[Cdt-l] CDT Integration

Eric White ericshawwhite at yahoo.com
Mon Jan 7 06:08:34 CST 2013

No kidding - There certainly are alot more millionaries and PhDs on the long trails than homeless people or college dropouts. Mini Mart

 From: Paul Magnanti <pmags at yahoo.com>
To: CDT MailingList <cdt-l at backcountry.net> 
Sent: Sunday, January 6, 2013 7:29 PM
Subject: [Cdt-l] CDT Integration

I've said it before, and I still think it is true:

Outdoor recreation of the "REI type" is a college educated, affluent recreation choice.

In my own family, my cousins and I are the first generation to be college educated.

We are of the generation that grew up seeing our parents do construction, work on their feet all day,
work odd hours and so on to put food on the table and pay the mortgage.

So, to go into the woods on weekends and WALK ALL DAY for fun?????? Huh?!?!? :)

Physical exercise on weekends is a lot less appealing when your whole week consists of getting up at 5am (or earlier) to
work in something that does not involve an office chair.  And if you are lucky enough to get overtime pay  during the week and 
maybe even work a Saturday,then you really don't want don't want to hump a pack up and down the mountains on your day off. :)
(And, esp in my Dad's case, he had enough 'camping' when he was in the army to boot!)

Weekends are to catch up with chores, rest,  see the family  (16 grandchildren on Mom's side!) and have a big Sunday dinner.
(mmmm.....Grandma Mags' homemade braciole....)

When I did the AT, I met people who grew up in the outdoors as part of their life. Invariably THEIR parents were 'professionals'
who went hiking, backpacking and so on. They grew up with the outdoors and looked on it as part of their normal life.  My family OTOH,
wondered why at the "advanced" age of 23 I spent the weekends walking in the woods, when I'd meet a a nice girl and start a family. :)

Many minority groups have a similar story to the above.  (I also freely admit that being considered white helps
moving up the socioeconomic ladder)

So while I think there some validity to the whole "that ethnic group just does not do the outdoors", scratch beneath the racial
surface and you see socioeconomic background as well.

A few years back the ATC did a survey of AT users, most were college educated or in college. 

I honestly (perhaps naively?)  believe as the groups move up the socioeconomic ladder and/or attend college  and are exposed to things outside
their background, you'll see a more diverse set of Americans enjoying the outdoors.

Of course, most people don't do outdoor things at all regardless of ethnic or socioecomic background..but that's another story! :)

Anyway..that's my nickels worth of Sunday ramblings.

Paul "Mags" Magnanti
The true harvest of my life is intangible.... a little stardust 
caught, a portion of the rainbow I have clutched
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