[Cdt-l] CDT Integration

Jim and_or Ginny Owen spiriteagle99 at hotmail.com
Fri Jan 4 22:02:04 CST 2013

Jonathon - Thank you, sir.   We argued this on at-l at one time and few, if any, understood the problem.  Or had any real idea about solutions.  I think mostly because few people have any understnding or appreciation of LARGE numbers, statistics or demographics.  And that's not putting them down - it just puts them in with the majority of humanity that has no training in those subjects.  If I'd been smarter, I wouldn't have opened this can of worms cause I don't have any real answers either.  Except one on one interaction with those minorities who are willing.  And they are rare.   I've known blacks  and Chinese and Koreans and Hispanics and Japanese who've either walked or attempted some of the trails, but their numbers are small in relation to the white bread population. I think a lot of us could say the same, but how many have made any real attempt to proselytize the trails, to get others out there?   Anyway, I'm done here.  At least on this topic.   Y'all have a good night,Jim

 Date: Fri, 4 Jan 2013 19:00:15 -0800
From: jonathan at phlumf.com
To: cdt-l at backcountry.net
Subject: Re: [Cdt-l] CDT Integration

    I agree with Jim as to the consequences of this. People protect what
    they value. And if future generations don't value these long trails
    & wild places, they won't protect them. 


    I think it's more than just US minorities... there are large swaths
    of the world population that are under-represented outside. There
    are a billion people in India, yet in 10 years, I've never sent CDT
    maps there. However, If you go to any US national park, you'll see
    plenty of Indians. I've sent only 1 CDT map CD to a Chinese national
    (going to school in the US)... again, among a population of a
    billion. Same goes for South America, Central America, the middle
    east (except Israel). This is hardly scientific, but interesting all
    the same.


    As for the causes... I think it's a lot of little things. If you try
    to pin it down to one reason, you'll miss the bigger picture. 


    Part of it is poverty - just getting the disposable money &
    time. Part of it is cultural - Pretty much what Jim said below. Part
    of it is urbanization, and being disconnected from Nature. 


    Then there are things that cut across demographics, like a media
    culture which prizes virtual reality, and stokes fears about actual
    reality. Plus, the way many kids are raised - where every bit of
    free time is scheduled. There's no time to just wander, outside.
    Where I grew up, there simply was nowhere wild within a day's drive.
    Very few people back there do anything that involves a tent... and
    many of them are minorities. 


    I'm not sure what to do about all this... but I think it requires a
    number of approaches. Everything from school programs, "hoods in the
    woods", various outreach initiatives run by both private &
    public organizations. Having some famous athelete/actor take up the
    cause would help greatly. If someone could create a compelling TV
    show centered around the outdoors that didn't involve "eating bugs",
    that might help (though, I realize difficult - hiking isn't exactly
    made for TV).  Just getting more trails etched-out of areas near
    urban centers would help. A lot of these things are happening on
    some scale, so I am hopeful... yet when I look at the statistics, it
    doesn't look so great. 





    On 1/4/2013 5:14 PM, Jim and_or Ginny
      Owen wrote:

        Peter - 

        Your question has far greater implications than most people here
        realize.  We discussed this 

        several times on at-l while it was still a serious hiking forum
        - which means a long time ago.  


        To make this short - it's a cultural thing.  And it's a survival
        problem for all the long trails.  

        Many cultures would never think of going out "into the woods." 
        In part because that 's where 

        the "animals" live.  And in part because one lives in a tent,
        gets "dirty", etc - and in their culture 

        only the poor live like that.  Even in the States, that culture
        persists - and propagates.  


        And propagation is the root of a problem that has been and
        continues to be ignored.  Right now 

        the "non-integrated" are minorities.  That is NOT a permanent
        situation.  When they become majorities, 

        why would anyone believe that they will not be represented in
        government?  And why would anyone 

        believe that they will vote to continue funding trails that they
        and their people will never use?  


        Demographics are inexorable and unavoidable.  


        So your question may have been a lot of other things, but it is
        not inconsequential.  


        And my answer to your friend is that he would be welcome on the






          From: petersustr at gmail.com

          Date: Fri, 4 Jan 2013 11:17:53 -0700

          To: altongbay at aol.com

          CC: cdt-l at backcountry.net; dthibaul07 at gmail.com

          Subject: Re: [Cdt-l] CDT Integration


          My question originated from one of my friends
            (black guy) who was joking around that he didn't want to be
            the 'where's waldo' of the CDT if he joined me this summer
            for a section.  All in good humor, not trying to start
            anything :)

            Peter "CzechXpress"

            Follow me as I
                prepare to hike the CDT in 2013-   Couch2CDT.com and @Couch2CDT on



            On Fri, Jan 4, 2013 at 10:21 AM,
              <altongbay at aol.com>

                bet he was surprised to
                    see you and Judy coming out of the woods



                    -----Original Message-----

                      From: Bob Sartini <bobsartini at gmail.com>

                      To: David Thibault <dthibaul07 at gmail.com>

                      Cc: cdt-l <cdt-l at backcountry.net>

                      Sent: Fri, Jan 4, 2013 5:49 am

                      Subject: Re: [Cdt-l] CDT Integration


                      When we first moved to VT many years ago. We went
                      off into the woods exploring and  "got turned
                      around". We approached a house to find out where
                      we were.  When we told the owner we came through
                      the woods he said " I've lived here ten years and
                      have never been in that woods, there are animals
                      out there". he was white from NJ. So I doubt it's
                      a race based thing but certainly urban people have
                      "nature deficit disorder"


                      On Thu, Jan 3, 2013 at
                        9:43 PM, David Thibault <dthibaul07 at gmail.com>

                            There definitely is a lot less
                              minorities then there should be.  I have
                              run into a few Hispanic women but hardly
                              any males,  I think it might be a cultural
                            I do remember a guy on the AT calling
                              the urban youth groups "hoods in the
                              woods" programs.  
                            I thought it was great that these folks
                              (mostly kids) got the chance to head out
                              into the woods for a few days.
                            I remember talking with one guy
                              (teenager) as I walked into an AT shelter
                              with a bunch of berries I'd picked on the
                              way in - he asked in a surprised way "You
                              can eat those?"  He had been walking by
                              them all day and never considered you
                              could just find things to eat in the
                            I also remember a Marine I met many
                              years ago telling me the first time he
                              ever left New York City was at age 18 - to
                              go to Camp Lejuene in North Carolina - and
                              how it really freaked him out to be in the
                              woods surrounded by trees.  He said his
                              unease started on the bus ride there and
                              lasted for months.  
                            Having grown up hiking, camping, and
                              fishing in the woods I was blown away that
                              he was completely on edge being in the
                              woods.  He told me he though animals were
                              going to attack him every minute.  
                            We need more minorities in the woods -
                              the trails (wild areas) need all the
                              friends/support they can get....
                            Day-Late (white middle aged guy)

                                black and maybe 5% Asian and I can't
                                recall meeting anyone that I

                                understood to be Hispanic.  On the AT
                                I've met dozens if not hundreds of

                                "urban" youth groups out for a week or



                                > We've all noticed when we go
                                outdoors that every white middle aged

                                > goes outdoors but not enough



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