Dogmatism “the tendency to lay down principles as incontrovertibly true, without consideration of evidence or the opinions of others”
We have been witnessing a ton of dogmatism in society for the last half dozen years. Discussion on any subject seems to split into two camps that yell their ‘truth’ at the other expecting understanding and then conversion. Needless to say, this doesn’t work.
In the case of the Four Wheel Drive Association of BC, under my leadership, we have done away with dogmatism in many of it’s forms. No longer do we have an opinion on the right way to wheel as we strive to represent you, our members, and all of your forms of 4×4 recreation whether it be day tripping adventure, long haul remote exploration, mud bogging, rock crawling or racing. We advocate for your access to public lands for 4×4 recreation and we host your thoughts on the 4×4 scene here in BC.
Part of that hosting is your sharing of your adventures and enjoyment. You have shared your trips to well known recreation sites where we have partnership agreements and you have shared other wilderness rec sites along with beautiful pictures. You have inspired others to perhaps build their rig and push their own boundaries to get out and enjoy the back country.
Personally, I have met so many wonderful people in the back country that are 4×4 recreationists and have witnessed the forming of many friend circles from our membership. Many have spawned other groups and pages of like minded folks who enjoy a particular bent of our recreation. It is so rewarding that our organization has contributed so much to our collective lives and community.
Unfortunately, I have also witnessed a a smaller but fairly common ‘growth curve’ of some where they come into our community, wheel for a year or two and are captured by the dogmatism of a group where there is one way to do things and this is ‘true’ and ‘unarguable’. These good people go from loving and sharing to knowing the best for us all and are not shy of yelling it out to the world, along with judgement of the ‘other’. I find this somewhat depressing.
Our policy on sharing of locations is fairly simple and is based on an understanding that the ‘horse has left the barn’ and we refuse to ‘piss up a rope’ in an attempt to stop all sharing of BC back country locations. We do delete, with a polite message, sharing of the truly unknown locations and perhaps some social trails, as we understand that they will attract unwanted and unnecessary attention. But, for the most part, if it is promoted by tourism agencies, map books, government, and locals, then we allow it.
Why do we allow it? Because of community. We all have the natural instinct to share our adventures for our own and others enjoyment. Even the nay sayers share their trips via social media in youtube. Trips to Whipsaw, Alexander Mackenzie Trail, Moab, Johnson Valley, and it goes on. And I know why they share as it is the same reason that you and I share.
Never mind that a million other sites have these trails in their databases, be it mountain bike sites, quad sites, motorbike sites, hiking sites, and it goes on, and on…
Trying to turn the clock back on this is like the little dutch boy sticking his finger in the dyke to stop the leak. Like i said, the horse is out of the barn. I have witnessed this argument in magazines back in the day, through forums on the internet and now for the last 15 years on social media.
What is causing the increase in traffic in the back country? An increase in 4×4 sales, quad sales, bike sales, sxs sales, snowmobile sales, population growth, disposable income and then COVID, whch has locked a lot of people out of their usual out of country vacations and kept them home. They then looked locally, bought some gear and started camping on the FSR’s. This will tame down as people revert back to their usual trips but we are never going back to a time like the 90’s, or 80’s where it was just us rednecks.
We choose to continue with creating community around 4×4 recreation and part of this is sharing. We will continue to remove the truly secret stuff while letting the common ad everyday places be shared. We believe this to be not only the correct policy but also one that is realistic and manageable.
So, to our members here, share your adventures, or not. Enjoy the adventures of others, or not. But, don’t disrespect other members rights in sharing as they see fit and as we see fit. Don’t bring your dogmatism here. Practise your religion elsewhere on your pages and preach to your choir.
And, if you don’t like this policy, you can bring it up with me. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org. You can DM me here and I will give you my phone number if you want to chat. You can also get involved with helping our advocacy efforts and influence policy. Or, if you are really upset, you can hate us on your own pages and shame us there. It really is all the rage.