Outdoor Blog Entries

Finding Your Peeps

Posted by Melanie H.S., UREC Outdoor Leader & Mileva H., Assistant Director of UREC on Wednesday, February 17, 2021 at 12:00 PM PST

Covid-life can feel incredibly isolating. With continuous stay-at-home and six feet of separation in place, it can be hard to find connection. Yet, now more than ever, a wide range of online organizations, platforms, and communities exist to connect and support outdoor enthusiasts like you!  

Below is a variety of resources you can use to help discover new friends and experiences. We encourage you to find your outdoor community, no matter where you are at currently or where you will be post-graduation.  

General Resources 

  • The Outbound Collective has a search engine for adventures in your area, and stories of inspiration, lessons learned the hard way, and cool places to visit someday.
  • Check out REI to meet folks on guided trips, educational courses or local volunteer events.
  • Northwest Hikers is an online discussion forum, with all sorts of helpful topics.
  • Spyglass: advanced compass and GPS app geared towards outdoor enthusiasts. 
  • iOverlander: Shows campsites as well as various locations for boondocking and car/van camping. 
  • First Aid apps: While we would not recommend any first aid apps over an in-person course with certifications, these may be useful reference in an emergency.

Location-based Community & Resources

  • Facebook groups are an incredible way to connect with and learn from others. Groups are often tied to a specific location, activity, or identity trait. These are a great opportunity to ask specific questions, find outdoor buddies, buy cheap outdoor gear, gain local expertise, and find community.
  • Meetup groups are also available in specific areas, with opportunities to going a pre-set activity, like meet at Mt. Si for a hike.
  • Trailhead Direct offers a bus route from Seattle direct to some classic hikes (during the summer months)
  • Washington Trails Association: Not only has reviews of most trails, there are educational articles and volunteer events; make friends while repairing the trails.
  • All Trails.com is a great option for all trails (hike, bike, dog-walking, etc), all over the nation. Put yourself out there, then socially put yourself out there! And try the free or low-cost app version.
  • If climbing mountains is your thing, look into the American Alpine Club for regional connections, and members-only lodging near the crags.
  • Similarly are The Mountaineers, located in various regions, and more chocked-full of skill-building courses and social events.
  • Try the Pacific Crest Trail Association for anyone thinking about thru- or section hiking the Canada to Mexico route. This is a community within the outdoor community!
  • The Outdoor Project provides trip reports and adventure guides with the logistics to explore your area, or be inspired to see more of the world.
  • Urban Wilderness Project is a Seattle-based organization working for justice at the center of gender, ethnicity and environment.   

Identity-based Community & Resources

  • Diversify Outdoors are passionate about promoting equity and access to the outdoors for all; that includes being body positive and celebrating different skill levels and abilities
  • From the founder of Diversity Outdoors, Melanin Basecamp aims to increase the visibility of outdoorsy black, indigenous, people of color, to increase representation in the media and in the stories we tell ourselves about the outdoors.  
  • Outdoors for All works to enrich the quality of life for children and adults with disabilities through outdoor recreation.
  • Outdoor Afro is the nation’s leading, cutting edge network that celebrates and inspires Black connections and leadership in nature.
  • Look up Outdoor Asian for a diverse and inclusive community of Asian and Pacific Islanders in the outdoors.
  • LGBT Outdoors encourages members of the LGBTQ+ community to connect with nature and the world around them while breaking down stereotypes.
  • Latino Outdoors embraces cultura y familia as part of the outdoor narrative, ensuring Latino history, heritage, and leadership are valued and represented.
  • Make friends on a Venture Out Project backpacking and wilderness trips for the queer and transgender community.
  • Climbers of Color develops leaders of color in the WA climbing and mountaineering community through mentorship, technical training and key resources including gear and scholarships.
  • CO and WA-based Queer Nature  sees eco awareness and place-based skills as a vital part of the healing and wholing of populations who have been marginalized
  • Washington Outdoor Women is dedicated to helping women achieve confidence and competence in outdoor skills
  • With chapters around the world, Feminist Bird Club aims to be a safe opportunity to connect with the natural world while fundraising to protect the rights of BIPOC, LGBTQIA+ folks, and women

As always, the Outdoor community at SU is here to support and connect with you! We have weekly virtual events, interesting blogs, and local trip resources this quarter. Did we mention free gear rentals while trips are on hold?! Visit during UREC Outdoor office hours; we’d love to get you set up for safe and happy adventures.