Group Hiking Leadership

Unlikely Hikers creates safer, supportive, intentional, body-positive outdoor experiences for hikers looking for community who might not feel welcome or comfortable in most outdoor group scenarios. We hike slowly together as a group––no hiker left behind! Before our adventure begins, we share guidelines and intentions to create the most welcoming space possible by sharing pronouns, prohibiting body-negative talk, acknowledging the land we are privileged to recreate on and creating a network of support around what it truly means to build community outside.

Please read this page carefully before applying.

Safety, access and COMMUNITY are at the forefront of our gatherings. It can be so alienating to join a group event and realize the leaders didn’t consider all who might join. Knowing who your hike is for is imperative. It’s easy to say “everyone is welcome,” but in terms of accessibility, this simply isn’t realistic or safe. Our leaders need to know exactly what this means.

Some notes before we go into our leadership guidelines:

  • We are looking for 10 leaders to start. We will invite new chapter leaders as we feel out this process.
  • We are open to having affinity chapters!
  • Leaders will receive up to $50 in donations for their hikes and all cash donations day-of.
  • Groups are limited to ~12 attendees. You will not be managing invites.
  • UH matches 20% of mobile donations per hike as a donation to an Indigenous tribe or cause from the land the event is taking place on, $5 donation minimum. We would like to see our leaders who have the financial means to make an additional donation for their events if possible.
  • Safety, access and COMMUNITY are at the forefront of our gatherings.
  • We are looking for leaders worldwide. This is not just based in the U.S.
  • We currently have chapters in Los Angeles, the Puget Sound (WA) and Portland (OR) and are open to having more than one chapter in certain locations. We hope to be able to offer Accessible chapters alongside our general group hiking chapters.

We are looking for leaders who:

  • Have been on at least 1 Unlikely Hikers group hike
  • Identify as plus-size, fat*, trans and/or Disabled*
  • Are invested in social justice
  • Want to lead 1 group hike a month (flexible)
  • Are ok with lower mileage and elevation gains for all hikes
  • Have experience with leadership or feel confident in your ability to lead
  • Are courageous enough to make complicated or tough decisions for a single person or whole group when necessary
  • Will follow our COVID-19 protocols while we are still in this pandemic
  • Understand what it really means to leave no hiker behind. Being the slowest is many people’s biggest fear when joining a group. We don’t join groups to be left alone. We want leaders who know what it means to defer to the hiker with the most needs without singling them out and understands that needs are not an inconvenience.
  • Can work past discomfort to address microaggressions in a manner that doesn’t single a person out or throw off the vibe for the entire group. Your hikers need to see your allyship in action. Most things can be turned into a learning moment.
  • Will commit to our protocols and not do their own thing. Of course, we want you to be YOU and you will always have the opportunity to share ideas with us, but our protocols are deeply researched and they work.

*We understand that Disability is a spectrum. We are specifically looking for leaders who have an intimate understanding of the spectrum who want to lead hikes that are mostly flat, ~2miles and friendly for mobile devices.

*Comfort with the word “fat” as a nonmoral adjective for bodies is a requirement even if you describe your body differently.

If you have read all of this carefully and know this is YOU, we’d love to talk about partnering!

With love, we will not be responding to forms from folks who didn’t follow our leadership requirements as stated above.

10/29: we will not be processing any of these forms until November 4th. You will receive an email from us with any further questions and from there we will schedule a Zoom meeting to get to know each other and go over our extensive group hiking protocols.