5 Concerns That Keep Black Folks Out of the Woods

Photo Courtesy of LWA-Sharie Kennedy

When I mention to some people that I go camping…

it’s not uncommon to hear why others won’t do it themselves. Here is a list of the most frequently heard excuses for not heading out to the woods, along with some real facts to consider:

1. Sleeping in a tent is an elaborate form of back torture

Fact: Just because you sleep in a tent doesn’t mean you have to sleep on the ground. REI portable cots and mats are the way I go nowadays because comfort is important. Sure, a cot won’t feel like a Sealy Posturepedic, but it’s not the ground either. Tip: be sure to get a tent that is sized for one person more than your party to allow more space for comfy sleeping gear.

2. No showers

Fact: Family campgrounds DO have hot showers, and the availability of this amenity is no shocker if you do a little homework on your selected campsite in advance. In fact, the outdoor camp showers are some of the best I have had as some are opened on top for a terrific view of the sky or stars.

3. No Music, TV, or Video Games

Fact: These days wireless is becoming more common for family camp sites, but the point of camp is to connect with the environment or with those in your group. Play a board game, tell funny family stories, go for a walk – it’s these activities that are the source of great memories to last a lifetime.

4. Animals and Bugs

Fact: Yes, wonderful wildlife is a reality in the outdoors, but critters don’t have to ruin your trip. Use bug repellent (or swallow a clove of raw garlic, I am told) for the worst flying offenders. Keep food and other smellables away from where you sleep. You actually have a much greater chance of being hurt by a domestic dog than by a bear!

5. It’s dirty

Ok, let’s make a distinction between soil and filth. Campgrounds are not the place to wear new Air Force Ones. Dirt is inevitable, but filth you won’t find at a developed camp site nor at the more “primitive” areas. Developed camps are maintained to ensure sustainability and safety for all creatures who inhabit them — even the temporary ones!

Bottom line: abandon the scary, non-factual ideas about camping and give it a try!

Got more reasons why you don’t camp? Post them here!