White People Love Hiking. Minorities Don’t. Here’s Why.

White people simply love to spend their free time walking up and down mountains and sleeping in the forest. Search “hiking” in Google Images and see how far you have to scroll to find a non-white person. Ditto rock climbing, kayaking, canoeing, and so on.

That white people love the outdoors is so widely accepted as fact that it’s become a running joke. The website Stuff White People Like has no less than three entries on the subject: “Making you feel bad about not going outside” (#9), “Outdoor Performance Clothes” (#87), and “Camping” (#128). The latter entry reads, “If you find yourself trapped in the middle of the woods without electricity, running water, or a car you would likely describe that situation as a ‘nightmare’ or ‘a worse case scenario like after a plane crash or something.’ White people refer to it as ‘camping.'”

The Outdoor Foundation found in a study that 70 percent of outdoors participants were white. “As minority groups make up a larger share of the population and are predicted to become the majority by 2040, engaging diverse populations in outdoor recreation has never been more critical,” the report reads. “Unfortunately, minorities still lag behind in outdoor participation.”

Yes, there are economic barriers, but the cultural ramifications of those economic barriers are more devastating, as they ripple across generations.

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