This article was published in March 2021 on EddieBauer.com via their content series: The Elements of Adventure with Matt Walker – the original piece can be found here.
Disconnect From Technology – Reconnect With Nature
It’s a simple idea: turn off your phone and unplug from technology so you can be fully present on your next adventure.
Simple? Yes. Easy? No.
Our phones connect us to the world, but also disconnect us from the present moment. Handheld devices have endless possible distractions, and while cell phones are sometimes necessary for safety they can keep us from having immersive experiences in the outdoors.
There is no app that can replace quality time adventuring in nature either solo or with our friends and family. When we put our phones away we have more freedom to truly see all the wonderful things going on around us – to pause and be present.
We love the challenge of a long climb, the peace and serenity of standing on a summit, the beauty of shadows shifting in a canyon, and the lush vibrancy of a verdant forest.
The energy we spend staring at a screen leaves less time to appreciate and observe these aspects of an adventure. Without worrying about taking pictures or checking-in, we give ourselves the opportunity to become more aware of our surroundings. You can see more, hear more, notice more, and really connect with nature and your own sense of well-being.
Here are some tips to practice the habit of disconnecting and create more peace and mindfulness in your adventures:
• Use airplane mode if you feel comfortable and put your phone in the lid of your backpack instead of your pocket. (Or, look into alternate GPS, tracking, and safety devices that eliminate the need to use your phone.)
• Use a paper map instead of an app.
• Bring a small digital camera instead of relying on your phone for pictures.
• Does everyone in your group need their phone? Try limiting the number of devices you bring along and reserve them for photos, map apps, and emergencies.