Should we publicly tell people about locations that we love? Post about them online giving the exact directions and beta on where to park, how to get there, and exactly what to expect?
On one side of the coin, you can share the location, by naming and tagging it directly which can help people find you’re content, and drive people towards your Instagram, website, social media or other public channels. In one regard this can be good as it can lead to new jobs, additional print sales, new network opportunities, or any number of things. But it can also have unintended consequences such as contributing to a location becoming incredibly busy.
On the other side you can keep the locations to yourself, or share with only with close friends. This usually will help keep places less popular, and you can feel like you have them all to yourself when you visit.
The debate on this topic happens all across the board, from summer alpine lakes, to ski lines in the winter with people of both sides of the fence about whether things should be shared, with no definite right answer.
I’m of the mind that certain exact locations need to be kept off the Internet. General locations such as Whistler, or the Pemberton backcountry are okay by me, but the exact location needs to be kept quite. Somebody is more then welcome to cross reference photo to maps and Google Earth to find out more if they feel so inclined but I personally don’t want to be giving away all locations publically.
On a recent backpacking trip I was invited to go on with Eric Poulin and Sara Niblock, we talked about this idea along the hike. The location, which I’m not going to publicize, isn’t unknown by any means, but also isn’t overrun with people due to being blasted on the internet.
A perfect example of this concept is Joffre. Although I was never personally up there before the new trail was built, I have talked to multiple people who have stories of being at the lake camping and only see one or two other parties. Now you would be lucky to go up there and not have the parking lot full. There have been a lot of factors that have attributed to Joffre becoming so popular, ease of access and stunning beauty high among them but many would argue that popularity on Instagram has also fueled this fire.
There are many locations around that are just as gorgeous as Joffre, but sometimes even more so as you get to enjoy them with the silence of nature around you, and not a crowd of people. You just might need to do a little more looking at maps and scouting to find the location.
I’m by no means trying to sounds jaded, and all this aside, I am happy to share locations with people on a personal level. If you ever see a photo of mine and wonder where it is, ASK ME, and I’m happy to share beta directly.