New US initiative harnesses social media to get its safety message out there

·2 min read

A group of US outdoor organizations and companies has released a free “toolkit” that might be perfect for your social media channels.

The group put out the resources in response to an unprecedented uptick in backcountry use that’s being seen in the U.S., but the tools are relevant to our neck of the woods as well.

David Page, an advocacy director with the Winter Wildlands Alliance, said the resource is intended to encourage best practices in the backcountry and foster a safer, more welcoming backcountry community.

A highly experienced outdoor industry expert, he wrote the captions that grace the appealing content.

“We wanted to kind of target the experienced backcountry ski community,” he said, explaining the genesis of the project. “We figured that with the new influx of people, that we wanted to remind people to be kind and to be a mentor out there.”

Designed by Keri Davis of Sharp End Design, the content can easily be shared on Instagram or Facebook and can be downloaded directly from the Ski Kind website.

Page said some images come in the form of high-resolution images and can be used to create posters.

Others have more to do with promoting good behaviour in the backcountry, such as this one.

Page said there can be a tendency in some backcountry circles to look down on newcomers, with people not wanting to have their favourite trail or powder stash to be discovered by the masses.

Page said ultimately that’s shortsighted.

“The more people who get out, the more people that there are to defend public lands when they’re on the chopping block,” he said. “We may need to teach people a little bit about how to use [the backcountry] safely and responsibly, but the idea is to really be welcoming to whoever’s out there.”

You can view the Ski Kind tool kit in its entirety at this link.

Joel Barde, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Sun Peaks Independent News Inc.