How do nature conservation, outdoor company and rap battle go hand in hand? Surprisingly well

So let’s calm down, both of us… Ondřej Vacek in his double role.

Sports car, soul, I love nature, but your prohibitions have really started to eat away at me. Your visiting rules don’t interest me at all, I’ll wipe my ass with them, you don’t have to worry about them! The mountains are not yours, you stupid conservationists, I will trample everything from Harrachov to Upa!“Freerider rapes.” In an instant, the nature warden enters the rap battle and “liberates” the freerider and sends him to administrative procedures. But the whole fight will be filmed by the highest authority in the Czech mountains. Krakonos.

rap battle

You may not have known about the Battle Rap genre until now. It’s a rapping, rhyming verbal battle where the actors brag and insult the opponent, but all to a hip-hop beat. The joke and the opponent’s smear are important. It’s about who has better verses.

You have a ski slope here. Not enough? So no luck. Lift your ass, go to the Alps, there’s a forum,“Krakonoš then loads the freerider. But he also criticizes the nature guards: “you understand again. At the bar road arch of ten meters, you want to punish?“According to Krakonoš, this requires mutual respect between each other and the mountains. If nothing else happens in the field of Czech eco-education this year, the author of this article believes that it’s the act of the year.

Czech nature protection and eco-education have long struggled with the problem of how to provide the target group with the necessary information.

The classic example is found in the Giant Mountains. A popular national park, where around 13 million people arrive during the season. You won’t say that. Most people behave in an orderly manner, but in such a large mass there are already a lot of people who disobey orders and prohibitions. Partly because they don’t understand their meaning. For God’s sake, why can’t I sit on Sněžka grass? Why would I mind skiing across the meadow, because there’s snow everywhere?

A recently published video from the creative workshop of Ondřej Vacek of the outdoor company Hanibal shows a natural and fun way to reach people who do not read the rules of visit, pass the information boards without slowing down and are not interested in information leaflets.

Rap battle freerider vs. The park ranger did not come out of the void. Ondřej Vacek has been making product videos and outdoor gear reviews for Hanibal for a long time. Among the fairly common and, let’s say, “boring” videos, one appeared on April 1, 2021, in which Ondřej Vacek went far beyond the product video genre. And he shone not only as the author of the text, but also as a singer and performer.

In the video, he parodies a climbing methodology based on Captain Dem’s musical motif. If you’re a climber, a chorus will probably get stuck in your ears This is where we connect.

After some time, Hanibal released the first rap battle Athlete vs. a sandpiper, a duel between a climber who cannot afford to climb artificial walls and a climber made of sandstone rocks.

And then the Ultrahiker vs. touristic.

In the third, Hanibal threw Freerider vs. Ranger. But this battle differs in an educational note. Which of the videos does no harm, but is somehow organically in the background.

Why did Ondřej Vacek and the Hanibal company embark on the topic of eco-education without a doubt? Ondřej Vacek says that he himself was once the type of skier who did not take prohibitions and orders seriously where he could and could not go into protected nature. But he has also known Michal Skalka from the mountains for a long time, responsible for eco-education in Krkonoše National Park. And thanks to the discussions they led in the park on the subject of nature protection, Vacek understood that there really were places to go. And it’s good to tell others.

“These rap battles are mostly fun for us,” Vacek says. “It just came to our knowledge at that time. And Michal Skalka and I agreed that we would do the Krkonoše Mountains.”

And to the fact that video is primarily entertainment, Michal Skalka adds that it is exactly the best way to convey certain basic information to the general public. Or simply generate interest in the topic. This is something that eco-education does not do well on its own.

But it’s the same on the other side. As part of its corporate responsibility, many companies are committed to nature conservation. And surely some really honestly think so.

And the marketers and PR department then come up with various events and campaigns to show it off. However, as the author of this article personally believes, the vast majority of these events are public relations efforts. Clearly these things happened in the traders office.

Rap fight Freerider vs. the ranger acts naturally. And it’s fun and funny. This is because the idea was born not in a management meeting with a PR agency, but as an idea of ​​two friends, who each do something different, but here they come from to meet.

In addition to the video, a website has been created with other “conservation” information, as well as an offer of ski touring equipment. Because, as Ondřej Vacek says, videos are still Hanibal’s hallmark.

“But it’s fun to have conservation information about it. And it’s all about the Giant Mountains, the mountains, where you need the equipment that we offer,” says Vacek.

And he adds that Krkonoše Park, apart from the work of Michal Skalka, did not cost a video or a crown. On the website you will also find an interview with Ondřej Vacek and Michal Skalka explaining why the nature of the Krkonoše mountains is protected, what is valuable there and why it is necessary to walk along the roads (of which there are hundreds of kilometers in the Krkonoše Mountains). A professionally interesting interview, but that no normal rap would have encountered without it.

What’s wrong with eco-education?

Michal Skalka, on behalf of KRNAP, says one of the hardest things they face is how to educate park visitors so it’s not just in the form of bans, signs and signs unending. The tricky job is getting the essential information to the right people.

And there’s no point in printing more brochures. People need to go differently. “For example, when we closed the roads at the top of Sněžka with an orange net, a huge wave of interest erupted. People cursed at us what we were doing and why it bothered us when someone sat on the ‘grass,’ says Skalka.

For a few days, those responsible for communication of the KRNAP administration with the public on Facebook patiently explained that what is precious on Sněžka is tundra, ordinary grass that is not ordinary. Rather rare grasses grow there, in which two species of birds nest directly, which do not nest anywhere else. And that is why it is not possible to sit there and have a snack.

“We know that the signs can do next to nothing. But the barrier got a lot of attention and we had the opportunity to explain directly to people why they shouldn’t go on the grass,” Skalka says.

According to him, the current rap battle should especially appeal to beginner skiers. “We can’t teach you anything, old grandparents who have been wading through the Krkonoše mountains for fifty years. They have their old rules and will have a hard time changing them. But all new enthusiasts who get into it like to meet leaders of the outdoors, can and must call for battle. They don’t yet have the rules and don’t know them”, summarizes Skalka.

And the rules are actually simple. “Drive on the roads, there are plenty of them. If you want to drive through the countryside, go to the Alps,” says Skalka.

As the manager of the eco-educational park, Michal Skalka also cooperates with other companies. For example with Hudy, who also sells outdoor equipment.

“If you buy a ski set or avalanche equipment from them, they will offer to teach you how to manage it in the mountains from Krkonoše to Brádlerovy bouda,” says Skalka. “For us, it’s once again an opportunity to reach this target group – again, these are people who only search and learn. That’s why they also came to Brádlerky.”

“And I will get their training. Although I am dressed in green like a forest ranger, I have skialps, so I am one of them. Colleagues from Huda introduce me as a friend. Then I have an excellent opportunity to tell them what I need before the instructors teach them how to use the equipment. It’s up to me to beat them with a lot of boring information or make the most of the opportunity we have . »


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