Unlikely Hikers

Are you interested in diversity in the outdoors? Join the monthly-ish, stream-lined, Unlikely Hikers newsletter, featuring all of the information and articles I come across about diversifying the outdoors. No spam, no nonsense.

What is an Unlikely Hiker?

Change your feed, change your life! Connect with other Unlikely Hikers on Instagram: @unlikelyhikers. Use the hashtags #unlikelyhiker or #unlikelyhikers.

It’s ironic, tongue-in-cheek, reclamatory. There is nothing unlikely about wanting to enjoy and explore nature, it’s one of the most natural things any of us can want to do. Yes, the outdoors and public lands belong to all of us and sure, no one is getting a handwritten invitation to our National Parks and trailheads, but exclusion isn’t always verbal. A lot of the time, it’s about representation. Representation matters! Who is being targeted for outdoor recreation? Who has a seemingly natural sense of access?

I was so tired of seeing the same kind of person on seemingly every social media based hiking community. The image of the outdoor adventurer is white, thin, “fit” and straight-looking. Often, moneyed (read: top of the line gear). Often, a man. The typical woman featured fits an even narrower set of guidelines. That isn’t a knock at anyone who fits that, but it’s a reality that leaves the rest of us noticeably out of place. (I write a lot more about this in Community, Intersectionality and Every Feeling I’ve Ever Felt.)

Unlikely Hiker encompasses anyone who doesn’t fit that image. Bigger body types, people of color, queer, trans, gender nonconforming folks, differently-abled people and so on. The people you don’t see in the outdoorsy ads or gym commercials. Maybe, you are someone who has overcome tremendous odds to find healing in the outdoors. Honestly, I don’t even want to qualify it to death. We all have a story. If you see yourself as an Unlikely Hiker, then you are. Welcome.

Unlikely Hikers on Instagram

Here are some fantastic samples from the Unlikely Hikers Instagram: @unlikelyhikers: