How Camp Yoshi Is Creating Inclusive Community With Outdoor Adventure

Cocktails are prepared in reusable mugs.

No cellphones are allowed during Camp Yoshi retreats. In fact, some locations are so remote they may not even work—and that’s the point. The communal spirit of the excursions encourages group participation in hikes, unloading gear, and setting up campsites. In an effort to leave the land exactly as it was found, Camp Yoshi also stresses a no footprint, no waste practice.

All food and beverages are included in Camp Yoshi adventures, as well as camping necessities like tents. Stylish Jeep Rubicons whisk participants through exhilarating four-day itineraries in settings that include California’s Mojave Desert, Oregon’s Steen Mountains, and Colorado’s San Juan Mountains. In 2022, another California route was added due to popular demand, and a trip to Moab is already sold out.

“We wanted to encourage more folks who look like us to finally give themselves permission to take up space in the wilderness. We create a safe space, we go as a group of POC and allies, take great gear and vehicles, we eat gourmet meals, and leave without a trace,” says Frazier. “Camp Yoshi is an effort to ease current generations into outdoor spaces, so that the following generations will be raised up understanding their entitlement to respectfully enjoy the Earth, in all of its raw beauty.”

Staying cozy.

Photo: Courtesy of Alex Forestier / @alexforestier_

And though Camp Yoshi is just getting started in creating a service for a historically ignored market for adventure tourism, there’s nothing new about Black people thriving in, conserving and enjoying nature, Frazier is quick to note. From toiling and farming land to procure food, to charting expeditions left out of history books, the foundation and impact was laid long ago. “There’s a forgotten familiarity here—we’re not originally foreigners to the outdoors. One of our main underlying motivations is connecting people back to their roots. We live for the moments where new campers come out and realize that not only can they survive in the outdoors, they can thrive and build community out here as well,” he says. “It’s about the moments where a camper is a newbie, but for some reason that they can’t explain, it all feels familiar to them, like they belong. That speaks to our deeper history in nature.”

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