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Hike United, an upcoming national hiking campaign organized by Teresa Baker, creator of the Outdoor CEO Diversity Pledge, and Nicole Brown, co-founder of Women Who Hike, is organized around a simple concept.
“Hike United is a way to get people out on the trails during the month of August. No specific trail, no specific distance,” the organizers say. The initiative is simply “a way to bring people together in a time when it feels we are more divided than ever.”
In other words, it’s a call to get outside, gather, hike, and talk. After a year of deep complication in our collective lives, the premise feels like a breath of fresh air.
Mark your calendars.
What is Hike United?
The stated goal of the campaign is to get “at least one group together from every state, banded together under the hashtag #HikeUnited21.” In its simplest terms, Hike United is an invitation for everyone to get outside and connect with each other, following the extended period of isolation we’ve all faced over the past year.
“The bigger messaging of the campaign is: Let’s come together and be united in everything we’ve been working on for the past year,” co-organizer Brown told Outside Business Journal. “The industry as a whole has been working hard on DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion). After everything that happened last summer, many of us have spent the last year going through DEI training and showing up on social media and using out platforms. But there hasn’t been an opportunity to get together in person. It’s time for us to have a meeting of the minds, in person, on the trail, and truly start to break down barriers by having experiences with people who don’t look like us, who don’t experience the trail like we do.”
How to get involved with Hike United
Becoming a Hiked United partner is easy, organizers say. There is no financial obligation, just a “commitment to spread the word and be part of the movement.”
Want to host an event?
Baker and Brown are encouraging local organizers and community leaders to sign up and host Hike United events across the country. To do so, prospective hosts should follow these four steps:
- Check here to see if an event is being hosted in your city yet.
- Request access to this form to sign up and host a hike.
- Research any permit requirements for your hike.
- Brush up on Recreate Responsibly guidelines, and be sure to share them with your hikers.
You can also get in touch with the organizers directly. To become a partner, email Teresa Baker at firstname.lastname@example.org. For questions about organizing hikes or permitting, email Nicole Brown at email@example.com. And if you need help crafting social content for your organization, reach out to Katie Boué at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Access the Hike United toolkit
For more resources, download the Hike United toolkit, which includes detailed information about how to participate, HERE.