Outdoor Diversity Groups: 6 Black Owned and Led Outdoor Communities
Being in the great outdoors can be a rejuvenating experience. It’s proven that fresh air is good for the body and being able to be in nature can be a healing event. That’s why it’s so important to make sure everyone is included in the outdoor narrative! In honor of Black History Month, here are a list of Black owned and led outdoor groups and communities that promote inclusion, diversity, and representation for all Black and Brown nature lovers.
With Rue Mapp as its founder, Outdoor Afro is a Black led outdoor group that focuses on getting people involved in nature. From kayaking to camping, biking, hiking, and swimming, the mission of this group is to get you outside and moving!
Every experience level is welcome and with an incredible team of Black and Brown leaders, you can count on feeling the great sense of outdoor community that this group provides.
Beginning in Oakland, California, Outdoor Afro is now one of the most well-known nature groups welcoming over 50 locations across the nation. These groups are a great way to get to know new people in the area and participate in a community of nature lovers of all degrees.
So, if you find yourself in one of the many Outdoor Afro locations (listed here: https://outdoorafro.com/all-locations/) make sure to get signed up for one of their many outdoor outings!
And experiences with Outdoor Afro are truly vast with skiing trips at Winter Park in Colorado to an annual Glamp In fundraising event featuring celebrity guests and talks of conservation and public land protection. What started as a blog is now a network of caring and impactful individuals seeking to protect and diversify the outdoor experience.
Whether you’re exploring the Pacific Northwest or soaking up the warm Florida sun, its worth making it a group effort with Outdoor Afro.
Visit their website here for more information: https://outdoorafro.com/
Black Girls Trekkin’
Ladies, grab your hiking boots and join this awesome group of gals hiking, climbing, and experiencing the outdoor landscape of the Los Angeles area. This group embraces Black womanhood and inclusion in the outdoors while promoting diversity and conservation of the land.
With co-founder Tiffany coming to the outdoors for peace and rejuvenation and co-founder Michelle for the environmental science and biology, the purpose of this group is to promote representation of Black women as a part of the outdoor narrative. Creating a safe space for women of color to enjoy the natural world together.
Not only do they offer group activities like hiking and conservation projects, but the Black Girls Trekkin’ website is also a great place to explore topics related to outdoor inclusion and gain tips and tricks for experiencing the outdoors. From how to hike in the rain to LA wildlife, it truly is a great resource for nature lovers.
If you live in LA or are road tripping through the area, I highly recommend reaching out and getting involved with Black Girls Trekkin’.
Join their email list here: https://blackgirlstrekkin.com/join-our-email-list/ to stay updated!
And visit https://blackgirlstrekkin.com/ to meet Tiffany and Michelle and get to know BGT!
Black and Camping
It’s not often that you see Black owned campgrounds promoted in advertising or on social media but Black and Camping is here to correct that with their incredible list of Black owned RV parks all across America.
Their website features campgrounds from Illinois to California, Alabama to Washington state and even lists details about the parks with a website link to each. You simply have to decide where you’re headed and click accordingly!
Not only does Black and Camping provide this awesome list of Black owned campgrounds, but they host a series of camping events to encourage collaboration, community, inclusion, and diversity in the outdoors.
Located nationwide, check out the website here: https://www.blackandcamping.com/2022events for a list of events in your area.
But the most moving notion about Black and Camping, is the message behind the mission. Owner LixieJane started the organization with the intention of getting people comfortable in outdoor spaces. Introducing Black families to camping, especially tent and car camping, as a way to create community in and with nature.
Check out their story and more at: https://www.blackandcamping.com/about-us
Not on the West Coast? No fear, as Soul Trak is your D.C. based headquarters for diversity in nature. With a family adventure program, Soul Trak expresses the desire to not only connect kids with nature but parents to their kids.
Soul Trak also has Cohorts for college students and environmental leaders. Coming together in climbing gyms and connecting over a love of conservation, these programs encourage diversity in both nature and leadership.
Outside of the leadership programs, Soul Trak offers a great deal of group activities including bike rides, ski trips, climbing camps, and hiking events. They also offer opportunities to give back to nature with service days that focus around clean up and conservation.
Regardless of what outdoor activities you enjoy Soul Trak is an excellent group for Black and Brown nature lovers in the D.C. area.
For more information about how to get involved, check out their website here: https://soultrak.com/
A brilliant collection of outdoor enthusiasts from all ethnic and racial backgrounds, Melanin Basecamp is a hub for information on inclusion, representation, and all things nature! Created by Danielle Williams with the amazing vision to actually SHOW representation of Black, Brown, LGBTQ+, and any underrepresented athletes and enthusiast that are often completely left out of media attention.
While this group does not offer direct group activities, it’s an incredible resource for all your outdoor adventures. From nature guides and product reviews to advice on how to connect to outdoor activities despite any cultural hesitation, Melanin Basecamp is a diverse network of resources centered around people of color and their experience in the outdoors.
Melanin Basecamp and the Diversify Outdoors community really is an excellent outdoor resource with a wonderful list of inclusion groups found here: https://www.melaninbasecamp.com/diversify
But the big gem of this online resource is their dedication to sharing stories and real-life testament from Black and Brown nature lovers themselves. And when it comes to the hard topics like how to address racism while in nature to how to be a better ally to inclusion, Melanin Basecamp does a substantial job of educating, explaining, encouraging, and including.
Get to know everyone at Melanin Basecamp here at: https://www.melaninbasecamp.com/trip-reports
Black Folks Camp Too
Camping in the outdoors can be an enriching experience for anyone. However, with lack of representation in widespread outdoor activity, it can seem like it’s just not something Black and Brown families do. Black Folks Camp Too’s mission is to show that Black folks, well, they camp too.
With a number of community resources, videos, and blogs, this group is always encouraging Black families to get out there and experience the world of camping and enjoying nature. They also provide tips on where to camp and even give examples of the different ways to stay. It truly is a great resource for Black and Brown families wanting to get out and try their at hand camping.
But a really cool thing about BFCT is their scholarships, education funds, and donation projects that center around conservation, Leave No Trace practices, and outdoor inclusion.
For more resources, check out their website here: https://www.blackfolkscamptoo.com/
The Black Outdoors
The Black Outdoors is an incredible network of information. From how to, to where to, this community is shaped around getting Black and Brown people outdoors. They understand how underrepresentation can lead to hesitation or lack of inclusion and so their mission is to provide resources and knowledge to people of color as they navigate the natural world.
Founders Tramond and Eze both began this community with the angle that there wasn’t much resource or representation for Black people. Tramond from a Geology and Geoscience background and Eze, a member of the health field, from traveling and spending time in nature.
Their website includes excellent advice on how to start your outdoor journey and even offers tips on how to stay safe and what gear to use. Really, it’s a great tool for anyone new to getting outdoors, led by people who understand how important representation and inclusion really is.
So check them out here for all your beginner needs: https://www.theblackoutdoors.com/getoutdoors
Nature is such a beautiful representation of how diverse and abundant our planet is, and it should be no different for the humans exploring it. That’s why there are a number of incredible groups making sure Black and Brown folks feel absolutely natural in nature!
From Black women getting together to hike, bike, and move around to informative website resources centered around Black representation, there really are some great people doing great things for the outdoor community. And with groups like Outdoor Afro, Black and Camping, and Melanin Basecamp growing and expanding, it’s very clear how valued these groups are in their mission.
So, get on out there because there’s an entire community of Black and Brown friends ready to greet you in the great outdoors.