You Might Be Amazed at What Falling in a Waterfall Can Teach You
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My family and I spent this past weekend camping in the Berkshires. Camping is an activity that we love to do as a family and the reality that we don't have many more summers to do this together is starting to hit home.

This was the first camping trip for Nadia and when you have a dog with you, the activities you can do become a bit limited. Hiking is an easy activity you can do with your family and dog and since I'm happiest in the woods we set out to spend quality time in nature.

Using the AllTrails app we searched for easy hiking trails where dogs were allowed in the area around us. This app makes it very easy to search, sort and save trails you find. It is a must for anyone wanting to get outside more.

Hiking at Sanderson Brook Falls

Being able to sit around the campsite and look at different trails is a fully acceptable use of technology in the woods in my mind.

Our campground had WiFi, but the kids knew that the rule was phones were to only be used for photos. I was sharing mine on Instagram and now wished I had posted more before my little accident.

As a photographer I'm constantly taking photos. Today that means that I take a lot on my phone which is always with me and many on whatever camera I currently have with me.

These days it is usually my Samsung NX500 which is the current camera all of us Samsung Imageloggers are using a Motorola Droid Turbo phone that I was given as part of the VZWBuzz influencer team.

If you have a mobile phone, you need to make sure that you have auto-backup turned on for your photographs.

You can do this through Google, Dropbox, Amazon, Flickr or other services. My phones are always set up to back up to Google whenever connected to WiFi.

I do this because with all the traveling I do, I don't want to run up massive data charges.

Plus, when I'm at home this means that my phone is constantly backing up since we have Verizon FiOS and thus slowing down my home network is never a worry. 

Sadly, I had not connected to the Wifi at the campground at the start of the weekend. It is usually one of the first things I do when I travel and after checking in to my hotel. Never gave it much thought at a campground before. 

We laced up our boots, I threw my ruck on my back and we hit the trail.

 Hiking at Sanderson Brook Falls

Laura suddenly remembered we should look for geocaches while on the trail and sure enough, as I opened the Geocaching app up popped several near us.

Sadly, we didn't find any that we looked for, but hunting for them once again added to the family memories.

As we reached Sanderson Brook Falls I instantly started taking photos.

You have to understand that I LOVE waterfalls. There are fewer things in nature that give me more pause and smiles than a roaring waterfall and I search them out wherever I go.

I took and shared this photo from the bottom of the falls, but knew I wanted a better photograph.

 

Sanderson Falls

 

A photo posted by C.C. Chapman (@cc_chapman) on

Dylan and I began carefully walking up the rocks to get a better view of the waterfall. With all of the winter run off long gone, there was plenty of exposed rock to scramble up without any issue. In the spring we would have never been able to do this. We were both careful and I took this photograph of the girls waiting for us down at the bottom.

The View from Sanderson Brook Falls

Then, I turned around and took this photo of the waterfall. As soon as the shutter had done it's job I knew it wasn't the shot I was hoping for so I looked to move to a different angle.

Sanderson Brook Falls

Of course, Mr. Murphy was in a playful mood and I slipped on some wet moss. Down into a rocky pool of water I fell.

Instantly half of my body was submerged and it was the half where you'd find my phone and my camera.

I knew I had banged a couple of parts rather badly, but a quick moving of joints and fingers told me nothing was broken.

Dylan, instantly asked if I was alright and I told him to give Laura and Emily a big thumbs up down below us since I knew they'd be freaking out having seen me fall. As he was doing this, he was pulling off his shirt and grabbing the camera so that he could pop out the SD Card and battery and try to save the camera.

Turns out that Laura didn't see any of this happen. She just saw me sitting and Dylan giving the thumbs up and put the pieces together.

Dylan being my son, wanted to take a photo of me after the fall. How could I say no?

The Camera is Dead

A few days later, I'm still sore and I think my pride took the biggest injury of them all. Sadly, the camera and phone were both destroyed by this, but as you can see the photos survived.

I should mention that a few days before our trip I received a Samsung 32GB PRO SD from the Samsung Imagelogger team. I had never owned or used a Samsung memory product before, but after how it performed and held up after being dunked, I have a feeling I'll trust my photos to their cards plenty more in the future.

After all this rambling, what have I learned by falling in a waterfall?

First, going forward, I will set up my phones to backup all the time. I pay for enough data that I can do this and when I travel I'll just have to remember to turn it off.

This was the first time in the woods using a wrist based camera strap (OP/TECH USA Camera Strap) and while I love these for daily use in the woods it means that one of my hands is not free and that isn't good. When I slipped, I would have much rather had my hand free to catch myself. I'll stick with my trusty Peak Design Slide when in the woods.

Finally, if I take a photograph I like while traveling, I'm going to make sure that I post it somewhere immediately. I lost at least 20-30 photos I had taken around the campsite on my phone and that bums me out. If I had posted them to Instagram or Flickr I'd still have them.

A good reminder that sharing isn't just for other people, but for you as well.

All in all, our camping weekend was a great escape full of new memories.

I missed having a device to capture photos for the rest of the weekend, but I didn't miss the temptations of technology.

Stay safe out there this summer.

Disclosure - I write a monthly post on the digital lifestyle as part of my agreement with the #LifeonFiOS and #VZWBuzz influencer teams. In return they provide me with services, equipment and experiences. This post didn't start out as one of them, but the more I wrote, the more I realized it was a perfect topic. Hope they agree. All thoughts, opinions and in this case mistakes are my own.