Camping with Bluetooth: Should you bring the Internet along on your next family vacation?
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Roughing it is the American way, or so it seems.
Forty million Americans are planning to camp outdoors this summer and will likely spend about two weeks per year doing it. That's about 15 percent of the American population older than 6 years of age who spend some nights outdoors under the stars, according to the American Camper report.
Camping has been known to refresh the batteries and set the body back to neutral. As a matter of fact, the University of Colorado found in 2013 that people who spent a week camping naturally had their internal clocks set back to sunrise and sunset — something that has been changing for humans since electricity has entered our homes.
"Participants most often say that the simple act of camping is the biggest motivation for taking a camping trip," the American Camper report said. "Perhaps this profound ability to reconnect with nature is what keeps drawing campers back and what will maintain the popularity of camping."
But getting in touch with nature doesn't mean you have to ignore technology completely.
The Coolest Cooler — a cooler with an incredible amount of high-tech gadgets — has been making its way around social media.
The product, which may make camping with your friends easier and fun, includes an ice grinder, a Bluetooth speaker and even a USB charger. Its Kickstarter campaign has earned more than $4 million from more than 24,000 backers with 45 days still to go, and may point to a larger trend in outdoor activities.
However, some — like teens, who account for 70 percent of the smartphone market, according to a Nielsen study — have been told to unplug during camping trips and spend more time with the family.
"The kids get some time on their own, sure, but we all hang out together more often than not," according to one blogger at Alpha Mom. "It’s not fancy or extreme or exotic. It’s just all of us being together, in the fresh air, away from most of the demands of everyday life."
Which side are you on? Watch the advertisement for the Coolest Cooler and decide for yourself.
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