We live in the age of social media – there’s no denying that. While social media can be a great thing, allowing us to stay connected with those we care about efficiently and consistently, social media also brings with it a long list of potentially negative side effects.

One of those side effects is that social media caters to the viral sharing of content – something that’s proven to have a negative impact in the space of outdoor recreation. Whenever one posts about a destination on social media, other people will likely learn about that destination, thus potentially bringing new crowds to a previously isolated space.

Here’s a quick list of tips that will help you limit your impact while using social media with regards to the outdoors.

1. Mind the Geotag

If you’re posting about a natural destination, consider avoiding the use of a geotag. A geotag will make it much easier for anyone browsing your feed to find the destination. Instead, let people find the spot on their own. This can prevent flooding a spot with big foot traffic seemingly overnight.

2. Mind the Subjects in the Shot

When you’re posting content featuring humans in a natural space, make sure those humans are following the “leave no trace” principles in the shot. For instance, if there’s a posted sign asking that people stay off of a certain log, don’t post a picture of your friends climbing on that log (and don’t let them get on the log in the first place). It’s important that you lead by example when you’re posting about natural spaces and it’s also important that you lead by example while you’re there.

One thing I see a lot while working with OutThere Colorado will be user posts of campsites staged right by a water source. While this might make for a great shot, it encourages people to set up camp in the same irresponsible manner – remember, keep a distance of a couple hundred feet from a water source while staying overnight.

3. Encourage Leave No Trace principles while posting

The more the outdoor recreation community talks about Leave No Trace, the more this valuable message will spread. The digital space is no exception. Include tips, tricks, and hashtags that will help your followers learn about responsible outdoor recreation while they consume your content.

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We are driven by our deep respect for our environment, and our passionate commitment to sustainable tourism and conservation. We believe in the right for everyone - from all backgrounds and cultures - to enjoy our natural world, and we believe that we must all do so responsibly. Learn More