Ode to the Instagram Hiker

Hey stranger.
Here I am, all five feet, six inches of tanned, golden-haired glory. I’m probably wearing yoga shorts and trail runners so clean you could eat a vegan acai bowl out of them. I smell like snickerdoodles and definitely don’t poop in the woods. My selfie stick rivals Gandalf’s staff in its sun-stained splendor, and I’ve got ninja-like skills when it comes to using it. You see that trail over yonder? It’s ready for its goddamn close up.

There’s a breeze in the air and a really kick-ass panorama of Angels Landing, Horseshoe Bend, Moraine Lake, or Tunnel View creeping over my shoulder as I gaze out across the desolate landscape that I’ve so expertly cropped all the other tourists out of to give my audience a more authentic experience. My followers don’t want to see something as silly as other people in the frame. I mean, this isn’t 2007. In fact, they don’t even really want to see my face. Everyone wants a beautiful view and the back of a babe’s head. They want to picture themselves inside the desktop wallpaper of my life, and I sure know how to deliver with all the ponytail-in-profile, hiker booty they can muster. The mountains are calling, and darn it, I picked up my iPhone and I went.

Maybe I’m extending my arms high overhead like I’m doing the YMCA dance for everyone in the Yosemite Valley to admire, or maybe my hands are on my hips like I’m showing the Grand Canyon who’s boss. When it comes to poses, man my game is strong. There’s the mellow “head turning casually over my right shoulder” and the attention grabbing “I jumped in the air 14 times until my friend finally caught me suspended and definitely not doing a weird face.” Heck, when all else fails, there’s always finger-guns.

I’m not afraid to get political either. My profile is a one-person rallying cry against the man, office-jobs, the government, and, like, Secretary Zinke. Don’t let anybody tell you it’s just a series of derivative landscape portraits cropped to highlight my silhouette and say the same thing over and over about carpe diem and the transience of human existence. After all, vanity can’t be on the table when your mission is to inspire people to “get out there,” “explore more,” and “live your dream.”

In any case, I strive to be an inspiration to the huddled masses to go forth, look good, and broadcast on Instagram Live all over our nation’s storied parks. I am fearless. I am brave. I am exceptionally good at cropping my tan lines out of my sponsored posts. My bold efforts will help us all remember the true meaning of #JohnMuir’s legacy.

4 thoughts on “Ode to the Instagram Hiker

  1. Mountain Maven says:

    Haha I love this! I have to admit that I fall victim to the poses for my own instagram, but I’m also not afraid to post my face or sometimes ridiculous pictures of me and my dog looking crazy.

    • Emily Pennington (BrazenBackpacker) says:

      haha yes! Me too! But I felt like I needed to call us all (myself included) out! 😉

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