Vacation. Most would say it's a time to relax and have fun. So where do our electronic devices come in? They can add to the fun, but they can also distract us from fun and potentially deliver stress-full messages. So what's the right balance of disconnecting vs incorporating devices in your fun?
The answer is likely in how you answer these questions:
- Do I tense up when I see the emails or texts that have arrived on my device? Perhaps problems from work.
- Does the device add to my vacation in a purposeful way? Uses could include photos, tracking your runs or posting on social media to make all of your co-workers envious.
- Even if it adds something, is it distracting you from being fully present in your vacation? Maybe you are so glued to the above that you tune out how good Utah's powder FEELS under your skis or board.
The answers are individual, so all I can do is suggest you ask a few questions. Either way, I recommend stowing it for at least part of every day (you can let it continue tracking your vertical…just don't look until later :)
When you choose to stay connected, these tips will make life a little easier and more fun.
Keep it Warm
Freezing temps kill batteries in a hurry causing your phone to shut down. Stow your phone inside your jacket, close to your body. I sometimes add a sticky toe warmer to the inside of my pockets which keeps both the device, and me, warmer.
Charge It Up
Start with a full battery and consider carrying a compact portable charger such as the Goal Zero Flip 10. It has enough juice for a single charge for your phone and fits easily in a pocket. Recharging stations are also available at many resorts like Park City Mountain, Deer Valley and Snowbasin.
Wi-Fi is common at most lodges. Snowbird even upped their game by baking a fiber-optic line into the tram cable! This means speedy WiFi at the Summit Lodge and HD quality on webcams. However, WiFi is hit-or-miss on the slopes – which may help manage device dependency. Knowing this, capture your moments on the snow, but spare yourself frustration and numb fingers by uploading posts back at the lodge, preferably with a hot drink in hand and a fireplace at your toes.
Next Level Apps
Ski Utah App – This FREE app contains everything a snow enthusiast could need. Features: custom resort powder alerts, ski day tracker, overnight snowfall, daily forecasting by Evan Thayer of OpenSnow, Ski Bus schedules, along with all the classics like 24hr, 48hr, base detph, year-to-date, the last 7 days it snowed, NOAA weather forecasts, snow stake elevation, lifts status and mountain stats.
GAIA GPS – Plan your next backcountry ski trip with ease. Helps evaluate avalanche terrain (slope angles), view incoming weather, and track your location even without cell service.
Ikon App - Download the Ikon Pass App and track stats at Solitude, Brighton, Deer Valley, Alta, Snowbird and Snowbasin. The app helps you track vertical feet, max speed, number of runs, and current altitude. It also allows you to view the live location of others in your group on the map any time.
EpicMix – Skiers and riders at Vail Resorts, which include Park City Mountain, can check snow conditions, view lift line times, stay connected with family, track their runs, and much more using the EpicMix App. Feeling competitive? There are also challenges and leaderboards. I competed in a "most vertical feet" contest using EpicMix and it was a hoot! Strategy meets speed.