There’s a line from Robert Heinlein’s military sci-fi classic Starship Troopers that’s always stuck with me: “If you load a mudfoot down with a lot of gadgets that he has to watch, someone a lot more simply equipped — say with a stone axe — will sneak up and bash his head in while he is trying to read a vernier."
When it comes to advice on camping, hiking, and the outdoors, the internet seems to be fairly divided into two distinct camps: There’s the hardcore survivalists who want to spend a weekend trip fending off bears with a spear they made in the woods. Then there’s the equally die-hard glampers. By glamping — which is a stupid millennial word that means glamorous or luxury camping — I’m not referring to folks who drive to a campsite, blow up an air mattress, and sleep in a tent. I mean the ones who pack solar chargers for their iPads and espresso machines, and have a tent for their dog.
It’s fall, and for me, that means hiking and camping in the Sierra Nevada, an epic expanse of foothills and mountains that begin in my backyard in northern California. There’s nothing quite like hiking through the cool, crisp air and navigating the same terrain that pioneers, gold miners, and adventurers trekked through hundreds of years ago. No matter where you are, a short camping trip or foray into the woods, hills, or mountains offers an escape from the technology-saturated world we live in.