Have you heard of nomophobia? It’s now a widely used term for the fear of being out of range of your smartphone. The term’s an abbreviation for “no-mobile-phone phobia” made up after a study in 2010 (by the UK Post Office, of all places) that looked at the anxieties of cell phone users. The study found that nearly 53% of people surveyed were admittedly anxious when they lose their smartphones, hit a no-service area, or when the battery dies.
With that said, do you think you could go camping for the weekend and leave your tech at home? I’m told it’s rather freeing, though I have not experienced this phenomenon first hand. If you’re contemplating it, as I am, you’ll be happy to learn there are plenty of ways to have fun in the forest, the lake, or the trailer without your technology and gadgets.
First things first: a roof over your head
If you go out in the woods today, you’re in for a big surprise. That’s because there’s so many tent options out there, and tops among them is the Sportz Dome-To-Go Tent. It attaches onto the back of your SUV, hatchback or station wagon, and gives you sleeping space and gear storage. The tent is roomy, with over six feet of headroom and it’s big enough to sleep four. It’ll keep you warm, dry, and out of the wind, with nary a Nest Thermostat in sight!
Let there be light!
After the tent is set up and your fire is built, it’s time to check your ema … NO! It’s time to go old school and turn on the radio! The multipurpose Freeplay Tuf Solar & Crank Multiband Rechargeable Radio with LED Light is a handy all-in-one camping buddy that lets you listen to the radio, or supply light to the campsite, without using the flashlight on your smartphone. The Freeplay Energy is perfect for going off the grid, since you don’t even need a plug to keep it going. It juices up with a hand crank, or using solar power.
If you need light on the go, a headlamp is an easy way to get what you need, hands-free. The Fenix 900 Lumens LED Headlamp has a beam that reaches over 200 metres so you can take the shortcut to the outhouse, find your way to the car in the dark, or even go nighttime exploring. This model even has a belt-mounted spare battery pack to provide extra power when you need it.
Tools of the Trade
If there’s one tool I always have to have with me at the campsite, it’s my Leatherman. This multi-tool is invaluable for cutting rope for tarps, opening bottles or cans, using pliers to pry out stubborn tent stakes, or even making small repairs. The Leatherman Charge ALX/Premium has all the tools you need, from a variety of blades and saws, to screwdrivers of varying sorts, and a whole host of other handy gadgets. This is one tool you’ll never be sorry you have with you. Be warned; you may want two. Everyone tries to steal my Leatherman and I’m constantly chasing people down to get it back!
The classic Swiss Army Knife is similar. Packed with a handy corkscrew, wire stripper, tweezers (for campfire first aid), plus a multipurpose hook and fishing tools, there’s a reason Swiss Army is still the name people think of when they think multipurpose tool. Kind of like how tissue is “Kleenex” or gelatin is “Jell-O.”
Banish that GPS!
Ever heard of orienteering? Orienteering is navigating with just a map and compass. It’s actually becoming a bit of a sport now, and a skill that kids are increasingly interested in learning. For that reason, orient yourself towards this Brunton TruArc 20 Mirror Compass as a way to start learning navigation without relying on satellite GPS. This compass provides an accurate reading anywhere in the world, thanks to a rare earth magnet that resists interference and won’t lose its polarity. It’s also waterproof and includes a map magnifier.
To double check if you’re in the right place, you’ll want some Nikon Aculon Binoculars in a bright, hard to misplace red. With 8x magnification and a 325 foot field of view, you’ll be able to spot landmarks with ease.
Plus, you’ll be able to trek over any terrain with confidence if you toss in some Rockwater Nordic Walking Poles. Poles give you more balance and stability when out on the trails, particularly if you’re carrying a large pack. Use them for trekking over sand, mud, rocks and more while you’re practising orienteering.
Lastly, just in case you think you’re making a big mistake by not going camping fully geared, gadgeted, and ready to reach out to the outside world in case of emergency, fear not!
Just get yourself a Stevens 58-Piece Emergency Kit for Camping. It’s stocked with emergency blankets, leather gloves, hand warmers, and a first aid kit, among many other helpful items. There’s even some matches so you can send smoke signals to call for help because your smartphone is at home!