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Modern technology affords us many conveniences. We’re always connected; now more than ever. Every smartphone has a GPS map and every tablet has a vivid entertainment center. When going camping, should be ever be truly off the grid? What about getting back to basics? Can it really be called camping if we never disconnect?
Here, we’ll discuss these questions and talk about whether it’s possible to disconnect.
We feel that camping should be about nature. There is a special feeling one can get when you are truly disconnected from civilization. It’s an overwhelming feeling of isolation. When you have to use your survival instincts. This is what camping is all about in our opinion. The feeling that you get when you have a tea by a campfire. Enjoying the simple things in life. Happy to exist and afraid of the unknown.
When we receive status updates on social media, it can snap us out of this camping zen trance. Hearing about the latest gossip and news – it’s all very counter-productive to what camping should be about. Camping should be special, and it should feel adventurous. If you are in range of cell phone towers, you probably aren’t going off the grid that much.
We side towards more of the purist ideals of the issue. Camping should be about getting back to basics; enjoying company, fire cooked meals and seeking that outdoors adventurous feeling. The trends have shifted though. ‘Kampgrounds of America’ (KOA) conducted a survey in 2015 – according to the report, 83% of people bring a cellphone while camping, and 10% bring no device at all. WI-FI is among the most sought after amenity at a campground. 30% of people bring a laptop or tablet.
Electronic devices and technology is a part of everyday life now. It’s cultural and it’s not going away. Ideally, we would like to side with the ten percent of purists who bring no device at all. We can’t help but bring at least a cellphone/smartphone with us. GPS features are handy for the road, knowing where you are on highway, what exit to take, and when to get off. It seems that every traveler on the road is navigating via their phone’s GPS feature. Of course, there is the fear of an emergency or accident – nobody would want to be caught in an emergency situation (which can happen!) without a way to contact help or the authorities.
No camping trip would be complete without pictures, so we do advocate for bringing a camera or cell phone for picture snapping. Although we don’t recommend posting every picture to social media.
We feel that at the end of the trip, you should have unique, special memories. Camping is about having a certain intimacy with yourself and nature. When we rely on devices and electronics, we’re bringing too much of what we’re trying to escape with us. Don’t spend your camping trip wondering how to keep your tablet charged. Instead, bring a book. Camping should be about connecting with yourself or your company, not about the latest post or gossip. A cellphone/smartphone is probably all you need. If you are too comfortable camping, then are you really doing it right?