Mar 22, 2023
Experiencing the uninterrupted beauty of nature should be easy, and in theory it is—for some. As writer Stephanie Grant explores in a new story, going camping can feel like an insurmountable barrier reserved for the wealthy and white. But she hopes that’s changing, thanks to organizations like Outdoor Gear and Beer, which are building a more inclusive beer community for people of color and Black campers who simply wish to enjoy the majesty of the great outdoors.
In her Olly Olly piece titled “Unplugged Under the Stars — How Black Beer Organizations are Diversifying Camping,” published on March 1, 2023, Stephanie discusses resources for Black campers both in and out of the beer world, outlining the many reasons why they may not feel comfortable camping or out in nature at all. Nick and Amanda Brooks of Outdoor Gear and Beer help break down some of common fears and hesitations for the uninitiated, acting as expert guides before and during the camping process. Stephanie learned first-hand how their guidance gives people a new perspective—it’s one she gained herself on a recent trip, one that took her dreams of camping and made them a reality.
In today’s conversation, Stephanie reveals how her expectations for the trip compare to her experience, and why she continues to feel strongly pulled to nature. It’s an instinctively human feeling, but one that can be out-of-reach for certain people due to time, money, or fear. Fear plays a big role in both the piece and our discussion: Stephanie talks about how it robbed her of years of potential outdoor enjoyment, how to conquer it through knowledge, and the difference between things like fear of bears and fear of people (because sometimes, it’s the people who are the most unpredictable).
Olly Olly is all about getting outside, finding freedom in the possibilities of the Earth. What possibilities does Stephanie see?