsorship and brand partnership look glamorous and sometimes it is, but just because a company has money does not mean I am getting a lot of money. I can’t even begin to entertain the thought of quitting my day job. (Hey sponsors, get at me!)

In 2018, I will continue to figure out good boundaries with my time and worth. I will get over myself and regularly ask for donations from followers. It is so hard to ask, but it’s even harder to not have the resources to do this important work. If you are reading this and enjoy or use my content in any way, please consider making a donation.

A reluctant public figure

Social media is the worst of the best. There are major downsides to a mostly social media based project or job. All of the impression management is such a boner killer. Most of us are addicted and it isn’t our fault or about being weak-willed. The “likes” and attention create little chemical pings in our brains, so we want more and more. The immediacy of modern communication is addicting in itself. There is always something to check. And there are a lot of opinions.

If I post something about a brand I’m wearing or working with, I’ll get tons of comments about how that brand has failed someone in some way, or worse, they’ll want me to answer for it. Um, Karen, I’m not about to ask you to answer for the U.S. government because you work for it. Sally, I don’t think you’re guilty for Walmart’s sins just because you’re trying to get a check. I know it isn’t actually about me, but it gets me down.

I am honored that people feel moved to share their stories with me and I answer most of the messages I get. Don’t stop contacting me! However, just because I share my life online, doesn’t mean one knows me and it doesn’t make one entitled to my time. Emotional labor is REAL! I don’t always have a lot to give, especially when the negative correspondence comes in waves. We aren’t even going to talk about the endless comments and messages I get about why I have to bring politics and identity into things when the outdoors is supposedly for everyone. It’s exhausting and disheartening.

What’s next in 2018?

This all feels so new it’s hard to say. I’m still trying to claim my seat at the table and many things remind me of its fragility. Being a big brand will never be the point. I want to lead more hikes across the country, create merch, keep normalizing diversity and representation in the outdoors and continue my efforts to make all that I do as inclusive as possible.

I want a lot of things for myself, too. I want UH and my writing practice to be my full-time job. I want to write a book and update the blog more. I want to hike longer, harder trails and backpack for the first time. I want to read so many books, travel and visit more national parks. I want to make plus-size outdoor gear more accessible and cute. I want to keep showing people how to get outdoors and find the healing, place and peace nature provides. There are many ways to do so. Hiking is only one of them.

Yesterday was New Years Eve. It was an elusively sunny day in Portland. I led a hike in my beloved Forest Park with a group of people who truly exemplify Unlikely Hikers’ mission. All of us together, sharing space in nature at the intersections of our experiences. I can’t think of anything better than this as I greet 2018.

Oh, and a few weeks ago I got kittens!

Love, luck and nature healing to all of you. Thank you for being here with me.

-Jenny Bruso

Photo re-cap of 2017 and some of my favorite hikes:

 

Happy New Year from Unlikely Hikers! I can’t think of a better way to ring it in than a hike with fantastic people on an elusively sunny day in one of my favorite places, Forest Park in Portland, Oregon! I’m feeling deep love for the communities I exist in and those I work and create with. Luck and love to you all in 2018 ❤️ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Words: @jennybruso 📸: @breezy__does__it ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Location: Wildwood Trail, Forest Park, Portland, Oregon. Ancestral land of the Chinook, Multnomah, Kathlamet, Kalapuya & Clackamas. #forestpark ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Tag #unlikelyhikers or #unlikelyhiker to be featured! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ [image description: group of hikers in a patch of sun between a tree and hill surrounded by swordferns and other verdant things.]

A post shared by Unlikely Hikers (@unlikelyhikers) on

 

Group Hike: Cape Horn

RSVP on facebook or e-mail me if you’d like to be kept up to date with any changes. I like to know how many people to expect. Thanks!
Unlikely Hikers creates safer, supportive outdoor community for people underrepresented in outdoors culture. We hike together as a group. No hiker left behind! Absolutely no diet or weight loss talk. Be mindful of gender pronouns, group dynamics, microaggressions, cultural appropriation and different physical ability levels.
——————————————-

LOCATION: Cape Horn. Google Maps “cape horn trail”

DATE: Saturday, January 20, 2018

TIME: 10am

TRAIL STATS: 7.2 miles & 1,300 foot elevation gain, loop

Write-up from my blog: https://jennybruso.com/2015/11/10/cape-horn/

Free to park, no pass necessary.

This will be a CHALLENGING hike with steep inclines and declines and MUD. If you need an easier trail, check out one of our low impact hikes: jennybruso.com/events Continue reading “Group Hike: Cape Horn”