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Designed by Asheville-based artist and Outdoor Afro volunteer leader, Leandra Taylor, the Kili Mapp Kili DoubleNest Print Hammock was inspired by Outdoor Afro’s Mt. Kilimanjaro Expedition in 2018. This year marks Leandra Taylor’s fifth year as an Outdoor Afro volunteer leader. She recaps her time with the organization and the trip that inspired this hammock design. I attended my first training in 2017 and it was just one of those life-changing experiences, walking into a room of 80 people that are all passionate about the outdoors was something I’ll never forget. I knew that’s where I should be. Through joining Outdoor Afro, I have found support in both my outdoor adventures and in affirming my identity as an artist. Outdoor Afro leaders have been the biggest contributors and encouragers to my creative process. They push me to put my art out there and to share it with the world. Art has always been my creative outlet and nature has always been my favorite muse. When I was younger, I loved to draw flowers and pollinators because of their vibrant colors and patterns. While I’ve always been creative, I haven’t always identified as an “artist,” but as someone who enjoyed drawing...

A Place Beyond seemed to have just landed on my lap during the disorienting year that was 2020. When met with a decision to either stay at home in isolation while taking online classes or be in a community with other college students in Prescott National Forest, Arizona, it was a no-brainer.
I grew up very outdoorsy, hiking and backpacking with my family. We lived the city life in Washington, D.C., but on weekends took to the trails nearby.  Family vacations let us escape the cars and tall buildings of downtown D.C., and embrace the towering Rocky Mountains in Colorado.
Outdoor Afro's logo on top of a forest full of trees.A celebration of Black History in the Outdoors Outdoor Afro, the nation’s leading, cutting edge network that celebrates and inspires Black connections and leadership in nature, has highlighted notable Black historical figures, places and recent achievements of Black people related to outdoor recreation. We encourage you to follow @outdoorafro on Instagram and read through the entire series. Matthew Henson  Matthew Henson was born in Maryland in 1866, the son of free sharecroppers. He was orphaned at the age of 7 or 8. Henson found work as a cabin boy and seaman and did so for several years before being hired as a valet on one of Peary’s survey expeditions. This began a decades-long working relationship with Peary. Henson’s skills were unmatched, and he made a total of seven voyages to the Arctic with Peary. On April 6, 1909, Henson became the first person to set foot on the North Pole. Four Inuit (Indigenous people of northern Canada), whose names were Egingwah, Ootah, Ooqueah, and Seegloo, assisted Peary and Henson. Charles M. Crenchaw In 1964, Charles Madison Crenchaw became the first Black man to reach the summit of Mount McKinley, also known as Denali, the highest peak in North America. During...
Professional tree climber and ENO sponsored athlete: Tim Kovar Tim’s story starts in the 1970s when he and his buddies started a tree climbing club. “I knew back then that I wanted to live in the trees, it’s where I found peace and a deep connection to nature,” Tim writes to LifeView Outdoors. In 1993, Kovar started his career as an arborist but found the peacefulness of trees, that he so enjoyed, was disrupted by the use of chainsaws. He ‘turned over a new leaf’ and started teaching others how to climb trees in a more technical style which is even safer than the old way. After a decade, he founded a tree climbing school called the Tree Climbing Planet . He has worked with scientists, filmmakers, children and elderly. “The oldest child I’ve taken tree climbing is an 85 year old woman, I guess some of us never grow up,” writes Tim. After asking Tim about his most epic tree climb, he tells the tale about the time he climbed into the 5th largest tree in the world, a Giant Sequoia named “Stagg.” Into the tree? “The top was broken off, maybe 800 years ago, creating an arboreal cave. You could actually climb inside the trunk of the tree. This “cave”...
In 1948, a man named Earl Shaffer decided to go on an extended hiking trip in an effort to recuperate and adjust to coming home after World War II.  He became the first man to hike the entire Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine. In 2012, after he was honorably discharged from three combat employments in Iraq and Afghanistan, Sean Gobin followed in Shaffer’s footsteps and came up with an idea: to let other veterans returning home do the same. The Warrior Hike “Walk off the War” program was then founded with the mission to give veterans transitioning from the military a therapeutic escape through the outdoors.  The organization gives veterans who sign up a choice of seven trails throughout the United States and provides them with gear for their journey, arranges weekly visits in trailside towns with friendly locals, and works with veteran job placement organizations to help find jobs for the veterans once they step off the trail. For his hard work and dedication to Warrior Hike, founder Sean Gobin was honored with a CNN Hero award this year. Here at ENO, we couldn’t be more proud to be a sponsor and supporter of Warrior Hike.  A big congratulations...
Love New Belgium beer and caring for the environment? Check out the Yosemite Facelift! It’s become an annual tradition in September to road-trip to where the giant redwoods and granite walls make you feel small and humbled, bringing out your inner John Muir.  The beloved Yosemite Facelift is the largest park clean-up, calling upon tourists, locals, climbers and hikers for a week-long garbage pickup unlike anything you’ve seen.  Picking up garbage you ask?  Trust us, you won’t mind because you’ll be surrounded by friends with funny nicknames like “El Capitan”, “Royal Arches” and “Snake Dyke” and listening to the trickle of the Merced River and Yosemite Falls.  And you’ll be supported by thousands of others boasting the same gloves, trash pickers and garbage bags. The Facelift brings Yosemite climbers and aficionados together with the National Park Service for a common purpose of ridding one of the most traveled parks in the US and the most visited in California of litter left by tens of thousands of visitors annually.  The garbage is collected daily in front of the Visitors Center to see the impact made by a little candy wrapper or bottle cap.  When you finish your blue ribbon effort at...
There is no end to the adventures that we can have. Check out the ultimate adventure, created by Passion Passport for their Bucket List Initiative winner, Mariah Nogueira. Mariah’s dream trip was to head to Samoa on an exploration of her heritage and her love for exploring. She spent 10 days traveling the islands, running soccer camps for local children, discovering distant family members and generally loving the outdoors. To read about her adventures, check out her posts here: http://passionpassport.com/tbli-trip/mariah-nogueira/  
Voyage the movie is finally here! Voyage is a documentary project that captured a special journey down the river, beginning in East Tennessee and ending in the Gulf of Mexico. Voyage encourages viewers to seek adventure and awaken passions that lie dormant after falling victim to routine. It reminds viewers that a simple shift in perspective can shake off the dust and revive even the most mundane situations. The movie is now available on iTunes. Look out for the hammocks in it, and in the meantime, enjoy some sweet tunes from the project.  

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