The Most Important thing needed to be Exploration Ready (or ready for any outdoor activity)
Updated: Feb 8, 2019
If you are a hiker, you will have one answer that will likely differ from a mountain biker which will differ from a dirt biker, Jeeper, climber, camper, overlander... (insert any title here). What we all are and have in common is that we are all people who love to explore the outdoors. While there are many plausible answers people can put forward, the most important thing is having a place outdoors to explore. While hikers definitely have the best support in this realm in terms of places to go, certain areas are nearly always under threat, especially those with tourist traffic and no paid maintenance staff or plan in place. We in the outdoor community are always going to suffer from our favorite places becoming too popular. If there is funding then the area will become more developed and more popular as ease of access improves. If there isn't funding or volunteer support then the areas will be restricted or closed.
The good news is there are easy ways that you can help prevent your favorite areas being closed and even open public access to new areas. First, you can join a national access organization such as the Blue Ribbon Coalition, Tread Lightly, or Americans For Responsible Recreation Access. If you are a dirt biker then a specific national group such as the American Motorcycle Association would also work. Next you can join a regional or state group like Cal4Wheel or Nevada Four Wheel Drive Association. And finally, join a local group. Jeepers and overlanders will have the most success finding active clubs but there are plenty of motorcycle, ATV, snowmobile, climbing, hiking, etc. clubs. Any club committed to keep trails open will have volunteer agreements with the local trails and be able to help maintain and keep them open.
And if you find there are no volunteers maintaining your favorite trail, maybe consider starting your own club.