“Let’s go camping,” you thought. “Let’s go way out into the woods,” you thought. “Let’s leave everything here, and go have life-altering epiphanies about the beauty of nature and the interconnectedness of all things.”
But now, you’re panicking. This stupid campsite doesn’t have Wi-Fi.
This common vacation scenario need not worry you. Planned or unplanned, a few days without technology is not the end of the world. And you will survive — we promise. If you’d like to be a little more prepared than those poor unsuspecting souls in surrounding campsites, though, we can help. These tips will get you through even the most intensive tech detox.
1. Let your contacts know you’ll be gone.
Before you set out on your Kerouacian journey of self-discovery, make sure you create an automated away message for your email accounts and voicemail. Let your friends and colleagues know you’ll be gone for a few days, and business can wait. A less-than-optimal alternative is returning from your trip to find 3,000 angry messages in your inbox.
2. Stay positive.
One vital step to surviving a detox: Remain calm and think happy thoughts that aren’t about your news feed. Research has shown that stress increases your susceptibility to illness. Do you want to be sick and phoneless? Probably not.
3. Be prepared to use the sun as your alarm clock.
Image courtesy of crazyhousecapers
No more waking up to your smartphone’s infuriatingly upbeat default alarm tone; you’re in the wilderness now. So, like your ancestors before you, learn to use reliable ol’ sol as your timekeeper. Make sure to learn this skill before you leave, as you won’t be able to Google it later.
4. Siri is gone, and it’s time you accepted that.
Image courtesy of tumblr
You have to face the facts: Your technology is gone. Don’t climb a tree to get a signal; don’t sneak away in the dead of night to a Starbucks 30 miles south. Just kick back, relax and coat yourself with a gallon of bug spray. You can do this.
5. Learn an instrument.
Your iPod and any music apps you employ are useless now. You’ll need to brush up on your vocals and the three chords you taught yourself on acoustic guitar. Suggested campfire songs include: “Kumbaya,” “Fire and Rain” and everything Jack Johnson has ever written.
6. Get yourself a map and compass.
Without Google Maps to help you out, you’ll have to perform some actual orienteering. Purchase a detailed topography map and, if you’re into it, a star map to help guide you on this techless pilgrimage.
7. Don’t be fooled by phantom vibrations.
Your phone vibrates in your pocket, but no text is around to cause it — so did it really happen? We all know the feeling.
courtesy of mlkshk.com
Yeah, that one. Well, there’s a name for that. It’s called “Phantom phone vibration syndrome,” and it could pose a real problem on a tech detox. Nearly 70% of participants in a recent survey claimed to have felt the mysterious buzzing, too.
8. Replace your apps with real-life counterparts.
Can’t get by without Evernote? Rig up your own collection and organization system — with a backpack and your advanced human brain. Bring along board games to play with your family in place of apps such as Draw Something and Words With Friends. Instead of live-tweeting your trip, send out hundreds of post cards with brief 140 character messages to your friends and family each day.
9. Lug around a bunch of books like some kind of animal.
Image courtesy of foundanimals.org
E-readers are unfortunately a no-no for tech detoxes, so you’ll have to choose your vacation books carefully. Luckily, we have you covered. Besides, a recent Pew Research Center report revealed 81% of American parents still prefer printed books when reading with a child.
10. Prepare for emergencies.
In case of emergencies, you should probably bring just a teensy bit of technology with you, such as a GPS tracker or a portable battery charger. To avoid unnecessary detox cheating, keep them stowed away in the deepest darkest pockets of your cargo pants.
Are you planning a techless vacation this summer? Let us know what you’re doing to get by in the comments, below.
Illustration by Max Knoblauch, Mashable