Let’s talk about electronics. This brief note is to remind you that the only electronic we encourage you to bring is your cell phone. If you would like to bring something in addition, please follow these guidelines:
Encouraged: cell phones (we will go more in depth about guidelines around cell phone use during orientation)
Not permitted: computers, iPads, other tablets, and iPod Touch
Permitted: Cameras, e-readers, and music players (none with phone/internet/wifi capabilities)
If students arrive on course with any of the non-permitted items they will be held by the instructors for the remainder of the course (or you can ship them back home on your cost). Instructors are not responsible for items that are lost, stolen, or damaged. We prefer not having to lug your stuff around all semester, and you won’t be able to use those items at any point during the course.
For permitted items moderation is key. If students are using permitted items to remove themselves from the experience the instructors will talk with that student. If the action continues the item(s) will be held by the instructors. We understand and respect how important access to technology may be for you. However we ask that you trust the process. We won’t be bringing any personal electronics (music players included) during our backcountry treks – and we encourage students to use them in moderation when in front-country settings.
At the end of courses students always mention how thankful they were to be disconnected from technology. You’ll have sufficient opportunities to connect with friends and family during designated times allowed – using the 2 chrome books that we will be traveling with in our base camp gear (or on your personal phone’s when necessary).
For family and friends back home, know that the instructor team will be in regular communication with the Dragons Boulder office (even while on treks and in remote communities). If family needs to contact you, they can contact the Boulder office and we will receive forwarded questions. Watch our Yak Board for exciting updates every few of days.
We want to share our philosophy: the reasons why we ask you to disconnect from phones and computers.
As an instructor team, we value the close community that develops when traveling in a group. We want to give you an opportunity on this course to experience the world through different eyes and to be fully committed to each moment. When humans encounter something unfamiliar, something challenging, or something that just doesn’t fit into our worldview, it’s easy for us to initially step out of that experience and look for something known and comfortable, like a familiar smartphone, in order to disconnect.
We encourage you to read this article on the effect of phones on human interaction. We wish you the best as you finish your preparations for our course. We hope that you are able to intentionally prepare yourself and your friends and family for this upcoming fall. Unplug. Dive in. And get ready for an amazing adventure.