There is a tendency by the outdoors lovers and “adventurer” types to imagine nature as a boundless and borderless space that anyone can wander into. There are no bouncers at a park entrance, after all. But, if they turn their eyes from the majestic sights and natural beauty that surrounds them to the people that accompany them in these spaces, they might start to notice something: The outdoors is shockingly white.
COLORADO SPRINGS — A Black-founded organization called Colorado Blackpackers is working to get everyone outdoors by both offering affordable outdoor experiences and gear and helping participants transform their interest in the outdoors into outdoor recreation jobs in the state.
On this episode, we learn about how one woman is working to foster economic equity in the outdoors and how supporting founders of color will improve the outdoor industry for everyone.
We hear from founder Patricia Cameron about her nonprofit, Blackpackers, which aims to address the gap in representation in the outdoors by providing gear, outdoor excursions and outdoor education for free or at a subsidized cost. Then, host Carla Harris sits down with Dan Kihanya, REI’s Director of Corporate Development and Racial Equity. Dan explains REI’s latest initiative “Path Ahead Ventures” which was created to invest in founders of color and promote inclusion within the outdoor industry.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Patricia Cameron has made it her mission to increase diversity in outdoor recreation.
Last summer, Rocky Mountain PBS caught up with Cameron after she hiked the Colorado Trail, 485 miles from Denver to Durango.
“It’s just been the case in this country that once the outdoors and outdoor recreation was commoditized,” Cameron told us at the time. “The most vulnerable tended to have trouble accessing it in the same way that others can.”
SUMMIT COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – People from all over the world vacation in the Rocky Mountains, but resorts aren’t seeing much diversity of the slopes. According to the National Ski Areas Association, 88% of visitors to ski areas last year were white. Less than 2% were Black. A Colorado woman is working to economic equity in outdoor recreation.
In today’s episode of Backpacker Radio presented by The Trek, we are joined by Patricia Cameron. Patricia is a journalist, thru-hiker, and the Founder and Executive Director at Blackpackers, a non-profit whose mission is to eliminate economic disparities of people of color in outdoor recreation. We chat in-depth about Patricia’s Colorado Trail thru-hike last year, including what it was like to hike during a pandemic, how much she enjoyed the hiker trash camaraderie, some of her favorite stops along the trail, and more. We also learn about the origin of Blackpackers, some of the challenges and successes she’s had in building it, and the impact she’s with the Colorado POC community so far. We wrap the convo with some very important Breaking Bad chat and what it’s like to pee yourself.
The show closes with a triple crown of animals you don’t want to see on trail, we ponder how badly we want to explore the universe, Badger opines about why Altra is losing ground with the thru-hiking community, and we get a taste for a new podcast project courtesy of our very own, Ms. Juliana Chauncey.
Generation Wild, the self-described “research-led, multiyear campaign designed to spark a movement that would reconnect kids to the outdoor world” has renewed its funding commitment to the Southeast Colorado Springs community for another three years.
In 2017, the Pikes Peak region — and the Southeast — was one of the target communities to kick off the Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) funded initiative known as Generation Wild. GOCO’s website describes their access work as “break[ing] down barriers to the outdoors in some of Colorado’s most under-resourced communities.”Read more at Southeast Express
Meet the six nonprofits receiving a $10,000 holiday donation for their commitment to bringing health in reach for all Coloradans.
During this holiday season, and amidst this especially trying time, we’re grateful for Colorado’s nonprofits whose staff pour their hearts into making their community a healthier and more equitable place to live. Your efforts to bring health in reach for all Coloradans – despite the challenges you face – remain top of mind for us at the Foundation today and every day.Read more from Colorado Health Foundation
It was somewhere near the end of hiking the Colorado Trail (CT), with hundreds of miles of trekking behind her, that Patricia Cameron, finally felt like a thru-hiker, one of those hardy backpackers who undertakes a long trail from end to end for weeks or even months straight. Blackpacker, her trail name, had camped at a water source with a group of other thru-hikers. She hadn’t spent a lot of time with other people during her 486-mile journey from Denver to Durango. She was usually lagging behind. “I was one of the slowest people on the trail,” Cameron says.
So she enjoyed the company of this trail family, aka tramily in thru-hiking lingo, but figured it was short lived. The group was on a 22-mile stretch without water, so the backpackers had to carry even more water—and its weight—than usual. As they hit the trail in the morning, the hikers said their goodbyes and “hope to see you at the next water source’s.” Cameron didn’t expect to see them again. It would take a 16-mile day to reach water—unheard of for her. But by 10 a.m., she had covered 4.5 miles. “I remember saying to myself, ‘This is the day; this is it,’” she says.Read more at Springs Magazine