Here we are in 2021 with every piece of information possible available at the tip of our fingers. Yet we have been noticing a significant rise in the number of rescues in our gorgeous Canadian Rockies the last few w.ends. Where is the gap? what are we missing if we have access to so much information?
I’ve been thinking about it for a while and here is one of my suggestions: asking our cell phones is very convenient but it will never replace connecting with a real person especially an experienced one and here is why:
- Time spent outdoor: experienced outdoors people have spent their fare share of time adventuring or playing “out there” and this time has given them experience and skills. They would be happy to share them with you so why not asking? and why not taking the time to listen? Yes it’s as simple as this.
- Lessons learned: ask this person about their most fun and for their most terrible or terrifying outing and what they learned from it. I’m sure they have a few stories they’d be happy to share with you which would avoid you making the same mistake!
- Humans thrive on social interactions: online or in person. You can tell me what you want about your cell phone providing everything (or so you think) you need for your well being but we are made for social / in-person interactions. I understand some people are introverts and some extroverts which means some will need less and some more of it but in general, humans need other humans to survive and thrive.
- Relationships and trust: I don’t know about you but when I was a kid, my parents taught me to not trust an unknown person on the street. I’ve grown as an adult and over the years I have connected with a lot of people through work, courses, the outdoor, etc you name it. Some people I’ve gotten to know enough that I trust them to be my friends. This is because I have met them in person, I have interacted with them, have seen and understood their body-language to be safe for me to built a relationship with.
Now how do we translate this with trusting people/strangers online when reading hikes or climbs reviews, trip reports, adventure blogs etc.. I understand written words let the person’s personality perspire through but how much trust should we grant these words really? I don’t know about you but I still follow the advice received “way back when” and still take everything I read and everyone I meet with a grain of salt first and this until I can prove this source of information or this person to be trustworthy. There are many people online that seem to be experienced but aren’t compared to a professional in the field so do your homework until you find someone you can trust.
- Humans are not unique: this might be a new concept to you and sorry if I am breaking a dream of yours but I realized the last few years that we, humans think so much of ourselves as being unique when we truly aren’t. We are in a way but we aren’t in many ways.. makes sense?! Thinking we are unique can actually create a mental barrier preventing us from seeking solutions or asking for help. We tend to think we are the only ones having this question or that issue, when in fact many other people have had it before us, found solutions and are happy to share the result with us. So don’t think you are this unique, ask or talk to a real person about your new adventure or trip idea and get feedback before you go and are in it above your head or ability!
All in all, it’s a win-win situation when thinking of all the positives aspects of asking an experienced person or a professional. The internet and our cell phones are very convenient tools but they will never replace in-person relationships and what we can learn from building them.