The changing face of camping: record numbers of minorities hit the trails – MarketWatch

“nonwhite campers now comprise 26% of all campers — more than double when it was first measured in 2012”

by Kari Paul, MarketWatch

Teshale Nuer, a 25-year-old Afro-Latinx behavioral therapist based in New York City, recently headed into the great outdoors for the first time, joining a group of predominantly white friends in tents in Maryland. For Nuer, who was initially resistant to joining, it was one of the most foreign experiences in recent memory.

“Growing up as a person of color, camping just never seemed like an option,” Nuer said. “There was a lot of etiquette I didn’t know about. I grew up in the suburbs where people did go camping, but not people who looked like me.”

Camping has been traditionally associated with white Americans — national parks were once segregated and even recently advocates of outdoor leisure activities have asked why America’s national parks are so white. Nuer said there are a number of underlying implications for nonwhite Americans regarding outdoor activities, including the U.S. legacy of racial violence leaving campers uncomfortable around police and state park rangers.

But the activity is increasingly becoming an attractive form of vacation for campers like Nuer, according to a new study from the large national private campground system Kampgrounds of America. It found nonwhite campers now comprise 26% of all campers — more than double when it was first measured in 2012.

The biggest driver of this growth is millennials, said Toby O’Rourke, chief operating officer at KOA, which obviously has a vested interest in people going camping. The age group comprises just 31% of the adult population, yet accounts for 38% of campers — and it’s more diverse: Six in 10 nonwhite campers are millennials compared with 4 in 10 white campers.

“Nature has a PR problem.”
Rue Mapp, founder of OutdoorAfro
“I was surprised by the high enthusiasm for camping in the teenage group,” O’Rourke said. “We are definitely seeing more and more young people coming in. It’s changing the face of camping. It used to be an older, more Caucasian activity and we are seeing it skew younger and a lot more diversity.”

Rue Mapp is the chief executive officer and founder of OutdoorAfro, a nonprofit that “celebrates and inspires African-American connections to nature.” It started as a blog in 2009 and has since grown into a national network in which 20,000 people participate in camping trips and other events across 30 states. She said millennials are seeing the effects of major efforts to show better representation of nonwhite campers in their communities, on social media and in advertising.

“Nature has a PR problem,” she said. “We have not done a good job of letting people know they will be welcome. There is no padlock on any trail, there is no padlock on any campground — but if you don’t know about it, you won’t go. Social media has played a huge role in changing that.”

Source: The changing face of camping: record numbers of minorities hit the trails – MarketWatch

Video: How the U.S. National Parks Are Attempting to Lure More Minority Visitors

The national parks in the U.S. are some of the most dramatic and breathtaking landscapes found anywhere on the planet, and as such they draw millions of visitors each year. Unfortunately, most of those visitors are white, with few minorities sprinkled in here and there. But the Park Service and its partners are trying to change that by creating a more inclusive atmosphere for everyone. In this video, we see how those efforts are being conducted with the hopes of getting more people of color to experience the outdoors as well.

Source: The Adventure Blog: Video: How the U.S. National Parks Are Attempting to Lure More Minority Visitors

A Female Saudi Arabian Alpinist on Breaking Molds and Smashing Stigmas

 

Raha Moharrak is a force of nature. When she’s not climbing, she’s encouraging other Saudi women to follow their dreams and paving the way by following her own.

by Cory Buhay, Adventure Journal

Many nations plant their flags on top of Mount Everest every season, but few have climbed through greater odds than Raha Moharrak. The first Saudi Arabian woman to summit Everest, 30-year-old Moharrak, comes from a desert country that tops out at roughly 9,000 feet in elevation, where carabiners aren’t sold, women aren’t allowed to drive, and 25 is considered the upper limit of unmarried life.
Raha descends after a successful summit of Mount Everest | Photo: AFP

“When I was 25, my mother was in a corner wailing that I was not married, and when I told my father I wanted to climb a mountain, he said no, flat out,” said Moharrak. She said sending him an email to argue her point, opposing him for the first time in her life, was the biggest obstacle of her climbing career, harder than getting hypothermia on Kilimanjaro, her first climb. Harder than the nine comically miserable days she spent trapped in a tent with a Russian man and an American man in a storm on Denali. Harder than the summit ridge of Everest.

Even with her parents finally on her side, Moharrak faced other hurdles. Acquaintances told her a woman couldn’t possibly climb mountains and looked down upon her parents for supporting her. She wasn’t allowed to train in public. In Antarctica, one of the members of her all-male team stood up at the first meeting and asked the guide, “What the hell is Barbie doing here?” Moharrak snapped, “Don’t be fooled by the Disney princess hair.” (In the end, she was the one who ended up helping him on the descent.)

 

Source: A Female Saudi Arabian Alpinist on Breaking Molds and Smashing Stigmas

Why Don’t They Look Like Me? The Diversity Dilemma in Outdoor Media

Studies by OIA for the past five years show that Asians get outside just as much as white people do. There’s no shortage of people of all colors getting outdoors, so why isn’t that reflected in our media, advertising, print, and everything down to that Instagram picture you just double-tapped on?

by Paulina Dao, LittleGrunts.com

Sometime last year I was tossed on a list of women of color to follow on Instagram. This struck me as odd. Mostly because I don’t particularly identify with being Asian. I’m not Paulina the Asian outdoor blogger. I’m just Paulina, this person who also happens to be yellow. I grew up in the Bay Area, the suburbs of Cupertino to be more precise. I’m fortunate enough to live and play in a place where almost everyone goes outside, regardless of gender, background or skin color. Being a person of color wasn’t really a thing I was aware of. Diversity wasn’t a thing I thought about. It just was. Until recently.

Anela Ramos fishing in the Sawtooths, ID. Photo by Anela Ramos.

A personal interaction with an influencer in the outdoor space got me pondering the industry and diversity as of late. The outdoor industry is in a period of change. Conversations are no longer about the coolest gear, the gnarliest whipper, or the most pimped out van. They’re about sustainability, accessibility, inclusivity, and moving the industry forward. They’re about promoting our national parks, public lands, and state parks as a place for all, to use, to play and to protect.

Why is it that we talk about these topics, and say we should do better without any real course of action? If the idea is to make the outdoors more approachable, inclusive, and diverse, why are many of the industry’s very vocal, prominent thought leaders not paving the way for change? If the industry is to broaden the bubble and bring everyone in, why not begin by taking small, actionable steps?Take Wild Women’s Project, for example. Fresh off the tails of Outdoor Retailer Summer Market, the inaugural event brought together inspirational women across the outdoor industry to lead forward-thinking conversations and actions on creativity,

Take Wild Women’s Project, for example. Fresh off the tails of Outdoor Retailer Summer Market, the inaugural event brought together inspirational women across the outdoor industry to lead forward-thinking conversations and actions on creativity, conservation and connection. Scan through the Instagram and you’ll see a group of strong women frolicking in the wild. Except there’s one thing: for such an influential group, not much color was to be found. Attendee and the brains behind the blog of Just a Colorado Gal Heather Balogh writes about how the group “discussed inclusivity while acknowledging the lack of diversity as we gazed upon the lily-white faces of everyone in the group.” Even event mastermind and BoldBrew co-founder Amanda Goad admits that “even though we had industry diversity in our group, why did our group lack ethnic diversity?”

To share a story out of my book—the one that sparked this train of thought—an acquaintance reached out to tell me she might be in San Francisco for a photoshoot, budget permitting. This acquaintance is a key influencer in many social campaigns surrounding the outdoor industry in the last two years, especially around being inclusive, welcoming and open to all. Based out of the Bay Area and all, I said to toss my name in the ring because… diversity. The message was met with radio silence. I later found out they were still looking for women to participate.

Source: Why Don’t They Look Like Me? The Diversity Dilemma in Outdoor Media

10 Ways to Raise Brave Girls | Outside Online

Bestselling author Caroline Paul’s new book, The Gutsy Girl, is a how-to guide for parents to push through the anxiety and let their kids take acceptable risks outdoors.

It’s never too early—or late—to raise girls to be fearless and adventuresome. “I want to gird girls with life lessons of bravery and resilience before puberty, before the real pressures kick in: to be liked at all costs, to look pretty, to be perfect,” says Paul, whose own madcap childhood escapades included trying to set the Guinness World Record for crawling when she was 13 years old. (The distance to beat was 12 miles; nearly hypothermic, she quit at mile eight.) “Going outdoors gives you confidence and self-esteem to handle the teenage years, and it carries into womanhood, too,” Paul says. “Nature doesn’t care what you look like or if you’re popular or nice. What it cares about is if you’re a good team player.”

The most awesome part of the awesome message of Gutsy Girl? “Bravery is learned,” Paul says. Build it into our girls’ hearts, brains and bodies now and we’ll raise a new generation of badass female forces. Here are ten ways to teach our girls and ourselves.

Source: 10 Ways to Raise Brave Girls | Outside Online