I love being outside and based on my parents I’ve always been that way. There is just something about being amongst nature that brings me joy and peace. Most of my outdoor fun pre-college was on the farm/family yards, minor camp-related activities for Girl Scouts, and hanging out in local parks. I got into hiking and camping during my college years.
Gratefully Big and Little also like going hiking and camping. You would find us exploring some forest/sanctuary or hiking a trail at least once a month when we lived in Kentucky. Now that we live in New York (without a car), I try to plan one major outing during the summer.
Like most I do research when planning our hiking/camping trips. But I have an additional component to my research – I check the demographics of the surrounding areas. This might seem odd to some, but I feel safer knowing that an area has residents of color. Additionally, my fear of discrimination/negative actions and my worry of the odd stares decreases. (Long story short – I have been in some unsafe hiking instances because of my race). I know I am not the only one that does this…while I’m also aware of folks that have experienced worse – which is disheartening.
At the end of the day, I am not going to let the extra research prevent me and the girls being one with nature. And you know what I’m not the only one! Thanks to the internet/social media society is observing BIPOCs outdoors – which is awesome! Note if you have a chance check out #blackhikersweek