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Old 02-10-2020, 03:32 PM
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Roughing It in the 22nd Century


Given the advance of technology- and the retreat of wilderness- camping today isn't exactly like it was for someone like Theodore Roosevelt visiting Yosemite in the early 20th century. So I envision something like the following eventually taking place:


Hi Everyone, Iím back! Sorry it took so long to update but I had to clear a lot of urgent inquiry flags. You think youíve notified everyone in the solar system that youíre planning to go off the grid, but someone never gets the message and panics when their pings arenít responded to.

So: three days in the wilderness, what an experience! For starters, I got really lucky to pick up a slot from a last-minute cancellation for northern Siberia. so I got to camp in an actual forest rather than a random spot in the Sahara or Gobi deserts. Talk about the back of beyond: nobody offers suborbital drop there, you have to use an air-charter service, a full three-hour flight from the nearest airport. The drop-off point is adjacent to an automated logging road and from there youíre on your own. Just me, my emergency beacon and whatever I brought with me in my pack (I could have rented a drone but I figured I could make do for three days; plus a lot cheaper). No non-emergency links, no push notices, no newz; as isolated as Robinson Crusoe! The whole three days I was there I saw no other signs of humanity than the occasional contrail and once a logging drone.

I had my tent erect itself at a convenient spot near a lake- well, bog might be a better description, but letís just say wet spot, and probably naturally occurring at that. The temperature extremes were surprising: hot enough by day and cold enough at night that Iím glad my tent had full temperature control, I wouldnít have wanted a heated-only model. The mosquitoes and flies! I thought I would be eaten alive before my microswarm cleared most of them out of the vicinity and I donít think they stopped except to recharge the whole trip.

The area I was in is one of the few left that are cool enough to remain mostly original taiga, a few invasive maples but definitely old pine forest. I spent the remainder of the first day wandering around the vicinity of my camp site. Iíd wanted to do it Daniel Boone-style but I ended up having to admit Iíd gotten lost and use my VR navigator to retrace my steps. OK, so Iím a tenderfoot; I donít get to practice this regularly. Got back to camp near dusk, opened and ate dinner which Iíd worked up quite an appetite for. It was amazingly dark out at night. Even without goggles you can clearly see all the constellations- Starlink, BeiDou, Galileo, etc. I set up my game cam in hopes of catching some nocturnal visitors, but nothing within range other than a truly mind-boggling number of insects.

I had some rather embarrassing trouble: the first morning I was there my sanitary unit broke down. Absolutely would not process anything. Moral of story, no matter how often something has worked before, check that it still works before you go somewhere it canít be repaired or replaced. It would have taken hours to emergency-order and deliver a replacement, and would have cost as much as Iíd spent already. I almost cancelled right then and there but decided to fall back on the ďHole in GroundĒ Mark-I. FORTUNATELY I could prove all my immunizations were up to date and so I wasnít contaminating the ground but I had to sign a few hundred documents for the Wilderness Conservatory when I got back.

The rest of the trip was otherwise uneventful. Lots of rest and scenery (frankly I was getting bored by the third day) but Iíve saved the best for last: the last evening before being picked up the next morning I got to make a campfire! I was able to get a waiver (by signing the usual releases with warnings of doom, etc.) because Iíd saved up enough carbon allotments. Frankly most of the vegetation there just ends up rotting anyway but try to tell that to bureaucrats. So I gathered the allowed amount of wood, sparked it from my battery pack, and spent a pleasant hour going total cave man. Removing all trace of the fire the next morning was laborious but worth it.

So there you have it. My time roughing it in the wilderness.
  #2  
Old 02-10-2020, 05:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Lumpy View Post
Given the advance of technology- and the retreat of wilderness- camping today isn't exactly like it was for someone like Theodore Roosevelt visiting Yosemite in the early 20th century.
And yet there's plenty of remote, rustic camping available today. People are still out there in the wilderness, without electronics, essentially out of contact with the rest of the world. Yes, you can carry an emergency locator beacon, sat phone, or other communications device, but they're rarely used and many don't carry them.

My tent, stove, sleeping pad and bag are just slight incremental improvements over what I was using 35 years ago. Mainly lighter in weight, more waterproof, and higher quality.
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Old 02-10-2020, 11:25 PM
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we can remember it for you, wholesale


No wilderness will remain on Earth by century XXII. Vacationers will insert IV and neural plugs and lie back in physiology coffins. Time compression will provide a vivid extended Authentic Vicarious Experience in a matter of hours. Take a year-long vacation every weekend. Be sure to sign the liability waiver - accidents are rare, but still...
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Old 02-11-2020, 12:04 AM
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Hey, I ain't caught up with this century yet. I cannot imagine all that.
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Old 02-11-2020, 02:22 AM
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Sounds rough indeed.

My 30th century equipment would be recognizable to anyone in the late 20th century. A flimsy fabric tent; a large backpack; a portable stove; food in foil pouches; etc. It's a little more waterproof; a little more reliable--but basically the same.

There's one exception: the Culture drone that follows me around from a distance. If I get into any trouble at all, it zips over and does whatever is necessary. For example, I once tried to climb a modest cliff--with no training whatsoever, mind you--and, predictably, fell. The drone (it goes by Drosvaren Smythraw-Wix vas Tarakkan, or Dros for short) covered the 100 meter distance in a few milliseconds, ensconced me in its grav manipulation field, and lowered me to the ground.

Another time I was stalked by a mountain lion. I did not even notice it until it was less than 10 meters away; Dros broke a stick to catch my attention. When I saw the cat, it nearly lunged, but Dros used its effector to tweak a neuron or two, somehow convincing the feline that I was not worth it, or perhaps simply wasn't there. Totally unethical to perform such cerebral manipulation on a human, but those standards don't apply to most animals (primates, cetaceans, and cephalopods being the main exceptions).

Most of the time, though, Dros and I mind our own business, and I enjoy nature in nearly its natural state. Well, ok--I do use my neural lace to block the local Ring. I don't mind it most of the time but it is hard to ignore.
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Old 02-11-2020, 04:23 AM
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Maybe vacations, camping, any other adventures will be done like in Total Recall, where you go to a commercial vacation/adventure outfitter agency, choose your adventure from a catalog, and they provide you with an implanted memory of having had that vacation/adventure.
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Old 02-11-2020, 06:14 AM
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Originally Posted by RioRico View Post
No wilderness will remain on Earth by century XXII. Vacationers will insert IV and neural plugs and lie back in physiology coffins. Time compression will provide a vivid extended Authentic Vicarious Experience in a matter of hours. Take a year-long vacation every weekend. Be sure to sign the liability waiver - accidents are rare, but still...
No, there will be wilderness, but two things will militate against visiting them. First, much if not most land will be closed to the public for classified or security reasons, if not actually theaters of conflict, or maybe still private exploitation.. Second, no transportation means accessible to the general public will be able to traverse the terrain -- everyone will be restricted to routes that support energy and navigation systems. Think electrified trolley-ways.

Do you think the handlers willl just let people wander around?
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Old 02-11-2020, 02:29 PM
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No, there will be wilderness, but two things will militate against visiting them. First, much if not most land will be closed to the public for classified or security reasons, if not actually theaters of conflict, or maybe still private exploitation.. Second, no transportation means accessible to the general public will be able to traverse the terrain -- everyone will be restricted to routes that support energy and navigation systems. Think electrified trolley-ways.

Do you think the handlers willl just let people wander around?
At this point, we should all pause to re-read Ray Bradbury's 1951 short story "The Pedestrian".
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Old 02-12-2020, 09:07 AM
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Let's be more cheerful, and imagine a colossal population collapse. There is no infrastructure, and people live in isolated tribelets scraping out a subsistence on the maimed earth their ancestors almost destroyed. Camping is what people do when they have committed a crime or are sufficiently deviant their tribe doesn't want to support them any more -- they are cast out. Campers' lives are usually short.
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Old 02-12-2020, 06:26 PM
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Let's be more cheerful, and imagine a colossal population collapse. There is no infrastructure, and people live in isolated tribelets scraping out a subsistence on the maimed earth their ancestors almost destroyed. Camping is what people do when they have committed a crime or are sufficiently deviant their tribe doesn't want to support them any more -- they are cast out. Campers' lives are usually short.
In the days of the Cold War there were periods of time when it almost seemed like that was going to happen. I was all for it! My only hope was, when the big Mutual Assured Destruction began, that I would survive at least just long enough to see the process well under way.
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Old 02-12-2020, 07:11 PM
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I don't know. Lack of sufficient wifi access to allow uninterrupted 4k video streaming?
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Old 02-12-2020, 11:33 PM
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I don't know. Lack of sufficient wifi access to allow uninterrupted 4k video streaming?
WiFi? That's so old-fashioned. The multilayered carpet of satellites passing ceaselessly overhead gives us all the connectivity we need.
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Old 02-14-2020, 05:45 PM
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Assuming we avoid racial suicide, a "controlled" future might see automated crop production on vast-enough ranch- and farm-lands, humanity sequestered in vertical supercities / arcologies, and vast unpeopled outside areas that aren't really "wilderness" because carefully managed, as Amazonia, Mesoamerica, and California were pre-contact. Management includes proliferation of formerly extinct megafauna and their predators. Neo-wilderness camping will be a terminal activity. Post your will before you travel. Only crazies dare leave their comfy, spacious cells anyway.
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Old 02-14-2020, 08:01 PM
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After the collapse of empire in North America at the end of the 21st century, people created small villages and towns, largely dependent on subsistence agriculture and animal husbandry that are very sophisticated but devoted to a relatively small number of staples, and trade with other towns. Small scale power facilitiesósolar, wind, hydro,some fossil fuels, no nuclear since the unfortunate incident of 2118, generate sufficient electricity for modest use, including internet, which is maintained by greatly respected nerds around the world. Ham radio also flourishes. People have a great deal of time to fart around. Roughing it is a way of life, compared to today, but it is more like a medieval village with great plumbing and electricity.
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