What is The Millennial Outside?


Today, it seems like every young person I meet is outdoorsy. Where 10 years ago hiking, climbing, skiing and mountain biking weren’t “cool” or “in”, today everyone wants to get outside, whether it’s to tick off summits, push back their anxiety or create content for the ‘gram. We see it in an influx of cars at trailheads, blue skies, green forests and red deserts the focal point of every square we scroll past and more and more areas subject to permits each year. Everyone wants to get outside.

For so many in our millennial generation, “outdoorsy” is the defining term. We love to be outside, but we also love everyone else to know it. We document the snowy peaks, the sweaty selfies and the trips to REI religiously. We are “outdoorsy”.

I am outdoorsy, too, of course. My Instagram is full of mountains and deserts, my weekend plans revolve around getting outside and my office is full of 200 people just like me.

On social media, we outdoorsy millennials look like all we do is hike and ski and travel to exotic places, but of course, anyone who is an outdoorsy millennial knows that’s not the case.

We love good food and hipster coffee shops and binging Netflix. We’re planning weddings and struggling to pay rent and dreaming of trips we can’t afford. We’re passionate and hungry for knowledge. We drink craft beer and make our own kombucha and style our homes and our bodies. We make art and listen to music and have ideas about how the world should be.

We are each so different, so complex, and yet each cling to the one thing that unites us.

We are outdoorsy, dammit.

I love being a millennial. I struggled to find a label that I felt accurately defined me for years. When the term “millennial” popped up and the stereotypes that went along with it, I immediately felt like there was something I could hold on to.

I prioritize experiences over things. I want a job that gives me the flexibility to go play. I want to feel fulfilled. I love mason jars and adventure hats and Pinterest and boycott diamonds and plastic bags. There were so many reasons I was a millennial.

But then, came the negative stereotypes. We are entitled. We are demanding. We want to be paid more for doing less. We are ruining this market and that market. Corporate America is asking, how do we work with them? Consumer America is asking, how do we market to them? Political America is asking, how do we shut them up?

Suddenly being a millennial is about more than the good. Like any label, it’s also justifying what others see as negatives, or as a threat.

The Millennial Outside is taking these two labels that so many of us identify with, labels that we’re proud of, labels that define us, and blowing them up.

We are outdoorsy millennials, but we are so. much. more.

This is a place for those that love being outside, or not.

This is a place for those that are millennials, or not.

This is a place to talk about the things we love, whether they’re in the forest or a hip new neighborhood in Denver.

This is a place to talk about the issues we face, issues that affect us, but also affect our parents, our children.

The millennial outside is me.

And if you’re a young person, whether by age or by heart who loves the outdoors, The millennial outside is also you.

Welcome. Let’s adventure.