What are peoples objections to spending time in the outdoors?

3:18 p.m. on April 8, 2019 (EDT)
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Ive been climbing, backpacking and enjoying the outdoors for the great part of my life and through out that time I've tried to involve all those around me. To my surprise most people aren't interested. What do you consider to be the top reasons  people don't hike, camp ect. ?? 

Just trying to figure it out so I can find a way to reach more people to enjoy the beauty that nature has to offer. 

5:51 p.m. on April 8, 2019 (EDT)
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"rustic" bath facilities.

And beyond car camping: the necessity of being a best of burden a.k.a. being a back packer.

Ed

9:33 p.m. on April 8, 2019 (EDT)
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It’s hard and scary( ther are bears , I hear it every time)

1:40 a.m. on April 9, 2019 (EDT)
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I hear five:

Sounds like hard, dirty work

Don't want to sleep on the ground

I'm afraid of animals

I'm afraid of whacko people

Don't want to poop in the woods

2:21 a.m. on April 9, 2019 (EDT)
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And I would add one more: lack of time/money/priveledge.  When you are working  two jobs (or working one and raising kids) and you commute 45 minutes each way and you're paying for shoes and clothes...the idea of getting everyone the gear they need, packing them into your sketchy car and driving a couple hours to "have fun" might seem like it's more trouble than it's worth...

4:36 a.m. on April 9, 2019 (EDT)
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Day hiking has increased in numbers,I would guess also this is just a guess but people want a quick fix to everything in society now....

8:23 a.m. on April 9, 2019 (EDT)
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Spectator sports are popular; just turn on the tube and grab a beer.  Hiking and backpacking aren't spectator sports....

9:36 a.m. on April 9, 2019 (EDT)
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Omg the bugs [both of them] and look at my hair, what a mess and where's my hair brush and how do you expect my makeup to stay on when I'm sweating like this and now I'm smelly. I hate the outdoors...as a Guide I might've heard it all :)

10:41 a.m. on April 9, 2019 (EDT)
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First people in general are lazy.  Next they have fear,  Fear of wide open space, critters,  and other people.  Next they don't like bugs, bad weather, and lack of bathroom facilities.  It is dirty.  They think it is expensive to acquire all the equipment. 

Most avid outdoor people grew up in it.  That includes most of the people on the forum.  Usually they learned from family or the neighbors down the street.  Some learned in scouting.  Not that many adults, that were not exposed to camping before leaving high school become outdoor people.  It is the exception not the rule, and they are the people you are trying to convince most of the time. 

My girl and I used to hang around with a big social group.  We got invited to a big RV gathering because some old friends are going to be in town from Hawaii.  My idea was a lake in the woods with hookups for their RVs.  Instead we are going to the Foothills on the west side of the Sierras. It will be hot, private land and costs $75 a night.  WTF? Must be the proximities to wineries.  The group only "camps" with full hook ups.  I like having an RV for long trips, but we rarely stay in an RV park except to charge up the batteries and wash clothes. 

2:51 p.m. on April 9, 2019 (EDT)
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Over time, the percentage of our population living in an urban environment has steadily increased.  So perhaps it isn't surprising that cities and settled situations are where these people seek their pleasure and spend their leisure time.

I must be an exception  I didn't see my first mountain trail until I was a sophomore in college when I finally got out of the Midwest and found Arizona.

11:05 a.m. on April 10, 2019 (EDT)
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Good on you mate.  It takes courage to try new things as an adult.  I never rode horses until I was a college freshman and took a course in it.  That put me about 12 years behind all of the other horse people I have ever met. 

12:51 p.m. on April 10, 2019 (EDT)
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Horses... 

I grew up in the rural/suburban interface N/W of Chicago.  There was a horse ranch about a 15 minute walk from my house.  When I was seven, I'd mosey over to the fence of that ranch, and treat the horses to some apples I grabbed from a tree in the front yard of a house along the way.  The horses took a liking to me and would come to the fence even after the picking season had passed.  Eventually I just climbed on one of them and rode him, bareback, griping his mane for stability and control.  And in a few weeks I'd gotten around to coaxing my steed to rush at a full gallop across that field.  Mind you, the field was uncultivated, with grass almost as tall as I.  Loads of fun!  I felt like Paul Atreides (Muad'Dib), riding the giant worm in the movie Dune. This all was my secret, I didn't tell anyone of my whereabouts.  I later came to realize I was lucky I didn't end up vanishing forever, dead in that field from being thrown, or the horse stumbling in a such a setting.  It ends up horses and I always just get along.   And then there was the time I discovered another field with a bellicose bull.. ..and when I crawled up into the loft of an unused equipment barn, only to discover the ridge beam was covered with wasp nests and thousands of those buggers just a couple of feet above my head.  I told a friend I have nine lives; he said more like the nine lives of a whole litter of kittens, based on all of the stupid things I somehow survived.

Ed

1:04 p.m. on April 10, 2019 (EDT)
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Rather than be judgmental of people who don't choose the same recreation activity that we do, I think it really comes down to a) not really knowing what they're missing out on, and b) being intimidated by the gear and knowledge that it LOOKS like backpacking requires. 

So I guess it's really about overcoming the both of those issues in the friendliest way possible. :)

2:35 p.m. on April 10, 2019 (EDT)
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Hikermor hits it for me.

For hundreds of years Civilization (Syphilization) has brainwashed people to want to live indoors and crave "conveniences" and electricity and all else---despite our 200,000 year history of living outdoors as primitive humans.

And now of course we have millions of people drooling into their smartphones and must at all costs stay connected.

If a person says he hates camping then he also hates fresh air and healthy trees and clean water and childbirth and waterfalls and winters and pristine rivers and mountain vistas and this blue green jewel we call Earth.

2:32 p.m. on April 11, 2019 (EDT)
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The most avid backpackers are urbanites to a large extent.  This subject is not that simple.  They have high tech gear and the means to acquire it.  They have a need to escape the rat race and crush of humanity.  Some rural communities have a recreation based economy that have plenty of backpackers but that is an exception not the norm. 

We live in a rural location with one million acres of public land across the fence.  Sometimes  I sleep in my backyard about 8 months out of the year.  It is quiet and dark except for coyotes, owls, and donkeys.  It is much quieter than any FS campground and a lot of backpacking destinations.  I seek out quiet places where no one has camped before.   The mountains behind the house have little water in the summer.  I can sneak up there for a night or two and not see a soul.  The only evidence of humans beyond the roads are things like old sheep camps.  I value solitude and do not backpack in places with permits, or designated camping spots

Being out there has been an important of my life since the early 1950s. Dad took us eveywhere.  I am a third generation backpacker. I find Divinity in Nature and feel tremendous Gratitude.  It is much more than recreation or a sport, it is a way of life.  I don't expect most backpackers to understand what I am talking about, much less the average person that I would met on the street.  You can only lead by example and hope someone follows.  

The simple answer to the question is:  Many people do not value what is out there in all that Nature. 

2:55 p.m. on April 11, 2019 (EDT)
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Sadly, our Southeastern mountains have been terribly impacted by two main Blights---

Overhead Jet Traffic and

Motorcycle Tourism.

Back in the 1970s I never noticed the loud roars od either Jets or Harleys---now they are commonplace.

Jet traffic patterns have ruined so much of the TN and NC backcountry.  You are literally sleeping and hiking under ribbons of Interstate jet traffic from 6 in the morning all day until 2 the next morning.  No one except me seems to care.

And you guys out West---don't feel too lucky because our Eastern sprawl is coming for you too.

4:54 p.m. on April 11, 2019 (EDT)
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Tipi Walter said:

And you guys out West---don't feel too lucky because our Eastern sprawl is coming for you too.

But we do feel lucky, if for no other reason I get the impression our backcountry is generally less congested.  We aren't forced to share close quarters in or near designated huts and lean-tos, or other regs that effectively place campers in close proximity to each other.  Some of that is due to regional population densities, some due to the eastern park lands being squeezed between pre-existing roads and pockets of civilization, and some of these conditions due to the dense eastern flora limiting off trail travel.

As for noise: jets have been part of the typical hike since the early 1980s.  Given the San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego International Airports, the Navy's China Lake aviation bombing range, all manner of aerospace activities originating out of Palmdale, and the large combat training base in Twentynine Palms, the Cali wilderness is either getting buzzed by low military flyers or enveloped by the white noise-like sound of high flying transcontinental commercial jet overflights.  And all outdoor spaces are subject to the recreational aviation crowd, wherever a nearby municipal airport exists.  Lastly, given the remoteness of park interiors crews must access, we get park service helicopters whooping around the mountains and canyons several times a day, during the summer season. 

Fortunately it is easy to escape the Harley noise makers, as our backcountry commonly consists of large tracks of land whose interiors are well beyond the reach of road noise.

Ed

9:36 a.m. on April 12, 2019 (EDT)
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The Channel Islands are remote, isolated, and generally fairly quiet - except:

being down range from Vandenburg AFB, a premier rocket launching site, it can really get interesting when a launched missile self destructs overhead - lots of noise, flames,and miscellaneous falling objects.  Makes for an interesting day.

Frankly, I don't try to sell outdoor pursuits to folks.  I will give advice and guidance, but if they don't care to hike or backpack, that's fine.  They can enjoy Las Vegas and leave more space in the woods and hills.

9:56 a.m. on April 12, 2019 (EDT)
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Walter, come on out to Nevada some time.  It is possible to see over 100 miles. From the top of one of the big central mountain ranges no lights are visible. 

Near Las Vegas are two great outdoor sites to visit, except for in the summer, namely Red Rocks NRA and Valley of Fire State Park.   Fun to hike all day and then go out to some of the best restaurants in the world. 

10:11 a.m. on April 17, 2019 (EDT)
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More often all the time is the notion that being out there is dangerous.  It is dark, it is cold, it is hot, there is no water, you can get lost.  And don't forget all of those bears, wolves and mountain lions.  I know backpackers that are afraid to sleep in the Sierras. 

5:55 p.m. on April 17, 2019 (EDT)
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Lions and tigers and bears, oh my! And good Lord,  do not bump into a snake of any size, shape or color.

And would you go back and see if you can find my earring? I seemed to have lost it...[really happened to me while guiding].

9:19 a.m. on April 18, 2019 (EDT)
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If I was a guide and "lost  my earring" I would tell no one. 

3:37 p.m. on April 18, 2019 (EDT)
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It was my client, not I, who lost it...but you know that :)

9:23 a.m. on April 19, 2019 (EDT)
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thumbs up.  Of course we knew that. 

11:25 a.m. on April 19, 2019 (EDT)
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I still want to see the photo of Ppine with an earring....

9:18 p.m. on April 19, 2019 (EDT)
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Be careful what you ask for :)

11:23 a.m. on April 23, 2019 (EDT)
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for my tribe, the weather tends to be the big one.  i can usually entice our kids to hike almost anything, no matter how rough or steep it might be, if the weather is good.  (spouse prefers easier terrain).  

2:52 p.m. on April 27, 2019 (EDT)
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I'm surprised how many people ask me about "wild animals".  I'm more worried about other people that animals.  Animals are more predictable.

Someone mentioned traffic, road and air.  Was hiking at Grayson Highlands in SW VA this week and as I was getting ready could hear two USAF jets overhead.  Very disappointing but didn't hear them the rest of the day.  

10:22 a.m. on April 28, 2019 (EDT)
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Nevada is the training ground for US Navy jets.  I love watching them.  Some days they are my only company. 

I was camped on the Colorado River one Feb and a Navy Blue Angel flew over our campfire.  He was flying low and slow and rocked his wings. 

2:06 p.m. on April 28, 2019 (EDT)
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I am a total aviation freak, and love to see military fighter jets buzz the mountains up close - once in a while.  But when they do fly bys in the Sierra it often occurs throughout the day, 8 or 9 times.  That gets real old, especially when they are flying really close to the terrain.  Two years ago I hiked along the Kern River above Kernville; the military was conducting some sort of training from sun rise to sunset that had the jets flying by about every 15 minutes for three days.  That much sonic assault is nerve racking no matter how calming the setting may be.

Ed

3:00 p.m. on April 28, 2019 (EDT)
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Top Gun Training School is in Fallon about 25 miles from the Refuge.  We just accept jets as part of the landscape.  Also A-10s, Apache Helicopters, Stealth bombers and lots of other aircraft.  In some places they use live ordinance. 

10:02 a.m. on April 29, 2019 (EDT)
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The wildlife is mostly habituated to aircraft. You can tell because they rarely look up.  The one exception I know of is breaking the sound barrier.   That is enough noise to startle and stress wildlife.  We worked on a situation up on the Owyhee Desert where the bighorn sheep were being stressed by jet aircraft. 

November 12, 2019
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