Summer affords your best chance to escape into the backcountry or to a cabin in the woods for an extended stretch. You can wander the wilderness at will, without worrying about what you’re missing at work, with more colleagues out of the office than in. Even so, it’s easy to spend too much of your break staring at a screen. This year, come prepared with QualityTime, an app that lets you set usage limits for time-sucking programs, like Instagram or Twitter, and permit only certain callers, like family members, to disturb you. That way, you can unplug, mostly, but still be reachable in an emergency.
To go a step further, ditch the phone altogether, buy a SPOT emergency messenger device, and venture into a designated wilderness area, which are far less crowded than national parks in the summer. You can backpack in New Mexico’s 558,014-acre Gila Wilderness, say, or paddle Maine’s 92-mile Allagash Wilderness Waterway, knowing full well that you might be the only soul within miles.
If someone needs to reach you, they’ll have the rest of the year to do so. —J.R. Sullivan
This article is part of our Summer School series, a comprehensive guide to acing the year’s best season.
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