How To Keep A Secret Spot Secret

In the growing landscape of outdoor pursuits and the growing size of the outdoor community, is it possible to keep something hidden?

By: Patrick James
July 15, 2016

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It’s no secret that the number of people getting outside is growing at an extremely fast rate. There are so many potential upsides to this new trend…in my mind, the most important is the possibility that with this increase, we will also see an increase in the amount of people, groups and organizations focusing on protecting all of the wild places that are so important. With that said, one of the downsides to more people spending time in these established green spaces is the chance that your secret spot may lose some of its secrecy.

Do you have a favorite place? If you’re not sure, I’ll help you find an answer. Is there a place that’s always on your mind, no matter where you are or what you’re doing? It’s more than likely an area you’ve been visiting and revisiting for as long as you can remember. If you answered yes to the above question, then you officially have a favorite place. Next question, does that place have a spot that transcends everything else? Last one, are you ever hesitant to share details or the whereabouts of this location? If you answered yes to the last two questions…you have a secret spot. Congrats!

In the growing landscape of outdoor pursuits and the growing size of the outdoor community, is it possible to keep something hidden? I’m constantly asking myself this question. Just like most outdoor enthusiasts, I’m more than happy to share beta on the places that I love and I’m always pumped to find like-minded people getting after it…but there’s something unique about putting your feet on ground that’s rarely explored. That feeling of uniqueness sometimes makes us hesitant to share, leaving you with two options.

If you’re committed to the idea of holding out and are ok with being a little selfish in an attempt to keep your spot off the radar, here are a few tips:

1. Speak Softly 

The saying ‘loose lips sink ships’ hits the nail on the head. The more you talk about it, the more you’ll talk about it. And with all of that talking, comes questions and curiosity.

2. If You Post, They Will Come 

In a world where the internet and social media are a huge part of our lives, posting written, photo and video content for everyone to see is the norm. Even with minimal information, chances are someone will be able to pick out a landmark or tiny detail that will help them hone in on your location.

3. Choose Wisely 

If this spot yields amazing views, a hidden waterfall or something else that sets it apart from its surroundings, showing it off to each and every one of your friends and their friends is not ideal. The more people who know about your spot, the less likely it is to stay a secret.

The second possible path is a little easier to follow:

I mentioned earlier that one of the best possible scenarios to come from the added growth and focus on outdoor recreation, is the potential for rapid (and hopefully lasting) growth in regards to protecting our green spaces. This growth can come in many forms…it could be picking up a piece of trash on a day hike or organizing a group trail maintenance event. It could also come in the form of brands, businesses and even the government putting more emphasis on the importance of the places that we love. We’re already there in a lot of ways, but we didn’t just end up here…it started with an individual.

I’m going to play devil’s advocate for a minute. What if those secret spots that we’ve been talking about are exactly what we need to spark a fire in someone new to the outdoors?

I do have places that I want to be a secret for as long as possible, but I believe it’s important to make case by case decisions on when to share them. I look at it as a balancing act between sharing enough to reap the benefits, but not so much that an area becomes overrun. When it really comes down to it, if sharing a secret spot with someone furthers the preservation of the wild…you can count me in.

Thanks for reading.

Patrick




Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph.