About Outdoor Beginner
I’m Laura. I grew up on the East Coast before moving to Colorado in my 20s. At that point, I’d gone camping once and had just bought my first pair of hiking boots. I wanted to dive headfirst into the outdoors, but, I couldn’t find any beginner-friendly content written by fellow newbies, and guides written by experts always left out important questions I was nervous about as a beginner.
In 2014, I started this website as a blog to fill that gap.
Outdoor Beginner has trail guides, gear reviews, campground reviews, how-to’s for things like packing a backpack or what to wear hiking, and my personal experience as an outdoor beginner trying to make it in a world of experts. Everything I write about is purely based on my own experience, and I would consider “follow at your own risk.”
I also started running as an adult, and in 2021 got my coaching certification through United Endurance Sports Coaching Academy (UESCA). I now offer coaching for beginner runners through Outdoor Beginner (coming soon) and Life’s 2 Short Fitness.
Do I get free stuff?
Sometimes, but I will always tell you. I work part-time at Runners Roost, where brands do provide free shoes and other gear to employees to help us get experience actually using the things we sell. I also always get an employee discount on anything I buy.
I don’t typically review a lot of gear, but I’m always transparent about where it came from when I do and brands/Runners Roost doesn’t have any oversight or editing power on this website.
Again, if I ever post about anything I get for free or discount, like a campground, I will always put a disclaimer in the blog post.
How do I make money then?
I use affiliate links on this site. An affiliate link is a link with an identifier on it that tells the website the customer is coming from Outdoor Beginner. If you buy something, I get a little cut. Any links to Target, Amazon, or REI are these type of links. They don’t cost you any extra and I can’t see who clicks on them or what you buy. Amazon does tell me what has been bought, but not who bought it or when.
I genuinely like and actually own every product I ever put on this blog, and it’s nice to get a liiiitle tiny cut. I don’t use affiliate links for anything I don’t own and love myself (unless I specifically mention that something is out of stock and I’ve tried to find a replacement).
One last thing. Privacy.
Your privacy is incredibly important to me. If you give me your email (for example, to subscribe to the blog), it goes into my MailChimp account, where I can see if you open emails and what you click on. I never sell your emails or share them with anyone else, and promise to only send you the content that you ask for.