Jan 6, 2012 at 8:59 pm #1283802
Where are you at? If you're out there lurking, step out into the white, they don't bite. ;-) I'm kidding people….lighten up.
I can't think of any other black BPL members or contributors, besides Kendall and I……..not that there's anything wrong with that. Nick Gatel is pretty dark complected and collects Black Barbie dolls, so he's going down as a maybe. I'm still unsure about him though, could be all that Anza Borrego sun he's received lately playing tricks on my eyes.Jan 6, 2012 at 9:05 pm #1821112
Mike In SocalParticipant
LOLJan 6, 2012 at 9:09 pm #1821113
Is that a yes Michael?
Don't answer. I'm desperate here for numbers, you're on my list, but your last name isn't helping your case.
Nick Gatel (YTBD)
IkeJan 6, 2012 at 9:11 pm #1821115
There might be WAY more than you think Eugene…don't make me blow anyone's cover.Jan 6, 2012 at 9:15 pm #1821116
I feel like I just took a body shot…..hilarious Craig.Jan 6, 2012 at 9:19 pm #1821118
LOL Eugene, Wish I could help. Actually would this count?
You said "Black" now, you didn't say I had to be Africa American or that I had to be permanantly black:)Jan 6, 2012 at 9:27 pm #1821122
@davidinkenaiLocale: North Woods. Far North.
I've long wondered about that. And I'd like to bounce a theory off you. Most people don't start backpacking until their families have had a generation or two of non-physical work. If you work hard all week using your body – construction, laborer, housekeeping, plumber, etc – I think there's less appeal to go sweat all weekend. There was for me when I was doing construction.
With fewer Blacks in the population, and a smaller percentage of blacks getting to college and into professional, non-physical jobs; I've assumed Blacks on the trail would a generation or two behind White backpackers and we're really only had 2 generations of White backpackers now – 70's+80's and then 90+00's. Sure there were some in the 60's and earlier but not as many of all stripes as there are Black backpackers now.
I think of Blacks I've BPed with and they were engineers, MS Music, computer geeks, etc – outlyers in any culture and definitely very immersed in White culture.
And then Scouting is so white – jeez, BSA is 1/3 Mormon and you can't get more White or recently racist than that (I'm referring to LSD doctrine prior to 1978).
And while fishing is a very diverse – Asians, Blacks, Whites – I perceive hunting and its associated camping and hiking as being practiced by a higher percentage of Whites, Native Americans and Alaskan Natives, than Blacks or Hispanics.
What was your entree into BPing? Mine was Scouting, reinforced in University Hiking Club.
And you can leave behind so much of the sunscreen a Celtic sun cancer survivor like me has to bring – you're a natural for UL BPing.Jan 6, 2012 at 9:35 pm #1821124
Hey, don't forget me, Eugene! My father's black (also half Filipino). My background is the Gullah people from Sourh Carolina, specifically Hiltonhead Island.
I'm pretty sure we talked about it once on the black hiking video thread. :-)
Yeah, I'm a blackpacker, too.Jan 6, 2012 at 9:37 pm #1821125
@justin_bakerLocale: Santa Rosa, CA
I have a black friend… does that count?Jan 6, 2012 at 9:44 pm #1821128
While blacks don't fit the hiking bill very often, go down to the boonies of places like Georgia and South Carolinaand you'll see lots of blacks hunting and fishing.y great uncle in South Carolina used to hunt 'coons, squirrels, and rabbits and fish for catfish, to supplement the dinner table. I think it's because most whites don't have much personal association with blacks that there is this misconception that blacks don't spend time outdoors. After all it was white people who did lots of physical work in the past who did lots of hunting and fishing.
We live on the same planet, folks. And have just as much reverence for and pleasure in the natural world.Jan 6, 2012 at 9:58 pm #1821138
"y great uncle in South Carolina used to hunt 'coons, squirrels, and rabbits and fish for catfish, to supplement the dinner table."
When I was little I knew a very old black gentlemen in east Texas who was good friends with my parents. I believe he lived to be 101 and he died when I was maybe 6 or 7 so I didn't get to know him real well. He lived on a farm, plowed his land with his own mule and hunted squirrels for the meat with an old rifle held together with electric tape. I remember stopping to see him when I was about 6 and he was still living independantly and walking around. Really nice guy. When my mom was pregnant she walked out by the road to pick a few of the black berries. To her it was just a snack but for someone from his generation picking berries probably would have been serious busniness. Anyway he thought a pregnant lady had no business working like that so he brought her an old ice cream container full of them (than returned later to get his container back, he was that thrifty).Jan 6, 2012 at 10:01 pm #1821139
Yeah my great uncle was 97 last time I saw him. Still hunting raccoon and making his own rotgut.Jan 6, 2012 at 10:13 pm #1821142
You're black? To be honest, I never really thought about it.Jan 6, 2012 at 10:14 pm #1821143
Wow Miguel, maybe something in the diet? Maybe we should eat more possum!
Funny side note, when I was in preschool I knew Issac, and my favorite playmate was "Black" but I didn't understand the term and didn't connect it to my friends. I thought when people refered to "Black people" they meant people who wore black clothes!Jan 6, 2012 at 10:17 pm #1821145
Yes, I do remember our brief conversation, forgive me for forgetting you. You're on the list.
You're an incredibly unique individual Miguel….I still don't think I quite understand your story. Too bad you and I aren't going to the GGG at Henry Coe, I could sit for a day listening to you explain your intricate background.
Long story short…..I love the outdoors, always have, it just feels right to me. Backpacking is a simple means for spending extended time in wilderness, it only seems natural for me to engage nature in such a way.
I work a full time physical labor job and don't make much money, yet I still prioritize time before work, and often after work to get out and run around like a crazy person for a bit alongside rattle snakes, coyotes, deer, all those creatures that inhabit the desert that I've grown to love. I do possess a college degree…..that I've yet to do anything with in the way of income, in fact where is that thing? Does my education status have anything to do with my love of the outdoors? Probably not. How I am wired as a creative individual has more to do with my impulses to get out and walk and run in the mountains for a few days than my educational or occupational position.Jan 6, 2012 at 10:26 pm #1821146
"You're black? To be honest, I never really thought about it.
I'm that good Joe. ;-) I don't care to think about it much either Joe, my family is the biggest ethnic mixup there is, just came to my mind this evening for some reason. Craig's post got me thinking about how diverse this community of people are.
My father's side of the family are from the Tidewater region of Virginia, they're all native fisherman and crabbers, it's a rich part of their culture. My grandfather is a quiet man who owns a small cabin in the Appalachians of West Virginia, to this day he still makes solo trips up there to bow hunt for deer; he's a very spry old man and inspiring to me. With the exception of a few years spent in NYC, I grew up in predominately white communities where I was exposed to a tremendous amount of outdoor recreation, the influence on me was incredible.Jan 6, 2012 at 11:03 pm #1821153
drowning in spamMember
I'm hesitant to participate in another chafe thread after the last one resulted in toxic lies about what I said, but what the hell…
I've been wondering about this. I rarely see black people on the PCT, and it's made even more odd by how many people come from all over the world to do the trail. I met people from Switzerland, England, Canada, Korea, Japan and probably many more that I've remember if I gave more time to this about this post. It's so very few that it seems odd. I don't know what people are here, and don't really care. I wouldn't be surprised if the ratio is similar to what I've seen on the PCT. The one black PCT hiker I met last year was a young thru hiker doing the trail with his mother and their dog. That kid was amazing. He had so much energy and was so smart. On the bus he even explained his idea of how long distance space propulsion should be done. It was a long bus ride, but his energy and enthusiasm made it a pleasant trip.Jan 7, 2012 at 3:26 am #1821183
@ikeLocale: Central Michigan
Cultural diversity adds flavor to the unifying love of the outdoors that we all share. Please consider this as my application for a position as an honorary blackpacker.
Me during a very awkward phase in growing out my hair. Note that I am holding a genuine African Bullfrog in the photo.Jan 7, 2012 at 7:17 am #1821218
@sarbarLocale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
And yet I meet every year more and more hikers of obvious black background (African-American? not always. some are more recent immigrants to the US). Maybe it is the living in the PNW where the outdoors are put on a high pedestal, they meet others through work, whatnot and find they enjoy hiking. Maybe not backpacking, but yes on hiking.
And yes….I have seen the Holy Grail – a black man with his son at Rainier :-P I say this in sarcasm because years ago I listened to a person wax on about how that didn't exist. Heck I have seen entire Hispanic families out hiking (Mexican folk) – with Momma in the rear telling her 6 sons to walk faster – and to not drop her cooler. LOL! That one was great. I can understand just enough Spanish that I caught on to her railing at those teen boys. She was going to have her picnic lunch with a view. They had almost no hiking gear but had a massive cooler and a couple gallon jugs of water – and what more do you need when you have SIX teen boys?
But hey, I am not 100% Caucasian. So I am kind of biased in looking when I walk – although those with any form of Asian descent are a dime a dozen out here. Those darn Japanese especially. They clog the trails.
Lol!Jan 7, 2012 at 8:33 am #1821248
Thought I'd rush this out there before the opportunity fades.. Eugene, we ought to hurry and register a new trademark for a new site: "Blackpacking White polka dot Klingon" (spoken with Elmer Fudd's voice). Motto? "We do do UL, just darker"Jan 7, 2012 at 8:42 am #1821253
Daryl and DarylParticipant
@lyrad1Locale: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth
I came from a working class family and golfing was just not something that anyone in my family would ever do. Our view was that golf was a sport for people quite different from ourselves. Same went for swimming. My dad's advice was "just stay away from the water". So you won't see me or my siblings hanging around the golf course or the pool.
Could something like my experience help explain the low number of black backpackers?
I recently donated some tents to a group in Seattle that helps central area kids (mostly black) get into backpacking. I also notice that REI regularly includes blacks in their catalogs. Perhaps these efforts will change things over time.
Thanks for bringing up the issue. I'm usually reluctant to discuss the race thing for fear that I'm going to accidentally say something that might offend or hurt someone.
DarylJan 7, 2012 at 8:51 am #1821259
@balzaccomLocale: Wine Country
Actually, there are also relatively few Hispanics on the backpacking trails, when you consider that in California, they represent a HUGE percentage of the population. I suspect that it has something to do with feeling comfortable in the situation. I know that SEKI and Yosemite both seem to have some bilingual outreach programs for communities in the Central Valley, which makes a lot of sense.
A vaguely related story: each year I close my small company and take everybody car camping. (It's supposed to be team building, but it really just gives me another excuse to get up in the mountains.) And everybody is invited, including kids, spouses, parents, friends…
So the first year that the Hispanic woman who cleans our offices joined us, she was very worred. Insisted on a carpool with another employee so that she wouldn't get lost, borrowed a lot of equipment, worred about everything from bears to rattlesnakes.
The next year she had bought her own equipment.
The next year she asked me for advice because she had invited her whole church to join her family for a campout, and wanted suggestions on where she should go.
she's now an absolute mainstay of our company campout, and brings an extended family to join us.
Still makes me smile.Jan 7, 2012 at 9:00 am #1821264
@kennyhel77Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
I wish there were more participants from other ethnic groups. Diversity is a wonderful thing for sure. I was backpacking in Emigrant Wilderness back in around 1999 or so. I met a whole family of African Americans on the trail backpacking…very cool indeed!Jan 7, 2012 at 9:18 am #1821270
"Just let your Soul Glo….just let is shine through……just let your Soullllllll glo……just let it shine through."
You're officially on the list, though we all know a brother wouldn't be caught dead holding a frog or wearing denim on denim, that's more Jay Leno than Lionel Richie.
"We do do UL, just darker"
This is classic. If you're really serious that domain name is still available. I may have found our Director of Blackness….Jan 7, 2012 at 9:35 am #1821276
Can I join! Can I join!
Oh, wait, I fricking glow in the dark I'm so white. Toe-headed to boot. Bummer. But I like Miles Davis and Coltrane! And I rooted for Ali over Bugner. Does that count?
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