Ben 2 World wrote:
"1. Twenty years ago, 99.9999% of hikers hiked without phones. And 99.999% returned safely, without issues."
Ultra Magnus wrote:
"Back in cave man days a sharp rock and animal skin clothing was their "high tech" gear, and it's just evolved ever since."
This is exactly the point I wanted to get at. Obviously I can't speak for what "cavemen" did any more than you can, but if we look at what people did in "the olden days," they simply DIDN'T engage in the same kind of pleasure hiking and pleasure camping like we do.
The most comparable example I can think of at the moment (for what we do) is the early French, and later American, trappers in Colonial America. These people traveled long distances into uncharted mountains in search of their game. They were minimalists by necessity, but still managed to carry quite a lot of gear we would consider "too technological," like rifles, beaver traps, and cash. They often needed horses to carry all of it, and what's worse, by engaging in the very activity of trapping, they were actively knitting themselves further and further into human capitalistic society, even though they might have traveled out into the middle of nowhere to do it.
You'll find similar false comparisons when looking at other examples of "hiking" back then and compare them with hiking today.
I'm not saying that someone should or shouldn't carry a cellphone into the woods. Obviously that's a personal decision that will be informed by one's own values and character. What I'm saying is that the modern concept of equating "connecting with nature" with "disconnecting from society" is entirely artificial. You can disconnect at any time, and furthermore you're never entirely disconnected until you've made the mental decision to forget about it. In the meantime, a cellphone doesn't have to affect your experience any more than a factory-processed energy bar wrapped in its space age mylar wrapper.