As of the 21st century, we're used to being connected. Sharing our lives on social media has become almost second nature. We're completely glued to our phones, tablets, laptops, refusing to admit that most of us have a problem.
Overuse of technology usually results in attention overload. Attention overload is the mental fatigue resulting from spending too much time in a cityscape glued to our phones. Before you get too worried— we've got a simple solution: go camping! Camping is a great way to disconnect from the world, get some exercise, strengthen your bond with the earth and people, and spend some time in the great outdoors!
Studies actually show that disconnecting for a bit and spending time in nature elevates our mood and puts us at a lower risk for anxiety and depression. So, for your next camping trip, go completely tech-free! Here's how:
Set an Intention
Instead of setting limits, set an intention before you embark on your trip. Ask yourself what you want to achieve from this trip and how you plan on doing it. Try to set a simple intention, like just being in the moment. It'll encourage you to get the most out of your camping experience.
Alternatively, you can use some apps that forcefully set limits on phone usage. "Digital well-being" apps work like a media diary that helps set a timer on your phone or app usage. Use these tools to your advantage.
Plan in Advance
If you think you might get bored, plan some activities in advance. Bring a couple of interesting books with you so you can enjoy some winding down alongside a campfire. Bring board games are actually known to strengthen bonds between families, so bring those along too. Journals, card games, crosswords, and coloring books are all fun activities that'll keep you engaged for the most part.
If boredom sets in, try to take an interest in nature. Try drawing or painting the landscape, go foraging, and see what edible foods you can find, collect sticks and stones or hunt out interesting shots to capture on your camera. There are loads of things to do without your phone.
Use a Paper Map
Discover self-reliance by using a paper map instead of a GPS. Look over the route before you embark on your trip to make sure you don't get lost. By using a paper map, you can discover more scenic routes. Often GPS systems skip these routes since they're longer— but they're worth it. It's a fun way to sharpen your nature skills and get some beautiful scenery out of it.
If you're going camping with your family, try only bringing one phone with you on your camping trip. It'll reduce the temptation to resort to technology, and it'll help in case of an emergency.
Try to practice accountability for your tech usage. Point out whoever's using their phone the most, and give rewards to those who manage to stay unplugged the longest. It's a fun way to keep track of tech usage and provides more incentive to unplug and completely immerse yourself in nature.
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