The Rusty Anvil is an educational platform that connects Black, Indigenous, and People of Color to nature through mindful wilderness trips and ancestral skills workshops. Our goal is to empower people of color with the knowledge, gear, and support they need to feel confident in the wild and find new ways to experience a sense of belonging. By integrating mindfulness and forest bathing practices into our programs our intention is that people of color will not just learn how to survive in nature, but thrive.
Finding Ourselves in Nature
As people of color we are constantly navigating social constructs that tell us who we are and what we are worth. In nature there is no one to tell us who and how to be. The natural world provides space for us to simply be, and to find those answers for ourselves while offering mirrors for reflection along the way. Having moments where you have permission to slow down, rest, and listen to your body is an experience that everyone deserves to continue to learn about what they truly need.
Supportive Outdoor Community
Spending time in nature with people that make you feel seen, validated, and safe is one of the most important pieces to our collective liberation. Being able to show up in nature as our full selves is an important part of finding who we are and where we belong in the wild. When we work together in the backcountry we weave together relationships that are strengthened by accountability and trust.
Reclaiming Ancestral Skills
The skills that we teach during programs are often referred to as survival skills or bushcraft. Really, these skills are ancestral living skills. They offer insight into the daily lives of our ancestors and the ways they not only survived in nature, but thrived. As folks of color we deserve to reclaim these skills in spaces that are aware of the many layers of complexity that comes with the process of remembering, and that offer tangible representation of what our bodies are capable of by choice. There's no pressure to get it right the first time or be able to do it all on your own. The importance is that the skills are returned to your awareness and you are able to return to them in your own time when your body is ready.
Access to Nature & Slowing Down
The outdoors are by default, primarily white. The idea that the wilderness could serve as a pristine canvas for the awakening of the white man led to generations of Indigenous removal, violence, and racism. It is not just our right to safely enjoy nature, but to feel confident and comfortable thriving in the wild rather than fearing for our lives. It is crucial that we has folks of color return to nature not just for our own health but for the health of the planet. Earth needs BIPOC stewards again.
In addition, having access to the knowledge and gear for backcountry exploration can often be gatekept and expensive to obtain. Many wilderness-based organizations focus on mileage or peak bagging, which can feel rushed and competitive. This often deters folks of color who are new to the outdoors or who want to enjoy nature without the pressure of status/experience.
Our Forest Bathing Immersion is an easy introduction into backpacking and camping. We focus on slowing down, finding rest, crafting, and connecting with each other.
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