Top Outdoor Influencers Your Brand Should Know About

What is an outdoor influencer and who you should pay attention to

In a world dominated by screens, city hustle and bustle, and overstimulation, the call of nature has never been more enticing. While the desire to explore the wonders of the natural world has always been present, there is a modern twist to this age-old passion – the rise of outdoor influencers. These individuals have taken social media by storm, showcasing awe-inspiring, real life adventures across the globe to a backdrop of captivating landscapes. But just what is an outdoor influencer, and who are the most important outdoor influencers you should keep on your radar? In this article, we dive into the world of outdoor influencers to answer all of these questions and uncover how to incorporate them into your influencer marketing campaigns and brand strategy.

What is an outdoor influencer? 

An outdoor influencer is an individual who has gained a significant following on social media platforms by showcasing their outdoor adventures, activities, and experiences. They use their online presence to inspire and motivate their followers to explore nature, engage in outdoor activities, and appreciate the beauty of the natural world. They may also use the backdrop of nature as a means to express their talents or skills in a particular field such as photography, or proficiency in extreme outdoor sports.

Outdoor influencers typically share captivating photos, videos, and stories of their outdoor pursuits, providing tips, recommendations, and guides related to various outdoor-related topics such as gear, travel, or sustainability. Such Instagram influencers may also collaborate with outdoor brands, tourism organizations, and environmental initiatives to promote products, destinations, and causes aligned with their outdoor lifestyle. In this way, they make use of their platforms to raise awareness about environmental conservation, climate change, and the importance of preserving natural resources. 

What types of content do outdoor influencers create? 

Outdoor influencers post about a wide range of outdoor content to engage their audience and showcase their outdoor experiences. Here are some common types of outdoor content that outdoor influencers often post about:

Hiking and mountaineering: Outdoor influencers frequently share their hiking and trekking experiences. This includes highlighting picturesque trails and providing hiking tips, showcasing the stunning scenery along the way. Many outdoor influencers are also avid rock climbers and capture challenging ascents and share stories of their triumphs and challenges in the vertical realm.

Camping: Another popular subcategory of outdoor content creation is of influencers documenting their camping adventures, stepping out of their comfort zone be it using traditional tents or camper vans. Some take it a step further under the term #vanlife, wherein these influencers embrace life on the road by permanently living in van homes. These creators share camping setups, tips for choosing camping locations, and stories of their camping experiences.

Wildlife and nature photography: Outdoor influencers with a passion for photography often showcase their skills by capturing stunning images of wildlife, landscapes, and natural wonders in a huge variety of locales spanning many continents and environments. They share close-ups of animals, capture the magic of sunrises and sunsets, and wow their followers with intimate images of the natural world.

Adventure travel: Influencers who explore remote and exotic destinations share their adventure travel experiences by showcasing unique cultures and immersing themselves in the authenticity of each location. Some of these influencers may overlap with travel influencers to a degree, giving recommendations of places to visit and showcasing idyllic travel lifestyles, with an outdoor twist.

Outdoor gear and product reviews: Many outdoor influencers partner with outdoor brands and share honest reviews of gear and products. They test and provide feedback on equipment such as backpacks, cameras, and other types of outdoor and travel gear, helping their audience make informed purchasing decisions.

Environmental conservation and sustainability: Thanks to their exposure and passion for nature and the outdoors, some of these creators use their platform to raise awareness about environmental causes and the importance of preserving nature and animal life. They discuss topics such as Leave No Trace principles, eco-friendly gear, and lifestyles that may align with this such as veganism or no-waste. 

Who are the best outdoor influencers? 

Let's embark on a virtual journey and outline the captivating Instagram influencers who are redefining outdoor exploration in their own unique ways.

Chris Burkard (@chrisburkard):

With his epic landscape photography and the ability to transport you to the remotest corners of the Earth, Chris Burkard has become an icon in the outdoor influencer space. Boasting nearly 4 million followers, Chris captures the raw beauty of untouched nature, from icy Arctic landscapes to fiery desert canyons. His visually stunning images are a testament to the profound connection between humans and the great outdoors.

Alex Honnold (@alexhonnold):

Alex Honnold is the epitome of daring adventure. Known for his jaw-dropping free solo climbs, including the legendary ascent of El Capitan, Alex has garnered a following of over 2 million on Instagram. His posts act as a showcase of the immense physical and mental challenges of rock climbing, providing the perfect mix of breathtaking views and palms-sweating excitement.

Sanni McCandless (@sannimccandless):

If you're in need of a dose of inspiration and empowerment, look no further than Sanni McCandless. With a focus on outdoor adventure and personal growth, Sanni's content resonates with her audience of over 350,000 followers. Her Instagram feed showcases breathtaking landscapes, immersive storytelling, and uplifting messages that encourage her followers to embrace their inner strength and embark on their own transformative journeys.

Chelsea Kauai (@chelseakauai):

With her infectious smile and zest for life, Chelsea Kauai has become a beacon of adventure on Instagram. Her profile, followed by over 1 million enthusiasts, makes her one of the most prominent female outdoor influencers. From cliff diving to surfing, Chelsea's posts capture the thrill of outdoor activities while celebrating the beauty of nature. 

Renan Ozturk (@renan_ozturk):

Renan Ozturk is a visual storyteller who invites his 1 million followers on a journey of discovery through his captivating imagery and profound narratives. As a filmmaker, climber, and artist, Renan's posts transcend traditional photography. He delves into the deeper connections between humans and nature, shining a light on environmental issues and the power of outdoor exploration. 

Kiersten Rich (@theblondeabroad):

For those seeking a perfect blend of adventure and travel, Kiersten Rich, aka The Blonde Abroad, is your go-to influencer. With a vibrant feed and a community of 500,000 followers, Kiersten's profile transports you to stunning destinations around the globe. From diving with sharks to hiking iconic trails, she showcases a range of outdoor experiences while offering travel tips and empowering fellow adventurers to create their own unforgettable memories.

Murad Osmann (@muradosmann):

Prepare to embark on a whimsical journey with Murad Osmann and his wife Nataly as they explore the world in their iconic "Follow Me To" series. With an impressive following of over 3 million, Murad's posts take you on a visual adventure, each capturing a unique perspective of stunning landscapes and cultural

Tips for working with outdoor influencers

Looking to team up with outdoor influencers? Here are some tips to help you connect and collaborate effectively:

First things first, understand your target audience. Figure out the specific niche within the outdoor community that aligns with your brand or product. This will help you find influencers who have an engaged following in your desired demographic. Next, dive into thorough research. Check out social media platforms, hashtags, and industry directories to find outdoor influencers who match your target audience and brand values. Take the time to review their content as well as the legitimacy of their following to ensure they're a good fit for your brand. Importantly, never forget – engagement and authenticity are key. Look beyond just follower counts and check out metrics such as likes, comments, and shares. This can help to determine whether or not the influencer genuinely connects with their audience. When reviewing their content, assess factors such as their style of imagery, storytelling, and overall vibe to ensure it aligns with your brand's values and desired visual style.

When looking to collaborate, you don't have to just dive into cold outreach. Engage with potential influencers beforehand. Like and comment on their posts, share their content, and start building a genuine relationship. Show them that you appreciate their work and begin to make yourself appear on their radar. When you do eventually reach out, personalize your messages. Take the time to show your knowledge of and interest in their content. Clearly communicate your brand values, goals, and what you hope to achieve through the partnership. Next, set clear expectations from the get-go. This includes outlining your deliverables, content formats, timelines, exclusivity, usage rights, and compensation. Transparent agreements avoid misunderstandings and ensure everyone is on the same page.

It’s important to remember that content creators are just that – creators. Give influencers creative freedom. Let them showcase your brand or product authentically by making use of their own style and voice which their followers love. Trust their expertise in creating content that resonates while aligning with your brand and you’ll find that not only will it bring more originality to the content, but will create more genuine connections with audiences, too.

Don’t neglect proper tracking and measurement of results. Define key performance indicators (KPIs) and monitor metrics like reach, engagement, website traffic, conversions, and brand mentions, or whichever metrics matter most for your campaign goals and objectives. These insights help evaluate the success of your collaboration and guide future influencer strategies. Lastly, foster long-term partnerships. Keep engaging with influencers, support their content, and explore ongoing collaborations. Building strong relationships leads to deeper connections with their audience and more organic brand integration.

Conclusion

In the world of outdoor influencers, brands have a unique opportunity to leverage the passion and following of adventure seekers, nature enthusiasts, and outdoor lovers. By partnering with these influential individuals, brands can enhance their brand presence and speak directly to the audiences they seek. So, take advantage of this valuable partnership and embark on an exciting journey to elevate your brand’s image and awareness within the outdoor community.

Want to partner with influencers who will be right for your brand?
Find the best creators with HypeAuditor Influencer Discovery and its 139.1M+ account database.
Candice is an influencer marketing enthusiast and marketing copywriter at HypeAuditor. When she’s not searching for the perfect music and filters for her Instagram Stories, she can usually be found keeping up with the latest gaming and tech influencers on Twitch and YouTube – or drinking a latte macchiato.
Topics:Influencer landscape
June 20, 2023
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Candice is an influencer marketing enthusiast and marketing copywriter at HypeAuditor. When she’s not searching for the perfect music and filters for her Instagram Stories, she can usually be found keeping up with the latest gaming and tech influencers on Twitch and YouTube – or drinking a latte macchiato.
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Want to partner with influencers who will be right for your brand?
Find the best creators with HypeAuditor Influencer Discovery and its 139.1M+ account database.