Sure, we’d all much rather be out there getting after it ourselves than scrolling through a feed of other people’s high-def adventures. But sometimes it rains, or you have work, or your sister-in-law’s baby shower lands on the same weekend you got permits for that rad backpacking loop. For those times when you’re not outside but wishing you were, Instagram can be a pretty nice place.If nothing else, a gorgeous shot of a campsite can be pretty inspiring, stoking excitement for the next time you get out there. Your feed can also be a resource to discover new destinations, laugh about–and learn from–other people’s misadventures, and connect with other people who love to do the same things you do.
Here are some of the best Instagram follows for the camper.
Yeah, yeah. You’re a dog person. Sure. They’re the best backcountry partner (and friend) a person could have. But have you ever seen a cat snow camping? Best friends Danielle Gumbley and Kayleen VanderRee rescued a pair of kittens–that’s Bolt and Keel–and decided that, since their own lives were full of adventure (kayaking, hiking, camping) their feline companions should rightfully experience it too. Their Instagram is full of adorable shots of Bolt and Keel playing in the woods, kayaking, and catnapping in tents, and is breaking down stereotypes about cats one sweet, furry, unexpected shot at a time.
When three friends decided to hike the Appalachian Trail last year, finishing wasn’t their only goal. They also set out to pack out every piece of trash they could find along the heavily-trafficked thru-hike. In conjunction with the broader Packing it Out initiative, they hope to encourage other backcountry travelers to employ good Leave No Trace tactics, and to make excursions about more than just getting your dose of nature. Turning a hike into an opportunity for clean-up is a good way to engage with the impact of human travel in the wilderness, and leave your favorite wild lands in good condition for the plants, animals, and other humans that rely on it.
Though I wouldn’t usually describe my camping experiences as ‘hip’–socks and sandals and a sweaty ball cap are all camp staples–@HipCamp is an incredible resource. With a comprehensive, searchable database of campgrounds and sites in every state, it’s an awesome tool for road-trippers and car campers. Their database doesn’t just feature public land and campgrounds, though. In an AirBnb-like move, they’ve allowed members of the community to list their private, camping-ready land on their database too. Their Instagram features photos from all their most wanderlust-inspiring spots.
The outdoors can be pretty white, and Ambreen Tariq’s refreshing honesty about what it’s like to navigate the outdoors as a person of color can be pretty eye-opening. She addresses issues ranging from isolation and discrimination to broader, less racially-charged topics like being confident and comfortable in the outdoors no matter your ability level. She’s smart, uplifting, and paving the way for more diversity, sensitivity, and inclusion in the outdoors.
With the tagline “Celebrating Instagram’s Most Illogical Campsites,” @YouDidNotSleepThere is the perfect antidote to self-serious, disingenuous outdoor Instagrammers. Calling out the lunatics pretending they slept smack in the middle of the road, on improbable promontories, or yes, even underwater, @YouDidNotSleepThere gives a good-natured ribbing to people who clearly set up camp just for a photo op. The account features tons of gorgeous, dramatic photos, but with a nice reality check.
Top photo from @PackingitOut
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