We rely on technology almost daily to do everything for us, from calculating to bringing us information about the world. Smartphones give us access to maps and reviews, weather coverage, and access to various forms of entertainment, such as games, betway offers, and plenty of entertaining YouTube videos at the palm of our hands.
This has its benefits, especially in cases of emergency, to cases that require a bit of research on the fly, not to mention communication. However, smartphones and the development of gadgets have brought about a change where people attempt to do things they might not be ready for. There are sport-specific gadgets that make things somewhat worse, at least in the eyes of some elite athletes.
Hiking is one of those sports that has had a breakthrough in popularity, but also one which has had a problem with technology. How far has that influence come and is hiking ruined thanks to technology? Let us take a deep dive.
Generally, Technology Helps Hikers
Being able to call someone for help in almost all cases is a blessing. Whether you are stuck on a mountain top or lost in a forest, being able to look at a map and use GPS to find your way out of a dark, tree-infested forest, is great. When you have cellular coverage on almost every mountain, you feel safer knowing that you can contact a mountain rescue service in case you get into trouble. However, there are cases where mobile phones will not work and will not be able to help you.
In whichever case, from elite-level athletes to casual hikers, technology should be beneficial, most of the time.
An Over-reliance on Technology Can be Detrimental
We tend to over-rely on technology, losing that ability which we have had, the one to quickly adapt to situations and calculate on the go. Whether algebra or looking at the movement of the sun to determine one’s location, some things are left forgotten when not trained and repeated regularly.
What is more, people seem encouraged by technology and the false feeling of safety they get by having technology on mountains, and they attempt things they are not physically ready for. Climbing any mountain is difficult but having technology does not really make it easier if you are physically unfit. Being aware of one’s fitness level and according to that level, choosing the right climb, is essential.
Technology Helps If Applied in the Right Places
Technology is our friend, but not something that will do things instead of us. Fitness trackers and smartwatches can be great if you use them to track your fitness level and adapt to a new training routine if the current one is found to be ineffective. Likewise, technology can help when exploring new routes. If there are any doubts about whether to turn left or right at a crossroad, consulting a map with a preloaded route should solve any doubts. One should still use common sense and more importantly, experience, prior to relying 100% on a map.
Hiking Will Be Fine, Hikers Should Also Be
The only problem that hiking has with technology is its reputation in the eyes of the newcomers. It might appear too easy or too dangerous, depending on if there have been accidents due to technology.
Both hiking and hikers should be alright if they use technology to supplement their skill and overall fitness. Technology is helpful when it is an enhancement and not a crutch.