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Blacks with Packs?
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Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
Blacks with Packs? on 01/06/2012 21:59:05 MST Print View

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.

Mike In Socal
(rcmike) - MLife

Locale: California
:) on 01/06/2012 22:05:25 MST Print View


Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
"Blacks with Packs?" on 01/06/2012 22:09:33 MST Print View

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.

So far:

Kendall Clement
Nick Gatel (YTBD)
Michael Whitman
Miguel Arbodela

Edited by Eugeneius on 01/07/2012 10:42:03 MST.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: "Blacks with Packs?" on 01/06/2012 22:11:17 MST Print View

There might be WAY more than you think Eugene...don't make me blow anyone's cover.


Edited by xnomanx on 01/06/2012 22:13:18 MST.

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
"Blacks with Packs?" on 01/06/2012 22:15:41 MST Print View

I feel like I just took a body shot.....hilarious Craig.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Wish I could help... on 01/06/2012 22:19:12 MST Print View

LOL Eugene, Wish I could help. Actually would this count?

Me dressed as "Wild Man"

You said "Black" now, you didn't say I had to be Africa American or that I had to be permanantly black:)

Edited by Cameron on 01/06/2012 22:19:57 MST.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: Blacks with Packs? on 01/06/2012 22:27:03 MST Print View

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.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Blacks with Packs? on 01/06/2012 22:35:36 MST Print View

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.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Blacks with Packs? on 01/06/2012 22:37:24 MST Print View

I have a black friend... does that count?

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Blacks with Packs? on 01/06/2012 22:44:14 MST Print View

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.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Our friend Issac on 01/06/2012 22:58:30 MST Print View

"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).

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Our friend Issac on 01/06/2012 23:01:30 MST Print View

Yeah my great uncle was 97 last time I saw him. Still hunting raccoon and making his own rotgut.

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Blacks with Packs? on 01/06/2012 23:13:42 MST Print View

You're black? To be honest, I never really thought about it.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Re Re Re Our Friend Issac on 01/06/2012 23:14:18 MST Print View

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!

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
"Blacks with Packs?" on 01/06/2012 23:17:22 MST Print View


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.

@ David,

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.

Edited by Eugeneius on 01/06/2012 23:54:15 MST.

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
"Blacks with Packs?" on 01/06/2012 23:26:08 MST Print View

"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.

@ Miguel,

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.

Edited by Eugeneius on 01/06/2012 23:43:53 MST.

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: Blacks with Packs? on 01/07/2012 00:03:22 MST Print View

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.

Ike Jutkowitz
(Ike) - M

Locale: Central Michigan
re: An application on 01/07/2012 04:26:17 MST Print View

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.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Blacks with Packs? on 01/07/2012 08:17:11 MST Print View

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.


Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Blacks with Packs? on 01/07/2012 09:33:02 MST Print View

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"

Edited by butuki on 01/07/2012 09:33:43 MST.