Sam talks about his love for both technology and the outdoors, and how the two can be at odds with one another. He talks about how his group of mountain biking and climbing buddies would ridicule him when he brought a cell phone or his iPod along on their outings.
As someone who loves both technology and the outdoors, I can relate to Sam’s thoughts on the subject. But I also don’t feel that the two have to be at odds. There are some days when I head out for a hike that I enjoy having my iPod along and others when I just want to hear the sounds of nature around me. Plus, Apple’s little music device has become such a cultural phenomenon that you’re hard pressed to not see them in use anywhere you go, including on big mountains like Everest.
GPS devices are another piece of technology that I think is excellent, and has enhanced my enjoyment of the outdoors. Anyone who has tried Geocaching would probably agree with me. And then of course, there is the technology that makes us safer while we’re out and about, like sat phones, locator beacons, or other new gear designed to keep us warm and dry.
In fact, those mountain bikers complaining about someone bring an iPod or cell phone, might want to take a look at their ride, and see all the technology that goes into making it lighter, faster, and easier to peddle. I’m not sure they’d want to give up their slick new bikes for the older, heavier models that first hit the market.
In short, I think technology, when used correctly, can greatly enhance our enjoyment of the outdoors, whether by allowing us to listen to our favorite tunes for hours while we hike, or making us safer in the backcountry. When I head out to Kilimanjaro in April, you can bet my iPod is coming along for the ride.