Outside Business Journal

Black-owned outdoor business spotlight: Outerthere

This New York City-based company is helping more people access the outdoors through adventure-focused experiences


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In honor of Black History Month, we’re spotlighting one Black-owned outdoor business per day.

Owner: Al Berrios

Year founded: 2013

Man in black T-shirt with white letters #ONWARD and sunglasses with trees in background
Al Berrios is the founder of Outerthere. (Photo: Courtesy)

What we do

Since 2013, Outerthere.com has been working with tour operators, rental partners, and other guides collaboratively to host hundreds of small-group hikes, bike rides, paddling trips, and more for beginners in our local New York City market. We’re on a mission to help everyone gain access, feel welcome, and be included in the outdoors.

What makes us special in the outdoor industry?

Outerthere is a mission-driven outdoor activities brand. We put our guests (aka “fam”) first. We don’t treat them like transactions. Rather, we invest heavily in access, support, and quality control of our experiences. That translates into programs that support our fam’s local communities so they can get outdoors easier.

We create subsidies for fams going through financial challenges, and offer grants for local environmental conservation groups that include BIPOC feedback in their work. We have also created lending libraries for our fam because not having the fanciest gear shouldn’t be an obstacle to participating in outdoor activities. Most of our fam come from diverse backgrounds, are beginners in many of the activities on our calendar, and are concentrated in the New York/New Jersey area (though this fall we’re bringing our unique trips to Baltimore). We operate year round and about 30 percent of our fams book multiple trips per year.

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