I confess… I am not at home without tech. So what then do I get out of camping in a cramped tent on the hard ground with my family without the power that organizes my day-to-day existence? I’m a born and bred city boy from Manhattan. Not that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but running wild in the ‘wilderness’ for a weekend isn’t exactly my idea of a good time.
We’re just back from another Lester camping adventure. This time up in Preston, CT at the Hidden Acres Family Campground.
So why do I do it? Well, partly because my better half loves camping. Should civilization start to break down and you’ve got to fend for yourself, I highly recommend you leave me behind and follow her.
Our nine-year-old son has also enjoyed our family camping trips (and that makes it a quorum).
He especially loves staring into a fire after dark and blasting marshmallows with intense heat to create yummy s’mores…
And even I’ve got to admit it’s a lot of fun when there’s a river nearby, (the Quinebaug) and you can just wade in and tube down part of it… letting nature float you around the bend to some magical, unseen destination.
And experiencing that feeling of triumph after climbing that giant rock in the middle of the river.
And what fun floating over the micro-rapids created by unforgiving rocks that possess the power to shred apart the underside of your inflatable tube.
(That said, the Intex Water Float tubes we picked up from Amazon survived just fine.)
And I can’t tell you how much I always enjoy brewing a fresh pot of coffee the old fashioned way on a Coleman propane stove.
Enjoying the Art of Survival
Some folks crave just ‘being’ in the great outdoors. But I think I fall into another category… I’m something of a survivalist… but not exactly like that word means. For me, I’ve found a certain amount of pleasure figuring out how to simply ‘survive’ the experience of camping. (And don’t forget, our car is only feet away to make a quick getaway if ever necessary.) So, in a less extreme way, I have simply accomplished a certain restructuring of my existence for these few days at a time.
And sure… leaving it all behind for a while may seem ‘freeing.’ But in today’s always on, digitally connected world, how easy (or advisable) is it to simply to disappear from the rest of your life, even for a few days?
Pack Battery Power
So, I still typically bring along some tech to maintain a communication tether back to civilization… and my responsibilities… like keeping in touch with my 86-year-old father.
And that requires taking along some extra battery power to fuel my iPhone.
(Yes, you also need a bar or two of cellular coverage.)
- I always bring along my RAVPower 26800 Power Bank, which packs plenty of punch to power up two iPhones throughout three days of camping.
$49.95 on Amazon
- For backup, I also pack my Goal Zero solar panel with rechargeable battery.
The Goal Zero Venture 30/Nomad 7 Plus is $179.95 on Amazon
(Maybe I’m more of a survivalist than I know.)
You Don’t Need to Be a Camping Purist
Okay… so I’m cheating a bit and I bring along some technology during these ‘tech-free’ weekends. But hey, I’m not trying to be like Grizzly Adams. We’re solidly within the Camping 101 skill set. And you know what? I think I’ve got it down!
And it does satisfy some instinctual need to know that I can take care of my family next to my Toyota RAV4 and my REI Kingdom 4 tent that I can finally remember how to pitch. And I can build the pit fire… fueled by the chopped wood (and fire starter) that we bought at the family camp ground store.
No, we’re not really out in the wild without a soul for miles around.
(But after dark, I can pretend that we are!)
And let me tell you, I’ve come a long way.
(Ask my wife.)
Yes, I’ve learned to be a ‘decent’ camper, and I can free myself from the shackles of technology with a little help… from technology. Perhaps most importantly, I can make a mean cup of coffee in nature with the early-morning sun illuminating my new day.
For this city boy, that’s a successful recipe for happiness.
And that’s how to be at home without tech!