Uncharted Society Hopes To Bring Socially Distanced Adventure To Public Lands

Powersports company partners with outfitters to take travelers to “hidden playgrounds.”

Sea-Doo wants you to rip through the water-bound canyons of Lake Powell. Can-Am hopes you’ll leave a trail of dust through the Mojave Desert. Ski-Doo wants to see you summiting the powdery slopes of the Rocky Mountains. And each of these power sport brands is hoping to lure Americans into the outdoors under the banner of their new, joint experience called Uncharted Society.

Uncharted Society launched in June, with around 40 curated experiences focused on accessing America’s public lands. “These vehicles are allowing people to discover hidden playgrounds and lands that are not always accessible otherwise, such as snowy mountain tops or sand dunes in the desert,” says BRP-X Innovation Lab Program Lead Véronique Lacroix.

Those hidden playgrounds include Yosemite, California; Bryce Canyon, Utah; Vail, Colorado; Madeira Beach, Florida; and Las Vegas, Nevada.

According to Lacroix, BRP’s sales of powersports vehicles were up 40% this summer. Uncharted Society hopes to capitalize on that momentum by making powersports more accessible to travelers who may not be owners of equipment themselves. “Our experiences are managed by independent outfitters,” adds BRP Global Consumer Relations Lead Brian Manning. “Out outfitters’ activities are running full-throttle, and our pilot project has shown to be successful since the launch.”

Manning says Uncharted Society outfitters like Wilderness Collective and GetMyBoat are notching a greater than 90% satisfaction level on experiences—a figure that is pushing BRP to develop more partnerships and expand the number of available opportunities.

The introduction of Uncharted Society coincides with a nationwide trend of increased participation in outdoor recreation. According to the Outdoor Industry Roundtable—a coalition of organizations including the American Sportfishing Association, RV Industry Association, National Marine Manufacturers Association, Outdoor Industry Association and Motorcycle Industry Council—81% of Americans have spent leisure time outside during the COVID-19 pandemic. 31% of those Americans, the roundtable says, are doing so for the very first time.

Within the $887 billion U.S. outdoor recreation economy, sales of lifestyle products like ATVs and motorcycles are up. And sales of products that allow people to access public lands in new ways, like camper vans, are up 49% over 2019.

The Outdoor Industry Roundtable says outfitters are working double time to compensate for a spring where many of their guided activities were shut down due to federal land closures and state quarantine guidelines. Now, as the outdoor industry rebounds, 80% of its outfitters and guides are back in operation.

While those rebounding figures are encouraging for the outdoor economy, they also mean increased pressure from crowds at national parks and other public lands. Uncharted Society hopes to give travelers an escape from those crowds while providing safe, socially-distanced adventures in some of North America’s most scenic locations.

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