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SoniaButton
01-17-2015, 11:56
So I have been thinking about this quite a bit. In the hiking clubs I have been in, I have only seen two other people of color. It seems that hiking is dominated by white folks. Anyone else out there in the Class of 2015 a person of color?

Tuckahoe
01-17-2015, 12:35
All the necessary information can be found here --
http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/24b56caf3e/black-hiker-with-blair-underwood

Praha4
01-17-2015, 12:45
like you, in my years of hiking the AT, I could count on one hand the number of people of color I've met on the trail. it's really a shame that more don't get outdoors and try backpacking and hiking, it's a great exercise in a world with rising problems of obesity and diabetes. When I'm President, I will propose legislation to Congress that hikers get a "hiking mileage" income tax deduction, like the business vehicle mileage deduction.

here's to better health thru hiking!

SoniaButton
01-17-2015, 13:03
All the necessary information can be found here --
http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/24b56caf3e/black-hiker-with-blair-underwood

Haha that made my morning. I should make a video like that on the AT. I'm a 5'1, female, Puerto Rican hiker. Once, on the first hike with a club, I was asked if I was in the right club. Then I was literally asked how I got so tan, by a woman who I could tell really meant no harm. "Um, I was born this way." It was followed by silence.

The thing is. I have seen lots of people from other countries out hiking, just only two of color. I know there are more out there. I mean, I know I'm not the only one, but when I try to find any proof of any of us having completed the trail, my search comes up without any answers.

Praha4, it's really a shame in general that more people don't get out and hike. Upon much thought, it is very easy to see why it is dominated by white people, and it is easy to understand how a person of color might feel alienated when trying to hike (i.e., "Where did you get your tan?"). Here's to breaking through those boundaries.

Damn Yankee
01-17-2015, 13:17
On my hike last weekend, we had an African-American woman with us. It was her first hike. Although I went back to the trail head later and not with them, she seemed to have a great time. On my High Sierra hike, the leader was African American and a superman on the trails. He was awesome. So yes, there are some out there but, certainly not as many Caucasians or other nationalities.

tiptoe
01-17-2015, 13:24
I've met, and chatted with, several black hikers in my years of sectioning, and I have never asked about tans! I've also met and chatted with a real milkman from England, two hikers retired from the NSA, a puertoriceno noo yawkah from Queens, a couple of blind people, two children thru-hiking alone, etc., etc. Yes, here's to breaking through the boundaries. We are all hikers out there. Praha4 for president!

swjohnsey
01-17-2015, 14:27
Mr. Wonderful, 2012.

Majortrauma
01-17-2015, 14:28
I must be doing something right; I have a Mexican and a black man in my hiking club. No one of mongoloid decent yet though. When was the last time anyone ever ran into a genuine Native American and not some clown perp'ing a fraud? I think they're even more rare than the blacks out there.
I think the answer to this is all about exposure to backpacking/hiking. There's just very little exposure to this in the black community in general. Next time you're in REI look around and do a quick survey of the ethnicities in there. THe black man we backpack with was VERY reluctant to go out with us and only after a lot of persuasion did he agree to go and now he's hooked.
We do need to get more kids out there of all colors or we're going to lose an entire generation.

Feral Bill
01-17-2015, 14:55
I must be doing something right; I have a Mexican and a black man in my hiking club. No one of mongoloid decent yet though. When was the last time anyone ever ran into a genuine Native American and not some clown perp'ing a fraud? I think they're even more rare than the blacks out there.
I think the answer to this is all about exposure to backpacking/hiking. There's just very little exposure to this in the black community in general. Next time you're in REI look around and do a quick survey of the ethnicities in there. THe black man we backpack with was VERY reluctant to go out with us and only after a lot of persuasion did he agree to go and now he's hooked.
We do need to get more kids out there of all colors or we're going to lose an entire generation.

You might want to rephrase that.

gypsy97
01-17-2015, 15:00
Hopefully things have changed and will continue to change. The only person of color I ever saw on the AT was at Punchbowl Shelter in 1997. There were quite a few hikers in the shelter and a couple of us struck up a conversation with the black hiker. To tell the truth I felt a bit nervous for him, but there were no problems. (Also at that time there were relatively few women backpacking.) I think you'd be much more likely to see black hikers the further north you go, but this is only my guess.

Odd Man Out
01-17-2015, 15:58
A few years ago, Oprah aired a couple of episodes about her camping trip to Yosemite. She was invited by Shelton Johnson to try and bring attention to the cultural divide that exists in this country WRT outdoor recreation. Johnson is a well know African American park ranger who was also featured in Ken Burns' NP documentary. I saw some of the Oprah shows. They were pretty funny. She was car camping (not backpacking). One morning she was lounging around camp in her flannel pajamas, digging through the food crate and yelled "Gayle, where's the truffle oil?".

Anyway, we were in Yosemite a little bit after that show and took a ranger-led walk through the Mariposa grove by another black park ranger. He started his talk by telling the group, "Now before you all ask, I am not Shelton Johnson. I'm the OTHER black park ranger". It turns out he did meet Oprah on her visit, but didn't have any time on camera.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eN5X86ZI0-E

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nxlUw8-hSZQ

Dochartaigh
01-17-2015, 16:01
You guys really have to get out more! Growing up in New Jersey (now living in Pennsyltucky) I always see non-white people on the trail and at campgrounds, fishing, kayaking, whatever.

Sure, they're the minority, but that's how the breakdown goes in general (did a quick google search and found a piechart from 2013 that says 62% of the US is white, 17% hispanic, 13% black, etc.)

Majortrauma
01-17-2015, 16:02
My use of mongoloid was deliberate. It's a legitimate term as are Caucasoid and Negroid.

WingedMonkey
01-17-2015, 16:12
The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) is aware that sooner or latter white folk will be a minority.

The ATC is aware that if they stay a white organization, that they will run out of members and money.

The ATC is going to study it. The ATC does a lot of studies.

:sun


Reaching younger and more diverse populations has been identified as a high priority for the Conservancy. The U.S. Census Bureau predicts that within the next 50 years white Americans will comprise just 43 percent of the U.S. population, while Asian, Hispanic and African American populations will grow substantially, making up 45 percent of the 2060 population.


“This new diverse majority will be responsible for ensuring the continued protection and sustainability of our environment and the national treasure of our parks, forests and waterways, including the Appalachian Trail,” said Sandra Marra, chair of the ATC. “Therefore, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy believes it is critical to increase the long-term involvement of diverse youth in the work of our organization.”


https://www.appalachiantrail.org/who-we-are/news/2014/11/12/new-strategic-plan-will-ensure-a-bright-future-for-the-appalachian-trail

Dogwood
01-17-2015, 16:21
That was good Tuck. Funny but can be accurate. I enjoyed Blair Underwood in the roll.

I've met a handful of black, Hispanic, and lots more Asian hikers ALL wonderful people. Heck, on a 2006 At thru-hike I met an African American man, trail named Breeze, also thru-hiking the AT. He was one of most hilarious thru-hikers I've ever met. Liked hiking with him as he had a good hearted easier going nature. Damn he sure could hike when he wanted to crank it up. I even noticed some of the black stereotyping and odd looks he received with his nappy hair when we went into outfitters, restaurants, bars, at AT shelters, attempting to hitch, etc especially in the south just as Blair Underwood experienced on those trails in Cali in the video. Kind of a shame that we felt we had to do it but a few of the white thru-hikers would say things like he was with us or just to screw with people we would say we were with him. We'd say shart like he was a celebrity movie star or a professional athlete and we were his entourage. One of the other thru-hikers being his masseuse. Another his personal chef. Shart like that. LOL. Things like that shouldn't be. The Asians have mostly been in areas of Cali and Hawaii. Greater numbers of Asians, especially Phillipinos, on trails in Hawaii as they are a greater % of the overall population there. It's a little bit funny that the various Asian hikers are generally not pegged correctly as to to their ethnicity by whiteys who label Japanese as Chinese or Koreans as Japanese or even Indonesian hikers as from China. I've met quite a few Hispanics(lots of Mexicans) even extended families enjoying the outdoors in the southwest. I've met plenty of Native Americans on trails out west, southwest and in the northwest. We really need some more color brighter personalities greater cultural diversity other than the whiteys out hiking the AT. It's such a white trail!

I like the initiative of Oprah appealing to a greater number of minorities to connect with the outdoors. It's also why I support programs like this http://www.hcn.org/blogs/goat/a-day-at-camp-moreno. And, why I believe it vitally important that young minorities especially the inner city youth get acquainted with the outdoors and Nature beginning at a young age. It's why I believe it important for me to be involved in inner city community gardening programs and volunteering at Nature Centers. My motto is get em when their young. Introduce them to Nature showing them it's not all that big and bad something to just be feared but embraced and respected. Simply, by them starting out growing some of their own food and tending to butterfly gardens, beehives, a water feature, animal husbandry, etc they'll be more minorities electing to hit the trails. It's also why the hiking and outdoors communities should consider leading people of all colors on hikes and donating some of that unused garage of gear that hasn't been used in years.

Coffee
01-17-2015, 16:22
I have mixed ancestry but that's never been an issue on the trail for me, maybe because my background is pretty indeterminate. I noticed people from all backgrounds and a number of international hikers on the John Muir Trail. I met a Korean hiker on the JMT who was traveling the world on hardly any money. There were fewer minorities in Colorado. And I've seen very few minorities on the AT outside of SNP developed areas.

Lauriep
01-17-2015, 16:44
Hi SoniaButton,

I can't give you a direct answer to your question, but I can give you some relevant information, as I maintain the database of Appalachian Trail 2,000-milers.

Out of more than 15,500 hike completions that have been reported to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, 170 people identified themselves as ethnicities that would be considered non-white or people of color. Quite a few were Caucasian and something else. We have about 15 people in our database who identified themselves as black or African American. In 2014, two thru-hikers who identified themselves as African American or black completed the A.T. One was male and one was female. Another female started a southbound hike from Katahdin in late August this year and was going strong when she reached Harpers Ferry in early November. Not surprisingly, we haven't heard that she finished yet, given the weather conditions she would have encountered.

The upside to that very small number is that any of those who wrote about their experiences as a people of color had extremely positive things to say about their A.T. experience and their encounters with other hikers and people along the way. The last application I read from a hiker of color ended with the statement "My only regret is being afraid to do it sooner." This is the same guy who posted the question on ATC's facebook page early last year, "Is race going to be a problem for me?"

If you would like to connect with any of those hikers, write to me at lpotteiger@appalachiantrail.org and request our 2,000-miler correspondence list for hikers of color. We have contact information for some of these hikers, along with some quotes from them that are really inspiring.

As mentioned above, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy has just identified "Broader Relevancy" one of our 5 strategic goals (http://http://www.appalachiantrail.org/who-we-are/our-mission-vision-values/strategic-plan) for the next five years. In the coming months and years, we will be looking at ways to engage younger and more diverse audiences. We have been aware for quite a while that the lack of diversity among both trail users and supporters is not good for its own sake and not healthy for the Trail. This is the first time we've had a formal plan to address it. We have two staff leads, Javier Folgar our director of marketing and communication, and Julie Judkins, our community program manager, who will start incorporating this into their work plans this year. No doubt that will start with studies and surveys.

Laurie P.
ATC

illabelle
01-17-2015, 17:42
The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) is aware that sooner or latter white folk will be a minority.
The ATC is aware that if they stay a white organization, that they will run out of members and money.

On the other hand, despite events in Ferguson and elsewhere, there is now, especially in the younger generations, much less division and less difference than there once was. Quite a few of us white folk now have people of color in our extended family. My daughter is bi-racial and looks it, but my granddaughter is blonde with blue eyes and honey-tan skin. If you saw her on the trail, you'd never know she's a quarter black.

gypsy97
01-17-2015, 17:59
Sounds like one of my granddaughters, illabelle.

No Directions
01-17-2015, 18:04
Mr. Wonderful, 2012.

Do you mean Mr Fabulous? I followed him in 2012. He is writing a book about his hike which should be out soon. He has a Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/AnAppalachianTrailJourney/timeline

In my Meetup groups I have hiked with Black people, Middle Easterners, and Asians. It seems quite common but these groups are close to a large metro area.

illabelle
01-17-2015, 18:04
Is she white?
Or is she a person of color?
Yes to both.
29597

jimmyjam
01-17-2015, 20:49
So I have been thinking about this quite a bit. In the hiking clubs I have been in, I have only seen two other people of color. It seems that hiking is dominated by white folks. Anyone else out there in the Class of 2015 a person of color?

Don't let it keep you from hiking. Nobody on the trail cares what race you are or what country you are from. We're all the same on the trail.

Rocket Jones
01-17-2015, 21:08
Never thought about it. Way back, half my Boy Scout troop was ethnic, so it wasn't anything special. Nowadays, there are always a good number of ethnic families around when we go camping. Personally, I don't see "black man" or "Asian lady" or "young kid" when I hike, I see another "hiker".

Sandy of PA
01-17-2015, 21:59
I am a member of the "human race". We are all out of Africa if you follow the DNA trail backwards, the sooner we drop all the labels the better it will be for all.

soumodeler
01-17-2015, 22:10
I am a member of the "human race". We are all out of Africa if you follow the DNA trail backwards, the sooner we drop all the labels the better it will be for all.

Couldn't agree more.

Less focus on the labels and more on the hiking and the great outdoors!

canoe
01-17-2015, 22:21
I am a member of the "human race". We are all out of Africa if you follow the DNA trail backwards, the sooner we drop all the labels the better it will be for all. Yep Not understanding why race is always an issue. Only those looking for an issue will find one

Feral Bill
01-17-2015, 22:52
My use of mongoloid was deliberate. It's a legitimate term as are Caucasoid and Negroid. All are legitimate relics of early twentieth century racist pseudoscience. Mongoloid is also an antiquated term for people with Downs syndrome. Please do reconsider.

Mags
01-17-2015, 23:00
I suspect it is as much for socioeconomic reasons as much as anything. The average outdoors person for REI-type activities (as opposed to hunting, fishing for whatever reason [1]) tends to be not only white, but also college educated and/or at least middle class in terms of income.

Having both time and money to pursue backpacking, hiking, kayaking, etc. is a luxury for many people.

The "people of color" I knew into the outdoors were college educated and often came from families that were we also college educated as well. Some were like me and fell in love with the outdoors in their adult life as much by chance as anything.

There are other reasons I am sure. But I suspect as more people, whatever the color, move up the economic ladder, the more you'll see them pursuing outdoor pursuits but also other pursuits that are often a benefit of, again, having both time and money. (Cultural trips? Theater? Etc. Etc). It is far from the only reason, but I think it is a fair one as any.



[1] Hunting and fishing is often for sustenance in rural areas. At least where I grew up the more congested suburbs of the northeast, hunting was definitely a luxury as to get to *good* hunting required time off from work and a long drive to northern New England or upstate New York.

canoe
01-17-2015, 23:19
I suspect it is as much for socioeconomic reasons as much as anything. The average outdoors person for REI-type activities (as opposed to hunting, fishing for whatever reason [1]) tends to be not only white, but also college educated and/or at least middle class in terms of income.

Having both time and money to pursue backpacking, hiking, kayaking, etc. is a luxury for many people.

The "people of color" I knew into the outdoors were college educated and often came from families that were we also college educated as well. Some were like me and fell in love with the outdoors in their adult life as much by chance as anything.

There are other reasons I am sure. But I suspect as more people, whatever the color, move up the economic ladder, the more you'll see them pursuing outdoor pursuits but also other pursuits that are often a benefit of, again, having both time and money. (Cultural trips? Theater? Etc. Etc). It is far from the only reason, but I think it is a fair one as any.



[1] Hunting and fishing is often for sustenance in rural areas. At least where I grew up the more congested suburbs of the northeast, hunting was definitely a luxury as to get to *good* hunting required time off from work and a long drive to northern New England or upstate New York. Well growing up a city dweller from a large family with minimal family income. The only thing my family could afford was to take a trip to the mountains hike the traisl and camp. Acually there are a lot or lower income people hiking today... just listen to the very many who can't afford the gear or save enough money for the thru. not sure if your logic is logical. just my observation.

Praha4
01-17-2015, 23:23
So I've been also thinking about this quite a bit. On all the AT hiking trips I've been on, it seems the trail is also dominated by white blazes. Occasionally I see blue blazes, and some thru hikers I've run into speak in hushed tones about some mysterious "yellow" blazes. I'm still searching for those yellow blazes, somebody told me if I try hitchhiking more I can find them.

Mags
01-17-2015, 23:41
not sure if your logic is logical. just my observation.

http://www.nps.gov/appa/parkmgmt/upload/Main_Report-2.pdf

Users (Non-Thru Hikers) Thru Hikers
Number Percent Number Percent
8th grade or less 1 0.1 0 0.0
Some high school 29 2.0 2 0.7
high school graduate or GED 111 7.6 27 9.3
Business school, trade school, some college 280 19.2 61 21.0
College graduate 448 30.7 135 46.4
Some graduate school 160 11.0 28 9.6
Masters, doctoral, or professional degree 429 29.4 38 13.1


Some college, of course, counts young people people in college which is esp relevant with the thru-hiker statistic.

Even not counting that stat, that means ~70% have college degrees for both thru-hikers and non-thru hikers. So ~7 out of 10 users of the Appalachian Trail are college graduates. If we loop in "some college" and assume some of those are active students, the number is higher.

Now, dealing with income issue, according to this 2013 study, "40 percent of outdoor participants are from\ households with incomes of $75,000 or more."

http://www.outdoorfoundation.org/pdf/ResearchParticipation2013.pdf

What what is the percentage of of households with 54k or more per year? (Current MEDIAN household income in the US)? Bet it would be high. 75k or more a year is "just" 40% of the user base. Or nearly half.

As interesting statistical "hmm" point, 70% of outdoor participants are white. Same as the college graduate
level....


just listen to the very many who can't afford the gear or save enough money for the thru. .

If you look the age of these posters, they are typically in their 20s and have just finished or about to finish college. A lot different than say two 40-somethings with two children.

rocketsocks
01-17-2015, 23:59
Don't let it keep you from hiking. Nobody on the trail cares what race you are or what country you are from. We're all the same on the trail.
this.........all day long.

ATAdam
01-18-2015, 02:34
Useless topic for white people to feel good about contributing to.
Expand your world, migrate your comfort zone, maybe you will meet other people you normally would not.

quasarr
01-18-2015, 08:13
In southern California I have seen a lot of Asians and Latinos out camping. Thru-hikers do seem to be almost exclusively white though. It's too bad, because the American frontier actually has a diverse history. (despite Hollywood's depiction)

I think the problem is that hiking is seen as a "white people's" activity. If more people of color start hiking, it will attract others. I can understand why someone would feel uncomfortable today as the lone person of color on the trail. (as you can see from Dogwood and Sonia's stories, discrimination definitely exists!) Most white people are used to being the majority and don't know how this feels.

Old Hiker
01-18-2015, 11:50
Is she white?
Or is she a person of color?
Yes to both.
29597

None of the above. She is a beautiful HUMAN being.

MuddyWaters
01-18-2015, 12:20
There isnt a problem, some people want to make one.

Its not a race issue. Its a socio-economic issue.

Good luck solving that.

Hiking is a vacation, it takes time off work, and money.

The key to these things, is education.

You can see it in the #s Mags posted.

illabelle
01-18-2015, 13:15
None of the above. She is a beautiful HUMAN being.

Indeed she is!!
I must have really good genes. :D

WingedMonkey
01-18-2015, 13:28
Indeed she is!!
I must have really good genes. :D

I had to go back and re-read your first post. I was sure you said no one knew grand-daughter was a quarter back.

Sure looked like a little on the small side to play quarter back.

:p

Coffee
01-18-2015, 13:31
Hiking is a vacation, it takes time off work, and money.
.
Hiking is actually the cheapest form of vacation that I know of even with expensive lightweight gear. The cost of a round trip flight to Europe can buy a decent lightweight kit. Less can buy somewhat heavier gear. It lasts for years with care. Thousands of miles can be covered for the cost of that gear and little more than food and supplies, which in my experience costs less on the trail than what I would otherwise consume at home. So logically, hiking should be a favorite pastime of the poor.

illabelle
01-18-2015, 14:04
i had to go back and re-read your first post. I was sure you said no one knew grand-daughter was a quarter back.

Sure looked like a little on the small side to play quarter back.

:p

lol..... :)

Motmot
01-18-2015, 14:05
Well! Now that is a funny one! Harmless, just saying. So, tis true you don't see many folks of color trekking about recreationally on the AT. Probably fewer on the other long trails, just guessing. Certainly, in general, socioeconomic factors are a real limiting factor in choosing such a recreational activity. I will offer, being full blooded Apache, that this Spring there will be at least ONE of us headed north! In the hospital I work in Everyone feels free to inquire about my ethnicity, etc! I have no trouble giving a full reply but I really ought to cram it all on a business card considering how often I am asked! I'm surprised there are so few folks of native lineage on the trail. Over half of peeps who ask me of my heritage happily announce they are descended, on their grandmother's side, from a Cherokee Princess! Perhaps they aren't as comfortable disclosing that around other single race gatherings! It makes me wonder just how many daughters that poor Cherokee princess must've had? So all in fun it will be wonderful to meet any and all of you hikers on the trail sometime after March 19th start date! Please inquire however you may hehe.
BTW..I learned all my hiker craft in the boy scouts!
I may ask you how much White you got?
lets have fun everyone! hondah

Feral Bill
01-18-2015, 14:12
For a lot of people their very limited vacation time is taken by family obligations, and perhaps some extra hours at a second job. No thoughts whatever of Europe, or flying anywhere.

Coffee
01-18-2015, 14:20
For a lot of people their very limited vacation time is taken by family obligations, and perhaps some extra hours at a second job. No thoughts whatever of Europe, or flying anywhere.

Going for a walk is the cheapest form of recreation or vacation that I know of. That's my point. Now if someone doesn't have time to take any vacations at all, that's another issue entirely.

rocketsocks
01-18-2015, 14:21
Haha that made my morning. I should make a video like that on the AT. I'm a 5'1, female, Puerto Rican hiker. Once, on the first hike with a club, I was asked if I was in the right club. Then I was literally asked how I got so tan, by a woman who I could tell really meant no harm. "Um, I was born this way." It was followed by silence.

The thing is. I have seen lots of people from other countries out hiking, just only two of color. I know there are more out there. I mean, I know I'm not the only one, but when I try to find any proof of any of us having completed the trail, my search comes up without any answers.

Praha4, it's really a shame in general that more people don't get out and hike. Upon much thought, it is very easy to see why it is dominated by white people, and it is easy to understand how a person of color might feel alienated when trying to hike (i.e., "Where did you get your tan?"). Here's to breaking through those boundaries.

I was once asked this same question. I used to work at a restaurant that closed at 1AM, an afterwords went looking for a night cap to unwind and chill. I found it in a old building that was in my town I had seen for years but didn't know anything about...I was 19 yo. The place was called "Club Eight"

I was told at the front door by a couple bouncers it was a private club and that I needed to have a membership for for admittance.

"Ok, what's a membership cost? I'm thirsty"

"It's $5 annually" the man at the door said.

"Cool, I can handle that" I replied as he took a card out of his wallet and proceeded to pencil in my name.

He handed me the card, opened the door and in I walked right to the bar to get a drink. Looked around and couldn't find one white in the crowd.

Long story short I held that membership for as long as I had that job...(which wasn't all that long as I recall) and I stopped there every couple a nights for a month or so, till finally someone asked, "Say man, you in the right Club"

...heck yeah, I'm a card carryin' member"


I think if people are in a majority they should experience at some point in there life being the only one of there race in the minority...we might all get through those boundaries little quicker.

Sonia, you'll love the trail, and trail people, it's very chill...have some great hikes and do report back sometime.

rocketsocks
01-18-2015, 14:34
Useless topic for white people to feel good about contributing to.
Expand your world, migrate your comfort zone, maybe you will meet other people you normally would not.

Sorry, don't concur at all.

canoe
01-18-2015, 14:45
http://www.nps.gov/appa/parkmgmt/upload/Main_Report-2.pdf

Users (Non-Thru Hikers) Thru Hikers
Number Percent Number Percent
8th grade or less 1 0.1 0 0.0
Some high school 29 2.0 2 0.7
high school graduate or GED 111 7.6 27 9.3
Business school, trade school, some college 280 19.2 61 21.0
College graduate 448 30.7 135 46.4
Some graduate school 160 11.0 28 9.6
Masters, doctoral, or professional degree 429 29.4 38 13.1


Some college, of course, counts young people people in college which is esp relevant with the thru-hiker statistic.

Even not counting that stat, that means ~70% have college degrees for both thru-hikers and non-thru hikers. So ~7 out of 10 users of the Appalachian Trail are college graduates. If we loop in "some college" and assume some of those are active students, the number is higher.

Now, dealing with income issue, according to this 2013 study, "40 percent of outdoor participants are from\ households with incomes of $75,000 or more."

http://www.outdoorfoundation.org/pdf/ResearchParticipation2013.pdf

What what is the percentage of of households with 54k or more per year? (Current MEDIAN household income in the US)? Bet it would be high. 75k or more a year is "just" 40% of the user base. Or nearly half.

As interesting statistical "hmm" point, 70% of outdoor participants are white. Same as the college graduate
level....



If you look the age of these posters, they are typically in their 20s and have just finished or about to finish college. A lot different than say two 40-somethings with two children.

Surprising stats. Thanks for the info mags

MuddyWaters
01-18-2015, 15:35
Hiking is actually the cheapest form of vacation that I know of even with expensive lightweight gear. The cost of a round trip flight to Europe can buy a decent lightweight kit. Less can buy somewhat heavier gear. It lasts for years with care. Thousands of miles can be covered for the cost of that gear and little more than food and supplies, which in my experience costs less on the trail than what I would otherwise consume at home. So logically, hiking should be a favorite pastime of the poor.

Isnt so though. The gear is expensive, and the travel cost to do it are expensive as well. Most people that work for a living dont have $2000 available to buy gear. To do so they would have to give up the $600 iphone and $60 per month data plan. Most people dont vacation in europe, they dont vacation at all.

A friend of my daughters one year family went to Disneyworld when she was in middle school. They gave up cable TV for a year to be able to afford it. This was a middle class kid, in a private school.

This applies to most middle class people as well. In my experiences with BSA, getting parents to purchase decent gear for their kids to use was mostly a nightmare. The parents only wanted to buy the cheapest , crap gear they could. Understandable since it would see limited use, but it makes an experience very poor. One kids parents bought him work boots from walmart to wear to Philmont. He had horrible blisters all over his toes and feet. Walmart tents and sleeping bags.

Going for a walk, might be cheap if you can walk out your door and do it. When you have to travel, and eat, and arrange transportation and shuttles and lodging, it most certainly is not.

yonderway
01-18-2015, 15:45
I think a lot of the posts in this thread are pretty disingenuous. If you can't see there is a wide disparity in access and use, you're being willfully blind. It is easy to only see the hiker, when all the hikers look like you. The satirical video clearly shows this is a known issue.

Connie
01-18-2015, 15:57
I have seen people of color hiking, mountain biking, road bicycling, horseback riding, jogging, playing tennis, sailing, other boating, salmon fishing, not fly fishing, in California. No mountainclimbers. Hang gliding, yes. Water ski, no.

In Montana, hikers in Glacier National Park, yes.

MuddyWaters
01-18-2015, 16:11
I have seen people of color hiking, mountain biking, road bicycling, horseback riding, jogging, playing tennis, sailing, other boating, salmon fishing, not fly fishing, in California. No mountainclimbers. Hang gliding, yes. Water ski, no.

In Montana, hikers in Glacier National Park, yes.


Lots of mexican-american hikers in CA and yosemite.
I saw plenty of orientals and hispanics on the JMT. Not to mention foreigners. One was a group of dozen koreans.
I saw a couple of black girls, college age, on JMT as well, and one solo black female hiker that I saw from a distance that hiked past my camp at Rae Lakes

Malto
01-18-2015, 16:58
I have only met one black hiker but he likely had a bigger impact on my hiking career than anyone else. he was doing the JMT and Then heading back on the Sierra High Route, the first time I had heard of the SHR. I remember talking with him about a 6 or so day JMT trip he had done and was amazed theta someone could do that mileage. I ended up hiking the SHR the following year and started really pushing my mileage. that directly led to my PCT hike and the rest is history. I just wish I knew who he was so I could thank him for his impact on my life.

Coffee
01-18-2015, 17:14
MuddyWaters, middle class people spend all kinds of money on other types of vacations and recreation. The cost of going to Disney World for a family of four (a pretty standard middle class vacation) would be far higher than going hiking. All about choices as your reference to iPhones and data plans and cable TV demonstrates.

MrGonzalo
01-18-2015, 17:24
So I have been thinking about this quite a bit. In the hiking clubs I have been in, I have only seen two other people of color. It seems that hiking is dominated by white folks. Anyone else out there in the Class of 2015 a person of color?

Hi Sonia,

I'll be kicking off on March 2nd from Springer. Like it was mentioned by another person here, there is a pretty well-defined demographic on the trails. Even in Los Angeles, I rarely come upon other Latino or Black hikers.

Now that I think about it, that gives me an idea for a law school group... Haha


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MrGonzalo
01-18-2015, 17:34
There isnt a problem, some people want to make one.

Its not a race issue. Its a socio-economic issue.

Good luck solving that.

Hiking is a vacation, it takes time off work, and money.

The key to these things, is education.

You can see it in the #s Mags posted.

This is surely an interesting topic, which I don't want to dive into on my second post without testing the waters.

While I agree that socioeconomic factors (with the strongest correlation being education, as you states) heavily mark the demographics of thru-hikers, we cannot simply dismiss race as a factor; for race and access to higher education are also correlated.


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Marta
01-18-2015, 17:55
I agree that the socio-economic aspect is pretty big. Unless you were brought up in a hiking-camping family, there usually has to be some sort of spark to light the fire in you. For a lot of you guys on WhiteBlaze that was Boy Scouts. A big influence for me was a single hiking trip my father took me on when I was 12, and then an Outward Bound program my well-heeled public school in Sudbury, MA, had as part of the options for student enrichment. (My Girl Scout troop did more crafts programs and Good Works than outdoor activities.)

I take the point that you can do a thru-hike for the price of a family trip to Disney World…except for the opportunity cost of not working for six months. If you're going to take that kind of time off work you have to be pretty confident that your long-term financial well-being won't be ruined by the experience. You know you'll come back and be able to get another job. Either you have excellent skills and know you can land another job, or you're okay with scraping by. That's disregard of the race towards accumulation is not normal in the US, and the poorer you are the harder it is. Most of my former co-workers in Charlotte were one paycheck away from ruin. Take six months off work? Are you kidding?

Besides having the spark lit, overcoming fear of the unknown is huge. Look at the male/female hiker split over the decades. Things have changed a lot, but long-distance hiker statistics are still not on par with the general population statistics. For many girls and women, there is a LOT of social pressure not to do anything alone, and certainly not in a isolated location.

A lot of us on WhiteBlaze, male and female, get a lot of flack from our families over our weird hiking hobby. The more off-the-wall hiking seems to your family and long-time friends, the more pressure they will put on you not to do it.

Deer Hunter
01-18-2015, 18:37
Is she white?
Or is she a person of color?
Yes to both.
29597


Cute girl, ILB. :)

ccomplete7
01-18-2015, 18:54
Hopefully leaving from Amicalola on March 10th after the ATKO

I day hike sections of Georgia in preparation for the trail and saw the first black person other than me just yesterday! DEFINITELY have that Blair Underwood experience when talking to people out there. Last night came down to the parking lot at Unicoi Gap from Tray Mountain at night (my first night hike) and talked to an older biker couple for a while in the dark. Upon leaving I must have said something or another to trigger the question "Are you Black?" (it was REALLY dark and we were mostly stargazing and talking about the sky). Kind of a weird question but whatever...wound up exchanging numbers and will probably hook up when I get to Unicoi during the hike for maybe a ride to Hiawasee or something. WIN!

gsingjane
01-18-2015, 19:06
When I worked at day-camp near an urban area, at the end of every two-week session we offered an optional overnight, and we definitely had a harder time convincing the families of Hispanic and Black girls to let them camp overnight. It seemed like the Hispanic families were very, very protective towards their daughters - we even had a few instances where the parents asked if the older brother could come along to safeguard his sister. In the Black families, it seemed more like there was a distrust of "the woods" and whether this has historical origins or associations, I don't know. Either way, though, we definitely had a harder time convincing the families of color to let their girls stay overnight. Girl Scouts has definitely pulled back on their outdoors offerings in the past decade or so, and I feel that a lot of this has to do, in some fashion, with the idea that urban or minority families just aren't interested. I feel that's such a shame, since the outdoors, nature and camping have so much to offer a young person.

I know that I am coming from a place of white privilege even to post this, so I do apologize if I have spoken on a topic where it would be better that I stay still. I did want to relate my specific experience, though.

Jane

SoniaButton
01-18-2015, 19:06
Don't let it keep you from hiking. Nobody on the trail cares what race you are or what country you are from. We're all the same on the trail.

It would never keep me from doing anything.

SoniaButton
01-18-2015, 19:28
I am a member of the "human race". We are all out of Africa if you follow the DNA trail backwards, the sooner we drop all the labels the better it will be for all.

Sandy, of course we are all of the "human race", but implying there isn't diversity is rather thoughtless. Although I understand where you are coming from with this comment, we must be careful not to be so naive as to not recognize and embrace the beautiful differences of cultures and the diversity that is people. And soumodeler, I'm not suggesting we "focus" on "labels". The fact of the matter is, there is diversity- the fact that some people view that diversity in a bad light is the problem. Simply ignoring the subject in no way will ever make anything progressive. In fact I believe that is an incredibly backwards way to think.

These things should be talked about, and if that makes you uncomfortable in any way that goes to prove how much more we have to go.


We have to ask these questions in order to break boundaries. When I initially posted this thread it was out of genuine wonder. I have done my research, and I thoroughly understand that there are many circumstantial and demo-graphical reasons why there are so many fewer minorities that hike than there are whites. The list truly could go on. I posted in wonder if anyone else in the class of 2015 was a person of color- I don't think there is anything wrong with that, except for the fact that many people's comments made me feel the need to defend a question of diversity. To me, that is sad.

Like I said, I would never let my skin color keep me from doing anything. On that hand, I would never ignore my skin color either. I am indeed a member of the human race, and I'm damn proud to be Puerto Rican, just like everyone should be damn proud of who they are. Ignoring your color or culture is a depressing thought, one that is not only ignorant but also counterproductive. I know that is the second time that I have said that, but I believe it strongly.

SoniaButton
01-18-2015, 19:31
I believe it was Martin Luther King who said, "Darkness cannot drive out darkness."

MrGonzalo
01-18-2015, 20:16
It's interesting how this thread started with a very valid and simple question. The fact that it took this spin means that, contrary to the beliefs of some, there are things to talk about and overcome.

Enjoy your hike, Sonia!


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Lone Wolf
01-18-2015, 20:23
So I have been thinking about this quite a bit. In the hiking clubs I have been in, I have only seen two other people of color. It seems that hiking is dominated by white folks. you are correct

Dogwood
01-18-2015, 20:48
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction … The chain reaction of evil–hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars — must be broken, or we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation.” - Martin Luther King Jr.

One of my most favorite quotes and one that has moved me deeply. MLK walked his talk and walked his walk. A true awe inspiration and honest soul. He showed us the best in man.

WingedMonkey
01-18-2015, 20:53
Sandy, of course we are all of the "human race", but implying there isn't diversity is rather thoughtless. Although I understand where you are coming from with this comment, we must be careful not to be so naive as to not recognize and embrace the beautiful differences of cultures and the diversity that is people.

I was wondering how to say that.

I wouldn't be that club member that asked you where your tan came from...but...once we became trail friends I'd be asking questions and would expect you to do the same. Things that are not my business on a web forum would be conversation between friends when hiking. I should say between hiking, I'm not a fan of talking and walking. ;)

We would discuss our genealogy and where we come from, if you were a recent arrival to the States or never even been to Puerto Rico (I've met plenty born in New York that moved to Florida and never saw the home land). Then I'd tell you how I finally planted my own pigeon peas because I love them as much as black eye peas. And we would yak about cultures and tastes and influences that make as both different and the same.

All the kinds of things that were none of my business until we spent some time together.

Or...we might just pass with a smile and a nod and never even get to know each other.

Both are possible on the trail.

illabelle
01-18-2015, 21:45
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction … The chain reaction of evil–hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars — must be broken, or we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation.” - Martin Luther King Jr.

One of my most favorite quotes and one that has moved me deeply. MLK walked his talk and walked his walk. A true awe inspiration and honest soul. He showed us the best in man.

Dogwood, that is an awesome quote. It should be on billboards.

Mags
01-18-2015, 22:14
So logically, hiking should be a favorite pastime of the poor.



How much did your plane ticket cost r/t for THe Colorado Trail?

What is the average drive r/t you do for a weekend backpacking trip both in terms of miles and hours spent?

If you frequently worked Saturdays and possibly Sundays to make up income to meet bills, would this trip be possible?

If your significant other works off-hours, typically in lower paid retail-type jobs, to make the 54k median household income, would you be able to take off weekends rather than watch the children?

How much time are you spending on the PCT (including before and after next year)? Would it be fair to include losing 4-6 months of income as a cost?

As single professional, you can afford these luxuries.

A family with the median income of 54k (or less), probably not.

Coffee
01-18-2015, 22:39
Mags, you don't really know a whole lot about me or my situation. I will say that your characterization is wrong however. Just as an example, I used miles for my CT flights. Granted, I got those miles through other travel but the point remains that hiking is dirt cheap. I didn't have to go to Colorado. I could have hopped on Amtrak on a $12 ticket to HF and started walking north. I could do that tomorrow at a cost no higher than food and supplies I would consume in "real life" anyway. I have my gear.

Anyway, I do wish that people with fewer resources than I have would get outdoors. Compared to nearly any other recreational activity I know of, nothing is cheaper or more mentally and physically healthy than hiking.

Coffee
01-18-2015, 22:48
Opportunity cost is indeed the most significant cost of any vacation including hiking. if you can't take any time off at all, then the type of vacation is a moot point since you can't afford to go anywhere. My only suggestion is that if one has any free time at all, going walking is about as cheap as it gets for people with reasonably cheap access to trails. As we know, millions of people in both the DC/Baltimore and NYC metro areas are within a cheap train ride of the AT. For me, hiking is what I choose to do regardless of money. I could afford to do many other things this year but hiking the PCT is what I want to do. And actually I will spend less money on the PCT than I would at home doing the things I normally do at home. I'm in a situation where opportunity cost is something I can manage. Very fortunate in other words. hoping to meet lots of great people of all races and backgrounds on the trail.

Mags
01-18-2015, 23:30
Mags, you don't really know a whole lot about me or my situation.

You are right. But I can take some educated guesses: IIRC, you mocked.flirted with me when you thought my name was short for Maggie. (http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php/85560-A-question-about-Trail-magic-I-d-like-to-give-back-before-ever-getting?p=1301815&viewfull=1#post1301815) And in previous posts you alluded to yourself being a professional. And the travel? Hmm.... Just saying. :)

We could go round and round. But the fact that you offhandedly say "I can go tomorrow" , buy a $12 ticket on a whim to Harpers Ferry, and "walk north" says a lot about your situation, life style and economic freedom. I question if you truly realize the real cost of hiking.

Walking is cheap.

Going to backpack with the equipment, time, having reliable transportation to a trail head, responsibilities, transportation cost itself, and lost income is not.

We are lucky. Many families are not.


Very fortunate in other words.

On that we agree it seems.

Coffee
01-18-2015, 23:39
Mags, just FYI the "coffee rules!" handle you linked to isn't me...lol. Someone else!

My only point is that for someone in a position to take time off for vacation at all, backpacking is cheap compared to Disney World and similar "middle class" types of vacations. Wouldn't you agree to that? Poor people who cannot take any time off cannot go on any vacations at all. But if someone with limited means has time hiking is damn cheap compared to lots if things. After all, what's with the good natured references everywhere to hiker trash?

Anyway, I've made my point and this is getting off topic.

MuddyWaters
01-18-2015, 23:52
Most families have zero interest in backpacking.
Even after many years involvement with scouts, i know practically zero ( just one person) that routinely backpack. Even ones that did it minimally with the scouts, never do again. None are into or ever have done long distance hiking .

The people i know that hike routinely, i met on the trail, or online.

And i live in a large metro area with half million people.

Its really not common at all unless you live close to mountains and outdoor sports oriented areas. Why? Because driving a few hours makes it inconvenient and expensive.

In a survey of JMT hikers last summer, 60% were from CA with 443. The next highest neighboring state, OR had 30. WA had 19. Proximity is everything.

I spent a lot to go hike the JMT, but about $1200 was free. Free airline ticket, free hotel rooms, free amtrak, etc. I might not have done it if i couldnt have wrangled the free travel. And the 3 weeks off work.

Tuckahoe
01-18-2015, 23:55
If I may add to Mags' points, we are viewing hiking as cheap or inexpensive through our own experience as already established hikers.

But how much would it truly cost if we were talking of a family of four with little to no real hiking experience? What would it cost to kit out with basic gear the first time to get to a trail? And if not a total disaster the first trip, what would be the cost to replace gear that the kids grew out of since the last trip or because mom and dad have learned something in the mean time?

I would bet I could get that family of four from Philly, Baltimore or DC to Williamsburg for a week at Busch Gardens cheaper than we could get them on the trail for a week.

rocketsocks
01-19-2015, 00:04
I've always felt hiking was a cheap activity, one of the reasons I was attracted to it...that said I do cheap hikes, not flying from East to West coast to hike the JMT, or spending 6 months on the PCT. It can be a very expensive way to spend time in the great outdoors, or it can be nothing more than stuffing a bag with some things and going on a walkabout.

Dogwood
01-19-2015, 00:13
Some of you are perpetuating the myth that one has to be affluent or be part of a category of highly educated U.S. standards to commune with nature, hike, camp, hunt, fish and enjoy the outdoors. Maybe, you perpetuate that because you are having difficulties seeing beyond your own ways in which you do these things. Not all people enjoy the outdoors, recreational hike, camp, hunt, fish, etc the same way meaning not all people are interested in having gross amounts of expensive gear, thru-hiking, traveling afar to exotic or well known hiking/hunting/fishing destinations, taking wks, even months off from work, etc. Perpetuating your own beliefs and ways on how you enjoy these things according to the categories and by the paradigms you include yourself is one of the precise reasons why some less financially well off have become alienated from some activities like camping, hiking, hunting, fishing, Nature, the outdoors, etc. They mistakenly buy into the false impression that it does take affluency or high education or doing it like others do to hike, camp, hunt, fish, and enjoy Nature and the outdoors.

I agree with Coffee in that hiking, camping, hunting, fishing, communing with nature and being in the outdoors, depending on how it's approached, can certainly be a rather inexpensive activity even for an extended family even with little or NO OUTDOOR BUDGET and certainly not needing of a visit to an REI, having abundant expensive gear, or a college education. That's the message that needs to be perpetuated to people of all colors and cultures not one that glorifies necessarily doing it affluently or that it's always somehow difficult to do.

These activities don't always have to take on epic expedition like proportions. Sometimes, all it takes is a stout stick with 20 ft of line and a hook and a couple slices of bread or dug up earthworms for bait whistling your way down to the river or pond with a few of the kids. Sometimes, all it takes is grandpa's old duffel bag wrapped around the shoulders, a plastic sheet fashioned into a lean to, and a couple cans of food. Sometimes, all it takes is that wrist rocket sling shot you got as a present to enjoy many hrs in the woods "hunting" with your friends. Sometimes, all it takes is going for a walk with the family and dog in the local county or state park. Sometimes, all it takes is a few well chosen flat round rocks and a quiet lake to enjoy skipping stones to your heart's content. Sometimes, all it takes is packing up the family into the old beater with a few tarps, some chicken to cook on the campfire, blankets, corn, and making the best of it with smiles to go all around camping FREE on some lands. Enjoying the outdoors, hiking, camping, hunting, fishing, etc don't have to be anymore complicated yet just as enjoyable and memorable as that! As a wise man once said, "I rolled up a loaf of bread and some tea in some blankets and jumped over the back fence." I can cite many examples of non affluent individuals, couples, and families, many of them minorities, but also some financially less well off whites, that creatively have found ways to camp, hike, hunt, fish, commune with Nature, and enjoy the outdoors NOT according to the wealthy white man's way but according to their own situations that fit them. Good for them. They're to be congratulated.

Tuckahoe
01-19-2015, 01:01
Dogwood, you are correct in so many ways, but this brings us back around to a point that others have made is that there has to be a spark as well.

The kid that grows up in Richmond around Church Hill, or in the neighborhoods around VCU may never get that exposure, never visit the REI on W Broad, and interest in the outdoors may never be sparked by those that influence them,

Yet just 30 miles down Rt 5 in Charles City those kids will be steeped in the outdoors in the manner that you have described.

Dogwood
01-19-2015, 03:56
SoniaButton, I have two very proud to be Puerto Rican uncles who hailed from the mean side of the streets in Jersey City and Hoboken NJ. Even if I could succeed in getting them to hike on anything other than asphalt and concrete for longer than a mile they would likely have a baseball capt, cotton shirt, heavy leather jacket, pop up tent, sleeping blanket, etc emblazened with the Purerto Rican flag. That would be funny seeing them in a their Proud to be Puerto Rican cotton tee shirts and red NIKE boxing shoes with their lights in the heels huffing and puffing down the trail.

Mi sobrino arsa we dere yet?.

MrGonzalo
01-19-2015, 05:40
Dogwoood,
I have read a handful of very useful posts from you in the UT forum. As far as this... Really? That's like a fried chicken joke. I am absolutely sure you did not mean it that way,
but it had all the flair...


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

illabelle
01-19-2015, 06:29
If I may add to Mags' points, we are viewing hiking as cheap or inexpensive through our own experience as already established hikers.

But how much would it truly cost if we were talking of a family of four with little to no real hiking experience? What would it cost to kit out with basic gear the first time to get to a trail? And if not a total disaster the first trip, what would be the cost to replace gear that the kids grew out of since the last trip or because mom and dad have learned something in the mean time?

I would bet I could get that family of four from Philly, Baltimore or DC to Williamsburg for a week at Busch Gardens cheaper than we could get them on the trail for a week.

I would like to suggest that it's not just among backpackers that we find few non-whites. The entry points to spending days and weeks on the trail are dayhiking and car camping, and the costs are minimal. Non-whites do not appear to participate in those activities to the extent that whites do, but I do see them from time to time. I remember a few years ago the football coach at the local university led the entire team (many non-whites) on a dayhike to Mt LeConte. For several of them, it was their first time on a trail. Maybe some of them have ventured into the woods on their own since then. :)

Coffee
01-19-2015, 07:20
I wonder how much of this is an east coast/AT thing. When I lived in California, many minorities used the local parks and recreational opportunities and I know that was the case, to a lesser extent, even in Yosemite. On the JMT, I did see minorities. Not nearly as many on the VA, MD, and PA AT sections I have completed to date. I do believe that access exists to the AT that is better in many ways than out west. So it could be a cultural difference. Local parks here near DC are also abundant. I can walk outside my building and be on an actual unpaved hiking trail in ten minutes. http://www.nps.gov/pohe/index.htm. I hardly ever see anyone on this trail, minority or not, if I walk a mile or two upriver. Feels like wilderness even though it's obviously not.

MrGonzalo
01-19-2015, 07:39
I wonder how much of this is an east coast/AT thing. When I lived in California, many minorities used the local parks and recreational opportunities and I know that was the case, to a lesser extent, even in Yosemite. On the JMT, I did see minorities. Not nearly as many on the VA, MD, and PA AT sections I have completed to date. I do believe that access exists to the AT that is better in many ways than out west. So it could be a cultural difference. Local parks here near DC are also abundant. I can walk outside my building and be on an actual unpaved hiking trail in ten minutes. http://www.nps.gov/pohe/index.htm. I hardly ever see anyone on this trail, minority or not, if I walk a mile or two upriver. Feels like wilderness even though it's obviously not.

Coffee, great point there.

California is an odd place in relation to the rest of the country. Here, you will find Mexican-Americans who have more American-born descendendants than most Irish-Americans in New York or Boston. That in turn means that you have a larger section of this demographic that lives outside of the typical boundaries of urban minorities. Those folks grew up with nature around them and love it. However, their individual opportunities to enjoy these blessing is not representative of other Mexican-Americans (say in the San Fernando Valley, for example).

Traveler
01-19-2015, 07:51
I would like to suggest that it's not just among backpackers that we find few non-whites. The entry points to spending days and weeks on the trail are dayhiking and car camping, and the costs are minimal. Non-whites do not appear to participate in those activities to the extent that whites do, but I do see them from time to time. I remember a few years ago the football coach at the local university led the entire team (many non-whites) on a dayhike to Mt LeConte. For several of them, it was their first time on a trail. Maybe some of them have ventured into the woods on their own since then. :)

A lot of this comes down to two issues, exposure to the activity and disposable time/income to pursue it. Economics aside, I think we can all remember the first few exposures we had into hiking and camping. My own experiences I was given some gear that was heavy and cumbersome, and we walked up a fairly significant mountain to a concert of whining young boys at 11 to 14 years old. Camping out at the summit erased the pain. A few more of these experiences kind of hooked me on the activity, though it would be years before I had the financial means to purchase even modest hiking gear and have the free time to pursue it.

However, without exposure I never would have done that and I am pretty sure many here would not have either. To that end, there are programs that introduce kids to hiking all over the US. Some of these are urban programs, others are rural, all of them seek to do one thing, provide a positive experience in an hiking environment for youngsters to build relationships with both the outdoors and those who are with them. If these programs exist near you and you are able to contribute time or a few dollars (or perhaps work to set one up), that can make the difference between someone discovering this stuff, or remaining unaware there is a huge world beyond their immediate one.

Connie
01-19-2015, 10:18
I would never have been interested in hiking or camping, based on Summer Camp.

The camp nurse said I had got chiggers on my back. I had an allergic reaction to Methylatum (topical camphor). I had to be sent to the hospital and home.

My family camping experiences were "the best".

I think having this interest requires exposure to the experience. That, and a "good experience".

The forced march ill-equipped Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, I knew, will never like the outdoors experience.

I had a good experience, but I actually did bring the items on the list for our 18-day hike in the North Cascades. No one else did, not one.

My college Outdoor Program had a well-equipped room for lending equipment for the weekend.

Experienced members had sign-up sheets for trips on the weekend. They were the "trip leader" or "trip leaders". There were three or four trips each weekend.

We shared transportation.

Everyone had to provide proper footwear, and, a jacket, hat or gloves the "trip leaders" had to approve. Often, better gloves were traded. Often, people returned home to get something better before we left. It was possible to check out everything else from the equipment room.

Each brought their own food.

Many of us, from that time, still backpack.

kushtakaa
01-22-2015, 15:47
I started following Mecca early on. Posted a number of youtube vids then was silent for months...then posted some more from Grayson, etc. I don't know if he finished...but the pic in the upper-right of his youtube channel makes me think he did! :-)

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKbgovlgPTFUsWJ6-oP0G_Q

kushtakaa
01-22-2015, 15:56
oops..."upper-left"....

DLP
01-22-2015, 16:30
I see a lot of Asian people backpacking in Yosemite, but I'm from a city in CA where 1/3 of the people are Chinese, 1/3 are Indian and 1/3 is everybody else. A lot of the Bay Area has this racial make up. I spent Father's Day camped on North Dome and my nephew (who is African American) was with us and the other group camped there were Indian (their parents were from India... And while they are Indian Americans... they are not American Indians... :)). So that one day... there were 4 white people and 5 people of color camped on North Dome.

But that isn't thru hiking...

My son's girl friend is African American... she won't go backpacking because she is really afraid of bears and walks thru the forest with a can of mace. But there are white people afraid of bears. She did go "backpacking" on Angel Island and was terrified of the racoons, but that is actually a rational fear. We are all afraid of the Angel Island racoons. They are terrifying! :)

And what mags said about economics and college.

trailblaser
01-22-2015, 16:33
Sonia!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Seriously?????????????????

trailblaser
01-22-2015, 16:36
FYI, i am a person of color, and when i am on a trail i am totally consumed in the beauty of the wilderness and not who is who

Dogwood
01-22-2015, 16:46
Dogwoood,
I have read a handful of very useful posts from you in the UT forum. As far as this... Really? That's like a fried chicken joke. I am absolutely sure you did not mean it that way,
but it had all the flair...


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

I was relating my Uncle's typical very proud very public displays of behavior as they apply it to their heritage. I was not implying any of that to Puerto Rican's as a whole.

trailblaser
01-22-2015, 16:59
Sonia!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Seriously