Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 24
  1. #1
    Registered User Slow n' Steady's Avatar
    Join Date
    01-21-2012
    Location
    Waterford, VT
    Age
    62
    Posts
    47
    Journal Entries
    3

    Default Looking for help purchasing something to send emails and post journals from the trail

    I now have only 11 months before I will begin my AT thru-hike, and I am researching what to use to send/post journals. I apologize that I also posted this thread on another forum, if you also saw it there...here are my questions:

    1. What is the best site to post journals on? Will I be able to retrieve them when I am off the trail?
    2. What kind of phone or other technology has the best battery life? I want to (or think I want to) type journals and email them nightly. Is this reasonable? Is it possible to do this from those tiny phones? I saw a Droid that was only 5.1 ounces, but I wonder what the battery life on that is.

    Who has done this already, and how did you do it? Thanks for your help!

  2. #2
    Registered User elytis's Avatar
    Join Date
    08-21-2011
    Location
    Naugatuck, CT
    Age
    27
    Posts
    32
    Journal Entries
    4

    Default

    I just completed a 3 day trip through CT and used the Iphone. Cell reception was good through out the trip and I still had about 50% battery life left by the time I was done and that was after making calls to deal with business on the trip and taking lots of pictures. I had a back up battery made by duracell and was extremely light and small.

    thats just my 2 cents.
    "show me the rules of the game and I'll tell you how I am gonna win" unknown

  3. #3

    Default

    You have main 3 choices for hosting a journal.

    1. Set up your own blog either on your own website using wordpress or the like. You have control of the content. Less people will likely see it but for some that isn't an issue since its for friends and familly.
    2. Use TrailJournals website which hosts numerous trail journals from different trails. Large community that gets alot of views by strangers. You can only update it with a web connection and upload photos. Some people prefer the format there. You'd have to copy each entry after your hike if you want the content.
    3. Use Postholer's website. You can easily update your journal via an email from your cell phone with a photo attached. You can also update with a web connection and add more photos and information. I prefer this site for its ease of updating from the trail and actually prefer the formatting there. This site also has links for snow levels (more of a PCT and CDT thing) and links to weather forecasts for different parts of the trail. Also has google maps of all the big trails. If you enter your location of your camp site, it will put it on a google map for your viewers to see. You can also update your location with a SPOT device. You'd have to copy each entry after your hike if you want the content.


    A smart phone is the easily way to keep a journal updated today. You can type your entries up and upload when you get a good cell connection. Otherwise you can wait until you get to town and type up your entries at a public computer at a hostel or library. Or you can do it the old fashion way and mail handwritten entries to a friend who will type up your journal online.

  4. #4

    Default

    About cell phones, I prefer to get a android phone that takes a spare battery (but not all do so you need to research). But that said, people have sucessfully thru-hiked with iPhones that have a fixed battery. Just ask at resturants if you can charge it while eating.

  5. #5
    Registered User Slow n' Steady's Avatar
    Join Date
    01-21-2012
    Location
    Waterford, VT
    Age
    62
    Posts
    47
    Journal Entries
    3

    Default

    Thank you for the good information. I also worry about being stuck in a 2 year contract if I don't need all the bells and whistles that I begin with. Quite an investment...

  6. #6
    SunnyWalker's Avatar
    Join Date
    02-16-2007
    Location
    Pampa, TX
    Age
    61
    Posts
    1,961
    Journal Entries
    1
    Images
    44

    Default

    Slow N Steady: be careful how much you post. If you ever wish to write a book on your experience you might not be able to use the stuff you put on WB or PHoler?? I don't know but i wonder about copyright issues. Maybe someone reading here can tell us about that? So the question would then be: If I place a journal on say WB or Post Holer could I use those entries in my journal if I wished? Or have I lost "rights" to them?
    "Something hidden. Go and find it. Go, and look behind the Ranges. Something lost behind the Ranges. Lost and waiting for you . . . Go!" (Rudyard Kipling)
    From SunnyWalker, SOBO CDT hiker starting June 2014.
    Please visit: SunnyWalker.Net

  7. #7

    Default

    I'm with Miner in prefering an Android with extra battery(s), but I too hiked with others that did just fine with an iPhone.

    Cost: I suggest that you one of the cheaper smartphones that AT&T says they support on their GoPhone (pay as you go) plans. Much cheaper approach over the long haul if you don't otherwise need or want a contract.
    As of fairly recently when I looked, Verizon wouldn't put any smartphone on their equivalent pre-paid daily plan, and Sprint and T-Mobile have lousy backcountry coverage. So see what AT&T currently supports, then maybe look on Amazon.com and buy it along with a spare battery, screen protector, and possibly some sort of carrying case, maybe a charging cord connector as well (these days sometimes they only give you something you can charge via USB plug otherwise).
    You might look around more widely for a good carry case, btw. I favor one I can reliably attach to a pack strap, and that fits the phone not-too-loose but not so tight that I can't easily get it in and out, and with the phone inside a snack-sized ziplock on wet days.

    Put $100 on the phone for voice and the minutes are good for a year, they roll over then when you put more on the next year.
    For data, put on a goodly chunk up front, then sign up to have it auto-refill $5 per month to keep that 'active'. This all should be enough. Then maybe when you get home you can opt to let the data lapse (there's always wi-fi).

    As to sites to host your journal, I've been very happy with postholer.com, pretty easy to work with, much better than trailjournals.com for use with a mobile device.

    I also bought myself a folding bluetooth keyboard. Adds some weight to your pack, but it made it easy for me to blog daily; the result is that I have "written that same day" journal entries of decent length for every trail day on the whole triple crown. Worth it for me, at least, and useful in town on occasion too. Perhaps bring some light thin reading glasses and then a smartphone plus bluetooth keyboard combo gives you much of what you would want in a laptop.

    Rights to your own work that SunnyWalker talked about: funny, I've been toying with the idea of writing a book, and I looked carefully all over the postholer site and saw absolutely nothing about me losing the copyright that's inherent in publishing my own work. You could always email Scott and ask, but there's nothing in it for him that I can see to try to make people feel that they've lost control of what they write. Quite the contrary, his is the site that makes it easy to download all of your text onto your own computer anytime that you want to.

    Don't think of emailing journal entries every day, as you won't have cell coverage to do that every day. Type them up daily, and then batch upload them on the days that you have the magic combination of (good enough) cell coverage, time & energy & inclination, and enough remaining battery power or electric power in town. I typically uploaded text-only entries in batch on the trail when I could, then would follow up by uploading photos in town periodically.

    BTW, the postholer text-only weather reports were handy to get on a smartphone too.
    Hmm, I don't mean to sound like a shill for Scott's site, I've just been a content user, I'm not aware of an alternative that works as well for this sort of use.

    You can see my journals to get a sense for how they came out for me at http://postholer.com/brianle
    Last edited by BrianLe; 05-08-2012 at 01:12.
    Gadget
    PCT: 2008 NOBO, AT: 2010 NOBO, CDT: 2011 SOBO

  8. #8

  9. #9

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BrianLe View Post
    I'm with Miner in prefering an Android with extra battery(s), but I too hiked with others that did just fine with an iPhone.

    Cost: I suggest that you one of the cheaper smartphones that AT&T says they support on their GoPhone (pay as you go) plans. Much cheaper approach over the long haul if you don't otherwise need or want a contract.
    As of fairly recently when I looked, Verizon wouldn't put any smartphone on their equivalent pre-paid daily plan, and Sprint and T-Mobile have lousy backcountry coverage. So see what AT&T currently supports, then maybe look on Amazon.com and buy it along with a spare battery, screen protector, and possibly some sort of carrying case, maybe a charging cord connector as well (these days sometimes they only give you something you can charge via USB plug otherwise).
    If you want Verizon coverage on a prepaid smartphone you have to look at Page Plus. You can put most Verizon smart phones (except iPhone) on Page Plus.

  10. #10
    Registered User
    Join Date
    03-06-2012
    Location
    Coast, California
    Posts
    49

    Default

    I wanted to mention that intelligent use of smartphones can greatly improve your battery use. For example, as you're taking photos during the day you definitely don't need bluetooth or wifi turned on.....sucking valuable battery juice.

    Become familiar enough with your device to turn off services that you don't use and you'll use far less power. Services such as bluetooth, wifi, location all consume battery juice that you may not intend to use at the time. You can still use programs such as email to compose and attach files. They'll sit there until you have connectivity and BAM! Upload city!
    It's not the camera. It's the photograph you see in your mind and your ability to both manipulate the camera and to develop the image to present your vision.

  11. #11

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SunnyWalker View Post
    So the question would then be: If I place a journal on say WB or Post Holer could I use those entries in my journal if I wished? Or have I lost "rights" to them?
    Speaking for postholer journals, you own it, as it is with wordpress, blogger, etc.

    With that said, a few years back trailjournals actually had a message at the bottom of each journal that said 'they retained the rights to the journal'. Needless to say folks were not happy about it! The message was not there for long as you can imagine.

    It would certainly be entertaining to see some web-admin-come-overlord try to claim rights to someone's journal, that's for sure!

    And hey, thanks for the kind words about the site!

    -postholer
    Journals & Maps: postholer.com
    Printed Maps: postholer.com/mapbooks

  12. #12
    AT 4,000 miler, LT Blissful's Avatar
    Join Date
    07-14-2005
    Location
    Virginia, 10 miles from the AT near SNP
    Age
    51
    Posts
    10,418
    Journal Entries
    1
    Images
    171

    Default

    I posted on my journal when I got to town and had Internet. In this day in age where some kooks do sometime seek a person out if they know where you are on the trail, a delay on your postings can be a safety issue.



    Climb a mountain...wash your spirit clean - John Muir






    Hiking Blog- NEW Sore and Achy?
    AT NOBO and SOBO, LT
    Ridgerunner, Author, Speaker


  13. #13
    Registered User Slow n' Steady's Avatar
    Join Date
    01-21-2012
    Location
    Waterford, VT
    Age
    62
    Posts
    47
    Journal Entries
    3

    Default Thank you!

    I really appreciate all your valuable information. You have probably saved me thousands of dollars by avoiding a long term contract. I will definitely look into pay as you go phones. Thank you for the good info. I really appreciate your help!

  14. #14

    Default

    I don't know if this is any help, but I have an ATT blackberry, and when I was out on the trail this past March, I brought two batteries with me. I kept my phone on airplane mode (no reception), and used it for music/pictures. It lasted me three or four days, and that was with a bit of internet check each night, if there was reception. I also brought a Kindle Fire with me, which not only gave me books to read, but also allowed me to update my trail journal when I had wifi connection. You definitely don't want to update as you go. As was said before, too many crazies, lol. I had a private facebook group with just my family and friends, and I updated that more frequently then my journal, because I had to approve anyone who was in the group. Just some thoughts...
    -Tammy (a-ka) <><

    Will Turner
    : This is either madness or brilliance.
    Captian Jack Sparrow: It's remarkable how often those two traits coincide.
    (POTC - The Curse of the Black Pearl)

  15. #15

    Default

    Do all towns have access to a public computer or are there some with no access at all? To me typing them in town would be easier, wont have to worry about a phone and finding service.

  16. #16

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Slow n' Steady View Post
    Thank you for the good information. I also worry about being stuck in a 2 year contract if I don't need all the bells and whistles that I begin with. Quite an investment...
    You no longer need a two year contract, there are plenty of providers out there which piggy back on one of the major cell providers for about 1/4 the price. Just make sure they have a data plan you can live with and that your phone is compatible. I'd stay away from those that piggy back on AT&T (Walmart's Straight Talk) and go with ones that use the Sprint (Virgin Mobile) towers. Both T-Mobile and Verizons have companies that piggy back on them as well, but I have no experience with them.

  17. #17
    Garlic
    Join Date
    10-15-2008
    Location
    Golden, CO
    Age
    56
    Posts
    3,863
    Images
    2

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by RedRunnerJumper View Post
    Do all towns have access to a public computer or are there some with no access at all? To me typing them in town would be easier, wont have to worry about a phone and finding service.
    I went that route on my AT hike, and have continued doing so over the last several years on different trails in different parts of the country. There were a few places where I didn't have access to a public computer for free, especially on Sundays and holidays. And many libraries are reducing hours due to budget cuts, especially during the summer. So I take a hybrid approach and mail hand-written pages to a transcriber when library stops aren't working out. That happened only once on the AT.

    I feel the same way about not worrying about a phone. I traveled for a while with a heavy phone user and he was always looking for a free outlet, sometimes to the point of interrupting others' dinners at restaurants to use outlets at their tables, or changing his daily itinerary to use an outlet at a public park. Then his ziplock bag leaked and he didn't have to worry about it any more.
    "Throw a loaf of bread and a pound of tea in an old sack and jump over the back fence." John Muir on expedition planning

  18. #18

    Default

    I might do it how you did with hand written. Ya im a heavy cellphone user but i have no prob leaving it behind or being able to only use it sometimes... So I'm not worried if i don't bring it.

  19. #19
    Registered User Different Socks's Avatar
    Join Date
    07-07-2009
    Location
    Havre, MT
    Age
    50
    Posts
    1,205
    Images
    5

    Default

    I am a slow typer so even if I used a compact foldable keyboard it wouldn't do me much good. I also like to carry a soft bound book called a "record" to put my writings into. Is my only choice to wait until I get to town to copy each page, then mail them to a transcriber?
    If I do not wish to have a phone type device in my hands every day, what other ways could I do it?

  20. #20

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Slow n' Steady View Post
    I now have only 11 months before I will begin my AT thru-hike, and I am researching what to use to send/post journals. I apologize that I also posted this thread on another forum, if you also saw it there...here are my questions:

    1. What is the best site to post journals on? Will I be able to retrieve them when I am off the trail?
    2. What kind of phone or other technology has the best battery life? I want to (or think I want to) type journals and email them nightly. Is this reasonable? Is it possible to do this from those tiny phones? I saw a Droid that was only 5.1 ounces, but I wonder what the battery life on that is.

    Who has done this already, and how did you do it? Thanks for your help!
    I use an iPhone and post to Trailjounals.com. Since most of the time is spent out of cell and data range, I do two things:
    1) keep the phone in airplane mode so it isn't searching for a signal. The battery will last 3 days. I also carry along a NewTrent charger (4.2 oz) the will recharge the phone 3 times.

    2) I've downloaded the app "Pages", which is comparable to MS Word. Type in each day's journal on a separate document, but just leave it on the phone. This way you won't forget details of the day.

    Then, every 4 or 5 days when in town and a wifi is available, it's easy to copy/paste each day online. Pages is very easy and fast to type as it uses a good autocorrect feature. The phone and the charger can then be charged for the next series of days.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
++ New Posts ++

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •