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Merrell Hiking Club launches

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International outdoor brand, Merrell, has launched Merrell Hiking Club: a digital platform and community which aims to bring representation, inclusivity, accessibility, and non-competitive community spirit to the hiking world.

The project tackles the most common barriers to entry the outdoors head on – with hikes curated by a diverse community of women and non-binary people published on the Merrell website. Each hike is in an ultra-digestible, easy-to-follow format – with routes, key watchouts, suggested gear and difficulty clearly marked.

“Our research showed that so many women didn’t feel they “belonged” in the hiking world; the content out there made them feel intimidated, excluded or there was simply too much information with little help in terms of navigating it. Merrell Hiking Club is the antidote to that – it’s a curated space where like-minded outdoorists can share the trails they love with each other,” says Tijana Tamburic, Creative Director on the project and Co-Founder of creative agency Female Narratives.

“We started Merrell Hiking Club with one mission: to get more people outdoors. We provide people with options by having the three categories of Urban, Suburban and Adventure trails so that there’s one nearby, at a level you can handle.”

The first published hikes have been submitted by Trailblazers (a group of female and non-binary influencers of varying athletic ability, located across Europe), and feature routes from gentle or moderate through to “full on” for those wanting a challenge. The initial cohort of Trailblazers include Swedish skier Malou Peterson, German sportswoman Jolana Dandl, Spanish photographer and filmmaker Sami Sauri and UK hiking communities Black Girls Hike and Galz Gone Wild

As the club grows, the goal is that submissions will expand to a wider group, and ultimately consist of moderated user-generated-content from hikers all over the world, though the platform currently covers the UK, Sweden, France, Germany and Spain. An events programme of in-person hikes is also on the agenda for 2022. 

“As a team we’re so excited to create a non-competitive platform for everyone to enjoy. As we keep sharing the simple power of being outside with everyone, the launch of Merrell Hiking Club will bring us one step closer to a more inclusive and diverse outdoors. Everyone involved in this project is special in their own way, spreading the message and beauty of being outdoors and besides that the mental health benefits of being in nature are an added bonus to all” says Jerome Le Belle, EMEA Brand Digital Marketing Manager for Merrell.

Jolana Dandl, German Trailblazer adds; “Visible female role models are very important, as is networking and the formation of communities or clubs. I find it empowering being out on the mountains with other women.”

Merrell Hiking Club has been produced in collaboration with Female Narratives, a London-based creative agency consisting of 100+ female and non-binary freelance creatives.

Merrell Hiking Club launches on November 15th, and is accessible via a dedicated page on the website, with further content shared across Merrell’s social platforms and Trailblazers’ Instagram pages. 

Let’s hike together!

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