Little Kuma gets to explore the outdoors with his mama, Hannah. To see unrestrained joy and curiosity on his little face was so special. It reminded me to enjoy the smallest of details.
The outdoors is for everyone. It is for the young and the old. It is for every race. It is for every social and economic demographic. It is for pro athletes and first timers. .
There are lots of barriers, economic, institutional, and geographical, that keep people from seeing the outdoors as home. Colonialism privatized lots of land and turned it into “someone else’s home” while taking home away from indigenous people. All of this adds to the current disconnection from nature. And while I can’t undo all of that, I can share my gear to help someone else get outside and I can walk slowly with small humans as they begin to explore the outdoors. I can let you know that you don’t need fancy gear to enjoy a day hike, you don’t have go to crazy far places to say you love the outdoors, you don’t have to be a white cis-gender person to go backpacking, you don’t have to grow up experiencing the outdoors to fall in love with it as an adult.
If you want to experience more of the outdoors, but you don’t know where to start, ask a friend who might know a little bit (I LOVE talking to friends about the outdoors, encouraging them to get out, giving them tips, or sometimes introducing them to backpacking for the first time. So many other “outdoorsy” folks feel the same way! We want to help!) If you feel like you don’t see anyone like yourself in the outdoors, know that there are so many support groups and resources out there. (some good places to start are: @unlikelyhikers @melaninbasecamp @getout.stayout @fatgirlshiking @indigenouswomenhike @latinooutdoors
+ there are SO many more out there if you browse around!!!)
This is just scratching the surface, and everything is oversimplified here, but I just wanted to put an encouraging note out there in the case that you want to get outside more but feel like you don’t belong. You do!
If you do go outside, just remember #LeaveNoTrace
principles and remember that whatever land you are walking on has been someone’s home for centuries/millennias.