Dealing With Prejudices While Camping

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jmkay1

2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah
Oct 10, 2013
7,601
Northern Virginia
Sadly some people are just not campers and my father is one of them. He is honestly a nerd. So computers is the only thing that makes him happy. He is an indoors kind of guy.
My Parents have a TT and he brings his laptop and lives inside the camper. Mom on the other hand loves to camp and you can find her outside taking walks etc. As for me, I just camp alone. It's the only way I can camp as everyone else hates to camp. I learned the hard way that it really isn't fun to camp with someone who doesn't like to camp. I will take my little side kick out and my mom on occasion but I learned to do everything myself and I have a lot of fun doing it. To each their own.
As far as racisms sadly its around, but people at campgrounds really stick to themselves I find. You will see kids out and playing an occasionally a neighbor will come over. Then again I usually stick with state and national parks vrs private campgrounds. Some private campgrounds I've been to, you would think I walked into the first class section on the titanic. Not dinging all private campgrounds some family resorts are decent. Alcohol is a problem everywhere, but at least the state and national parks kick the roudy people out if they get out of hand.
 

cuppajoe

Member
Aug 2, 2016
37
We're a biracial family and have camped for years without any issues. Well, there was the one lady in an adjacent campsite back east who kept talking very loudly about "the EYE-talians", LOL, but that was a lot of years back. We're in the PNW now and I have to say I've seen a lot more diversity in the campgrounds this year than I have in the past. To me that's a very good thing, and I hope it's reassuring to you as well.

One thing I'd suggest is that you start small, like pick some nearby state parks that have campgrounds and take him there for a day trip, to have a picnic, go for a hike, etc. That will give him a good idea of what camping there might be like, and will help you see if maybe he's just not outdoorsy.
 

sandreas

Member
Jun 2, 2012
37
If it makes you feel any better Becky Roque, I tried talking my husband into camping for years before he agreed to try it. He loves being outdoors in nature and hiking, but didn’t think camping was for him. Our first trip only happened because we went with friends. He LOVED it! Very shortly thereafter, we got our pop up, then later a hybrid. Sadly, the camper was totaled 2 years ago and he’s been itching to get another one to get back out there. So there’s still hope for you to get your boyfriend onboard! :smiley:
As for discrimination, I haven’t witnessed it when we’ve camped. Our local campground has a very diverse crowd. People tend to nod or say hello to each other as they pass by one another’s sites and have friendly chit chat in common areas. But other than that, campers usually stick to their own sites doing their own thing. Maybe ease him into it with a cabin first. Good luck!
 

raising4daughters

Active Member
Aug 24, 2019
128
We camp mainly in Western PA and Western NY. Historically, as others mentioned above, at least in these areas, we've mostly seen Caucasians. Lately, though, the campground have become a bit more diverse, still mostly white, but enough that your boyfriend is less likely to be the only minority in a campground, especially if in CA.

I'm a white guy who hasn't experienced what your boyfriend has. My experience, though, in my camping hobby, my model railroading hobby, and other interests, is that I have more in common with minorities who share my hobbies and interests than with white guys who don't. I think if your boyfriend gives it a try and really enjoys it, he'll also make a good number of friends. Shared interests run deeper than skin color and ethnicity.
 

Thox Spuddy

Active Member
Apr 24, 2011
118
Wisconsin
My boyfriend has listed many a reason why camping is not for him, among that list is that we are a biracial couple. Can any other couple relate to fears of dealing with small minded people? He’s afraid of people bothering us. I told him gay, biracial, all kinds of couples camp and travel the country with no issues...your thoughts?
Could it be that your boyfriend is small-minded? If we were camping next to you would your boyfriend be judging us that we are freaking out that "oh my god, a biracial couple is camping next to us, what should we do, what should we do!!"
I find this post insulting and demeaning to the camping community that is innocently enjoying nature and appreciative of those who are there for the same reason.
"Fears of dealing with small minded people"??? I am sorry but you have no idea what I have done in my life, where I have been, and what I believe to judge me because of your self-imposed fears.
This little man with big fears of what you assume other campers think is the problem. What do you think I'm going to do, go to the office and demand this biracial couple be kicked out of the campground? Or should we make the rounds to every campsite to see if there is a biracial couple that we need to apologize for their assumption that they need to fear what we think about them???
My God! Get a backbone!
 

Orchid

Sharp Shootin' Grandma
May 8, 2011
5,832
Florida by way of WV and MD
This is a ridiculous conversation to be having. Most people would not even notice, or care. I think your man may just not want to go camping, and that's fine. But NEVER, in my entire life of camping, 56 years - have I ever once witnessed unfriendliness towards anyone of a different race. Campers are campers. There is a feeling of unity in a camping loop and people look out for each other.
 

Toedtoes

Super Active Member
May 28, 2018
2,840
California
This is a ridiculous conversation to be having. Most people would not even notice, or care. I think your man may just not want to go camping, and that's fine. But NEVER, in my entire life of camping, 56 years - have I ever once witnessed unfriendliness towards anyone of a different race. Campers are campers. There is a feeling of unity in a camping loop and people look out for each other.

A friend used to work for our state parks. She would get the daily activity reports. Unfortunately, campers aren't all one big happy family. While it didn't happen all the time, there were altercations between campers. Campers have had things stolen by other campers. While I believe camping is safer than many activities, we shouldn't assume bad things will never happen because campers are somehow better than the rest of society.

Fears are individual and often based on past experiences. They don't always make sense to the rest of us, but they are real for that person.
 

Steveo4090

Super Active Member
Jun 26, 2020
834
Lancaster PA
Everyone...and I mean everyone, if they're honest with themselves, has some sort of prejudice towards people different than themselves.

Like I said in my original post, we all have a past and history of lessons taught and learned from life. We live life and operate out of those lessons learned and they become assumptions and prejudices. This includes the OP's boyfriend. He's either making up reasons not to camp or he is assuming that those in the parks and campgrounds are all white rednecks that are anti-black. I don't know which camp he's in and honestly I don't care as it doesn't affect me either way in the end.
With that said, I hope he gives in to his girlfriend and tries something new. Then he can honestly say if he likes it or not. Don't knock it till you've tried it. Living out our lives based on assumptions and 2nd hand knowledge just leads to a fearful life rather than a full life. People different from us can teach us new things and we can do the same for them. Its not easy or comfortable some times, but if we don't meet different people and embrace the differences, we end up in a country like we have now. People unable to get along with anyone who looks, acts, or believes differently than they do. Stop taking everything so personally and talk to one another...figure out where the other person is coming from instead of assuming they're small minded or bigots because they're different than you. Different can be an awesome thing.

Sorry for my rant...:(
 

Thox Spuddy

Active Member
Apr 24, 2011
118
Wisconsin
Thox Spuddy - That's quite an extreme reaction to this post, perhaps you are taking the question a bit too personally?
Honesty can be extreme. The woman cited no experience, only an assumption. To me that is small-minded and extremely dishonest. Yes indeed I took it personally, but definitely not "too" personally. The work I've done alongside people in desperate situations, having a really good working relationship with someone from Barbados, being an enthusiastic supporter of minority culture and I am judged by somebody's prejudicial assumptions? Yes, indeed, I take that personal. They need to get off their holier-than-thou judgemental high horse and get into real life in real neighborhoods. As for the boyfriend, man up.
 

Toedtoes

Super Active Member
May 28, 2018
2,840
California
I guess I just don't see this post any different than the more common "I'm a single woman, have any women experienced problems while camping alone?" question. That doesn't get folks all riled up because some woman assumes the men out camping are all rapists.

How about the folks who bring a gun camping to protect themselves against unknown assailants? Where is the outrage that they are assuming all campers are crazy methheads waiting to kill them in their sleep?

The OP's boyfriend brought up a concern. That concern isn't an attack on all campers. It is simply a concern based on his personal experiences and view. Just like all the rest of us. The answer isn't to attack him for having that concern, or belittle him, or even to say he's being ridiculous. The answer is to help him see that his concern is OK, but that he will be unlikely to have those problems when camping.

Some of these responses, IMO, appear to be justification for the boyfriend's concern. As a white woman, I can't begin to understand what it is like to live life as a black man. But that doesn't mean I can't give his concerns the legitimacy that I would expect others to give my concerns as a solo woman.
 

Anthony Hitchings

Super Active Member
Silver Supporting Member
Mar 2, 2019
3,739
Oakland, California
IF boyfriend is worried about neighboring campers' attitudes to persons of color (etc.), then go boondocking, which is simply camping away from others (its not complicated, boondocking is sort of like backpacking without the backpack). This will determine if he hates camping or not.

P.S.. Whatever your worry is, you are more at risk in "civilization" ( towns and cities) than in the back country or even a campground associated with good quality hiking.

P.S. my cul-de-sac neighbors are biracial, their youngest outgoing lad is (informally) in training to be my garage helper. After he recovers from a small whoopsie with a 4V electric screwdriver, that is. He did fine with the 18V impact wrench when I rotated my tires :)
 

BillyMc

Super Active Member
Mar 25, 2018
2,473
South Carolina
Never seen any problem like that. Their are jerks and inconsiderate people camping, but they tend to be that way to everyone. The majority of people I encounter camping are friendly, want to be left alone, or both. I find that people with lame excuses just simply don't want to engage it the activity and don't have the strength to come out and say I don't like that. He is more likely to run into the situation while shopping or dining out. Does he shy away from those places as well? If you try to force him he will resent it. DW isn't crazy about camping, but she goes most trips. There are trips when she stays home and it's just the boys and me. This fall I'm thinking about a just me trip. Do you have friends that camp? If so go group camp and tell BF you'd love he to join you, but it's okay if you don't want to. On the flip side if he prevents you from doing something you enjoy you will be the resentful one. Couples should enjoy their time together, but they don't have to enjoy or engage in every activity their partner likes.
 

JustRelax

Super Active Member
Feb 20, 2013
1,031
Indianapolis
This is a very valid concern. I can only speak from my own experience. I am white, my wife is white. One of her best friends is white and married to a black man. He was in scouts and is a scout leader for their children and taught me quite a bit just by observing him on how to do things easier around camp and is an avid camper. He has become a close friend over 15 years.

Some of my most uncomfortable moments camping have happened when camping with them. I will go camping with them any time and will not let others keep me from doing this. I’ve never been in a confrontation or had anything said directly to us but have experienced this first hand on how people can make others feel uncomfortable without saying anything. This does not occur when I’m with white couples.

That said, I’ve had the same sense of unease having dinner with them at a restaurant or at a gas station on a road trip. I never felt unsafe, it’s just a sense of judgment that I can’t explain... I will not allow the judgement of others ruin a good time with my close friends but also notice when someone is obviously bothered by the relationship and our choice of company.

So to the OP, yeah it can happen, it doesn’t happen every trip, but it’s not more than what I’m sure you’ve already experienced before. You have a choice though, you can choose to let other people influence what you enjoy by giving in to the discomfort, or you can ignore them and do what you enjoy and not let it bother you one bit. What happens at the campground as far a prejudice isn’t any more than the potential of it happening at a restaurant or trip to the grocery store.

The majority of people are incredible and are just as friendly as I experience on most days at the campground.
 

rellnjen

New Member
Sep 13, 2020
1
Hey Becky, I’m black my wife’s white 3 kids are biracial. We’ve camped amongst the reddest of necks here in Tennessee, and we haven’t had an issue to date, most people are friendly, drink beer, and have a good time. If they are prejudice, for that moment in time, they’re some of the best friends you’ll ever meet. Can’t say it doesn’t exist, but we haven’t experienced it. He does have a legitimate concern though, it can be uncomfortable amid all the tension and divisiveness going on, but my personality makes me anyone’s best friend that I meet, find a common ground and try and let people know we’re not much different, just another middle class family enjoying a few days off work before it’s time to hit the clock again.
 

BillyMc

Super Active Member
Mar 25, 2018
2,473
South Carolina
BTW our DQT taught me that if you force someone to go they will put a dark cloud over everyone. Trip after trip we tried to address her complaint with camping only to have her find new complaints.
 

Amy Bane

New Member
Aug 13, 2020
2
My boyfriend has listed many a reason why camping is not for him, among that list is that we are a biracial couple. Can any other couple relate to fears of dealing with small minded people? He’s afraid of people bothering us. I told him gay, biracial, all kinds of couples camp and travel the country with no issues...your thoughts?
 
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