Issue 15

Outsiders

We’re not always in the history books alongside other trailblazers and outdoor enthusiasts, but we were there. We’re outside and outsiders all at the same time. These are stories about what you find when you look beyond your four walls, and what you were even looking for to begin with. Stories of the wildest spaces and unexplored histories, histories that speak to the colonization of these lands and spaces.

Unlikely Hikers: Creating Space For Everyone On The Trail, One Group Hike At A Time

“I can’t explain how unreal it felt to be able to let my guard down with a big group of strangers on a hike.”

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The Gayest Shit I’ve Ever Done in the Great Outdoors

“When was the last time you saw a straight person in a bog? That’s what I thought.”

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Sanctuary of the Pines

The mountains and forests of Northwest Montana were where I felt the freest as a lesbian, but I didn’t know that feeling had queer roots going back 100 years, to when my doppelgänger was wandering these woods.

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Monday Roundtable: Into the Wild

Our favorite ways and places to be outside.

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the monday roundtable

Lifting Heavy Things

I could carry that heavy canoe further than any of the other teenage girls on my trip. I could carry that canoe, because that meant I didn’t have to carry my grief and my mom had to carry her own weight, because I wasn’t home.

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My Diné Child Will Hunt, Bead and Everything in Between

“You girls are the talk of the ice-fishing derby!” I get that a lot. When we’re out hunting or fishing, my wife and I are frequently the only women (much less queer women) present.

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Can You See Me Out Here?

Mental health, bisexuality, and the great outdoors.

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Alone In the Tropical Everglades

When I got diagnosed with a life-threatening illness, I dropped everything and moved to the outskirts of the Everglades to die. Pushing my body to its limits brought a healing that I never could’ve found as a healthy person – to finally belong in my own skin.

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These Five Black LGBTQ+ Activists Are Literally Saving The Planet

Black LGBTQ+ people may not be well-represented in mainstream environmental organizations, but we’re creating our own interventions that center the most marginalized among us. If you’re wondering what true environmental justice looks like, meet these five Black LGBTQ+ people who put in MAJOR work to protect Earth.

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When Climbing Mental Mountains Becomes Literal

Twenty plus-size women climbed Kilimanjaro in March 2019. They call themselves the Curvy Kili Crew. This is their story.

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Monday Roundtable: Survival Stories

Sometimes when you go outside, things don’t go according to plan.

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Appalachian Farm Girl in the Pacific Northwest

“For all its vastness, rural life had no room for me.”

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The Look We Give

There’s a look I get from black and biracial women on the trail. And there’s a look I give black and biracial women. It’s recognition: “I see you. We’re the only ones like us out here.”

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Meet the Great Old Broads Saving the Wilderness and Having Fun Doing It

Great Old Broads for Wilderness is a national grassroots organization, led by women, that engages and inspires activism to preserve and protect wilderness and wild lands.

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How to Pay Attention

I take photos because they are true, whether they are true or not.

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On the Hunt

My hunting experiences from youth to adulthood, in relation to my life as a black, queer woman of color.

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The Great Angling Lesbian Society: A History of Chicago’s Lesbian Fishing Club

For one group of Chicago lesbians in the mid-1990s, building a queer community meant sitting around a barrel fire in the freezing, rainy April night, casting smelting nets and awaiting a barrage of tiny fish.

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Don’t Ask Me About the Veil: A Queer Rock Climber’s First Time In Iran

I am a first generation Iranian-Canadian queer on their first trip to Iran at the age of twenty-seven, forming connections to the land.

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Going Back Outside After the Streetlights Come On

When you’re little, the backyard of your grandma’s house is an entire universe. Growing up is finding the kid in you and being brave enough to take them outside again – without warning them about coming home before the streetlights come on.

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On the Trail of the Quaker Aunts

The Quaker Aunts were the stuff of family legend, fearsome women in sensible shoes. Did one of them really smuggle Jewish children across the Alps before World War II?

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Our Solution to Climate Crisis Is Each Other

When we gather together, we don’t need to arrive with hope, because we have the power to create it. We will dictate the future.

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Queering the Wild

Hey there science nerds! This is like taking high school biology all over again! Except this time when we explore nature, it’s going to be truly, deeply queer.

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Going Outside with Joshua Jennifer Espinoza

Maybe if trans women can redefine what it means to be close to nature we can also redefine what it means to be close to each other.

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Monday Roundtable: Sex in the Great Outdoors

Having sex outside of buildings! Have you ever? We sure have!

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Golden Animals in Manland: The Strange Place Queer Women Occupy in Bushwork

Bushwork — work done in the backcountry, often off-grid — offers a kind of freedom difficult to find in modern life. It is also a culture steeped in toxic masculinity in which queer women do not have a place.

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What Happened When I Began to Dig

“I’ve grown physically stronger through trail work than I ever thought possible, but there’s that different kind of strength that trail work has fostered in me that I believe to be a lot more important.”

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Where Can You Take a Walk in the Park?

Most of my old hiking companions from Los Angeles are queer. Now I have Goldie, who takes breaks while we walk, just to jump up and kiss me. She places her paws just over my heart.

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Perfectionism and the Art of Rock Climbing

As a perfectionist, I’ll always be more comfortable sharing my shiny conclusions than my messy processes. And the best thing about climbing, for me, is that it’s pure process.

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carrie wade climbing wall

PHOTOESSAY: Taking My Chosen Body Outdoors

I decided to meet Syd in Oakland to celebrate my newly healed chest. We hiked out into the Happy Boulders, selected our first climb and immediately took off our shirts. It was glorious, but also terrifying and vulnerable.

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What the Border Wall Destroys

A border wall further fragments and disrupts nature, the land, and the people who are intricately woven into the Rio Grande Valley’s natural ecosystem. With increased militarization on the border, who has access to the land? Who is allowed to enjoy the land?

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PHOTOESSAY: Merqueen of the Springs

Dive into this fantasy based world where the merqueen of the springs spreads her wings and takes up space.

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Behind the Scenes With REI’s Force of Nature Initiative

REI is doing so much to change the reality of being a human outside! Including sponsoring this very issue! Here’s everything you ever wanted to know about their Force Of Nature initiative and so much more!

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The Land Dykes Of Southern Oregon Saved My Life

In the summer of 2014 I was broken. Living in community with my queer elders put me back together.

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