Since you’re smart not to go blindly clicking through everything on the web, I wrote up a simple version of what all these “cookie notifications” on the internet are all about. You’ll see a plain list of the retail websites that I earn money with, and learn how it all works.
You can scroll farther down the page if you’re a lawyer and prefer to read things in your special lawyer-language. There you’ll find the typical “check this box to agree to the terms and conditions” text that plagues us in most transactions, on and off the web.
If you’re a regular person like me, read on!
There’s 3 main things I’m going to talk about here. These are the things that you are agreeing to when you click on the ACCEPT button here (and on most other websites).
- Doing things at your own risk
- Affiliate Links
- Browser Cookies
1) You are responsible for yourself
Since this is primarily a hiking website, and since hiking sometimes involves getting lost and dying and being eaten by bears and so on, I am compelled to remind you that it is not my fault if you get into such trouble.
You are responsible for your own actions, and the information presented on this site can not be held accountable for your outdoor blunders. If I made a map that leads you astray, well… that’s on you buddy.
For more on this, see the “Disclaimer” heading, below.
2) All About Affiliate Links
Basically every single time I link to a retail website like Amazon.com, it’s an affiliate link which provides an opportunity to earn me some money.
How it works
What happens is that when you’re on DownTheTrail.com and you click from here to Amazon.com, a little piece of computer code called a “cookie” is installed in your browser that says you came from this website.
Cookies for affiliate links have an expiration date. For example, the cookie for an Amazon link expires in just 24 hours (see more about cookies under the next subheading). Others last longer.
Let’s say that you immediately choose to buy an item on Amazon for $100. Since you went through a link from here, the cookie in your browser tells Amazon that I deserve credit for a commission. This is usually about 4% from Amazon, so I earn $4 from your $100 purchase.
The price of the item does not change because you came from my site. In other words, the commission comes out of Amazon’s pocket, and never yours.
Why this matters
Since you’re sharp enough to be reading this, then I don’t think I need to spell out exactly why this important… but I will anyway. As a reader on the internet, you have the right to know the difference between getting an impartial opinion on a product and having a product sold to you.
For example, a travel blogger might get an all-expense-paid trip from ABC Tour Company, in exchange for a glowing review penned by the travel blogger that sings all the praises about ABC tour. You have a right to know that the travel blogger got a free tour, so we’re required to disclose that information to you.
Affiliate links work under the same ethics – we’re required to disclose when links to other websites earn us money. Since I like to make money, you can rest assured that all the links from DownTheTrail.com to the following companies will earn me commission with a qualifying purchase:
- Hyperlite Mountain Gear
- ULA Equipment
- Feathered Friends
The good news is that there’s an affiliate program for 99% of retail products in existence, so it’s never in my best interest to try to sell you a specific item.
Everything I write on this website has your best interest in mind!
3) Explaining Cookies
I described cookies (above) as little snippets of code that attach to your web browser when you visit websites, or when you click through particular links.
Cookies are a major part of what makes the internet work. When you visit this website, there’s a cookie from Google Analytics that lets me see statistics (like my hit count and how long you view a particular page), but it does not disclose anything that identifies you personally.
Another example is when you use a password protected site – there’s a little checkbox that lets you opt to “remember me” or “remember this device.” When you click that box, it installs a cookie.
Facebook is another great example of a site that installs a cookie. That’s why Facebook serves you an advertisement for Big Agnes tents after you were just looking at Big Agnes tents on REI!
Every browser (Safari, Firefox, Google Chrome, etc.) has a way for you to view installed cookies, or even to block cookies altogether. The simplest way to delete cookies is to delete your browsing history.
This is where my plain-english explanation ends, so you’ll have to Google things about finding cookies in your particular browser to learn more.
I hope this helps
The dialog boxes with statements about cookies began popping up all over the internet about two years ago, when the European Union passed a privacy law that began to require it.
That’s why you see these statements on so many websites now. I hope this explanation spelled out everything in a way that’s easy to understand.
Legal Text is Below
DownTheTrail.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com
Though every effort has been made to provide accurate information on this website, you are solely responsible for using your judgment in interpreting and using this information to safely enjoy your own pursuits. Each activity has its own potential hazards, which needs to be evaluated for each person based on that person’s circumstances.
We take no responsibility nor assume liability for inaccuracies, errors, omission, or incompleteness of any information. DownTheTrail.com, its sponsors, its advertisers, and/or anyone contributing information to this site shall not be held liable for any inconvenience, accidents, rescues, injuries or loss of life should you undertake any of the activities listed on this web site.
DownTheTrail.com has made every attempt to comply with all applicable laws and regulations regarding content and copyright. Please notify us immediately if you are aware of any copyright issues related to DownTheTrail.com.
Although DownTheTrail.com has made every attempt to comply with all applicable laws and regulations, DownTheTrail.com shall not be held liable for any content or copyright regulations regarding any site reached via this site.
Like most other Web sites, www.downthetrail.com makes use of log files. The information inside the log files includes internet protocol ( IP ) addresses, type of browser, Internet Service Provider ( ISP ), date/time stamp, referring/exit pages, and number of clicks to analyze trends, administer the site, track user’s movement around the site, and gather demographic information. IP addresses, and other such information are not linked to any information that is personally identifiable.
DoubleClick DART Cookie
.:: Google’s use of the DART cookie enables it to serve ads to users based on their visit to www.downthetrail.com and other sites on the Internet.
www.downthetrail.com has no access to or control over these cookies that are used by third-party advertisers.
If you wish to disable cookies, you may do so through your individual browser.