Thu, Jul 06|
Big Branch Wilderness
BIPOC Forest Bathing Immersion - July 2023
This is a wilderness trip in the Green Mountains of VT. Spend 4 days learning the basics of backpacking and camping in a space centered around rest and collective accountability. Together we engage in daily journaling, meditation, group activities, and ancestral skills development.
Where & When
Jul 06, 1:00 PM – Jul 09, 6:00 PM
Big Branch Wilderness, Mt Tabor, VT 05739, USA
These trips run on a sliding scale $275-$1000.
PLEASE READ SLIDING SCALE AND SCHOLARSHIP INFORMATION BELOW
COVID-19 Safety Protocols:
-Negative COVID-19 test taken at least 3 weeks prior to trip
-Health screen day of trip
-Full vaccination preferred
FOR SCHOLARSHIPS: CLICK HERE
These trips run on a sliding scale $375-$1000.
The BIPOC Forest Immersion is a 4 day backpacking trip in the Green Mountains in VT. Participants learn how to set up tents, pack a backpacking pack, start a fire, tie knots, identify different plants, trees, and wild edibles, and practice ancestral living skills such as fire birthing and spoon carving. We engage in daily meditations, journalling, intentional movement, and awareness games that engage our senses and deepen our relationship to the wilderness. These immersions are intended to bridge the gap between folks of color and nature, and create a space that is non-competitive. These trips are for beginners, advanced backpackers, and everyone in between. These programs are intended for ages 18+.
As Black people, our ancestors’ journey to freedom from the South was made possible by traveling in undeveloped wild areas. To remain undetected by slave patrols freedom seekers used the landscape. Ancestor Harriet Tubman freed over 300 enslaved people from the South by utilizing waterways, moss for navigation, bird language, and plant medicine. Maroon camps in remote hard-to-reach wilderness areas served as a place for temporary or semi-permanent refuge for freedom seekers. We still see today there is a connection for Black people between wilderness and freedom, and a complex duality between this freedom and fear for our lives.
Today, Black people and people of color are 3x more likely to live in nature deprived areas. Symptoms of nature deprivation include but are not limited to attention deficits, mood imbalances, poor cardiovascular health, poor emotional regulation, and a compromised immune system. Yet, trees and plants have an incredible capacity to support human health.
Forest bathing is a mindfulness practice that slows down our nervous system. This drop in nervous system activity allows our bodies to be receptive to the compounds found in forest air. Phytoncide compounds, for example, are emitted by trees and plants and contain antifungal and antibacterial properties and have a beneficial effect on human immune function, natural anti-cancer cell (NK cell) production, cardiovascular health, high order cognitive skills, stress responses, emotional regulation, and mental health. Studies done by the Department of Hygiene and Public Health at Nippon Medical School in Japan showed that after a 3-day/2-night forest bathing trip natural killer cell production and immune function increased in participants for up to 30 days.
Reclaiming a healthy relationship to wild land as Black, Indigenous, and People of color is a means of resistance to forces that seek to exclude us. Being out in nature is a way for us to shed ancestral traumas related to the wilderness and find our own way of connection. Ancestral living skills were no doubt carried by our ancestors through the diaspora and along the journey to freedom. We deserve to enjoy wild spaces and learn these skills without worrying about our safety, and truly benefit from the healing that nature has to offer.
Accessibility & Logistics:
Trail: Long Trail, Big Branch Wilderness, Mount Tabor VT
Trail Rating: Moderate
The nature of hiking and backpacking (heavy lifting, distanced hikes, crouching, bending, etc) and the terrain of this specific location makes acessibility to this specific event limited. We are working to ensure these trips are accesbile to everyone and are open to feedback on how to do that.
Meals will be determined based on participants needs including allergies and food restrictions.
**Due to safety concerns for the group, we do not disclose specific sleeping locations prior to registration. I understand this may cause some concerns/ feelings around uncertainty for folks looking to register and want to respect what may arise. Please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like more details and information before registration.**
Here is a general itinerary for our time together. General intinerary is subject to change based on the group's needs.
Day 1: Diving into the skills : a full day of learning the skills in a not-so-backcountry space to prepare for the next 3 days on the land
Day 2: On the trail : landing in the body and connecting with the land. We are on trail! getting into the body and arriving at our first camping location.
Day 3: Community time & activities, forest bathing activies.
Day 4: reflection, gratitude, pack up & head out, share council/ debrief.
WHAT IS PROVIDED TO YOU:
- gear (your own tent, backpack, sleepings bag, sleeping pad, cup, bowl, spork, & headlamp).
- food and snacks
- transportation to/from trailhead (will need one volunteer to caravan)
WHAT IS NOT PROVIDED TO YOU:
- transportation to/from meeting location (please contact if transportation support is needed. A carpool list will be sent upon registration).
- personal gear (clothes, shoes, toiletries, etc)
- personal dietary snacks
Please contact Raei@the-rusty-anvil.land for support with clothing. A packing list will be sent upon registration.
Sliding scale ticket$
This program runs on a sliding scale $275-$1000$0
use this ticket if you are registering with a friend! use the code trailbuddy4!