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Is Gatekeeping the Outdoors Okay? The Internet Weighs In

The modern usage of “gatekeeping” focuses on someone who gets to decide who has access to something in a community. Gatekeeping the outdoors has been a big debate, especially in the last few years, as record crowds have visited national parks and other spaces. 

On the one hand, there’s an argument for conservation, but on the other side, who has a right to keep people away from something as powerful as being outside?

A recent post on Reddit’s r/Camping page took this question front and center, with comments weighing in on both sides.

Here’s a look at some of the responses.

R/xZoomerZx started the post with, “Keeping favorite spots to yourself is all good. Fishermen have been doing it for millennia.”

While r/Careless_Advisor7396 replied and added, “That and mushroom-hunting spots are family secrets!”

Meanwhile, some of the debate focused more on the word’s true definition, including r/rooftoprevival’s post of, “Refusing to post the location of your favorite outdoor spots is not gatekeeping. It’s a digital extension of ‘Leave No Trace.’”

However, some stand firmly behind the belief that getting outside is for everyone. R/Kerensky97 says, “I think it’s important to educate the new people on how we do things outdoors and how to share it with everyone else.”

Finally, r/NormanMushariJr commented, saying a lot depends on the situation. They wrote, “I do not consider it gatekeeping not to share your preferred spots if they’re something other than already public and established campgrounds. If you like a certain spot in the backcountry or National Forest, by all means, keep it to yourself if you feel like it.

I do not consider it gatekeeping to keep details about certain hikes to yourself if they’re not the main and popular hikes in an area.

Camping and hiking are available to everyone. You’re not preventing anyone from getting into it by not sharing the type of information above, and I suspect almost all of us do share plenty of helpful information with beginners.”

What do you think about gatekeeping in the outdoors?

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