This week’s #ATQA Adventure Travel twitter chat recap – “Technology on the Trail”

After requesting any suggestions that the Adventure Travel Q&A chat community may have, we received a great inquiry about discussing the relationship between technology and the outdoors from Adam Nutting. The result was a great Twitter chat that generated plenty of opinions about topics like taking technology on the trail, favorite gear, and the merits of knowing how to navigate by compass when your GPS fails. We also had a few great guest appearances by awesome outdoor technology brands like Goal Zero, Pocket Ranger, and Point6 Socks.

Check out the conversation recap, and add your answers to the comments section!

Q1: What’s the role of technology in the outdoors?

@HikingTheTrail: “A1: Security, Safety, and for documenting.” #ATQA

@Thatguysgarage: “A1 To make it easier to work on the road so we can stay out longer and still pay the bills.” #ATQA

Q2: How much tech is too much tech?

@RamblinBears: “A2: If you have a cell phone, lap top, ipad, ipod and your old game boy…you may have too much technology.” #ATQA

@valinreallife: “A2: when you don’t have room in your pack for food & water, it may be too much….or if your pack weighs more than you. ;-)” #ATQA

@GoalZeroSolar: “A2: We’re all for dance parties in the tents.

Q3: Worst experience with too much tech? 

@NeilJohnston: “A3: Packing it of course! No, really it’s when the tech interferes with the adventure, generally when we’re filming.” #ATQA

@OverlandNomads: “A3: Drained battery in the Land Cruiser. Lucky I have a dual battery system.” #ATQA

Q4: What tech gear do you bring along on your adventures?

@HikingTheTrail: “A4: Camera solar charger phone and emergency SPOT device.” #ATQA

@_CabinGirl: “A4: camp stove, Nikon DSLR, headlamps, batt-op lantern for night reading. That’s it. #dofishingpolescount? :-D” #ATQA

Q5: Do you prefer a compass or GPS? Do you use both?

@croyle: “A5: Having taught both for REI Outdoor School, I have to say both… But I use GPS much more often. I bring a compass.” #ATQA

@OverlandNomads: “A5: I carry both, but typically only use the GPS. A compass is so 1492.” #ATQA

Q6: How do you keep your electronic gear charged while outdoors?

@DavidECreech: “A6- I have a backup battery I charge before I leave and I have a solar charger that doesn’t work very well…” #ATQA

@Thatguysgarage: “A6: Here’s a post on my battery system

Q7: What about non-electronic tech? Tell us about a favorite piece of gear.

@jaltevers: “My hand-me down colman stove we used as a family when I was a teen. Still works just as good as it did then but no flame control. LOL” #ATQA

@valinreallife: “A7: Love my @tenba_bags camera pack and my @Big_Agnes Flying Diamond. My Leatherman is faboo too.” #ATQA

Q8: Ever see a new technology fail to meet expectations? Tell us about it.

@RMhigh7088: “A8: Had a new REI trekking pole fail at the trailhead on Mt Belford.” #ATQA

Q9: Does more technology mean less challenge?

@PocketRanger: “IMO, no, #Tech serves to enhance, not detract. Nature is unpredictable.” #ATQA

@valinreallife: “A9: Oh hell no. There IS a hassle factor w/a lot of it. Just changes the challenges. People got on just fine before all the ‘fancy’.” #ATQA

@croyle: “A9: It can, but it can also rid you of routine challenges so you can concentrate on the fun ones.” #ATQA

Q10: What’s on your “gotta buy that soon” list?

@_CabinGirl: “A10: Water filtering system.” #ATQA

Q11: How do you decide which tech gear to get and which to avoid?  

@themorningfresh: “A11. I let my buddies test gear first – let ’em do all the dirty work. :)” #ATQA

@RamblinBears: “A11: Usually ask some of our more experienced friends and check youtube reviews!” #ATQA

How do you feel about technology on the trail? Love it? Hate it? I’d love to hear from you – feel free to sound off in the comments! Answer the chat questions, contribute your own thoughts – and join us next week on Wednesday at 5 PM (EST) for another great #ATQA Adventure Travel chat on Twitter!

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