How to Unplug in the Outdoors

February 27, 2019

The National Day of Unplugging starts at sundown on March 1st. Unplug Day is a day to separate from digital devices and connect to the things and people around us - and what better way to do so than in the outdoors?

Folks around the world seek wild places to distance themselves from technology, but with portable devices, widespread cell service, and the need to “do it for the gram,” technology has creeped into the backcountry. If you’re headed outside this weekend, here’s how you can trade your Facetime for face time.

‘Gram a Marshmallow

Instead of scrolling through the ‘Gram, roast a marshmallow and graham it instead! S’mores it up with graham crackers, chocolate, and toasty marshmallows for a healthier alternative to phone time (well, maybe not too much healthier).

Snap Around the Fire

Instead of listening to music on a speaker or headphones, make your own instead! Gather your friends and some portable musical instruments (a spoon and the bottom of a pot, anyone?) and make some sweet music. Bonus points for any camp songs you learned long ago and somehow still remember.

Tweet With the Birds

When outside with our phones, we can forget to notice the little things, like small creatures or the sounds of the woods. Grab a field guide and keep focused on the outdoors by seeing how many species you can identify while on your adventure. Connecting with nature and expanding your knowledge - is there any better way to spend a weekend?


Some of us get a little used to the amenities of modern day camping. Since you’re doing away with technology this trip, try roughing it in some other ways, too. Use your outdoor trip to practice your outdoor and survival skills - try building a shelter, remember how to use that water filter you pack around, or try packing as light as possible for a change. You might just find you’re better at roughing it then you thought!

Start Filming

Getting friends together for a trip can make some great memories. If you still feel the need to capture these moments, bring a disposable film camera along for the adventure. Get the shot without worrying about filter perfection, and you’ll get a reminder of the adventures once your film is developed. Waiting is the best part, right?

Face a Book

While on your digital detox, you might prefer to head outside alone. There are still ways to entertain yourself without any devices. Grab a (light) book, write a letter in your tent, or sit back and watch the stars - you’ll probably have the best sleep of your life.

Whether you’re participating in the Day of Unplugging or simply getting away from the bustle of the weekday world, getting outside into nature can be a great way to restart and recharge. Here’s to a weekend where “streaming” means relaxing near a river.



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