We Are Mountain Safety and Leave No Trace Educators

Millions of people visit the mountains of Colorado and the west – but many of them have never heard of Leave No Trace outdoor ethics and have no idea how to safely explore alpine terrain. The Next Summit was founded to prioritize education for the public – especially those who are not reached by existing education programs.

How we educate the public

We leverage digital marketing and virtual learning tech and tactics to share leave no trace and mountain safety advice in a variety of formats. Here are our three primary strategies for educating the public.

1. We create and share free educational resources and guides.

The internet is overflowing with 14er route guides and blogs advertising where to go camping – but most of them skip over safety and leave no trace information and jump straight to where to go and how to get there. We identify high-volume search key terms for outdoor destinations that currently lead to sources without LNT and safety info. 

We create high-quality guides and resources covering those topics that lead with safety and conservation advice and work to rank them ahead of less reputable sources. Slowly but steadily, this process is measurably improving the public’s access to critical safety and sustainability tips by the tens of thousands.

2. We offer free educational and skill-building training webinars.

Search and rescue teams report that when they offer training seminars, they struggle to get the public to actually show up, even if it is free to attend. The COVID-19 Pandemic made virtual engagement a new normal, with people much more used to attending webinars than before. 

We leverage this opportunity to offer training webinars on safety topics like navigating with a map and compass, avalanche safety and awareness, winter 14er preparation, wilderness survival, altitude sickness, and more. We often partner with groups like Alpine Rescue Team and the CO Avalanche Information Center to co-host presentations. All of our previous webinars are available to watch on-demand. More than 1,100 people have registered for a webinar.

3. We fund social media public awareness advertising campaigns.

Our first two strategies target those who are actively searching for information online. Our third approach targets the hardest people to reach – but those in need of our resources the most: those with little to no prior experience outdoors. We use the advertising revenue from our website resources to fund ad campaigns on social media targeting travelers and those without outdoor experience with LNT and mountain safety awareness information. 

Using conservation materials provided in partnership with the Leave No Trace Center, and mountain safety videos created by the Colorado Fourteeners Initiative, we reach approximately 500-1,000 Coloradans every day with important tips and information. We are continually increasing our ad spend to reach more people as our funding grows over time.

Support our Work!

Patrons provide a critical consistent stream of resources for our educational webinars, content creation, and public awareness ad campaigns. Join today to access exclusive content and extra perks as our way of saying thanks for your support for Leave No Trae and mountain safety education.

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Don't Miss My Next Free Webinar: How to Climb a Fourteener in the Autumn

September, October, and November are great months to hike and climb 14ers, with fewer people crowding the trails. However, the weather is more variable, and there’s a greater risk. In my next webinar, I’ll share everything you need to know to have a safe and successful ascent during the Fall. Save a seat today!

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