How to turn off the Strava Heatmap to protect secret trails

Strava is fantastic for ride data, especially to those who are training or just obsessed with the numbers. But, a new feature on the App, called the Heatmap, is attracting too much attention to secret spots. While the Strava Heatmap is awesome for hunting down new places to ride, hike and ski, it can also bring to much traffic into very fragile areas. If you’re not careful, even you may be the one to doom the spot by accidentally attracting the wrong person into secret trail terrain! With great power comes great responsibility, so as tempting as it may be to use Strava freely, do trail builders and locals a favor by updating your privacy settings on the app. Here’s how:

FIRST OFF, TO GO UNDETECTED IN SECRET TERRAIN YOU HAVE THREE OPTIONS:

  1. Don’t record at all when riding fragile areas

  2. Update your privacy settings

  3. Manually set rides to private + update select settings

Option One: It’s tempting to throw caution into the wind, but if you’re not training, do you really need that trail data? Abstinence is always the safest. But if you’ve gotta have those numbers we understand.

Option Two: If you’re a dedicated Strava user, but want to be a responsible shredder, it’ll cost you your KOM’s and QOM’s since private mode takes your name off of all leaderboards. But for many, that’s a small price to pay in exchange for a bottomless loam stash for years to come.

Option Three: If you’re committed to Strava and all of your leaderboard glory, you can get around the full privacy by staying visible to everyone, but setting individual rides to private after uploading them. This is the best of both worlds where you get all the ride data as well as staying involved in the Strava community. However, don’t forget to switch secret trail rides to private. If you go this route, you can turn off your Heatmap too (see step #2, below).

FOLLOW THESE SIMPLE INSTRUCTIONS TO KEEP YOUR SECRET TRAILS, SECRET (WHILE STILL GETTING YOUR RIDE DATA)!

1. SET YOUR ACCOUNT TO PRIVATE. SETTINGS> PRIVACY CONTROLS > ACTIVITIES > ONLY YOU

2. DISABLE HEATMAP. SETTINGS > PRIVACY CONTROLS > METRO AND HEATMAP > TURN OFF

3. Go get that loam!

 

Article By Callie Waldschmidt

Callie is a mountain-obsessed skier and mountain biker based in Bellingham, Wa. She’s the founder of Wild Grit, teaching online courses and creating videos for outdoorsy-minded adventure lovers everywhere.

Follow her on Instagram, here!