I love the outdoors. I’ve made it my life’s passion and my life’s work. I’ve spent countless days out on the trail and countless hours outfitting fellow outdoor enthusiasts. I am also fat, which means the challenges I’ve encountered in nature have had a unique impact on me personally and professionally. I’ve learned to be efficient, thoughtful, and clever about how I maneuver through the wilderness and how I choose my gear.

I have also learned that I am not alone, and I have grown frustrated with my chosen profession. The outdoor industry does not seem to take into account that the vast majority of hikers don’t fit into their clothing. There are no classes for heavy hikers. There are no commercials that show us taking in the beautiful sights. This also does not seem to be changing in the foreseeable future. Every single day I meet an overweight customer at work, and every single day-hike that I go on I encounter an overweight hiker.

So I decided that it was time to start putting my unique expertise to good use. I want to speak to anyone who feels like they can’t make it up that hill, or boulder over that ridgeline. I want everyone to walk into any outdoor outfitter with confidence and find the gear that will help them live a life outside. Whether you’re a novice, nursing an old injury, a little long in the tooth, or just chubby like me, I think it’s time we show the world that the outdoors truly is for everyone.

I am a fat hiker, and you can be, too.