David Jenkins, Captain in the Honolulu Fire Department recently was interviewed by KHON2 News and had a theory as to why there are so many mountain trail rescues. The theory goes like this: “People go on hikes, see these beautiful views, takes pictures, and post them,” says Jenkins. “Other people see them and, of course, they want to visit our islands and experience adventure. But sometimes they go and put themselves in jeopardy trying to recreate what they see on the Internet.”
Sharing your Hawaiian trail experiences with your friends on Social Media sites is fun to do. Showing them where you went on your vacation and how awesome locations like the Kalalau Trail are seems harmless enough. But can sharing these photos attract visitors that are not qualified or experienced enough to get to the locations they see in the photos?
As I’ve watched social media posts and conversations about exotic Hawaiian locations over the past many years, I’ve noticed there seems to be a lot of miss-communication out there. For example, if one inquiring would-be hiker asked “Is the Kalalau Trail hard to hike?”. They would get a variety of answers from other people ranging from “It’s a piece of cake, you’ll make it fine” to “It’s the hardest hike I’ve ever done, I had to turn back after hiking a few miles.” Everybody is on a different level. Telling someone you don’t know that a trail is “easy” or even a trail is “hard” can be misleading and lead to someone getting hurt or needing to be rescued.