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Camping and the Art of Unplugging (Mostly)

Camping and the Art of Unplugging (Mostly)

There are many of us who have embraced technology and the future with open arms. You might be a developer, a designer, a project manager, a business owner, or a manager. You might also be a student whose world has always revolved around technology; it’s always been part of your life. Some people simply never unplug. To be honest, it’s really not odd at all anymore to see crowds of people with heads down and thumbs blazing.

For some it is out of necessity, for others, it’s just fun and cool. Now I’m not going sit here and preach about what kind of society we are becoming with all the texting and social networking and virtual interaction vs. physical interaction. I’m not one of those people who stare disapprovingly at the sight of kids constantly texting each other. Nor do I worry about what we are becoming or if cursive writing is becoming a lost art. Big deal. Times change and the future is what it is. Time will tell.

Being a happy iPhone owner, I tend to be in my phone quite often. For me it’s usually games or a means to kill a little time, however, I am also an information junkie. I love being able to find an answer to anything in a matter of minutes or seconds. I laugh at GPS because Google Maps on my iPhone gives me all I need to know. I don’t need a box talking to me while I drive. Besides, I need that auxiliary jack to plug my phone in so I can listen to Spotify while I cruise around town.

There comes a time when we are best served putting the phone down and getting in touch with nature. To be honest, no social media program has matched that feeling you get from participating in the oldest form of social media ever; the campfire. Yep, nothing really beats sitting around a fire on a cool evening with a close circle of friends or family. Call it a recharge if you will. In this setting you are socializing and relaxing at the same time. All you need are your thumbs to keep your drink of choice from falling out of your hands!

In this setting, my phone ends up staying in my pocket for longer periods of time. This is when my phone turns into my camping companion. I actually highly recommend not putting that phone away while you camp. You should, however, stay away from work, email and phone calls (at least the ones that are not an emergency). Otherwise your smartphone can be quite handy.

We all use our phones as a mini-flashlight. This is extra handy on camping trips, especially when you are the last one in the tent and you don’t want to step on anyone or anything. It’s also helpful when trying to find something in your bag when in the dark. This is helpful when you need light but don’t want to wake or disturb anyone – or maybe you just need to know what that is crawling on your leg.

There are tons to reference when camping. What kind of fish did I just catch? What kind of tree is this? What heck kind of animal was that?! Does this lake have alligators? If so, have there been any incidents here that I should know of? Where’s the closest store because we need more ice and beer?

Getting out of the light-polluted city brings out more stars than you are used to seeing. Star Walk (or any equivalent app) is awesome on these kinds of nights.

There are actually many great uses for technology while camping. I could go on but I’m pretty sure most of you get my drift. It’s really not so much about unplugging from technology. It’s really about unplugging from your work when you can. Enjoy life, nature, and friends. And, if you are lucky, you just might become mayor of the park that you are camping in.

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