How do we promote civility among various outdoor users without becoming too moralistic? Of course, we use cute animals and a humorous tone. This is what Réseau plein air Québec (RPAQ) is doing with its new awareness campaign “Nature Will Judge You”.

“Traffic on outdoor sites has increased significantly in recent years,” recalls Geneviève Desiret, Communications Manager at RPAQ. Cohabitation is increasing not only between hikers but also between hikers and people involved in other activities. Although problem behavior is a minority, it is on the rise. We wanted to help people establish positive social norms to reduce friction. »

But no one likes being told what to do. How can you get your message across without lecturing? After consulting with a variety of stakeholders, including site managers and outdoor organization executives, RPAQ chose a humorous tone.

“We came to the conclusion that this is a matter of education, and that education is always better with positive messages, humorous messages that are not meant to be moral.”

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No one wants to feel judged.

He is better at making judgments when he is judged by a raccoon named Rejean than by humans.

Geneviève Désilets, RPAQ Communications Manager

Therefore, the famous Réjean is the headliner of the “Nature will judge you” campaign, which will run from January 22 to February 29, especially on social networks. He is supported by other animals, such as snowy owls and foxes, who either disapprove or simply look disappointed when confronted with disrespectful behavior.

It includes a photo of an otter that appears to be covering its ears with its paws, and the message: “Me, when you push Celine on everyone in the lake.”

Some white-tailed deer aren’t too happy about the phrase, “I, if you pass someone on the street without warning.”

RPAQ collaborated with 22 partners to develop the campaign, including outdoor sports federations, Quebec regional parks and clothing stores. Motorsports are also popular, including the Quebec Motorsport Federation and the Quebec Club Quad Federation.

The relationship between motorsport enthusiasts and hikers and skiers is not always good. Therefore, approaches are welcome.

The campaign includes quizzes on the behaviors you should adopt. It’s not that difficult, but it’s sure to put a smile on your face. This is why mountain bikers are often asked what to do if they encounter someone on a horse on the trail. How to slow down? keep it up? Or do you politely ask if you can trade your bike for a horse?

There are also more annoying questions. What should you do if you meet someone going uphill on a narrow trail? Or if you’re skiing in the mountains and there’s a lesser skier than you?

In addition to offering this quiz and small contest, the campaign webpage includes etiquette guides for various sports, motorized and non-motorized. When it comes to cross-country skiing, we talk specifically about the importance of speed control and intention. The section on ice climbing deals with the issue of conditions of access to the site. We insist on respecting private property, especially when it comes to snowmobiles and quads. Hunters are reminded of the need to share territory.

Links in each section provide access to additional information, especially on the websites of the various federations.

RPAQ can return to this campaign while participating in Salon Adventures et Plein Air in Montreal on March 23rd and 24th.

According to Geneviève Desiree, the initial reaction was positive. “Our partners and other national outdoor organizations alike find this campaign to be fun, get the message across easily, and visually grab attention.»

The Civility Awareness campaign returns with a summer section “with new animals, new colors, new examples, new quizzes and new prizes.”


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Last fall, Alaskan lakes had perfect conditions for skating. This video was created by Luc Mehl, an instructor specializing in outdoor risk management.

This is the depth of Lake Manicuagan, located at the bottom of the reservoir of the same name. The deepest natural lake in Quebec is Walker Lake, which is 280 meters deep.

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