Colorado’s beautiful natural wonders should be a place where all feel welcome … and that’s where a group called the Colorado Blackpackers comes in.
Founder Patricia Cameron’s goal is simple: get more people out into nature, and cover the cost of what can be an expensive way to spend the weekend.
“What I’d notice, especially in Colorado, I’d go out to these parks or go camping, and I was the only person of color I see,” Cameron said. “I’d get super excited when I saw someone who was a person of color.”
Cameron said she didn’t camp as a kid, since her family worked outdoors and spending the weekends doing the same wasn’t really a priority.
But when her son was born, she started taking him camping by herself, and Googling the things she needed to know along the way.
“It was so natural for me,” she said. “Once I got a chance to be out there, it felt like I was home again, and it makes sense.”
Cameron said part of the barrier to get more people involved in the outdoors is the cost of entry, which can include everything from gear to training to finding people to accompany you.
“It’s intimidating when you go out there, and you know there are people wearing the latest Patagonia, or the latest North Face, and you might have something used,” she said.
This is where the Blackpackers can help. The organization subsidizes the cost of gear or lends it out, and helps get groups of people together so they aren’t going at it alone.
“I think if we can target some of the wealth or monetary issues people have with getting outdoors, they’ll be more likely to be able to access it and really find joy in it if they’re not concerned about the money,” Cameron said.
You can find more information here: https://www.coblackpackers.com/
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