In recent years, the role of technology has grown increasingly influential in all areas of outdoor recreation and adventuring. The virtual expansion of digital media and the creation of unique gadgets has completely changed everything from clothing and equipment to protective gear and digital devices. Some of the most important ways in which technology can upgrade your adventure include access, comfort, safety, documentation, and communication. Learn which tech and apps can improve your explorations and experiences here.
Improved transportation technology, including off-road vehicles and aftermarket car accessories, has made it much easier for visitors to reach remote areas. You can get to the top of a mountain or the middle of the desert with less effort and danger than ever before. There are also a multitude of services and guides that can help you find and gain entry to places you may not have even known existed before the age of technology.
In some cases, increased access to remote regions of the world have substantially increased traffic and changed the landscape itself completely — improving amenity availability and accommodations so much that certain towns become unrecognizable in just a few years. Access to information has also changed the way people search and plan for adventures. Now that the internet exists, you can find out about rare natural events and seasonal occurrences with more than enough time to plan a trip and participate in what could be a once in a lifetime event.
Similarly, comfort while in the outdoors has also made it easier to find more challenging and progressively astonishing places to visit. You can find lightweight, effective clothing, gear, and accessories for any environment that ensure you’re better protected in places with rough weather or dangerous terrain. Rainproofing, UV resistance, bug proofing, and even moisture-wicking materials all make adventuring much more comfortable for all ability levels, age ranges, and experiences.
Enhanced tech improves safety in two major ways: improved equipment can often substitute for less experienced adventurers and location devices make it easier to signal for help.
Since better, stronger, and more versatile equipment is available in nearly every field — from deep-sea diving to skydiving — you don’t need certifications and weeks of training to attempt adventures that may have been out of your range in the past. There is one caveat to using technology that allows inexperienced adventurers to try something truly special, and that is the illusion of safety that falls apart the moment a piece of technology malfunctions. However, as long as there is a guide or expert in your midst, you shouldn’t worry too much about accidents or mechanical failure.
If something does happen during the course of your adventure, having GPS units, personal locator beacons, emergency position indicating radio beacons, and 36-mile radios will greatly improve your chances of getting help. Even smartphones, fitness watches, and satellite phones come in handy due to convenient safety apps and increased cellular coverage. Not only do you know exactly where you are and which direction you’re going, but someone else can also find you in potentially dangerous situations.
Everyone wants to document their adventures to show friends and family exactly what it is that they’re missing. Now, you have more than just disposable cameras and film to make it happen. Upgraded smartphones, compact video devices, and digital cameras have had a major impact on what you can and can’t document. With water-resistant devices, you can take images in the depths of the oceans, while GoPro mounts allow you to attach the device to your helmet or backpack and take the leap off a bungee jumping bridge! Sharing on social media is so much easier when you can video every moment of your adventure with a camera that’s actually attached to you.
While communication does make it safer to visit remote locations, it also makes it easy to connect with your family or keep working on projects while you’re out on the road. Personal hotspots, rugged computers, and a plethora of protective cases mean you can take your most important devices with you wherever you go. You no longer need to worry about disconnecting from the world before planning your next big trip, just pack it all up with you!
The Big Picture
Overall, technological advances and upgraded gear have contributed a lot of benefits to outdoor recreation for both participants and hosts. With more durable gear, lighter equipment, and enhanced communication, you can go nearly anywhere without fear. While you should still research and practice for any extreme adventures, technology serves to make every aspect of preparing and participating in remote experiences much better. Discover the world around you when you start exploring an adventure you may never have thought was possible!
Aaron Smith is a tech writer who works with companies like OC Rugged Laptops. He enjoys writing about the latest developments in technology and manufacturing for leading technology manufacturing companies.