Have you checked your screen time lately? You might be surprised by what you find. No judgment! We’re all on devices these days, and we’re all grateful for the amazing tools that help us connect and with people around the world and plan wonderful new adventures. Since we live in a world where using devices is pretty much mandatory, we need to be purposeful about unplugging occasionally and giving our psyche that much-needed recharge and refresh.
Unplugging and dedicating time to a digital detox might seem intuitively beneficial, but it doesn’t hurt to understand some of the actual science behind why we need it!
We’re all for supporting unplugged time in the outdoors at AGC, and have some off-the-grid adventures that are perfect for that much-needed digital detox.
What is a digital detox - and why you need an unplugged adventure ASAP
No, it’s not a Goop trend, and it doesn’t involve lemon water or green juice (we would never tell you what to eat unless you want to try our all-time most popular recipe)!
A digital detox entails logging off and switching off all your devices: smartphones, tablets, laptops, and computers. No more notifications or calls; just you and the world around you. It’s an opportunity to get away from the constant stream of technology buzzing and ringing and, let's be honest, driving you insane. We don’t need studies to tell us that (although they have indeed been done)!
These dedicated detoxes can look different for different people. Some folks go full blackout and hide all their devices and escape into the wilderness for a few days. Others find a hybrid detox where they limit the hours they allow themselves to use technology.
So why bother with a digital detox?
It’s good for your health - mental and physical
The blue lights emitted by screens suppress melatonin production (the sleep hormone), making it quite difficult to have a restful night of sleep. The artificial light confuses our bodies into thinking it might still be daytime (silly bodies, nights are for sleep). Quality sleep is intrinsically tied to overall health, so don’t skimp on sleep!
Unplugging is also good for our mental health. There have been positive correlations between smartphone addiction and a decline in sense of well-being - in adults and teens alike. Studies are showing that people who are more tied to their smartphones have a higher risk of anxiety and depression. Not to mention that a survey done by the American Psychological Association polled US adults and found that one-fifth cited technology use as a significant stressor in their daily life.
It gives you space to connect
A digital detox allows you to connect deeper with yourself, the people around you, and the natural world. Giving yourself space to be truly present and doing away with distractions gives you a clear mind and the ability to give all your attention to the task at hand. Whether that’s a thrilling river trip, a strenuous hike, or simply hanging out with friends around a fire, being able to give your full attention brings you into the moment. A text message may seem like a minute distraction, but even that five seconds it takes to check your phone is five seconds away from the person or activity you were previously engaged with.
Back in tune with rhythms of nature - going to bed when you’re tired, experiencing the world as it is. You may notice more birds trilling overhead or in nearby trees, or the sensation of a light breeze dancing across your cheek. Stepping outside and being able to soak in the sunshine, breathe in the beauty, and feel truly present with your surroundings is so much easier without that phone in your back pocket.
It gives you balance
Once you complete a digital detox, you’ve taught yourself that you can survive while unplugged! That means you can find a healthy balance of your technology use in the future. It would be nearly impossible to live in the world without using technology - so it seems foolish to swear it off completely. But being able to put it aside for a week while you go backpacking in the mountains is high-five worthy!
How do I unplug and recharge?
It’s hard to unplug - so sometimes we need a little assistance.
Sign up for an adventure - unplugged! These off-the-grid adventures give you the time and space to connect with nature, yourself, and some good company. Leave your phone buried deep in your bag (or maybe keep it on airplane mode in case you need to snap a pic - these places are stunning) because you’re unlikely to have reliable service.
What better way to ignore those notifications than with an adventure? Here are our top five adventures that will get you outside and out of service.
Sometimes the best way to get off the grid is to transport yourself to another time as well as another space. Best of the Wild West will take you back to pioneering days where cowgirls roamed the open range on horseback, looking for real adventures. Learn to wrangle, herd, and even fly fish with seasoned guides on this dude ranch adventure for women! Wyoming’s famous Grand Teton National park is just two hours away from Bitterroot Ranch, and the views are simply stunning. Unplug and reconnect with the natural world while staying as busy or as free as you'd like. Resident wrangler and owner Hadley is also a certified yoga teacher with a dedicated yoga yurt on the property- namaste cowgirls! This digital detox adventure cleanses the body and the soul, so get on the horse and ride into the sunset with us!
Ready to lasso your digital detox? Click here to join Best of the Wild West
Unplugging to detox has never been more rewarding than this. Slip on your hiking boots and join us on an eight-day trip in Wyoming’s Snowy Range Mountains, where we’ll spend four nights backpacking. You might want to bring a camera or switch your phone to airplane mode for this one, though, because the sights are sublime. From sheer silver cliffs in Medicine Bow National Forest to fields of dazzling wildflowers, every step will have you in awe. The wild west is known for that rugged, off-the-grid spice of life, and Alpine Backpacking gives that and more! After invigorating days of hiking, you’ll have a chance to put your feet up and soak in the stars - you won’t even be thinking about reaching for your phone!
This is a perfect trip for women interested in refining their backpacking skills in a spectacular alpine setting. You’ll spend four nights in tents, and then move to the charming western Vee Bar Ranch, a picturesque and relaxing reward after your nights spent outside - especially from the comfort of the hot tub!
Click here to sign up for Alpine Backpacking in the Snowy Range!
Cellphones aren’t as psychologically draining if you’re totally out of service! Why don’t you bury that sucker in your backpack and join us for a gorgeous hike on the Maine section of the Appalachian Trail? You won’t be missing your Facebook friends on this slackpacking adventure, but you’ll have plenty of stories to call home about by the end. You’ll summit the majestic peak of Katahdin in Baxter Park, the northern terminus of the Appalachian trail, and cover 70 miles on your own two feet. But every night you get to take a hot shower and collapse into a comfortable bed.
Ready to pack your backpack? Click here to sign up for Slackpacking Maine now!
Utah’s iconic red desert is the perfect place to unplug, unwind, and reconnect with yourself and the natural world. Rafting and Hiking the Cataract Canyon is more than a multisport adventure, it’s a chance to get the most out of your digital detox! Spending the first few days relaxing on the slow-moving part of the river will help ease you into the peace and beauty of the southwestern desert. Once you’ve had time to get the feel of the raft and a sense of comfort with the good company joining you, brace yourself for an adrenaline rush as you take on more than 30 white water rapids! This part of the Colorado River is a natural roller coaster, and a great place to truly be present - you won’t be wondering if someone texted you while paddling this river! Time out of the water can be spent hiking, chatting, and relaxing at camp.
Unleash your sense of wonder as you navigate breathtaking white water rapids, sleep under a brilliant tapestry of stars, and give yourself the luxury of a digital detox in one of the most beautiful places in the US.
Grab a paddle and book Rafting and Hiking Cataract Canyon now!
Did you know that Big Bend National Park is part of the International Dark Sky Places conservation program? That means the stars here are actually insane. Who’s looking at their phone when you can actually see into space in this breathtaking National Park? Big Bend Hiking and Exploring is a wonderful excuse to hit “do not disturb” on your device, because you’ll be busy paddling the Rio Grande and trekking up into the Chisos Mountains. This region of Texas is untouched, under-touristed, and a little bit funky, all reasons we love it so much.
Stargaze in Texas with us, and book Big Bend now!
Start your digital detox NOW and book an off-the-grid adventure!
Are you ready to unplug with AGC? Start planning for your digital detox with us now! Whether you choose a rugged Wild West getaway or a relaxing river trip, you owe it to yourself to disconnect from the constant noise of the always “on” world we’ve become so accustomed to.
It’s an opportunity to separate yourself from the chaos of the digital world and reconnect with things that matter the most to you.
You can still reap the benefits of a digital detox before your big adventure trip with AGC (where we’ll really unplug!)! Try limiting screen time, keeping your tech out of the bedroom, turn off notifications, or be mindful about when and why you’re reaching for your phone these days. Hey, maybe you can take it as a cue to go outside for a walk!