But I would argue that occasionally losing one’s way is actually not that bad for us. After all, nothing will give you sharp presence of mind quite like not knowing where you are. Plus it forces us to engage in dying arts like navigation, orientation, and figuring out which direction is which. It makes us figure our way out of tricky situations, tap our self-reliance, and fend for ourselves. In the age of GPS, Alexa, and artificial intelligence, those skills are in danger of vanishing.
Recently I met a few adults at the bottom of a local trail who were aghast that I was heading out into the mountains with just a picture of how it all fit together in my head. They were even more concerned that I had never quite been to this area and I was going alone.
I smiled and said I liked adventure and headed off for my 5 or 6 hours. Yes some route finding happened and no I didn't pull out a GPS device at all. I found new areas in the mountains that were awesome and had a great time figuring out where I was.
I've been out with my phone many times and have had the maps fail me. I can't believe the things people take on with only a phone to guide them and no idea how to navigate the land around them. The fact that I can recognize most of the mountains in my area from any angle gives me tremendous safety as I head out.
Nothing is foolproof, but relying on some electronic device to tell you where to go seems foolhardy to me.