The mountains and public lands are getting busier every year.
Mountains on public land across the American west are growing increasingly popular:
- From 2010 to 2021, the number of Americans who hike grew by 80%.
- Backpacking popularity grew by 50% since 2006.
- The number of households who went camping grew by 77% since 2015.
- National park visitation reached 327 million in 2019 before the pandemic – an increase of 53 million from 2013.
The impact on search and rescue and public lands is growing.
Colorado now has more SAR missions than any other state, with more than 3,600 in 2020. Land managers across the state are sounding the alarm about the accelerating pace of negative impact. While outdoor recreation has been steadily growing for some time, the explosion in popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic took officials by surprise and has strained many agencies and non-profits to their limits.
SAR teams and land managers need help educating visitors.
SAR teams and land managers are working as hard as they can to address growing impacts. They’re conducting more outreach and training, creating more resources, and trying to educate the public with limited resources.
However, they still need to spend most of their time responding to rescues and addressing land impacts that have already occurred. They need assistance from partners in the community to help step up and provide the resources, programs, and support necessary to educate the public.
We leverage digital media, research, and collaboration to educate the public about mountain safety and leave no trace practices.
Because we rely on advertising revenue from our online resources, we can spend less time fundraising and more time experimenting, researching, and innovating to educate the public. 100% of the revenue we bring in from our ads, donations, and sales goes towards our mission by supporting our programs below.
How We Make an Impact:
We leverage six strategies to work with our partners and educate the public: Three directly involve education, while three indirectly support our partners with shared missions. We evaluate our progress, re-assess our plans, and pivot when necessary to ensure we’re making the biggest impact possible. Learn more about each of our six action strategies below.
Educating the Public and Building Awareness
Our three primary strategies involve directly educating the public using a series of digital tactics and strategies to target a variety of audiences.
Creating and Sharing Guides, Articles, and Resources
We create resources with safety and leave no trace information and share them using digital marketing strategies.
Funding Public Awareness Social Media Ad Campaigns
We run ad campaigns on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram with evidence-based LNT/PSAR advice.
Running our Free Mountain Skills Webinar Series
We put on a monthly webinar to share preventative search and rescue and leave no trace best practices.
Supporting a Network of Community Partners
Our secondary strategies indirectly strengthen public education by supporting our partners by sharing research, resources, and funding.
Generating Research to Share with our Partners
We use and share literature reviews and user survey results to inform outdoor outreach and education strategy.
Collaborating on Projects with our Partners
We collaborate with partners like the Colorado Mountain Club on projects to share our expertise and resources.
Donating to Support the work of our Partners
We donate 5% of our annual revenue to our community partners to directly support their work and impact
Support our Work as a Patron!
Our 70+ donors are our largest and most dependable source of support to keep these programs running. 100% of your donations go to fund these programs, especially our ongoing LNT and PSAR awareness campaigns, our 14er survey project research, and our direct aid to our partners. Patrons receive perks – like my patron-only newsletter, trip planning support, and my 14er planner – depending on their level of support. Learn more or get started today for just $3 a month.