After partnering with Rashad Frazier in the summer of 2020 as part of our Gear Upgrade Series, we were eager to support his new venture, Camp Yoshi. Camp Yoshi creates space for Black people to unplug and reconnect to the wilderness through carefully planned excursions with gourmet menus, customized routes, and high-quality gear. We're excited to welcome Rashad Frazier back to the Snow Peak blog as he reflects on Camp Yoshi's inaugural adventure to the Painted Hills and Alvord Desert, shares about the inspiration behind the collective, as well as his plans for the future.
Tell us what inspired you to start Camp Yoshi.
There's no secret the outdoor space lacks diversity. We launched Camp Yoshi to get more Black folks outside, to places they never knew they needed to see. We've always been asked if we're safe and why we aren't fearful of the places we explore. I guess we got tired of telling them we were okay and decided to show them instead-- not just to show them it's safe, but to show them how they can thrive and build community in these spaces too.
What is Camp Yoshi's mission?
Honestly, our mission is pretty simple. We want to make the outdoors feel like more of a safe space for folks that look like us. Through Camp Yoshi, we empower Black people to explore and allow nature to heal them in the same ways it has healed us - and any allies that align with our mission are welcome to join as well.
How can people get involved or support Camp Yoshi?
Following us on social media, subscribing to our email list, and spreading the word organically! When you see something from us you like and decide to share it with a friend, that helps us grow the fam. We're a startup company, so we're always searching for partnerships with brands, locals, and experts. We've even had private landowners reach out to us, offering their space in some of the most remote locations in the country. There are so many ways to get involved. Reach out if you're interested in supporting our mission!
What are you most excited about for the year ahead?
Everything! We're excited to meet all our new campers, show them the places we love, and sit around the campfire sipping a cocktail listening to one of our Spotify playlists, just vibing.
Is there a favorite moment from the October trip to the Painted Hills/ Alvord Desert you'd be willing to share?
When we arrived at the first campsite, all the guys immediately went for a swim in the river. We had a speech on safety prepared, but before we knew it, they jumped in, turning into a bunch of big kids! Seeing adults react to the wilderness with kid-like energy was our stamp on a proof-of-concept. That's when we could see they understood the context of nature and its ability to recharge.
Watch this short film for some major camp inspiration from Camp Yoshi's excursion to the Painted Hills and the Alvord Desert.