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Are you unintentionally spoiling RVing for others?

By Chuck Woodbury

Our frequent contributor Dave Helgeson wrote an article today about the increasing problem of geotagging. What’s geotagging? In its most popular form it’s about sharing a GPS location of where you have visited with others via social media.

Here is how it might go: You discover a great boondocking spot far from a designated campground, perhaps miles from a paved road, far from where people would discover it by accident: The view from your campsite is eye-popping magnificent. There might even be a great trout stream just a few yards away. If you’re active on social media you might take a picture of the incredible spot and post it to your Facebook or Instagram page. “Look at where I’m camped! Isn’t it beautiful?” You might even tag the location with its geographic coordinates.

SO WHAT HAPPENS? Your beautiful campsite in paradise is no longer a secret. The word is out! Your friends oooh and aaah over the photo and then share it on their social media pages. But it doesn’t stop there. Some of their friends share it again, along with its location. Pretty soon thousands of people know where to find this incredible, once-secret place.

The next time you return, it’s crawling with people – paradise lost. You might have unintentionally blown its secret location by sharing it with even just a few friends active on social media.

We posted a story just a few weeks ago about such a spot.

The same thing is happening with hiking trails. My daughter, Emily, is an avid hiker and she tells me that some weekends the parking areas at trailheads are overflowing because of geotagging. Many of those people will then find, for example, the beautiful waterfall along the trail they saw in the photo that drew them there in the first place. They’ll snap their own photo, post it on their social media pages, and … well, you get the idea.

If you are like many people today, who love to share the details of your lives via social media, then you may be contributing to this situation – which is without question leading to fewer and fewer undiscovered places to visit where you can enjoy the peace and quiet of nature without the crowds.

Read Dave’s story to learn more about geotagging.

##RVT971b

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Brian Holmes
11 months ago

Glad I was born from the worlds greatest generation. Learned from a different mind set and enjoyed the run. The rest of you…… feel sorry for the way you think.

Steve W@78
11 months ago

Isn’t that what we do? Share our lives with family and friends. Consider all the “location” directories available for on or off the grid, fishing spots, family recreation facilities, golfing, hosts, etc, the list goes on. All available on the internet, DVDs instead of sleeping potion, in books, magazines (so much for saving the forest!). Newbies need help and there is plenty of that from the RV family whether we ask or not. Enjoy yourself & RVing while you can. Life is too short.

Tom Horn
11 months ago

Camping and RV’ing in the future will not be as good as it is right now. This is as good as it gets for campers. Everyone that enjoys and respects the outdoor life style better get ready for some not to be believed changes that will be happening in the next few years. Freedom is what you can make of it and the new rush for freedom in the outdoors will change the great outdoors forever. The Control Boogie Man is putting on his regulation boots and will be coming in to work us over.

Last edited 11 months ago by Tom Horn
Kiki
11 months ago

The fact that more people are out enjoying this beautiful earth is a good thing not a bad one. If you want to be alone there are still plenty of places left, you don’t have to hate people for appreciating the world around them. Good for them for finally going outside, maybe they will be why our parks get to stay open with how little government help they get. Love not hate.

KellyR
11 months ago

I do not care what anyone ate, or saw. I couldn’t stand watching “your” slide shows of your vacation back in the 50s and 60s.

dnCook
11 months ago

I love seeing people having fun, cooking out, sitting back reading, playing with their their gadgets, etc . etc. I don’t need to be secluded to the point that the nearest person is 4 miles away because I just want to be away from people. I love sharing, But I do hate having to pack up and leave a beautiful park because 20 of the 25 campers around me have barking dogs. I know, “dogs bark, that’s what they do, they bark”, as I have been told countless times. The difference is in 10 seconds, I can pick up the trash the previous person accidentally left behind and that’s done, but the undisciplined dog barks for hours and hours. It’s my fault because I am that rare 1 in a 100 that wants to hear a little mother nature. It is amazing how ever dog owners “barking” is music to their ears.

Graybyrd
11 months ago
Reply to  dnCook

Three suggestions: 1) ear plugs and valium; 2) a 40-lb dog-hating cat on a leash. Visit the barking-dog RVs. 3) a PA loudspeaker with a loop-tape of a pack of barking dogs. Play until they get the hint.

The problem is not the dogs. It’s the clueless owners. The same ones who leave Rex locked in the car with the windows down four inches, who lunges at me raging and slobbering as I walk past in the supermarket parking lot.

Wolfe
11 months ago
Reply to  Graybyrd

I’ve had dozens of dogs, up to 500lbs of dogs at a time with near zero barking without a reason. Its entirely up to the owner to train their dog how to behave so if my dog barks or bites, it’s because I told them when to bark or you had a nip coming. Unfortunately some RV folks wrongly think tiny rat-dogs are good in RVs…my 120lb shepard is silent and calm, even trustworthy off-leash.

Kamwick
3 months ago
Reply to  Wolfe

And, ironically, that well-behaved, calm shepard is likely to be banned from some areas, simply because of the breed. Go figure.

Kamwick
3 months ago
Reply to  dnCook

Screaming kids is a variation on that theme. There is no reason for a kid to be constantly screaming while playing. Laughing, giggling, occasional surprised yells are fine, in fact, they’re a pleasure to hear. But constant screaming is simply a bad vocal habit that becomes self-reinforcing. Kids (and some adults who don’t scream but use their voices harshly) get stronger sensory feedback from the tight muscle action involved in screaming or yelling. It’s a very harmful thing for the voice.

I’m a speech-language pathologist who has seen far too many cases of vocal nodules from unfettered continuous screaming that the parents could have nipped in the bud from day one. Hard to break the vocal abuse habit, and it can result in surgery later on. I really don’t understand how parents can tolerate kids who constantly scream while playing. Maybe it’s like those who don’t hear their dogs barking.

No, your child/dog aren’t so precious that their playtime should involve torturing others

Gene Bjerke
11 months ago

With all the increased camping these days, if I find a great spot I’m keeping it a secret.

pursuits712
11 months ago

I am a member of several Facebook camping groups focused on specific states. Most of them are sharing campgrounds they like, etc. While this doesn’t appear to be that different than looking up reviews for campgrounds, the social media aspect is what differentiates it. The first is a grapevine; the second is research. I use the first to determine which campgrounds I do NOT want to visit (based on the multiplier effect noted in the article). If any of those turn up in my research list, they are immediately struck as potentially overexposed/overcrowded. So far it has worked fairly well.

MrDisaster
11 months ago

Disclosing favorite (or secret) places? The solution is better education for those new to the great outdoors and much more respect for the environment. These folks that say you can’t fix stupid, must remember most just haven’t had the education or experience to be respectful of the world we live in!

Carson Axtell
11 months ago

Many who cherish Nature and the wilderness consider RVs the bane of the natural experience. These conveyances have brought more noise, garbage, and wanton destruction to pristine areas than just about any others except logging and mining equipment. Machines of any sort don’t play well with the natural world. It is our responsibility to tread lightly wherever we go.

Last edited 11 months ago by Carson Axtell
Scott R. Ellis
11 months ago

When I post a picture of some great remote spot, I will tell you exactly what state it is in.

Mi i
11 months ago

Yes these irresponsible people are destroying the natural habitats and ruining it for everyone. NEVER BEFORE social media have so many good things been DESTROYED…SHAME ON THOSE WHO DONT FOLLOW SIMPLE RULES OF PACK IT IN PACK IT OUT…MANY OF WHOM ARE VOTING FOR SOME RIDICULOUS GREEN NEW DEAL! HIPPOCRACY T WORK ON THE MINDS OF THESE PEOPLE….

Douglas Powell
11 months ago

For those that “Feel” so unloved that they have to post every restaurant , rest stop, and respite they visit is is a bit ridiculous. I suggest you watch the “Social Delima” it will take about 45 minites out of you life and give you a different perspective about your “Social Conscious”. I am old enough to remember the Fire-Fall at Yosemite as a youngster. Beautiful event even if it did lead to some destruction of the park and THAT’S why they got rid of it. Maybe not the best example but I can think of places I do and do not share with differnent people on a personal level certainly not on social media that fans like a flame on dry brush.

tim palmer
11 months ago
Reply to  Douglas Powell

Just watched Social Dilemma this weekend. A must see for all who are “connected”.

Mike
11 months ago

All y’all posting about hating social media, you do realize this site, and RV Forums etc are all forms of social media, right?

Granted not like FB, Twitter etc, but it still is social media nonetheless.

That said I agree with the sentiment of others that this crap ruins it for everyone.

Joel Colden
11 months ago
Reply to  Mike

Very valid point. This showed up in my news feed, but the comment section definitely moves it into that category.

Joel Colden
11 months ago

You don’t own public land, god I can’t believe people’s selfishness. This whole article is ridiculous. Don’t get me wrong, I hate social media with a vengeance. But getting mad about having to share what isn’t even yours is just…

Joel Colden
11 months ago
Reply to  Joel Colden

If you want to get away from people you still can, I’m 60+ miles from anything, haven’t seen or heard another soul for days. Granted, I’m not exactly next to a beautiful waterfall or anything. But solitude still exists, just not at the awesome spots which everyone in this country has a right to enjoy.

Joel Colden
11 months ago
Reply to  Joel Colden

And as for the extra trash, it doesn’t matter to me if it’s one bag or five, when I get to a new place I clean up after the previous people. What’s going to keep our beautiful nature beautiful? Getting mad and complaining about other people’s actions, which you have no control over, or letting it go and straight fixing it? People always talk about turning the other cheek but rarely do it.

jim king
11 months ago
Reply to  Joel Colden

Joel, You just don’t get it!

Joel Colden
11 months ago
Reply to  jim king

What, that it’s not fair? It’s putting an undue burden on us “true nature lovers”? Life isn’t fair, the a**holes deserve this bounty too, despite everything. And maybe coming out here instead of straight staring at a phone all day might open just a few of their eyes to what else is out here beyond the phone screen. This shouldn’t be an exclusionary club is my only point.

Kamwick
3 months ago
Reply to  Joel Colden

Maybe jim was expressing himself tongue-in-cheek?

David Whalen
11 months ago

Can’t wait till covid-19 is over these people bring their phones everywhere real Outdoorsman find these spots on their own. Millennials ruin it for everybody hey everybody look at me take phone with you in case of emergency besides that put the effing thing away

Herb C
11 months ago

I have to agree with Steve C,
“Social media is the bane of our society.”

Pat
11 months ago

After reading this article and then finding the RV review article,  Rockwood Geo Pro 19FBTH toy hauler. I have to wonder if there isn’t a bit of hypocrisy here? I know, I just love it when I’m sitting next to my favorite stream contemplating nature and I hear the whine of a gas-powered engine coming up the trail and it’s a three-wheeler, dirt bike or snow mobile, take your pick, ruining my solitude and the quiet of the moment. We were at a COE campground this summer and spoke to a young man who couldn’t get all his toys in his toy hauler so he built a two-decker trailer to pull behind his toy hauler! The trailer was really quite impressive but I was left to wonder why anyone needs all of these mechanical means to explore nature. While I realize that these two articles are not on exactly the same subjects the subject matter may lead to the same end, destruction of nature.

Scott R. Ellis
11 months ago
Reply to  Pat

As someone who both plays with mechanized toys and advocates for designating every remaining eligible acre legal wilderness (thus “locking out” those toys), I have to point out that, at least out here in the west, a few minutes spent with a map will find you a lifetime’s worth of places to which we can walk but not ride our noisy toys.

Tim Woody
11 months ago

I prefer to look at it from a different perspective. When I share a sight or location I am opening up the wonders of our country and our world to others. Some may not be able to enjoy the spot in person. Others may be inspired to find the spot and go see it themselves. They may even have discovered the enjoyment that RVing and travel brings. To not share might be considered a bit on the selfish side.

outlaw
11 months ago
Reply to  Tim Woody

If your like us your retired and your friends are somewhat the same age and don’t use social media like the millinials do! We don’t need all the gas burning vehicles to enjoy the outdoors, just nature, plus we understand you take out what you bring in ( and sometimes extra from someone else )

Steve
11 months ago
Reply to  Tim Woody

It’s great that you share photos of your locations so others can enjoy them remotely but they can be shared without the geographic location data being shared too. That would cut down on some of the overcrowding.

friz
11 months ago

As the Dos XX Wold’s Most Interesting Man said “I don’t always tell people where I fish but when I do it’s a lie”. Interesting observation on today’s life but I do not believe worth the read. Got me!