The Unlikely Hikers Podcast features diverse, anti-racist, body-liberating stories from people underrepresented in outdoor media and culture. As we face this unprecedented time for most of us during the COVID-19 pandemic, connection, community, truth and storytelling feel more important than ever. Host and founder of Unlikely Hikers (@unlikelyhikers on Instagram), Jenny Bruso (she/her), is a queer, fat, writer, hiker and group hike leader based in Portland, Oregon. Find the full episode notes at jennybruso.com/podcast
Unlikely Hikers 01: Tasheon Chillous
The live show airs every Tuesday at 5pm pst. Join us: jennybruso.com/podcast Our debut episode features, Tasheon Chillous! Tasheon is a plus-size Personal Trainer and Coach located in Tacoma, Washington. The lack of diversity in the fitness industry pushed her to pursue movement as a career instead of a hobby. She believes that movement does not have to be about changing a number on the scale or measurements and instead practices a HAES (Health At Every Size) and size-inclusive approach. She loves creating programs for people who want to improve their strength and confidence with functional and intuitive movement. In 2019, she created BOPOMO, a Body Positive Movement class specifically for plus-size, fat-identified, people of color and queer folks of all abilities to find joy and empowerment through movement. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, she began offering classes online. Tasheon is also a self-described Unlikely Hiker. She didn't really understand why people would climb mountains until 2017 when her brother died and hiking became a way to process her grief. Find the full show notes for all that we discussed and join our next episode at jennybruso.com/podcast
Unlikely Hikers 02: Will "Akuna" Robinson
The live show airs every Tuesday at 5pm pst. Join us: jennybruso.com/podcast Our second episode features, Will "Akuna" Robinson! Will (he/him) is an army vet who has used thru-hiking as a tool to manage PTSD. He is the first known Black man to earn the Triple Crown of hiking, which is the completion of the Pacific Crest Trail, Appalachian Trail and Continental Divide Trail. Along the way, his journey became a mission not just for himself to heal but to share the healing power of nature with veterans, people of color and everyonewho doesn't fit the stereotype of an outdoorsy person. – Find the full show notes for all that we discussed and join our next episode at jennybruso.com/podcast
Unlikely Hikers 03: Nikki Smith
The live show airs every Tuesday at 5pm pst. Join here: jennybruso.com/podcast Our third episode features, Nikki Smith! Nikki Smith (she/her) is a photographer, artist, writer, author, and climber based in Salt Lake City, Utah. She started climbing in the early '90s, and has been working in the outdoor industry and climbing world since 1998. She’s authored five climbing guidebooks and written many feature articles for climbing magazines. She’s done more than 150 first ascents throughout the west and has traveled the world to climb. Now much of her work is focused on trying to build a more inclusive, diverse, and safe community within climbing and the outdoors. She is an advocate for the LGBTQIA+ community, and a Board Member for the Access Fund. – Find the full show notes for all that we discussed and join our next episode at jennybruso.com/podcast
Unlikely Hikers 04: Storytelling w/Latria Graham & Tyler "The Prodigy" Lau
The live show airs every Tuesday at 5pm pst. Join here: jennybruso.com/podcast Our fourth episode features, Latria Graham & Tyler "The Prodigy" Lau! Quicksand, sketchy hitchhiking and a cringeworthy mistake you will never make after hearing this. In this special storytelling episode, we’re taking the Unlikely Hikers feed and bringing it to life with stories from Latria Graham, Tyler “The Prodigy” Lau and your host, Jenny Bruso.Latria Graham is a journalist, and fifth generation South Carolina farmer. Her work stands at the intersection of food, social justice, sports and culture. She’s written longform pieces about everything from farming to NASCAR. She is a graduate of Dartmouth College, and later earned her MFA in Creative Nonfiction from The New School in New York City. She is a three-time Best American Sports Writing notable for her stories on athletes in places of tension—primarily Standing Rock, ND and Flint, MI. She received a Bronze level CASE Award for her reporting on immigration policy that stemmed from 2017’s Executive Order 13769, often referred to as the “travel ban.” Her work has been featured in the NYT, LATimes, The Guardian, espnW, Southern Living, and Garden&Gun.Tyler “The Prodigy” Lau (left) hails from the US and Hong Kong. He didn't grow up appreciating the outdoors, but that changed as he got older and started taking jobs doing trail maintenance, rehabilitating fragile habitats and fighting wildfires. At work he found himself experiencing discrimination and sterotyping, which openend his eyes to the diversity problem in the outdoors. He wanted to be a part of making it more accessible to all. In 2018, he became the first Person of Color and first Asian-American to complete a Calendar Year Triple Crown which is the completion of the Pacific Crest Trail, Continental Divide Trail and Appalachian Trail in one calendar year. He used the hike to promote and fundraise for organizations working on diversity efforts in the outdoors.– Find the full show notes for all that we discussed and join our next episode at jennybruso.com/podcast
Unlikely Hikers 05: Mercy M'fon of Wild Diversity
The live show airs every Tuesday at 5pm pst. Join here: jennybruso.com/podcast Our fifth episode features, Mercy M'fon of Wild Diversity! Mercy M’fon is the founder and executive director of Wild Diversity, a non-profit creating outdoor experiences for Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) & the LGBTQIA+ communities. She has over 15 years of community leadership as an educator and facilitator and she uses this knowledge and passion to create community-based approaches to decolonized outdoor stewardship that nourish our inherent connection to the land.– Find the full show notes for all that we discussed and join our next episode at jennybruso.com/podcast
Unlikely Hikers 06: Perry Cohen of The Venture Out Project
The live show airs every Tuesday at 5pm pst. Join here: jennybruso.com/podcast Our sixth episode features, Perry Cohen of The Venture Out Project! Perry Cohen (he/him) realized a lifelong dream of combining his love of the outdoors, his commitment to social justice, his own trans & queer identity, and his professional life when he founded The Venture Out Project in 2014. TVOP's mission is to help create a space for queer, trans, and LGBTQ+ youth and adults to create community, develop leadership skills, and gain confidence through the shared experience of outdoor adventure and physical activity. Perry has extensive wilderness experience, having led multi-day hiking and mountain biking trips in the US and Canada. He is an avid backcountry skier, hiker, biker and runner. In support of Venture Out’s mission to make both outdoor and traditional education settings more affirming of trans and gender diverse folks, Perry also works with colleges, schools, camps, and other organizations to deliver comprehensive and progressive workshops around gender diversity.– Find the full show notes for all that we discussed and join our next episode at jennybruso.com/podcast
Thank you for creating a podcast geared toward inclusion and diversity. I have loved every single episode and feel so uplifted listening to the stories of other people who love the outdoors. Jenny does such a great job of interviewing the guests and the guests are just mesmerizing to listen to. This is exactly what the outdoor community needs!
This girl is such a phony. Talk about exploitation. She has no clue what she’s talking about.
As a podcast producer myself, I would only give my full recommendation for people to listen to this show! Jenny does an excellent job weaving the show’s contents together into an incredibly compelling, moving show.