Study Says That Social Media Can Put Hikers in Dangerous Situations

Be it for good or for bad, social media has immensely influenced the lives and reality of its users. A huge part of the population uses at least some social media platforms to stay connected with all the different parts of the world. Now, these social media handles are playing a key role in the way hikers communicate their adventures to one another and the public at large. However, even though these trekkers might be an inspiration, a recent study indicates that they may also be putting some travelers in danger.

Concerns Behind the Backlash

The sudden response of internet users is frequently to be blamed when a hiker falls from a height or is assaulted while taking a picture of an animal to pop-clout selfie-seeking. When it comes to selfie-driven injuries, researchers from Turkey say that around 159 of them have died while taking selfies for their social media posts. It is believed that one daring selfie taken by a hiker may inspire others to follow suit, and over time, particular hiking locations may come to be associated with acceptance rather than risk.

The Study

In the article published in Wilderness and Environmental Medicine, Dr. Zachary Lu from the University of California, Irvine, compared social media data with SAR and national park visitation figures. Dr. Lu did so to establish a connection between traffic, social posts, and rescues. He stated that the main aim of the study is to ensure that everyone has a good time while staying safe, especially with regard to social media. The study has been developed to examine quantitative data from social media sites, and conduct a side-by-side comparison to find out whether there is any correlation between these posts and the search and rescue incidents in national parks. The study aims to help people use social media to motivate people rather than land themselves, and others, in sticky situations.

3 Eye-Opening Books to Read to Better Appreciate the Outdoors

Jasper National Park, Canada; Valley of Five Lakes - lakeview

The Hidden Gems of Nature Books

Like most things in life, you have to understand something to appreciate it better. Especially in 2020, when people were forced to stay inside, and the great outdoors suddenly became that much more interesting to some. Well, to really understand the soul of hiking and being in nature, it’s best to do some research. Here are three amazing books to help introduce you to the heart of the natural world.

1. Walden by Henry David Thoreau

Front page of the book Walden by Henry David Thoreau

Originally published in 1854, Thoreau’s work is one of the greatest books dedicated to simple living in natural surroundings. The book details the two years, two months, and two days that Thoreau spent living in a cabin he built near Walden Pond. With a fantastic style of writing that pulls you in instantly, Walden takes the reader on an adventure inside the mind of a true outdoorsman who has a romantic soul.

2. Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey

Edward Abbey, the author of the book pictured in the desert Desert Solitaire was first published in 1968, and it is the autobiographical work of American writer Edward Abbey. A true naturalist, Abbey’s style and language isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but if you keep an open mind, this book has so much to teach you. Today Desert Solitaire is widely recognized as a staple in early environmentalist writing. It focuses on the impact of the desert on society on a multifaceted level. Abbey was a seasonal ranger at Arches National Monument, which was the starting point for his inspiration to write about the desserts of the American Southwest.

3. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

The cover of the book Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad Heart of Darkness is one of those books that you didn’t know you needed to read until you read the first page. Conrad’s sheer talent of description has a magnetic pull that keeps you engaged in the story and hungry for more details. The story follows a narrated voyage up the Congo River, which the author himself had once experienced. It’s a fantastic and reminiscent look at a moment in time and a timeless idea of society’s roles.