The problem with some popular “outdoor travel” blogs is that they don’t really know what they are talking about. There, I said it, and I’m sure a travel blogger someone is getting in a twitch over that statement.
This morning I read a blog post listing the best trails in all 50 states. Now I can’t speak for the other 49, but as an active hiker, an advocate for our state parks and trails, and a resident of Pennsylvania the trail they stated is the BEST…well, they missed the mark.
I have to wonder if they even hiked the trail they mentioned and what they based their information on. DId they pull out a map and throw a dart at it. Did they simply browse the internet while sipping a latte and thought to themselves, “yeah, that looks like a good one to use in our article as the BEST trail for Pennsylvania.”
By no means is the trail they chose a bad trail. It is one of many beautiful trails our state has to offer any hiker and outdoor enthusiast. But ask any true blue PA hiker and the trail they chose would not be on their list of BEST trail.
The problem with many travel blogs today, and I read my share of them, especially if they are about my state, is the information they give is not always accurate or based strictly on their limited observation and interaction.
So let me offer some suggestions to travel and outdoor bloggers…
- Be very detailed in your posts and give as much information as you can. That requires actually spending time in the location you’re writing about.
- Don’t just list a trail and only give the name and location. Give details about your adventure on the trail. But that means you have to actually hike the trail.
- Talk to the locals. Becuase no one knows the trails better than the locals who are on them and know every curve, dip, rest stop, and vista.
- Learn the local culture by actually spending time WITH the culture.
- Don’t write about a trail only from online research just to fill a blog post. If that’s the case, you’re doing it for exposure, views, and clicks. And the information your sharing is not always credible.
I can always tell when a blogger is credible in their information about a location because of the content they post. The written words of detail, the time they took to actually explore the area, and the photographic evidence speak; “I’ve been there, done it, and learned from the local culture.”
I can list for you a bunch of bloggers who travel and are credible in their information, but for the sake of space and time, I’ll simply tell you…you’ll know they are credible if their content reflects what I shared above. I will, however, list one blogger. Now, I may be biased because I know this blogger personally. Which is one reason I know she is credible. But even if I didn’t know her personally I would still find her content to be accurate. It’s not because of the detail she shares, but more so how she tells her story. In vivid detail, and that comes from a result of experiencing the adventure and saying; “I’ve been there, done it, and learned from the local culture.”
If you want to follow an authentic adventurer, her accurate descriptions, and well-told stories check out JennytheTrailhead
Header photo credit: JennytheTrailhead