Backpacker Radio 99 | Patricia Cameron Founder of Blackpackers

In today’s episode of Backpacker Radio presented by The Trek, we are joined by Patricia Cameron. Patricia is a journalist, thru-hiker, and the Founder and Executive Director at Blackpackers, a non-profit whose mission is to eliminate economic disparities of people of color in outdoor recreation.  We chat in-depth about Patricia’s Colorado Trail thru-hike last year, including what it was like to hike during a pandemic, how much she enjoyed the hiker trash camaraderie, some of her favorite stops along the trail, and more.  We also learn about the origin of Blackpackers, some of the challenges and successes she’s had in building it, and the impact she’s with the Colorado POC community so far.  We wrap the convo with some very important Breaking Bad chat and what it’s like to pee yourself.

The show closes with a triple crown of animals you don’t want to see on trail, we ponder how badly we want to explore the universe, Badger opines about why Altra is losing ground with the thru-hiking community, and we get a taste for a new podcast project courtesy of our very own, Ms. Juliana Chauncey.

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Interview with Patricia Cameron 

00:05:00 – QOTD: What are your spring hiking plans?

00:07:58 – Welcome Patricia Cameron of CO Blackpackers!

00:08:27 – How did you get into the outdoors/backpacking? 

00:09:48 – Did the green vested guru have any hesitancy for showing you how to set up the tent? 

00:10:46 – Are you originally from Colorado Springs?

00:11:05 – When did writing about backpacking become part of the equation?

00:12:58 – Were you at Outdoor Retailer on behalf of CO Blackpackers?

00:14:22 – Can you talk about your journalism background?

00:15:27 – Are you a football fan?

00:17:11- How did Blackpackers correlate with the CT (timing wise)? 

00:17:46 – Can you explain Blackpackers for people who don’t know?

00:20:19 – What regions of Colorado does Blackpackers work with?

00:21:04 – Can you talk about the evolution/growth of Colorado Blacpackers over the last year?

00:24:55 – Can you talk through where your head was at with starting the trail?

00:26:19 – Did you choose to hike the Colorado Trail based on the pandemic? 

00:27:00 – How did your son feel about you hiking the trail?

00:29:24 – How much lightning did you have to deal with on your hike? 

00:30:34 – What did you do when you were stuck in the storm?

00:34:22 – Can  you talk about the hiker camaraderie and what your expectations were going into the hike?

00:36:08 – How many people were you seeing on the Colorado Trail?

00:37:14 – Can you speak to the night when someone said “whiskey” and you decided to camp with them?

00:39:30 – Did you enjoy the towns on the CT?
00:40:24 – You had some great town stays besides Breckenridge — can you talk about Salida?

00:42:47 – What’s your go-to when you go into town?

00:43:45 – Was there a standout meal on the trail?

00:44:56 – Were you taking notes every night?

00:45:45 – Did you ever bring drinks with you on the trail?

00:51:00 – Can you talk about your gear?

00:54:10 – Did you accept yourself during the hike or before? 

01:00:30 – Can you talk about your pacing? You are a self-described slower hiker? Can you speak to the pace you did it in?

01:02:33 – Did you do any of the side trails or 14ers on the trail?

01:03:10 – Do you have a favorite location from the Colorado Trail? 

01:06:11 – How many people do you think Blackpackers has brought outside so far? 

01:07:40 – Did you feel like you were successful in reaching people outside of the hiking world through other venues (like skiing)? 

01:09:18 – Are you a big Breaking Bad fan?

01:10:00 – Who from Breaking Bad would be best at thru-hiking?

01:10:17 – Who would you like to thru-hike with? 

01:11:40 – Can you speak to the mentality some people have that there isn’t a race boundary in the outdoors?

01:15:25 – What are some of the biggest challenges you are facing with running and starting Blackpackers? 

01:16:20 – If people want to help but aren’t local where can they go and what can they do?

01:17:33 – Can you speak a little more about the specific NOLS course you went on?

01:18:41 – Does that inform the kind of courses you’ll be leading? Does NOLS help with certifications?

01:27:40 – Lots of potty talk 

01:30:14 – Upcoming trips you are excited about personal or with Blackpackers? 

01:31:57 – What’s harder — hiking the Colorado Trail or raising a teenager?


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Triple Crown of animals you don’t want to confront on a hike

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  • If an alien offered you a one week trip across the galaxy and back with the catch being 15 years passes on Earth, would you accept or reject the offer and why?
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Comments 2

  • James Vrhovac : Mar 26th

    I really enjoyed this episode and looking at how equity can be a entry and discussion point to the sport. I am working on develop a hiking club at the college where I work and plan to reach out to Blackpackers for some guidance, as the campus I am starting it on is the largest number of BIPOC students demographically and is situated near traditionally underserved communities.


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