How Will I Survive Without My Phone?


So, you just found out you have to give up your phone while on your Outward Bound expedition. GASP. We know you are probably dealing with a lot of shock and maybe a tinge of resentment and anger. That’s okay because we know you will soon come to love this time without it. 

We’re here to assure you that it will all be okay. You won’t miss out on any TikTok trends, your algorithm will not be messed up by a couple days, weeks, months of inactivity, and for all those followers you might be worried about losing, forget them, you’ll have a whole crew of people to replace them with when you return! 

We know, this all sounds just like the same speech your parent just gave you, but you just still don’t understand WHY? 

fun away from phone in oregon

Photo by Jeremy Fox.

Well, Soon-To-Be Outward Bounder, Here Are 10 Reasons Why:

  1. We prioritize real-world face-to-face relationships around here and believe us, this is only possible when distractions are gone. Just think about all the weird, cool things you know about your best friend that they don’t tell anyone on their social accounts. You’re about to know A LOT of those about people you just met.
  2. You’re going to be WAY too busy for that little thing. Seriously. When you’re your own transportation, navigation, kitchen and shelter-maker, 24 hours really do slip by fast.
  3. Those batteries won’t last—nor those charger packs. Listen, we know you use that battery life up in one day. Why be stuck with something that only adds weight to your pack? Every ounce counts when you’re carrying it on your back. ?
  4. Even 5G won’t cut it out here. You’re going to be experiencing some gorgeous backcountry locations, which also means signals will hardly ever reach you. (Parents, don’t worry—all course instructors carry satellite phones to contact basecamp when needed!)
  5. Life is hard. Constant news on social media amplifying those hard times is even harder. Our hope is that your expedition is a break from that constant cycle and space for you to sit with your feelings and emotions, process them and share them in your journal and/or in intentional, real conversations with your crew.
  6. We believe amazing things can happen when people sit in a circle and talk—understanding can occur, creative problem-solving can be found, and walls can be torn down. This is a skill that will stick with you for the rest of your life, but it takes stepping away from screens to build it within you. You are capable of it and your community will be better for it.
  7. You’re going to want to remember this. It’s been proven that smartphones degrade our brain’s ability to remember things. Our hope is that by allowing you to be fully present, you’ll fully remember everything you learned and experienced when you return home.
  8. Music is found in your vocal cords. Seriously. Now’s your chance to really hone in on your karaoke song of choice.
  9. There’s no app for what you’re going to be doing. Like, there might be, but it won’t be as good.
  10. You don’t need your phone’s camera. Every crew is given a course camera to take as many videos and photos of their trip as you would like. In fact, we encourage you to snap away on it—you’ll receive all the photos and videos at the end of your course to use for all your TikToks and reels. And when you do post about it—don’t forget to tag us. ?  

outdoor adventure in california

So, Are You Ready to Give It Up? 

Even if your answer is yes, we know it’s difficult. There is comfort and security in having information and communication at our fingertips. We’re proud of you for your willingness. You are brave. If you still feel hesitant or anxious about this requirement, start small. Try putting your phone in another room for a few hours and work up to leaving it at home when you go out for the day. And we encourage you to speak with your parent or guardian, course advisor or instructor on the matter—they are there to support you in any way possible and might have some good ideas for how you can get ready for a screen-free adventure! 

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