“Should I bring my phone rafting or ziplining?”
Is one of the most frequent questions we hear daily. Honestly, this question comes with a lot of baggage and assumption. After all, what is the purpose of bringing your phone or electronic device with you, especially on one of our wilderness trips? Does having a phone degrade the outdoor adventure experience you are about to have? Are you comfortable with the risk of bringing your device with you? These are the questions we intend to answer through this conversation.
Are you comfortable with the risk of bringing your device with you?
This is the overarching question to the phone debate. Of course, the risk of physical damage should be understood and acknowledged. While we provide waterproof cases for purchase at each location, we do not guarantee the cases or insure your device while on the river or in the trees. The greater risk of bringing your phone lies in the following two questions, is your device necessary to your enjoyment of the experience.
Does having a phone degrade the outdoor adventure experience you are about to have?
Degrading the experience is not just about you either. Will having your phone degrade the experience of those around you? We take pride maintaining the wilderness / outdoor nature of our experiences. Nothing takes away from a natural experience like a phone ringing or a notification alert.
Likewise, our activities require participation. This participation is not only for your enjoyment but also to minimize the variables of risk associated with these activities. Being distracted by a phone or attempting to take a photo at the incorrect time are surefire ways to actually increase the risk of a wilderness experience.
Therefore, if you want to bring your device, be sure to be respectful of those around you, including your guide / ranger. We want you to have the opportunity to take photos of the trip and to capture the perfect moment; however, sometimes that means not using your device during specific parts of the trip.
What is the purpose of bringing your phone with you?
If you ask to bring your phone, we will always respond that “It is at your own risk; however, there are many beautiful places that we will pass and not have photos of your group.” Almost all of our experiences are photographed by Whetstone Photography, Digital Ocoee Photography and Pigeon River Photos, and you will almost always have the opportunity to purchase these photos. On the flip side, many of my favorite photos have come from floating downstream and snapping a quick picture with my camera or phone. While it may seem obvious, photography is one of the few reasons to consider bringing your device. For many groups, photos are a wonderful keepsake that will be used to remember the experience for years to come. The photos that you take of the experience could possibly capture some of your favorite memories. Plus, if you let your guide / ranger know that you have your camera and would like some great shots, they will be happy to point out their favorites and even take some photos of the group in the raft or the trees!
In response to the question of “Should I bring my phone rafting or ziplining?”
—We will never suggest that you should bring your phone; however, we will support your decision if it meets the above criteria. This brings us to the final and maybe the most important point of all: if you choose to bring a phone or camera on your experience, please turn it on Airplane Mode. This simple action will help to preserve the natural experience we all crave and come to experience!