Summer Unplugging: What, How and Why?

With the unofficial start of summer now in our rearview mirrors, millions of Americans are working to execute their best summer vacation plans. For more than forty million of them, those plans may very well include camping.

In an age where we are becoming more and more dependent on our devices to navigate our day, 66% of adults now suffer from nomophobia -- a fear of losing their phones, Americans are showing that escaping from the rigors of technology is important. In fact, according to the outdoor foundation, people who decide to camp for the first time choose to do so to escape the grind more often than any other reason. It's a big part of the reason why five million more Americans went camping last year than in 2010.

There’s no question that technology has become an integral part in our lives. In fact, with the information that is readily available on the web, we use it to help us navigate nearly every situation that exists. But our addictions are causing us harm. Heavy technology use has been linked to fatigue, stress and depression in young adults. Here are a number of findings from a University of Gothenburg study on how our technology is affecting us.


It means unplugging may be more important than you thought, and getting out where there’s no cell service may just be what the doctor ordered. But, oh my goodness, how would we ever survive without our cell phones? Well, here are some ideas.

Worried about…

...not being able to talk with friends while you’re gone? Bring them with you! Camping creates some of the “fondest memories” you can have with family and friends.

...being bored without your phone? Take a deck of cards! There are all kinds of games you can play with a group of people of varying ages and they don’t take up much room when you pack.

...getting lost without your GPS? Be a natural navigator! Learn how to find your way by the position of the sun in the sky, your shadow on the ground and the growth of moss on a tree.

...missing out on something you could have otherwise seen? Explore on your own! Personal exploration of the outdoors can help increase the bonds of family.

...listening to your significant other complain about how ridiculously hot it is? Be your own temperature monitoring system! Experts suggest that adding 37 to the number of times a cricket chirps in fifteen seconds can give you a rough estimate to the outdoor temperature in Fahrenheit. Chances are, it isn’t as hot as they think.

While we rightfully lean on technology and digital innovation to better our lives we often forget it’s supposed to give us more time. Whether it’s because of a new cell phone or a cloud based data management system, new efficiencies should be adding time to your day. Since, more often than not, the added time goes back into our work instead of our lives, then it becomes more important than ever to unplug and unwind. Thankfully, if you’re doing relaxing right, there isn’t an app for that.