What happens when two geeks go on a canoe trip for a long weekend? Well, they talk about geeky things for a few days and enjoy the spectacular outdoors. Mike is a good friend of mine and fellow Geek; he also runs the site Geeks In Training and his personal outdoors blog A Word in the Woods. Last weekend we took a four day canoe trip to the beautiful Algonquin Provincial Park, which covers 7630 square kilometers of pristine wilderness in Ontario, Canada. We got as far away from the city and our gadgets as we could, well everything except our iphones and camping gear, but more on that later.
The trip was fantastic and I learned a lot. Mike has been doing this kind of thing for years, and so have I, but to a lesser degree. This was my first time going on a multi-day canoe trip so I had a lot to learn about knots and bear bags; I had always been a day tripper until this trip.
The luxury of time
So why would two technology crazed geeks want to leave the comforts of our digital gadgets, games and… gasp the Internet behind? Well, first of all there are lots of camping gadgets to play with, everything from cool chairs that can transform into mattresses to hammocks that become your room between two trees for a few days, but the real luxury in getting away from it all is time.
Quality time is something very special and I think in the hustle and bustle of day to day life we can lose sight of what’s important. Toys and gadgets are great, but sometimes you need to watch a spectacular sunset in the middle of no where to get some real perspective. Taking hours to make dinner over a fire and really enjoying it, or seeing the night sky the way it was meant to be, before we polluted it with spot lights for the newest club in town. Time and nature give you these luxuries.
Lots of toys to play with
That doesn’t mean there aren’t any toys to play with, there’s also things like cool mini water filters, miniature stoves, small pots and pans, and lots of other great things to play with like a flint fire starter and the reward of starting a fire without matches or a lighter. Oh and lets not forget a Pakcanoe that can be completely taken apart and stored in an apartment! It’s all pretty clever stuff and much of it serves a dual purpose, whether it’s zip off pants (or pantsformers as Mike likes to call them) or transforming chairs, a lot of it is designed to be ultra light and with multi-use in mind.
Next time I would like to play with some more technology gadgets out there. It would be really cool to do a video blog entry with a flip mino or charge your iPhone with a portable solar panal. They charge slowly and you don’t really need them, but I’m a Geek, so why not.
Although I didn’t have some of these toys, I had a great time. Next time I’ll definitely be bringing a mini solar panel charger, but these are just fun things to play with in an area that always inspires regardless of toys and gadgets.
Turn your iPhone off dude!
As I mentioned earlier in this post we did bring our iPhones, and mine served us well with it’s GPS on the way there, but unfortunately and with much ridicule from Mike I didn’t know that you had to fully turn off your iPhone to completely stop using the batteries. Yes, I know, I should know this, but I didn’t. Anyway, by the time we got out of the park, the one place I would want to use it (there is no service in the park at all) the batteries were dead. Lesson learned, and next time I’ll bring one of those funky solar chargers.
Some pictures from our trip.
A great sunset in Algonquin Park
Amazing sunset during a mostly cloudy day