My recent article about the national parks received a fair amount of comments.
The comments showed how people are passionate about the parks regardless of the political beliefs.
People love the national parks and our public lands.
And access to these public lands is an issue we are passionate about.
Concern was expressed concern that the America the Beautiful (Annual Interagency Pass) may be going up in price.
As written in the earlier article, at $80 annually, the Interagency Pass is currently quite the bargain; the pass is good for NPS, BLM, USFS, National Wildlife Refuges, and others agencies. People over sixty-two, permanently disabled, in the 4th grade, or in the military are eligible for a reduced cost or even a free version of this pass.
At least talking to various NPS personnel recently, there is no talk of the pass going up in price.
So get it now!
In October and November alone, I used this pass in four national parks and three national monuments. And two were visited Tuesday. Considering Grand Canyon National Park is $30 alone (and, as discussed, going up in price during prime season) for the entrance, the pass quickly paid for itself.
But Paul, you are an unemployed bum. How can I, a contributing citizen to society, possibly make use of this pass?
Even when I was working diligently in beige box land, I always made use of this pass. The local recreation area honored it. I hung it up at trailheads and did not have to pay for parking. Some off-the-beaten-path places were free. And I always made use of it during my precious vacation time on more than one occasion before I gave myself the gift of time in September.
If a person, or a family, goes to a National Park more than twice a year, they really should get the pass. Add in the misc smaller (less expensive) National Monuments, historic areas, USFS, BLM, wildlife refuges, etc. that also take this pass, and the ROI for purchasing an Interagency Pass is quite good. Some state parks or private museums near popular NPS units will even give a discount if you have the national pass.
Get a piece of “gear” that is truly valuable, and you will use. A person can only have so many packs, puffy jackets, rain shells, tents, etc.
And if you are looking for a gift that all outdoors people can use, GET THEM THIS ANNUAL PASS INSTEAD! (Assuming they don’t have an annual pass already, of course.) Combine the pass with a library card and the active outdoors person has two very valuable pieces of gear.
Top Fifty Pieces of Clickbait Crap is not something most experienced outdoors people need. Their gear system is established. And you purchasing a gift for them is not terribly helpful unless they specifically request you to buy something.
And, let us be honest, these gift guides are really gift guides for you, the gentle reader.
Don’t buy gear if you don’t need it. Do you need yet another ultralight knick-knack?
Get something that will help you ACCESS THE OUTDOORS MORE instead.
An America The Beautiful Pass will make our public lands more accessible to you.
Enjoy those mountains, canyons, forests, wetlands, or prairies.
And one card covers friends or family that are with you. And you can put a significant other on the pass. You share the gift this way, too!
One $80 purchase will pay for itself quite quickly if you enjoy those lands more than any $80 worth of stuff collected over the holiday season.
Truly opt to be outside. And buy, and make use of, an America the Beautiful (Annual Interagency Pass).