Why “Flatlander”?

The term FLATLANDER is often used as a put-down, a disparagement.  A FLATLANDER is usually an outsider, visitor, or tourist who doesn’t have the “know-how” to take part in outdoor recreation.

Tioga Pass, Yosemite National Park 2009.

Tioga Pass, Yosemite National Park 2009.

I use the term FLATLANDER in a different way altogether.  To me, a flatlander isn’t a bad thing– it could be a Nature Novice who is just getting started in the outdoors, or a first-time visitor to a National or State Park.  It could be, very literally, a person like me (not anymore– I moved to the mountains!) who lives at a lower elevation where the terrain is generally flat, with no mountains and few hills.  Either way, if you fall into my category of FLATLANDER, there are things you need to know to avoid becoming the negative sort…

…I’ve seen my share of “those flatlanders” in my many years of outdoor travel– and you do not want to be one!  They hike in flip flops and carry 2 liter sodas (in their hands, not even in a pack) up steep, hot trails.  They let their kids approach wildlife and they swim above waterfalls.

Over the years I have witnessed people making dangerous mistakes on the trail and in the water, overheard snippets of conversations about hikes, and seen people unwittingly endanger their children.  And I have made plenty of mistakes myself.

Needless to say, I have learned a few things along the way.  But with the right preparation anyone can have a safe, fun, and memorable outdoor experience.  And that’s what this website is all about!  

Originally posted on January 15, 2013.

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