Using Tech in the Outdoor Recreation Industry
The Role of Technology in Outdoor Recreation
Technology is playing an increasingly important role in outdoor recreation and the adventure industry. Over the last 10 years, there have been such impressive and innovative advancements in technology that it is almost impossible to fully escape their effects in any industry. New tech ranging from clothing and equipment to tracking devices and protective gear has become less expensive and more readily available to anyone who wants to take part in outdoor activities, whether extreme or mundane. As the use of tech in the outdoor recreation industry increases, those who own tech companies and retailers can collaborate with those in the outdoor recreation industry to forge lucrative new partnerships. Here’s a guide to using tech in the outdoor recreation industry.
Access & Transportation
One of the most obvious ways that tech has infiltrated the world of outdoor activities and adventure recreation is by improving access to remote areas faster and with less effort on the part of visitors. Improvements in off-road vehicles, snowmobiles, and ATVs means that people looking for adventure can easily visit even the most remote areas. Such vehicles have even become easier to rent, drive, and manage, which means that even people who don’t have much (or any) experience using them can get access to them and significantly increase their travel area without much effort on their part.
Technological advancements have also dramatically improved the comfort of the great outdoors. Advancements in fabric, tents, footwear, hydration packs, GPS devices, and more have made it easier for people—even those without much experience—to venture further off of the marked trails. Lighter gear and more effective methods of transporting it have also encouraged adventurers to go farther, faster than ever before. These advancements have improved accessibility as well, allowing people with different ability levels, a greater age range, and less experience to travel to remote or challenging spaces.
Unsurprisingly, the increased use of technology and technological advancements in outdoor spaces has also had the potential to improve safety. Better technology means that greater levels of safety are available to individuals and groups who are venturing into the unknown. While equipment is lighter than ever, easy to carry, and more versatile, it is also easier to use and understand. More people are relying on this technology over older, more outdated methods that weren’t necessarily as reliable or infallible. Better tech also means more opportunities for communication. GPS units have become smaller, more powerful, and more affordable, making it easier for anyone who is planning a long hike, extended camping trip, or off-road adventure to make sure they know where they are (and everyone else does, too). More advanced radios, beacons, satellite telephones, smartphone apps, and better cellular coverage means it’s easier than ever for adventurers to ask for help when they need it, and make sure that search and rescue teams can find them faster.
Of course, with the benefits of these technological advancements, there is also some danger of false confidence or overreliance. If adventure enthusiasts rely only on this technology to succeed in the wilderness, what happens when this technology fails? These tech tools also make no guarantee that the area you’re in is safe, or without obstacles that could hinder you or lead you into danger.
In the past, outdoor adventure enthusiasts and those in the industry relied mostly on word of mouth to stay up to date on changes to the condition of trails and the safety of remote areas. Now, adventurers and staff can easily use technology to keep abreast of exactly what the conditions are in any given area, no matter how remote or unpopulated. This improvement in communication makes the great outdoors more accessible, and also further improves safety. Advancements in tech also make it easier for people to communicate even in remote areas through radios, walkie talkies, satellite phones, and even cell phones. However, again, this can create a false sense of security or pride, as a greater reliance on these tech elements means a reduced knowledge or skill in how to survive without them.
Without the right skill or experience, the rising use of tech in the outdoors may make visitors complacent and without the problem-solving abilities necessary to think on their feet or react quickly to changing dangers. While these technological advancements make it easier to communicate in an emergency, they won’t prevent an emergency from happening. And if they fail when you need them most, it’s important to be aware of other methods of communication.
Another obvious benefit of the rise of tech use in the outdoor recreation industry is an improved ability to share important information with one another. Improvements in communication, the gathering of data, and the analysis of danger, can make it easier to determine how safe a particular area is on any given day. Rather than needing to ask people coming off a trail what the condition is, or trying to find a ranger station or guide, a visitor can simply use a smartphone app, website, or other information-sharing device, to get that information in real time.
The ease of sharing information via technology instead of word of mouth can also benefit those working in the outdoor recreation industry. In the event of an emergency of any kind, it’s much easier to convey safety information, call for a lockdown or roadblock, or cut off access to a dangerous area. In some cases, you can even do so with the press of a button.
Scheduling & Turnover
For those in the outdoor recreation industry that manage campsites, recreation areas, or other outdoor amenities, improvements in tech have dramatically streamlined the business. The use of online or app-based scheduling means that fewer people need to be involved in the process, so there is less time wasted and little opportunity for error. The ease of booking a campsite or paying for a parking or recreation pass online also means that these spaces are easier to access for all. Online scheduling options also give you more opportunity to collect data, analyze it, and determine means for improvement.
Tech advances have also helped with turnover for places that offer camping or other amenities. You can get new guests scheduled and checked in faster, so there is less downtime between vacancies.
Another key element of the outdoor recreation industry that has improved through the use of technology is the management of both employees and campsites or amenities. By making it easier to use third-party management companies or software to oversee the scheduling, turnover, and re-stocking of these sites, you free up your employees’ time to handle more important matters. This technology also makes it easier to recruit and train new employees faster, so that they’re ready to work in guest-centric or guest-facing positions.
Want to Learn More About Tech Advancements in the Outdoor Activities & Adventure Industry?
If you’re interested in learning more about how the evolution of technology in the outdoor recreation and outdoor adventure industry has influenced customers and outdoor enthusiasts, then keep reading our blog at Advanced Outdoor Solutions. Our team of experts at Advanced Outdoor Solutions stays up to date with the latest research, trends, and data in outdoor activities, then analyzes and reports on the ones that impact your business so you can stay ahead of the curve.
We also offer those in the industry land planning, design, development, and turnkey third-party management solutions throughout Delaware, DC, and SW Florida. To learn more about these services, contact us today at 1-800-579-9796 or contact us online.