How many times, over the last year, did you come back to the car after a great day out with friends and no one mentioned what they smart watch recorded?
Instead, you conversed about the beautiful the lake you saw, the meadow you walked across, how did the sun feel on your cheeks, or how was that sandwich you made for lunch the previous night…
Obviously, we all like and get obsessed about different things, but are we, as a mountain community, becoming a bit too focused on data (and gear) instead of the actual experiences?
Having competed in a mountain sport for a long time, I understand the value of measuring performances firsthand. But I believe there is no need to keep track of and pay attention to so many variables even if you have the grandest of ambitions.
Are we becoming too obsessed with all this data that it is overshadowing the actual feelings from our adventures and experiences?
These days, it sometimes feels like that if you are not on Strava then you don’t exist. Like “If it’s not on Facebook then it didn’t happen.”
To me, mountains and outdoors, are mainly a place to reconnect with myself, with nature, with my animal spirit, instincts and most of the time with people too.
It has been almost two years that I am going to the mountains without an altimeter watch. One day, two years ago, I lost my old trusted altimeter watch. It didn’t have a wrist strap anymore, so I had to carry it in a pocket… and it fell out.
It didn’t need to be charged, it measured only few basic things and recorded only a simple logbook that I never uploaded anywhere.
It was awesome!
But I know that sometimes it can be very valuable to have an altimeter watch in the mountains, so I started to shop for a new one at some point.
The prices are now twice as high as 10 years ago as you cannot really buy a simple watch these days. Majority of modern watches need to be charged, they don’t operate on a simple battery. They measure and record so many things that it must be overwhelming even for some “data junkies”.
We are all different and each of us prefers different ways of experiencing things… and I am not saying that you are worse off with a wrist mounted computer. I am just nudging you to occasionally leave your a-bit-too -smart watch behind.
Now, let me know if you have an old battery powered altimeter laying around… because I am still without a watch 🙂