I started to hear a lot about the lack of diversity in the outdoor industry a few years ago when I began planning my expedition to walk across Africa. A simple search on Google of modern day explorers showed image after image of only white men. I don’t mean to take away from their credit as they did fantastic things and I looked up to and learned a lot from them, however, I quickly realized that I will stick out like a sore thumb, seeing as there were less than a handful of black professional Explorers—and there was barely any coverage of their work. This needed to change!
So with my global expeditions, and the Bruce Trail Camping trip last weekend, which included a diverse group of people, I hope to help change this narrative.
The hikes we took to the Grotto were easy to medium level for the average person, however, since this was my first time leading a large group in the outdoors, I wanted to keep it casual and fun for everyone. The next trip will have options and modifications for different level hikes and rock/boulder climbing.
Overall I think it was a very successful camping experience, though we were rained on, and withstood strong winds on the first day. I'd do it again in a heartbeat, to relish in the quiet outdoors, away from the bustle of the city life. A simple hike in the woods is therapeutic and can really improve your overall health and well-being. One of the guys in our group—who was a first time camper—said “this trip was one of the most therapeutic weekends (he) experienced this year”.
I’d like to extend a big thank you to Riham Hagona who helped organize the trip and coordinated the group logistics via email and daily phone calls. Thanks to Tim Lytle from Arc’Teryx Toronto and Sean Spinkle from Bruce Peninsula Park who believed in my vision and used their positions to aid in the trip’s success! Thanks to Ryan Richardson and Hailey Playfair from www.lifeoutsidestudio.com for their impressive photography and videography skills. And finally, thanks to everyone that came out to have a great time and enjoy the camping trip! Looking forward to doing another one of these trips to highlight the diversity, education, and enjoyment that go hand in hand with being in the outdoors!
A modern explorer recently finished a voyage of walking across Africa entirely by foot and kayak.