This Technology Makes it Easier to Explore Nature

We at Outsite believe that life is too short to be working from inside an office. RootsRated is making it easier for everyone to get outside and explore.

Published on
June 27, 2018

We at Outsite get pretty excited about the great outdoors - life is too short work from a stuffy, closed office. RootsRated is another company passionate about the outdoors, and has built a platform that makes it easier for everyone to discover. 

RootsRated is a media platform that connects users with the best outdoor experiences, hand-picked by local outdoor retailers and their networks of local experts - and makes it clear they are NOT another website full of crowd-sourced trail reviews. Two years ago, the RootsRated team drove 16,000 miles around North America. Climbing Acadia National Park’s Mount Cadillac, bombing through the gorges of upstate New York’s Finger Lakes, hammering 20 miles along Michigan’s Pictured Rocks, weathering brutal hail and lightning in the Badlands, and watching the sunset over the Columbia River Gorge are stand out experiences.  Along the way, they discovered a need. Finding the best outdoor experiences is not easy. The process of discovering a great local trail, or bouldering field, or whitewater hole remains a very word of mouth process. Information online is incredibly fragmented. Today, they’ve created something like a Wikipedia for outdoor activities, combining a simple interface with content developed by local experts, including athletes and people who work in the outdoor industry. Someone who wants to get outside can visit, pick their city and an activity, then get a list of destination guides with all the details they need to find the right place for their interests and abilities, then plan an outing. RootsRated harnesses the collective expertise of high-level local runners, skiers, riders, paddlers, and climbers. Then they share it through exclusive stories and destination reviews—curated city by city—about the best trails, runs, routes, crags, and more. RootsRated brings people who love the outdoors together, through insights from locals who are most in the know.

For co-founder Mark McKnight, one key to success is writing that walks the line between inspiration and aspiration. “Much of the content being produced by the outdoor industry doesn’t speak to the beginner or the average person,” Mark says. “Aspirational storytelling with images of pro skiers going off cliffs might seem cool, but for most this can seem extreme and dangerous.”

As RootsRated expands its content across the nation, Mark expects to see more Americans taking advantage of this countries natural beauty—and reaping the mental and physical benefits that go along with it. “For too long, the outdoors has been for the few, but we believe it’s for everyone.” Because their content is contributed by local experts writing about their favorite places to get outside, RootsRated is much more than another hub of crowdsourced reviews. It is an authentic inside scoop, a story shared over beers, a “wish you were here” that comes with directions about how to join in the fun. RootsRated is now taking their experience connecting more people to the most authentic local outdoor knowledge, and using the tools they built to help all content marketers. RootsRated Media announced the launch of Compass Networks, a major expansion of their existing content marketing platform that helps marketers simplify the process of co-op marketing with the partners who matter.  Shared audiences can expand a marketer’s reach in meaningful ways, but connecting the dots digitally has been painful in the past.  RootsRated Media draws from a history in the outdoor and adventure travel industries, but Compass Networks can help any marketer interested in leveraging shared audiences with their marketing partners. Content can be created custom or imported into Compass and distributed in a few clicks to partner websites. 

Words: Annie Brown - Outdoor Apprecianado 

Photographs: Elena Saharova, Jake Cambell, Mark Bosky 

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