This discussion has come up a bunch recently, so I wanted to define some terms that I use regarding celebrity outdoorsman and professional outdoorsman.
A professional outdoorsman is a person who makes their living guiding, teaching, and otherwise working outdoors. A celebrity outdoorsman is a person who is well known on social media, reality tv and the internet, who makes some or all of their living being in the public eye.
One is focused on doing it correctly and efficiently. The other is focused on naming things, claiming to be the originator of things, and getting more likes and views.
Professional outdoorsman don’t have fans or followings. They do the work, day after day, year after year. Celebrity outdoorsman often have rabid followers who believe whatever they say.
Celebrity outdoorsman are often mistaken to be professional outdoorsman, but it’s very rarely accurate. Professional outdoorsman rarely become celebrities, except perhaps when one gains a modest level of fame after a long, successful career.
A negative of our era of celebrity worship is that our culture is training young people to want to be celebrity outdoorsman, not professional outdoorsman. They’re planning on becoming a youtube or reality tv star instead of working to become a competent and professional guide/instructor.
Note: You may also be interested to read a post from 2010 regarding how we define a bushcraft expert, professional survival instructor and master guide.