When I began hiking again after many years I was naturally cautious, which is not necessarily a bad thing. Being out there alone, you felt vulnerable and wanted a distraction from the discomfort.
Technology was the way out, my phone was always there with music, games, texting friends when I had a signal.
Using an online map or gps is a very sensible tool to have while hiking, but how you think about it will dramatically affect how much you enjoy and benefit from your time out there.
Use the technology from a place of strength rather than fear. I went from using it from fear to not at all to now a place of strength. You will always perform a lot better from a place of strength.
A study by Ruth Ann Atchley and David L. Strayer discuss the effects on both adults and children who are spending more time on technology, media and less time participating in activities in nature.
In this study they had participants spend time in nature without any technology performing tasks that required problem solving and creativity.
Now when I do not have my smart phone at easy reach, I trust my judgement and my creativity shines, inspiration comes to me easily. I become more sensitive to the environment around me, I become present.
Now I hear noises in the distance, even a car noise sounds peaceful because it seems to be filtered by the tree’s.
The technology is now there for me and my client’s safety. I occasionally listen to music when I’m hiking.
There is room and necessity for technology in our lives, there just needs to be a re-balance of power. One of the reasons technology has such a hold on us is that it expands and changes daily, in order to keep up with it we need to be part of it.
Encourage our kids to leave their technology at home, lead your family to nature they will be healthier physically and mentally.