We've all heard it before: our busy, hyper-stimulated lives have too many screens, too little down time, and nowhere near enough spare time. So how do we truly get away from it all? The answer might surprise you, because sometimes our own worst enemy (technology, the internet) is also our saving grace. Sometimes, getting off the grid completely requires -- surprise! -- getting onto it just a little bit, first.
Below, a few ways being online can help you get (and maybe even stay) off of it.
Having no service can be both a blessing and a curse. For one, it's the truest escape -- no email dings, no phone calls about meetings, no push notifications. On the other hand, it can make coordinating with your fellow travelers tough, and can also put you in a tight spot if there's an emergency. Luckily, GoTenna let's you send messages even when there's not a trace of signal. It also lets you set up special networks amongst your friends so you can send messages to each other, no matter how high the mountaintop or how remote the campground.
Going off the grid means that you need to know where you're going. And, unless you're camping in your own backyard, that usually means you need to do some pretty intensive advanced research. Luckily, our modern lives have given us a number of ways to connect with friendly locals, even in very far away places. Vayable is a great example. Among our many experiences, you can do things like go cavern diving in remote regions of Mexico or camp in a beautiful cave in Malaysia.
The Voltaic OffGrid Solar Backpack is a way for you to be your own, one-stop power station. No more worrying about how you'll stay powered, even when you're miles from civilization. The removable solar pocket on this highly durable pack will keep your camera batteries charged (more memories for later!) and your necessary devices going strong. Preload your iPad with reading material, flip it into airplane mode, and never think twice about it again. No need to stress about rushing back to town in order to power up again!
4. Map it!
Not only does Map My Hike provide you with handy route-tracking and trip data, it also tracks other people's routes, rates them, and offers them up for your perusal. It's kind of like having a super-savvy woodsman in your pocket at all times -- giving you advice, telling you where to go, and showing you the super secret pathways into some of the most pristine, underpopulated areas of the world. Bonus: it helps you track what you eat in order to better assess your activity-related nutrition.
5. Rove free
It's the travelers conundrum: you want to remember everything you're doing, but you don't want to stop doing it in order to keep track. Especially when you're, say, climbing the face of a cliff in rural Croatia or negotiating a precarious hike across the mountaintops of Nepal. Well, that's where Rove come in handy: hands-free, totally automative coverage of where you've been and what you've been doing. The app uses GPS to estimate your travel method and to time your movements -- pulling photographs, location data, and maps into a kind of instant travel diary.
Because what's the point of going completely off the grid, if you can't come back on and share it with your buddies afterward?