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

I’m both a lesbian and a former geologist, which means that I love spending time in the outdoors doing shit like camping, hiking, and wearing sensible shoes. Below is a brief list of the gayest things I’ve ever done in the outdoors. It is full of sweeping generalizations about what is gay; they are all true, so do not trouble me with questions like “how can the sun be gay?” I just know in my heart that the sun is gay. You’re welcome. Without further ado, a list of the gayest shit I’ve ever done in the great outdoors:

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Kneeling down like Olivia Benson and examining a shotgun shell in a pile of gravel at a campsite.

“A heterosexual was here,” I whispered to myself. Signs of heterosexuals are everywhere, if you know where to look for them: a shotgun shell on the ground, a pair of Dockers in the mall, an Ernest Hemingway book on a nightstand. This is the extent of my tracking skills; Bear Grylls, I am not.

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Calling my tent “the Witch’s Hut” and making a big deal about it.

“We could hear you farting in your tent last night.” WRONG! You could hear me farting in the WITCH’S HUT last night. Nice try.
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Getting angry because someone is wearing the wrong kind of hiking boots.

“No, that’s fine, I guess you just don’t need ANKLE SUPPORT” is something I once angrily yelled at someone wearing hiking shoes. Am I aware that “ankle support” is something that is often overstated by hiking boot companies to sell boots? Yes. Do I give a fuck? No. I will cushion my meaty ankles in as much breathable mesh as possible until I die because a bear sees my sturdy-ass ankles and thinks I’m a moose and eats me, thank you very much.
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Falling into a bog.

One time I stepped on what I thought was the ground, but it was a bog. Then, I fell in the bog. I don’t think I need to explain to you why the act of falling into a bog is extremely queer. When was the last time you saw a straight person in a bog? That’s what I thought.
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Staring at the stars and thinking about how I don’t believe in astrology but still read my horoscope on Co-Star every day for some reason.

“I don’t even really know what ‘Aries energy’ is, but I know I have it,” I drone while everyone else stares at the Milky Way and ponders their place in the universe, silently praying that I will shut up soon.

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Waking up with the sun.

Waking up with the sun when you’re camping is great because you don’t know whether it’s 8 AM or 10 AM or 2152: it’s just daytime and daytime is when you make coffee and talk about how great it is that you didn’t know what time it was when you woke up. The sun is gay, as is the moon, so I’m counting this as an act of queerness.

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Talking about mountaineering disasters.

During my last year of grad school, when I was under constant pressure and feeling completely burnt out, I became OBSESSED with mountaineering disasters. Thanks to this weird obsession that is absolutely not worth unpacking or examining at all on a deeper level, I now know that it is a lesbian power move to ruin a weenie roast by talking about all the people who have died on K2.

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Having gay sex.

Honestly, this feels less gay than most of the other things on this list, but it feels like it should be in here anyway. One time I cried while listening to the Fun Home soundtrack and assembling Ikea furniture, and that was pretty gay. But I guess having sex with my ex-girlfriend on a camping trip counts too?

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Seeing a mass of writhing snakes and proclaiming myself their queen.

One time I hit a rock with a sledgehammer (for geology purposes, not just like… for fun) and a bunch of snakes fell out from behind the rock and I commanded them to flee and they did! Now I am a lesbian snake queen with a sledgehammer. That’s way gayer than gay sex.🌲

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Allie Rubin

Allie is a writer and comedian living in Chicago. She has written for such publications as Reductress, the Hairpin, and the Women's Review of Books. Like all cool people, Allie loves the thrill of buying a good scented candle. You can follow her on Twitter, but it's 90% bad puns.

Allie has written 13 articles for us.


  1. If this was in the spring and those were garter snakes, it’s possible you interrupted their snake orgy! This can in and of itself be gay: sometimes the males trick other males into mating with them to steal their body heat.

    • Stealing your same-sex partner’s body heat in bed is most certainly a form of gay lady foreplay not that I would know anything whatsoever at all about that

      • Hahaha perfect. “Help me I’m cold!” which then devolves into snuggle-wrestling & etc.

    • Oh my god I don’t know if I could live with myself if I interrupted a gay snake orgy!!!!

  2. I’ve never angrily yelled at someone for wearing the wrong type of hiking boots, but I’ve definitely rolled my eyes internally when a straight white baby boomer man wanted my partner and I to come “hiking” “in the woods” and then showed up in LOAFERS and only wanted to walk on the super-wide, barely wooded, straight path from the parking to the touristy village with all the lunch restaurants.

    • I read this comment and my body reflexively made some kind of disgusted noise it has never made before, thank you for that!

  3. Lesbian snake queen with a sledgehammer

    It’s like being worthy of Thor’s Mjolnir while also being as BDE as Hela’s outfit on Ragnarok. The one with the horns.

    • Isabella, first of your name, Queen of the Potatoes, I believe you are exactly correct, and also I will only ever address you by your complete name, which is entirely awesome.

      • Thank you! I was channeling hardcore Khaleesi vibes when I made the name :3 <3

  4. LOVED THIS!!!! For statistics tracking purposes: ““A heterosexual was here,” I whispered to myself.” made me laugh.

  5. 1) You don’t happen to be an Irish saint do you?

    2) As someone who has twisted her ankle multiple times including once at the top of a 15-km hike back to civilization, I can confirm that PROPER ANKLE SUPPORT IS SUPER IMPORTANT

  6. I love this whole article so much! Also I too am weirdly obsessed with mountaineering disasters (?) and am pleased to learn this knowledge can be used as a lesbian power move.

  7. Gay: Brought 1 pound of raisins for a four-day backpacking trip. These came in handy when we encountered a mother and daughter who had lost pretty much everything in a fishing/float-tube accident.

    Gayer: Accidentally used electrolyte replacement therapy drink powder instead of corn meal to coat the trout I was cooking.

    Gayest: Cheered on two deer going at it during rutting season.

  8. I love this so much that it almost makes me want to go be gay in the wilderness, even though I know my gayness is best suited inside four walls.

  9. Okay, this is not a comment about this post specifically but I have a question…

    What exactly qualifies as “hiking?” What’s the difference between “hiking” and just walking around outside/in nature? Is there a difference? I’m not trying to be an asshole, I just really don’t get it.

    • Imo hiking is walking on a dirt path in nature for long enough that you should probably bring at minimum a water bottle and snack

  10. Anyone who doesn’t want to talk about mountaineering disasters is someone who NEEDS to hear about them the most!

  11. I read this and cackled before taking public transportation to a day hike organized by the local LGBTQ chapter of the Sierra Club, wearing boots with very good ankle support. Thank you snake queen

  12. “(for geology purposes, not just like… for fun)”

    Sure, Jan.

    Allie this was delightful and very very gay all around, so nicely done!

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

    As a college student about to spend the summer studying (and therefore being in) bogs, I feel very seen.

  14. Being involved in wetland conservation and garbed appropriately for the situation.

  15. I once intentionally jumped into a bog for extra credit in my freshman biology class. I did not have extra clothes on the field trip. It earned me some street cred, at least in the “streets@ of a tiny Christian college campus, and it made me fully realize how amazing bog water is – muddy, but actually so clear! That algae is a true hero.

  16. Tiny me was super mad about how only my parents got to use the sledge hammer (for paleontological reasons), was this a sign?

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