Archive for November, 2014

Remote Footprints & Project Remote

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Set aside your creature comforts. Leave your apprehensions at the door. It’s time to break out your map and compass, ’cause this ain’t your mama’s three-hour-tour – let’s go remote!

The Remote Footprints team hikes through the woods

Project Remote is one facet of the nonprofit organization called Remote Footprints. A personal project started in 2009, Project Remote is the trekking and documenting journey of each of the United State’s most remote spot. The project is headed up by the Means family: Ryan, Rebecca, and Skyla, who are able to travel and report on these remote spots as free time allows; so far they have visited just over half of the 50 states. They define their remote destinations as the point within a state that is the farthest straight-line distance from a road. With their endeavors, they hope to bring awareness to the expansive asphalt arteries that make up the road network in this country. At the same time, they want to encourage other families to get outside with their kids and enjoy nature’s roadless wilderness. “This latter purpose guides our activities on a local level. In our area we offer various classes and events to help parents get outside and learn about the natural world experientially.”

The Remote Footprints team hikes through the woods

Location sought, food packed, car gassed-up, it’s time to head out. “We go as far as a car will take us, then we get out and walk.” In a pack weighing in at over 70lbs and containing a tent, food, and other supplies, Ryan shoulders the resources for the whole Means family, while Rebecca is tasked with carrying a load on her back that’s nearly as heavy – Skyla! “The heavy pack weights make for difficult backpacking, both mentally and physically.” Upon arrival to the remote location, the Means take 360° video and photos to document the condition of the location and they also spend 15 minutes recording any human sounds or sights.

Rebecca and Skyla go over their Remote journal
Ryan Means taking a panoramic photo and using GPS at the remote site

For each of the family members, this project has meant something different. Ryan’s fondest memory so far was gorgeous scenery at the approach to the New Mexico remote spot where “we walked through a beautiful ponderosa pine grassland.” Rebecca’s fondest memory has been “watching Skyla grow into an awesome outdoors girl who can handle rain, frost, dangerous situations, and just about anything.” And Skyla, well … she says her fondest memory was “eating the beans and rice backpacker meal.” When she’s older, she will look back on these adventures and the time spent with her mom and dad with so much love and admiration.

Follow the Means on their journey by reading their expedition journal entries and keeping up to date with Facebook posts. The Remote Footprints website and the Project Remote website contain much more information detailing their intentions, beliefs, and goals.

“We are not encouraging people to visit a particular spot but to seek remoteness in general, and to celebrate and preserve the public lands that often times contain the remotest location in a state.”

Means family portrait at night

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