Black Folks Don’t Camp

Check out the newest installment of the series, Black Folks Don’t… by Black Public Media.

Of course, we here at Outdoor Afro know that black people DO camp, and I know some Outdoor Afros will be offended by the title alone. But I invite you all to take it as a funny and irreverent discussion about black people and camping  that may inspire conversastions about deepening our collective engagement with nature. Share how you love to camp in the comments below!


13 Thoughts on “Black Folks Don’t Camp”

  • So last week I showed my wife your blog post about going to some swanky Kampgrounds of America location. I took my wife and two-year-old son to a KOA near us a couple of years ago and it was basically a parking lot with trees! Now she keeps talking about how she wants to go to the one you visited. I keep pointing out that we live in Chicago. Two days ago I ran to her to show her your story in Backpacker magazine. I have a subscription. I spent Sunday testing out my new homemade snakeskins for my hammock tarp.

    We camp. Yes, we do.

    • Yes the KOAs run the gamut, from super swanky to super simple! So glad you are engaged, and thank you for keeping up with us and sharing the word that camping is AWESOME!


      • Since April of this year I have tent camped and fished and Hiked in the Sierras ( Yosemite) 6 times. I just got back Sunday nIght from camping there since Thursday. I go as often as possible. Black folks better learn how to survive and camp, for in case that Huge earthquake hit Cali. And all these freeways and water aquaducts collapse and food run out at the grocery stores and such. Camping and wilderness survival is a good skill to have. Just in case. LOL

        • I have heard people say this as well – that it is not merely about leisure, but skills for a changing world. I would have to agree. I am a fan of Octavia Butler and the book Earthseed shows example after example of how knowing land-based survival skills made the difference between life and death the the characters. I also think about my own Southern parents and how they could live on little monry, but had so much because they could garden and such.

          Thanks for your comment – you’re right – it’s not just about camping!


  • I love camping — wish I did it more often.
    My fave part of camping is making S’mores!! But, I also enjoy being outdoors and away from it all. I live in Cali, so there is plenty of camping on or close to beaches — so it gets me out and close to the water.

    • I feel the same way Bernadette! It really is a small way to experience peace in our lives. You can also have that same peace by going on a hike!
      Thanks for your comment!


  • I’m glad that the clip included some black people who actually camp. I was expecting the worst, just a bunch of city folk that don’t camp, not so much because they are black, but because they are city.

    I grew up in the country (NC), learned to camp and fish w/ my uncle and his friends, and until college, assumed that most black people camped. I started to notice that the further away from the south I got, the fewer fellow black faces I saw when I was backpacking and camping. I had resigned myself to the fact that this was the way it would be…until I ran across Rue’s blog a couple years ago. Now I see more concerted efforts to get black people engage with the great outdoors. Hopefully, I’ll see more black people on our trip this month…look out MidWest, here we come!

    • Thanks for your comment Todd – I agree there is definitely more effort to get more people engaged with nature. Right now many organizations are looking at the fact of the change of American demographics and recognize a need to be more broad in reach else there will be fewer members, customers, and conservationists to preserve our natural (rural and urban) heritage.
      You are certainly not alone Todd – there are many, many more of us, and all put together we are numerous and hail from around the country!


  • I just recently retired & want to go camping. I haven’t been camping since my boy scout days decades ago. I can’t get anyone interested. Oh well, guess I’ll be going alone.

  • My family are RV campers, it like having a beach front home , a house on the lake,cabin in the woods. every place is difference. true we dont see many blacks. but the other campers have always been friendly. we look forward to going out twice a month or more.the state parks are great. its like a mini vacation for the weekend trips. any campers in north florida. lets go camping sometime. you’ll love it

  • I LOVE camping, I grew up camping and once I had kids I introduce it to them and now they are adults and they camp on their own. I did 20 yrs in the U.S Army and camping is different than the fields in the Army, we own a 5th wheel, it has a living room with fire place, kitchen, bathroom with shower and a bedroom with king size bed, oh yea, did I mention the 47″ T.V with direct TV? That’s a house on wheels BLACK FOLK!!! Don’t knock it tell you try it. It’s so relaxing. I’m lucky to have a black man, from Georgia that is willing to step out of his comfort zone.

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