How to Apply to the Explorer Program

What does it mean to be an Explorer?

Our Explorers are the most active and dedicated members of our community. They add their favorite Adventures, share Stories, leave detailed reviews, share updated trail reports, and include great photography and writing. They also create lists, bookmark adventures, follow others in the community and generally promote The Outbound wherever and however they can.

Being an Explorer is NOT about getting featured on Instagram. We're looking for amazing people who want to help shape this community, not get more followers.

How do I become an Explorer?

Before you can be considered for our Explorer Program, you’ll need to be an active member of The Outbound community and have created a decent number of high quality adventures and Stories that have been featured by our editorial team. For example: Hike to Bridal Veil Falls in TellurideHike Little Stony Man in Shenandoah National ParkPicnic at Banjo BillHow to Reserve a Backcountry Permit in Glacier National ParkBehind the Scenes of a Backcountry Photoshoot5 Reasons Why You Should Try Ski-Touring This WinterWhy Backpacking the Inca Trail is Better Than Machu Picchu Itself

Here's a quick breakdown:

  • You need to have added new, unique, adventures and/or Stories to the site consistently.

  • These adventures and Stories need to be featured by our editorial team. Anyone can share content on The Outbound platform, but only the highest quality get featured to the Adventures and Stories pages.

  • You need to be an active member on the site, which means bookmarking adventures, creating lists, rating and reviewing adventures, and inviting your friends to join our community.

  • Quality photography and detailed writing are important to us as we know they are to you, so show us your best.

What are the Perks?

As an Explorer, you’ll receive team swag, access to Outbound events, and be part of an amazing community of like-minded people. Our best opportunity to show our appreciation is via promotions of your work on our website, social media, and email newsletters, free gear/product seeding, discounts with top industry brands, brand introductions, and paid gigs — something we’re getting much more organized/better at with the introduction of our Studio

Frequently Asked Questions

If you've got questions, we've got answers...hopefully. Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about being an Explorer for The Outbound. If you have a question that's not answered here, feel free to reach out!

What is an Adventure?
An Adventure is a detailed trip report that tells (and shows) our community how they can go out and replicate your amazing experience. You can add new Adventures here.

What information are we looking for in an Adventure?

The more details the better. We want to make sure it's as easy as possible for someone to follow in your footsteps. If you've got geo-coordinates, mileage, elevation gain, etc. add it to make it easier for our community to know ahead of time what it’s all about. These are detailed guides/how-tos, not first-person accounts of what you did...that would be a Story (more on that below). 


Try to share at least 3 photos per Adventure (min. dimensions 1500x1000). The photos should do a good job of capturing the primary points of interest (waterfall, stunning sunrise/ sunset views, lakeside camping, etc.) of the Adventure. We're stoked on candid portraits, but let's keep the selfies to your social profiles.

Can I post an Adventure that you already have on the site?

Yes, but unfortunately we don’t feature duplicate Adventures. If you’ve done an Adventure that already exists on The Outbound, we’d love for you to share a review. You can also add your photos to that existing Adventure (just click "Add Photos" under the Adventure title), or even write a Story about your personal experience on that Adventure (more on Stories below). If you still want to post a “duplicate” Adventure, it will live on your profile page but not be featured or searchable on the site.

I added an Adventure, why hasn't it been featured yet?

While we cover a lot of ground, The Outbound is still a relatively small team and we carefully look over each Adventure we receive. If your Adventure has been accepted, it will either be featured (and you’ll receive an email letting you know), or we will respond with follow-up questions. If your Adventure has not been featured on the main site/map it will remain on your profile page and you can still share it from there with your friends and social following.

What is a Story and how is it different from an Adventure?

A Story can be a list of your favorite hikes in your hometown (which can be comprised of individual Adventures like this), a commentary on current events in the outdoor industry/ community, a how-to for improving at a certain activity, an amazing video, a travel guide for a specific destination or road trip, or even as simple a photo essay from a recent weekend Adventure. Stories can be utilitarian like Adventures, with details about a certain Adventure (like an "ultimate guide" to an Adventure that requires a ton of detail like the John Muir Trail or the Tour du Mont Blanc), but they're typically more first-person narrative than Adventures. You can add new Stories here.

Anything else I should know about becoming an Explorer?

Each Explorer is responsible for promoting their Adventures and Stories to their friends, family, and their following. You also acknowledge that you accept our terms, and any form of editing (usually for clarity/safety reasons) that might occur on behalf of The Outbound’s editorial team.


Cover Photo: Jason Hatfield


We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

The Outbound CollectiveAdmin

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