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Recreation & Geoeducation

I site my tent along the beach margin where the forest begins. The kitchen goes out on the spit’s end, where a forested would-be islet provides
some protection from the threatening weather. While I hurry to get the stove going, I wonder about the approaching front, the possibility of high wind,
the height of the tide, and bears. I make a mental note to tie up the kayak, even though it’s resting in the beach grasses well above my tent –
I’ve seen kayaks and tents blown away. The assorted potential problems and logical solutions dwindle in my mind as dinner heats.
I find a perfect seat beneath the boughs of a western hemlock and anticipate food, happy in my solitude.

Joel W. Rogers: The Hidden Coast

What Kind?

Outdoor adventure can be challenge for the sake of physical challenge, an all-out daring of nature, but while there are benefits and enjoyment to this approach, that is not the aim of Geoeducation.

Whether kayaking, mountain biking, surfing, cycling, fishing or performing any other outdoor activity, clearly not all people taking part are connected to nature by what they do, despite the fact that they rely on nature for their challenge, and even enjoy it.

Off-roaders for example can be destructive. While their sport relies on forest trails or desert dunes, practiced irresponsibly it results in degradation,
not connection. And studies done amongst rock climbers at a specific site show that as many as
a third of those who voiced care for the environment, were opposed to practicing care when it resulted in some restraint to their access or participation. It’s
no good caring if our behavior is damaging.

The term recreation is also used of general camping and holidaying. While many families
enjoy this pastime, and while it will play a part
in our program, certain distinctions need to be made. Consider Aldo Leopold’s summary of Outdoor Recreation, written way back in 1949. What might he think of the average campground today?



Bureaus build more roads into new hinterlands,
then buy more hinterlands to absorb the exodus accelerated by the roads. A gadget industry pads
the bumps against nature-in-the-raw; woodcraft becomes the art of using gadgets. And now, to
cap the pyramid of banalities, the trailer. To him
who seeks in the woods and mountains only those things obtainable from travel or golf, the present situation is tolerable. But to him who seeks something more, recreation has become a self-destructive process of seeking but never quite finding, a major frustration of mechanized society. This is Outdoor Recreation. The Latest Model.

When we speak of recreation, we propose use of
the activities in this site to explore a natural area, to provide access to wonders and to promote healthy living. In the process you will rely on gadgets but each of these have the purpose of facilitating respite in, and connection to nature.




What to Consider?

Whether paddling quietly around the harbor or crossing the channel to Santa Cruz Island, outdoor adventure activity, in this example kayaking, is part agony, part ecstasy. We have to consider safety, responsibility for others and ourselves, the weather, technique, loading and gear, but once out there the experience is liberally sprinkled with euphoric
moments that make it all worthwhile.

We have even provided a fitness program and basic introduction to hiking, biking and kayaking, as well
as a few simple dos and don’ts to address risk, readiness and responsibility.

Physical inactivity is of increasing concern in young people. Take time to incorprate the exercise program provided on the previous page.

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