We have all been witnessed to the GoPro craze that has swept the outdoors community. You can’t go out on a hike, to the beach, or almost anywhere outside without seeing someone having a stick in their hand with a GoPro on the end of it. I was even approached by a seasoned hiker last week who told me that the camera in my hand makes the trail no better than a road. I use to believe that bringing technology out on trail took away from the scenery and the experience. The only form of technology I would bring for the longest time was a camera, at most. Now I have a GPS, which I use to Geocache, and if my buddies from Born 2 Explore come along we have a GoPro. What change? Was it me or is it the world? The answer to this question is both. I have become accepting to the change and the world has come engulfed into technology and social media.
I know most hikers are probably rolling their eyes and shaking their heads right about now because they think the idea of social media and hiking being connected is ridiculous. If you look at your Twitter or Facebook feed you will realize the majority of the post aren’t statements or blog post they are pictures and videos. Social media users are using GoPros, cameras, and their IPhones to share their experiences and to grab the attention of strangers and friends on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. These devices capture and show the fun, joy, and surrealism that is experienced while hiking, in a way that could not be done before.
There are a lot of through hikers and traditional hikers who are against this and look down on these activities because they think it takes away from being in nature. What they don’t realize is these devices can keep the outdoors wild and prevent the evasion of man into the wild. By taking pictures and videos of your hikes and sharing them creates interest in the youth and brings them into the wild. We need as many hikers as we can get to be passionate and out on trail. Without a strong populated group, trails around the country will be built on and destroyed because there was not a strong enough voice to be heard.
Now I think I have gotten your attention and you are starting to see that the social age might not be as bad as you thought. You are a part of it even if you don’t want to be. You are engulfed in it right now by reading this blog. Instead of bad mouthing it and fighting it, be a part of it.
Now that you are in the Social World, choosing your tool to engage with non-hikers is an important choice. I prefer using still photography. On every hike I bring a camera that fits in my pocket, as well as, my phone. The combination of these two devices allows me to take action shots, panoramic pictures, and never a selfie. I know others like GoPros and taking videos but, I still believe more is told by a picture than through a video.
Share your photos and videos with me and everyone for that matter. I would love to see the places you have traveled, they inspire me and will inspire others to enter the wild. All it takes is one step into a new world to change someone’s life forever. It is up to you to give them that push.
Videos are attributed to Born 2 Explore
Photo is my own