Something to Read Before You Head Out for the Weekend Jul 27, 2018

“For every picture-perfect tent shot on Instagram, there is an entire gallery of images you should see — but rarely do. When we share a photo on social media, we can’t monitor who it reaches, and a lack of knowledge (or worse yet, a blatant disregard for the rules), can ruin some of our favorite campsites, trails and parks. From garbage to human waste, I’ve dealt with all kinds of foul things when setting up camp, and it only seems to be getting worse.  

Platforms like Instagram are directly linked to this problem, but they can be just as effective in educating people and encouraging them to behave more responsibly outside. I was thrilled to see Leave No Trace (LNT) recently share a set of social media guidelines, concerning both geotags and the message a photo can send. As lovers of the outdoors who sleep in the dirt in the digital age, it’s important to keep this discussion going — and understand how we can better preserve the places we cherish. 

While it’s amazing that so much beauty is open for all to use, there needs to be a system of checks and balances in play. The BLM and Parks Department is understaffed, so any chance you get to clean up, pack it out, and leave it better, please do so! Continue reading this piece at Big Agnes.

  • Jordan Muller

    Amen. Thanks for sharing John.

  • skunk ape

    This is good information to get out there. Thanks for sharing. And while I’m no fan of calling the police in general, destruction of protected wilderness because of selfishness/ignorance (as well as poaching) will get me on the phone quickly.

  • Thanks for doing this John. It’s the same here in the UK. Pieces like this really help reach more people.

  • Jason Berkey

    John, thank you, and all the contributors here for all that you do to promote an outdoor lifestyle. As a parent of two young kids that we are attempting to get out camping as much as possible, we are attempting everytime to have them realize the importance of leaving it clean when heading out. I agree that social media would be a terrific platform to educate the importance of not only that picture perfect shot but also to take the shots of what you had to setup in, to show what should not be done. Keep on doing what you all are doing!!!

  • Jake Kruse

    Don’t spray.

  • auton0my

    There’s another aspect of the social media phenomenon that comes up quite often on vftt.org (a forum dedicated to hiking in the White Mountains/NH, and to some extent Adirondacks/NY, and Maine) – rescues.

    As more and more people flock to the ‘omg #bucketlist’ sites to recreate that fancy photo or moment for themselves, they often overestimate their abilities and underestimate nature. I can’t fully blame Instagram, et. al for this, but it certainly encourages people to make those decisions.