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cliffordbarnabus
10-02-2017, 00:26
i've thru'ed the AT twice. and almost thrice but only 80%. also thru'ed the PCT. blah blah.

i don't carry, nor do i own a cell phone. or any of those gidgets or gadgets. so i don't know what trump's doing, what the weather "should" be. and the only facebook in my face is a book by kerouac or salinger.

question : what % do you think of thru'ers these days carry a phone/ipad/thingamabob?

Deacon
10-02-2017, 05:46
95%


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Cheyou
10-02-2017, 05:50
i've thru'ed the AT twice. and almost thrice but only 80%. also thru'ed the PCT. blah blah.

i don't carry, nor do i own a cell phone. or any of those gidgets or gadgets. so i don't know what trump's doing, what the weather "should" be. and the only facebook in my face is a book by kerouac or salinger.

question : what % do you think of thru'ers these days carry a phone/ipad/thingamabob?.

no camera ?

Traveler
10-02-2017, 07:18
The percentage of people carrying interactive gadgets like GPS devices and smart-phones on the trail are likely similar to the percentage of people who carry these daily in the general population.

adamkrz
10-02-2017, 07:28
I'll say 98%, I carry a flip phone and a old camera, My phone rarely gets turned on.

New technology has made the world an eerie place.

MuddyWaters
10-02-2017, 07:37
I used to carry old flip phone
2.8 oz
Batt last a month taking it out, only put in to send text in evening.

But being able to make travel arrangements on fly, in town entertainment and communication, drove me finally to smart phone. My old phone wasnt finding many towers it could talk to anymore either

On trail its just a camera, unless use guthook to check position.

Yeah, theres a lot of younger people addicted to social media, waste all their time seeing what 1000 people they barely know is tweeting.

rafe
10-02-2017, 07:44
Many years of hiking w/o phone. Since 2000 or so, have carried some sort of phone. It provides obvious conveniences. More often than not, I carry a camera also. Lately, an altimeter/compass watch as well - surprisingly useful.

garlic08
10-02-2017, 07:52
While downsizing after my first thru-hike, I decided to go through old photos. I threw away about 80 pounds of photos. They all looked the same, just me and some friends on various peaks or trails, various seasons. I decided to stop carrying a camera right then.

And one of my greatest pleasures in going for a hike is getting away from the phone.

Nothing wrong with tech in my mind, but I prefer to leave it at home.

Someone recently gave me an old smartphone that works on the house Wifi with various useful apps. (I no longer need to go to the bank to deposit checks.) The thing weighs 8 oz w/charger. I won't carry it with me.

Friends call me retrogrouch.

Maineiac64
10-02-2017, 08:35
i've thru'ed the AT twice. and almost thrice but only 80%. also thru'ed the PCT. blah blah.

i don't carry, nor do i own a cell phone. or any of those gidgets or gadgets. so i don't know what trump's doing, what the weather "should" be. and the only facebook in my face is a book by kerouac or salinger.

question : what % do you think of thru'ers these days carry a phone/ipad/thingamabob?
We all know the % to be very high, it seems like you might have a thesis as to how it affects the trail experience?

fiddlehead
10-02-2017, 09:14
Just finished a 783 mile hike in Eastern Europe and couldn't have done it without the phone.
There are no maps. Only an app and GPS track.

The Outdoor Active app is the ONLY way to tell (through past hiker's comments) where there might be water (and 1/4 of the time, the water was locked anyway, so we left comments for future hikers)

Google maps: To get a ride to a town for resupply, we google mapped a hotel, called them, and if they had vacancy, asked them to come and pick us up (the ones who had

There are no maps. Only an app and GPS track.
The app is the ONLY way to tell where there might be water (and 1/4 of the time, the water was locked anyway, so we left comments for future hikers)

To get a ride to a town for resupply, we google mapped a hotel, called them, and if they had vacancy, asked them to come and pick us up (the ones who had vacancies ALWAYS did)

Not only took photos, but a bunch of video too and now I'm working on a youtube vid about the amazing trip.

The compass app I downloaded was great and I used it quite a bit.

Flashlight: came in handy a few times although we were mostly always in bed when it got dark.

Google maps (to help figure out which town to resupply in (put it on satellite and you can even see coffee shops, pizza places, bars, etc.)

Google translate: Couldn't have communicated sometimes without it. Messenger: was great to show live vids to people we hiked with after they went home (and we were still out there). We figured out how to just speak into it and then hit a button and show our phrase to a local in each of the 4 different languages we encountered: Sovenian, Croatian, Serbian, Albanian, (Bosnia and Montenegro spoke mostly Croatian, except some old people who only spoke German or Russian (we knew a few words in those languages already, and hadn't downloaded them, so we were quite limited with those people)

Other (not so important things) we used it for
Sky map for stars,
Posted to instagram and FB from the trail (right before sleeping),
Airbnb (used it twice and weren't so happy with the results as the location wasn't as stated.
Recorder: every other day, we did an aprox 3 minute recording to remember things that we hope to put in a blog someday (since so few people have hiked the Via Dinarica, any info out there is a BIG help)
Called a taxi once with the phone. (but used it more for booking rooms, like I said above)
Figured out the bus schedules when we finished from Google (in Albania and got a bus to Kosovo) (there's only one mini-bus a day, so important to know the schedule)

Probably a few more, and calling my wife and son for free from my hotel room and doing free video chats for up to an hour sometimes was another biggie.

All in all, it made our hike possible, all in one device, that I kept in my pocket all the time (the trail disappears a lot, so it's important to have it handy)
Don't know how anyone could do this trail without it. (the trail is only 3 years old)

cliffordbarnabus
10-02-2017, 11:53
While downsizing after my first thru-hike, I decided to go through old photos. I threw away about 80 pounds of photos. They all looked the same, just me and some friends on various peaks or trails, various seasons. I decided to stop carrying a camera right then.

And one of my greatest pleasures in going for a hike is getting away from the phone.

Nothing wrong with tech in my mind, but I prefer to leave it at home.

Someone recently gave me an old smartphone that works on the house Wifi with various useful apps. (I no longer need to go to the bank to deposit checks.) The thing weighs 8 oz w/charger. I won't carry it with me.

Friends call me retrogrouch.
yes man! yes!!

cliffordbarnabus
10-02-2017, 11:55
Just finished a 783 mile hike in Eastern Europe and couldn't have done it without the phone.
There are no maps. Only an app and GPS track.

The Outdoor Active app is the ONLY way to tell (through past hiker's comments) where there might be water (and 1/4 of the time, the water was locked anyway, so we left comments for future hikers)

Google maps: To get a ride to a town for resupply, we google mapped a hotel, called them, and if they had vacancy, asked them to come and pick us up (the ones who had

There are no maps. Only an app and GPS track.
The app is the ONLY way to tell where there might be water (and 1/4 of the time, the water was locked anyway, so we left comments for future hikers)

To get a ride to a town for resupply, we google mapped a hotel, called them, and if they had vacancy, asked them to come and pick us up (the ones who had vacancies ALWAYS did)

Not only took photos, but a bunch of video too and now I'm working on a youtube vid about the amazing trip.

The compass app I downloaded was great and I used it quite a bit.

Flashlight: came in handy a few times although we were mostly always in bed when it got dark.

Google maps (to help figure out which town to resupply in (put it on satellite and you can even see coffee shops, pizza places, bars, etc.)

Google translate: Couldn't have communicated sometimes without it. Messenger: was great to show live vids to people we hiked with after they went home (and we were still out there). We figured out how to just speak into it and then hit a button and show our phrase to a local in each of the 4 different languages we encountered: Sovenian, Croatian, Serbian, Albanian, (Bosnia and Montenegro spoke mostly Croatian, except some old people who only spoke German or Russian (we knew a few words in those languages already, and hadn't downloaded them, so we were quite limited with those people)

Other (not so important things) we used it for
Sky map for stars,
Posted to instagram and FB from the trail (right before sleeping),
Airbnb (used it twice and weren't so happy with the results as the location wasn't as stated.
Recorder: every other day, we did an aprox 3 minute recording to remember things that we hope to put in a blog someday (since so few people have hiked the Via Dinarica, any info out there is a BIG help)
Called a taxi once with the phone. (but used it more for booking rooms, like I said above)
Figured out the bus schedules when we finished from Google (in Albania and got a bus to Kosovo) (there's only one mini-bus a day, so important to know the schedule)

Probably a few more, and calling my wife and son for free from my hotel room and doing free video chats for up to an hour sometimes was another biggie.

All in all, it made our hike possible, all in one device, that I kept in my pocket all the time (the trail disappears a lot, so it's important to have it handy)
Don't know how anyone could do this trail without it. (the trail is only 3 years old)

super interesting post. thanks. when you say no maps are available....like, literally no paper maps? even if they're from the 90's or something? that's bizarre! not doubting you ~at all~, but it just sounds whacked!

Leo L.
10-02-2017, 13:50
I can easily belive that there are almost no hiking maps of these countries, maybe except some very limited areas around famouse summits and national parks.
Remember, these countries had a strict communist government for many decades, then had a raging war for many years and are now just recovering from all this.
If there were any detailed maps at all, they would not be available to the public, but for military only.
Street maps is the only stuff I've ever seen, the best one I have is an Austrian make, scale 1:200.000. Good for riding a bike, no good for hiking.

Looking forward to hear some more, fiddlehead!

TexasBob
10-02-2017, 16:23
..........question : what % do you think of thru'ers these days carry a phone/ipad/thingamabob?
I bet that 100% of hikers 25 and under take a smartphone on the trail. Smaller percentage for us older folks but still probably 90% or better.

Odd Man Out
10-02-2017, 16:37
Now that we've settled the cheese issue once and for all, this may be at the top the list of FAQs. For me, the bottom line is it is entirely up to you if you want to hike with a phone or not. If you choose not to, be happy with that decision (but don't be that guy constantly asking to borrow a phone because you decided not to bring one or complain about people who choose to use one). One the other hand, if you choose to bring every bit of technology known to man, be happy with that decision (but don't that guy who says trails can't be hiked without a phone. It's not like no one in the history of the world hike the AT, PCT, etc... before the 21st century).

Slo-go'en
10-02-2017, 22:06
I think the big value of a smart phone is the ability to get real time weather info. Being able to look at the radar and knowing "if I stay put another 1/2 hour, I won't get wet" or "Yikes, I need to get under cover quick!" or " I think I'll just zero here today" is a really nice feature.

Sure you don't need a smart phone, just as you don't need a lot of things, but they sure are nice to have. It was 2008 when I first started meeting hikers with smart phones. I didn't start hiking with one until 2014. Now their ubiquitous.

blw2
10-02-2017, 22:38
yeah, my guess is more like 99.xx% of folks carry some sort of phone.
Folks that actually turn it on regularly a bit less of course.

garlic08, I can relate to that....Not too long ago I went through my old photos. Only got about half way through before putting the project aside, but I tossed a barrel full. I need to remember to get back on that the next rainy day at home....

I used to be a photo buff back in the days of film. Slowly came to realize that often folks don't want their picture taken....and I got tired of lugging around that stuff all the time. Went to a point and shoot, then ultimately even gave that up mostly.

I read something a couple years ago, where someone either did a study, or just theorized about how much folks miss when they are photographing an event. The example was a parent taking pictures of their kid in a school play or concert. The parent looking through the view finder will not remember a good bit of the show. Based on my experience I believe it. Much better to live it then to shoot it.

It is nice I think to have a snapshot here and there, but not too many. Likely to never go back and look at them anyway. To me, teh value is the ones with friends. No point I think in taking the landscapes or whatever. If I want to see a picture of Grandfather Mountain for example, all I need to do is google it and find a million of them....

rocketsocks
10-02-2017, 22:41
Love me techie stuff

cliffordbarnabus
10-03-2017, 00:04
Now that we've settled the cheese issue once and for all, this may be at the top the list of FAQs. For me, the bottom line is it is entirely up to you if you want to hike with a phone or not. If you choose not to, be happy with that decision (but don't be that guy constantly asking to borrow a phone because you decided not to bring one or complain about people who choose to use one). One the other hand, if you choose to bring every bit of technology known to man, be happy with that decision (but don't that guy who says trails can't be hiked without a phone. It's not like no one in the history of the world hike the AT, PCT, etc... before the 21st century).
just asking %. not judgmental stuff. do whatever you want to do and hike the way you like!

cliffordbarnabus
10-03-2017, 00:09
yeah, my guess is more like 99.xx% of folks carry some sort of phone.
Folks that actually turn it on regularly a bit less of course.

garlic08, I can relate to that....Not too long ago I went through my old photos. Only got about half way through before putting the project aside, but I tossed a barrel full. I need to remember to get back on that the next rainy day at home....

I used to be a photo buff back in the days of film. Slowly came to realize that often folks don't want their picture taken....and I got tired of lugging around that stuff all the time. Went to a point and shoot, then ultimately even gave that up mostly.

I read something a couple years ago, where someone either did a study, or just theorized about how much folks miss when they are photographing an event. The example was a parent taking pictures of their kid in a school play or concert. The parent looking through the view finder will not remember a good bit of the show. Based on my experience I believe it. Much better to live it then to shoot it.

It is nice I think to have a snapshot here and there, but not too many. Likely to never go back and look at them anyway. To me, teh value is the ones with friends. No point I think in taking the landscapes or whatever. If I want to see a picture of Grandfather Mountain for example, all I need to do is google it and find a million of them....
yeah man. i'm not married and ain't got kiddos, but i've seen footage of parents at school performances and all you see is parents seeing things through their recording smart phones.

and without cost of film developing, when you take a pic, you actually take like 37 pics of the same thing. and so rather than having pounds of old school tangible photos, now you have tons of gigabytes and though you don't have to trash them, you still gotta delete 'em!

Venchka
10-03-2017, 05:51
Friends call me retrogrouch.

A select and prestigious club.
Welcome!
Wayne


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

rafe
10-03-2017, 07:01
While downsizing after my first thru-hike, I decided to go through old photos. I threw away about 80 pounds of photos. They all looked the same, just me and some friends on various peaks or trails, various seasons. I decided to stop carrying a camera right then.

And one of my greatest pleasures in going for a hike is getting away from the phone.

Nothing wrong with tech in my mind, but I prefer to leave it at home.

Someone recently gave me an old smartphone that works on the house Wifi with various useful apps. (I no longer need to go to the bank to deposit checks.) The thing weighs 8 oz w/charger. I won't carry it with me.

Friends call me retrogrouch.
OP was asking, I think, more about smartphones and such. I'm thinking cameras aren't "tech" gear in that context. I personally try to always have a camera when I hike. That was true 40+ years ago when I first got the hiking bug.

We rely on tech in any case... I'm sure most of our gear is CAD designed nowadays - tents, packs, shoes, etc. We wouldn't be having this discussion without it.

garlic08
10-03-2017, 07:03
A select and prestigious club.
Welcome!
Wayne

I will strive to be worthy, oh master.

...I read something a couple years ago, where someone either did a study, or just theorized about how much folks miss when they are photographing an event...Much better to live it then to shoot it....

I've theorized about this. It's interesting to hear someone else has. In my experience, the dynamic changes when you take out a camera. The camera changes you from a traveler to a tourist.

Of course, there are exceptions. At least one photographer I know can use the camera as a tool to effectively document a social situation. I just don't have that skill.

Venchka
10-03-2017, 07:22
I will strive to be worthy, oh master.


I've theorized about this. It's interesting to hear someone else has. In my experience, the dynamic changes when you take out a camera. The camera changes you from a traveler to a tourist.

Of course, there are exceptions. At least one photographer I know can use the camera as a tool to effectively document a social situation. I just don't have that skill.

''Tis I who is not worthy.
Wayne


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

fiddlehead
10-03-2017, 08:03
I can easily belive that there are almost no hiking maps of these countries, maybe except some very limited areas around famouse summits and national parks.
Remember, these countries had a strict communist government for many decades, then had a raging war for many years and are now just recovering from all this.
If there were any detailed maps at all, they would not be available to the public, but for military only.
Street maps is the only stuff I've ever seen, the best one I have is an Austrian make, scale 1:200.000. Good for riding a bike, no good for hiking.

Looking forward to hear some more, fiddlehead!

Yes, Leo knows.
I shouldn't have said "no maps" . Some of the National parks had some maps, although they didn't have our trail marked as such... how would we know which one was ours??? (possible with tons of preplanning I guess)
But that was only 10% of the hike (national parks)

We did meet some hikers who printed out maps from the viadinarica website.
They were very lost and followed us for the remainder of their hike.
The maps were too low of a scale for the detail needed for the sections without marked trail (or no trail even, sometimes)

The GPS was our most used item. 30% of the time, we would hold it in our hand while walking.
The phone app had the exact same track on there, but the batteries were much better in the GPS. (Lithiums lasted 11 days, Duracells about 2 1/2)

It was a learning exerience for both of us, even though we have both completed the Triple Crown.
(it was great)

Deadeye
10-03-2017, 09:17
I hiked the LT long before cell phones or digital cameras were invented, I wore blue jeans and cotton socks the entire time, and of course an external frame pack, and I managed to survive.

A smart phone is certainly handy for calling, texting, as a very good camera, map app, etc. - sometimes I bring it with me.

Leo L.
10-03-2017, 09:58
Interesting what your'e saying about battery life.
During our desert trip this spring, I had my smartphone running in tracking mode, which lasted about 2 to 2.5 days.
If I had it only for looking at the route by the GPS app, it would last for about a week or more (did this once for 5 days and it drained the battery down to 50%).

Those Southeastern European countries completely lack the ambition to produce high quality maps for the public. There seems to be no company or organization to take care about, and if there is any, they take any info they can easily get and put it on paper in quite a sloppy way, focusing on the most important points only (which might be roads, alpine huts and prominent summits only).
Very different to what we have here in Central Europe, where we have maps so accurate that you could walk blindfolded. Elevations accurate to a single meter.
Something we've learned from the old Brits, I guess.

To Topic:
During my trips in the Middle East deserts, I have the smartphone handy all the time, its the main source for all route finding.
Basically these trips were the reason why I bought the smartphone in the first hand, to save me from carrying kilos of Google Earth printouts and paper copies from my worthy ancient maps.
Being able to say hello to my family back home every now and then is a bonus nice to have, as is an occassional phone call to organize a taxi.
I'm using my smartphone for hiking since 4 years now, and am extremely happy with it.

Runner2017
10-03-2017, 10:42
I hate phone calls and always don't want to be interrupted. But I do have an Android smartphone because it has all the other useful tools, such as GPS, compass, trail maps and guides, music, books, camera for both still and video, etc. I don't have those monthly smartphone plans. I don't do any social networking stuff at all and don't want to be interrupted by them. I use Tmobile pay as you go thingy, which costs me 10 cents a minute, and a text. The annual phone service usually costs me $30 or less. In normal life, I usually use Google Hangouts to call and text which costs nothing. I do find smartphone is very useful on trail.

cliffordbarnabus
10-03-2017, 11:36
OP was asking, I think, more about smartphones and such. I'm thinking cameras aren't "tech" gear in that context. I personally try to always have a camera when I hike. That was true 40+ years ago when I first got the hiking bug.

We rely on tech in any case... I'm sure most of our gear is CAD designed nowadays - tents, packs, shoes, etc. We wouldn't be having this discussion without it.

yeah, i was talking smart phones and ipads and connectivity stuff. not that there's anything wrong with it. not that there's anything right with it. just wondering about % and changes to dynamics of thru-hiking!

John B
10-03-2017, 11:53
i've thru'ed the AT twice. and almost thrice but only 80%. also thru'ed the PCT. blah blah.

i don't carry, nor do i own a cell phone. or any of those gidgets or gadgets. so i don't know what trump's doing, what the weather "should" be. and the only facebook in my face is a book by kerouac or salinger.

question : what % do you think of thru'ers these days carry a phone/ipad/thingamabob?

Comrade! I ditched the phone and camera, too -- I don't feel a pressing need to "check in" with whomever to reassure them that I'm not dead yet; I ditched the camera because my memory is still good enough to remember most of what I want; I don't carry "smart" tech because I don't find it to be that smart; no radio because I like hearing sounds in the woods that I can't while at my house.

But I think we're in the extreme minority now. And the younger the hiker, it seems the more likely they carry tech gear, such that they can't seem to do much without bowing their heads in an iPrayer at every stop.

KDogg
10-03-2017, 12:48
Hmmm....in general....could these negative opinions be age related?

Puddlefish
10-03-2017, 12:48
I was a month or so into my hike before I remembered that the baseball season had started. I was a flip phone user pre-hike. I got a crappy old Iphone 4 to start the hike with, mostly to check the weather, but the camera was trash, and it barely held a charge.

I upgraded my phone to a decent one about a month into the hike. I absolutely loved the ability to take quality pictures, and send them off to family via text. Likewise, Guthook's app was like an easy button for planning the day's hike. I didn't download any videos, and rarely checked the news (other than to check on my beloved Red Sox.)

I admit to getting a smart phone initially, because I wasn't an experienced distance hiker. Now that I'm a somewhat experienced distance hiker, I know I could manage the AT without a smart phone, but I also know that leaving the phone behind wouldn't improve my hiking experience. It's a convenience, that's all.

My memory is trash, I'm really happy I have the pictures I have, and wish I had them for the first month of the hike.

Another Kevin
10-03-2017, 14:56
I bring my smartphone.

Normally it's in airplane mode, so it isn't going to ring with a call or chime with an incoming message.

It serves me as a store of field notes, a few reference books, an atlas, a secondary navigation system, maybe the novel I'm reading, a camera, .... just about everything but a telephone and text messenger.

If I brought a notebook, or a field guide to birds of flowers, or a deck of maps, or a paperback novel, or a conventional camera, most hikers wouldn't say a word. Those are traditional and accepted things to have in a pack.

But there are always a few who say my device ruins their wilderness experience, once they learn it's there. And ordinarily they won't, because unless I'm actually looking something up or taking pictures or making notes, it stays put away. Reading on it is by myself, in my tent, so the light from the panel won't bother anyone. (Just as I'd do with a paperback novel and flashlight, back in a bygone time.) I don't see much of a difference, but I recognize that others do, and try not to whip out the phone in front of people who might mind.

In any case, you're not going to put the genie back in the bottle.

cliffordbarnabus
10-04-2017, 00:05
Comrade! I ditched the phone and camera, too -- I don't feel a pressing need to "check in" with whomever to reassure them that I'm not dead yet; I ditched the camera because my memory is still good enough to remember most of what I want; I don't carry "smart" tech because I don't find it to be that smart; no radio because I like hearing sounds in the woods that I can't while at my house.

But I think we're in the extreme minority now. And the younger the hiker, it seems the more likely they carry tech gear, such that they can't seem to do much without bowing their heads in an iPrayer at every stop.

hell yeah! love it!

cliffordbarnabus
10-04-2017, 00:05
Hmmm....in general....could these negative opinions be age related?

sure. i'm 32. does that make me a dinosaur?

cliffordbarnabus
10-04-2017, 00:07
I was a month or so into my hike before I remembered that the baseball season had started. I was a flip phone user pre-hike. I got a crappy old Iphone 4 to start the hike with, mostly to check the weather, but the camera was trash, and it barely held a charge.

I upgraded my phone to a decent one about a month into the hike. I absolutely loved the ability to take quality pictures, and send them off to family via text. Likewise, Guthook's app was like an easy button for planning the day's hike. I didn't download any videos, and rarely checked the news (other than to check on my beloved Red Sox.)

I admit to getting a smart phone initially, because I wasn't an experienced distance hiker. Now that I'm a somewhat experienced distance hiker, I know I could manage the AT without a smart phone, but I also know that leaving the phone behind wouldn't improve my hiking experience. It's a convenience, that's all.

My memory is trash, I'm really happy I have the pictures I have, and wish I had them for the first month of the hike.
i love sports too. go cubs!

cliffordbarnabus
10-04-2017, 00:10
I bring my smartphone.

Normally it's in airplane mode, so it isn't going to ring with a call or chime with an incoming message.

It serves me as a store of field notes, a few reference books, an atlas, a secondary navigation system, maybe the novel I'm reading, a camera, .... just about everything but a telephone and text messenger.

If I brought a notebook, or a field guide to birds of flowers, or a deck of maps, or a paperback novel, or a conventional camera, most hikers wouldn't say a word. Those are traditional and accepted things to have in a pack.

But there are always a few who say my device ruins their wilderness experience, once they learn it's there. And ordinarily they won't, because unless I'm actually looking something up or taking pictures or making notes, it stays put away. Reading on it is by myself, in my tent, so the light from the panel won't bother anyone. (Just as I'd do with a paperback novel and flashlight, back in a bygone time.) I don't see much of a difference, but I recognize that others do, and try not to whip out the phone in front of people who might mind.

In any case, you're not going to put the genie back in the bottle.


no genies. no bottles. no wrongs. no rights. i? i like pen and ink. anyone else? he/she likes what he/she likes. the fact that we're out there doing it to it. ~that's~ the point!

move and groove! with gadgets? YES! without gadgets? YES!

Time Zone
10-04-2017, 07:44
no genies. no bottles. no wrongs. no rights. i? i like pen and ink. anyone else? he/she likes what he/she likes. the fact that we're out there doing it to it. ~that's~ the point!

move and groove! with gadgets? YES! without gadgets? YES!

Agreed!

Personally, I like books that don't need to be recharged. And my old eyes and fumbling fingers struggle with small touchscreens. But I certainly can recognize what a versatile multi-use device a smartphone can be. It can take the place of a lot of other things, reducing weight and bulk. As with so many things, HYOH.

In a group hiking setting, it is disappointing to see so many with their eyes aimed down at their phone rather than out at the view or at their fellow hikers in conversation. They are designed to get our attention and not yield it. I mean this literally ... they really are designed to produce the results we see in terms of "bowing heads in iPrayer". IMO it's wise to be mindful of how these devices affect you and whether that's the person you want to be on the trail. If so, fine - HYOH. But if not, well, reconsider what you bring and when you pull it out.

garlic08
10-04-2017, 07:47
One of the strongest advocates of phone-free trails I ever met was in his early 30s.

Puddlefish
10-04-2017, 08:54
i love sports too. go cubs! Stupid Red Sox couldn't get past the Indians that year. As a fellow member of the "long suffering fan" club I was rooting for your Cubs.

TexasBob
10-04-2017, 13:36
sure. i'm 32. does that make me a dinosaur?

When you get the senior discount you are a dinosaur. You are only halfway there. If you start freaking out when there is no cell signal then you are a millennial. Seriously, my observation being around a lot of high school and college age people is that they see smartphones as a necessity where as older folks who spend most of their lives in the pre-smartphone era look upon them as a convenience.

cliffordbarnabus
10-06-2017, 01:06
When you get the senior discount you are a dinosaur. You are only halfway there. If you start freaking out when there is no cell signal then you are a millennial. Seriously, my observation being around a lot of high school and college age people is that they see smartphones as a necessity where as older folks who spend most of their lives in the pre-smartphone era look upon them as a convenience.
yeah man. all i hear these days is, "how did we ~ever~ live without cell phones?" my answer : well, we lived.

but to each, his/her own. if you want your 15 minute forecasts, cool. but sometimes, it feels nice to get soaked!

gpburdelljr
10-06-2017, 10:31
I found this quote from a January 2017 article:

"The vast majority of Americans – 95% – now own a cellphone of some kind. The share of Americans that own smartphones is now 77%, up from just 35% in Pew Research Center’s first survey of smartphone ownership conducted in 2011."

rafe
10-06-2017, 10:50
yeah man. all i hear these days is, "how did we ~ever~ live without cell phones?" my answer : well, we lived.

but to each, his/her own. if you want your 15 minute forecasts, cool. but sometimes, it feels nice to get soaked!


Yeah, "information" is fine but what are we going to do with it? Does it make things better?

The need to communicate with the real world still exists. In the bad old days long distance hikers had to wait for town stops to make phone calls.

We had to walk or hitch to town. Now we can just call for a shuttle or Uber.

We sent postcards to friends and family. Who does that any more? Nowadays we post pix to Facebook or send images via SMS.

Time Zone
10-06-2017, 15:46
Timely article:

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/oct/05/smartphone-addiction-silicon-valley-dystopia

Sovi
10-06-2017, 15:52
I found this quote from a January 2017 article:

"The vast majority of Americans – 95% – now own a cellphone of some kind. The share of Americans that own smartphones is now 77%, up from just 35% in Pew Research Center’s first survey of smartphone ownership conducted in 2011."




I am among the non owners. I will be using one on the AT for communication with home, and guthooks app, but will promptly be passing it off to someone when I return home. Want to know the weather, look up. Want to know what's coming look to the trees. Deciduous trees will let you know about 30 mins before it rains, just have to pay attention to them.

cliffordbarnabus
10-07-2017, 00:54
"keeping up" with people is interesting. if you don't do social media, like me, then when i see someone whom i haven't seen in years we actually get to talk and catch up.

if you do social media, you already know everything or perhaps are simply referenced to "posts".

i don't want to post or be referenced to them. however, to receive and/or send a postcard....money and hell yeah!

Scars
10-07-2017, 05:04
i don't carry, nor do i own a cell phone. or any of those gidgets or gadgets. so i don't know what trump's doing, what the weather "should" be. and the only facebook in my face is a book by kerouac or salinger.

You’ve been a member of this internet site for five years and on at least 192 occasions you have successfully posted to this internet-based forum using some kind of gidget, gadget or thingamabob...unless you have special powers. Now you have piqued our interest, what could they be? Telepathy perhaps...but how will we know if you get our replies?

garlic08
10-07-2017, 07:14
You’ve been a member of this internet site for five years and on at least 192 occasions you have successfully posted to this internet-based forum using some kind of gidget, gadget or thingamabob...unless you have special powers. Now you have piqued our interest, what could they be? Telepathy perhaps...but how will we know if you get our replies?

The title of the thread is "tech on trail." The OP is talking about portable internet devices. Even the most curmudgeonly of us here obviously have internet computers at home.

Scars
10-07-2017, 08:26
Thank you for clarifying, I actually thought our friend had telepathic powers or something really cool through which he was communicating. What a let down...

cliffordbarnabus
10-07-2017, 12:54
You’ve been a member of this internet site for five years and on at least 192 occasions you have successfully posted to this internet-based forum using some kind of gidget, gadget or thingamabob...unless you have special powers. Now you have piqued our interest, what could they be? Telepathy perhaps...but how will we know if you get our replies?
i use a computer.

jgil
10-07-2017, 20:16
I bet that 100% of hikers 25 and under take a smartphone on the trail. Smaller percentage for us older folks but still probably 90% or better.

I'll take that bet. If I'm day hiking I never bring my phone, if I'm going on multiple day trips I have my phone in my pack but I don't even think about it until I finish. I hate phones, I only have it for emergency really. But I see why you would think that because I don't know anyone else who isn't constantly looking at their phones all day.

jefals
10-07-2017, 21:13
I'm 70, only been backpacking since I retired a few years ago. for me, it's phone "hands down" over a map.
I've been on a trail where I come to a T. Left? Right? Maps aren't going to be detailed enough. Guthook does.
Plus I can record my track out and follow it back. Easy to avoid getting lost out there.

cliffordbarnabus
10-08-2017, 00:48
i'm always amazed how "necessities" evolve as "necessities" over time.

in the meantime of time, i'll stay on the ape side of the evolution spectrum. after all, i'd rather get lost in the woods and die than waste away from cancer in a hospital!

rocketsocks
10-08-2017, 09:59
I carry the 10 essentials, all the techie stuff is purely entertainment...I carry all that stuff too, who gives a damn?

rafe
10-08-2017, 11:13
yeah, i was talking smart phones and ipads and connectivity stuff. not that there's anything wrong with it. not that there's anything right with it. just wondering about % and changes to dynamics of thru-hiking!

We've been arguing this matter for I dunno, twenty years now?

I'm generally in favor of tech, made my living by it, but I just had an epiphany, about an epiphany.

A gazillion years ago -- 1990 -- I had an amazing, almost religious experience on my hike through the hundred mile wilderness. It was on the ascent of Whitecap, southbound, pausing to look back north. Seeing no signs of civilization whatsoever. Fifty miles of wilderness, as far as I could see. I hadn't seen another hiker for a day. Feeling extremely vulnerable but amazingly alive. Nearly in tears from the vastness and serenity of it all, yet proud and deeply grateful to be exactly where I was.

Back then the HMW really felt like a wilderness. And of course this was many years before cell phones.

Now I wonder if not having a phone was essential to what happened. It was a once-in-a-lifetime thing.

(PS: I did have a camera with me...)

cliffordbarnabus
10-09-2017, 01:05
yeah man. it's such a personal thing. for me, i'm all for no tech. imagine summiting katahdin, or springer, or roan, or greylock, or just walking near a creek and you hear a "blooopy beep!" and you pull out your phone to see that the russians/north koreans/kardashians/trumps/whoevers did whatever wherever to whomever...

...worth it?

bliss is ignorance and versa vice...in my opinion.

Leo L.
10-09-2017, 04:33
I'm half-time self employed and half-time retired.
During my most recent multiday hike in the local mountains, I had just one single spot with reception in the middle of the hike.
Switched the phone on, received a call, and it was a customer offering me a new contract.
Even if I had a signal more often during a hike, I would not be able to use the phone for surfing and other nonsense, as it would run out of power way too fast.

BuckeyeBill
10-09-2017, 15:36
I have a smartphone but use it only when I am away from home or the shop. I have a few younger people working for me and they know that they need to stay off the phones when working. If there is a family emergency, their families are told to call the shop because the receptionist will always answer and come and get them. They are free to use their phones when on break, and we take several breaks, and they seem to accept the policy.

Malto
10-09-2017, 19:46
I have a love hate relationship with electronic devices on trail. Lately I have two, iPhone and my camera. I love both, iPhone to make last minute logistical changes, weather forecasts and a few minor features and the camera takes pictures. But both have their negative. iPhone if used for anything other than what is listed above is a distraction that I don't want. One of the beauties OP from my PCT hike was being oblivious to the outside world. The camera absolutely changes the dynamic for FOR from living the moment to capturing the moment. While I like to see the photos afterwards, I believe I am missing out on that moment.

Zea
10-10-2017, 14:37
If you start freaking out when there is no cell signal then you are a millennial. Seriously, my observation being around a lot of high school and college age people is that they see smartphones as a necessity where as older folks who spend most of their lives in the pre-smartphone era look upon them as a convenience.
I always wonder what is behind these types of generalizations. I think that often it may be that older generations are seeing the things younger people use phones for and deeming them as "less important", or are not able to understand them in context... kind of the same way it always seems to work with music from generation-to-generation. A middle aged career-addicted businessman, mom with kids at home, sports fan stuck working during a game, politics obsessed person, etc etc etc will all become just as disproportionately upset at lack of a phone signal, or even lack of wifi, as a younger person wanting to send a snapchat or what not. The reason that basically all hotels, and now even some campgrounds have free wifi is not because "millenials"(which includes up to age 34) were complaining, the older generation is just as responsible for this device oriented society.

I'm a returning student who takes both day and night courses(going on 4 years now)... days being mostly 18-24 year olds, nights being more in the 30-40's, with a few above and below that. Regardless of which class I'm in, before class starts and during any breaks, typically no one is talking, and there will only be one or two people not staring at their phones until the professor starts speaking again. This includes the professors. During lecture, it seems like phone usage is actually much heavier by the older crowd, possibly due to coordinating with families or children at home. One person may be using their phone to post on instagram or snapchat, and another may be setting up a babysitter for the next night or checking work emails. It doesn't mean either are more or less attached to their devices, everyone just uses them for different purposes.

I think that saying "I don't have a smartphone" or "I don't use my phone a lot" is becoming the new "I'm a vegan" for some people, enmeshing some sort of association with a self-righteous philosophy with a simple unimpressive act that no one really cares about. While the social impact of smartphones and the effects on neurotransmitter activity by the instant gratification is an intriguing debate to have, saying that 'millennials' are in some way in a special category of phone-usage just isn't really true. If using a phone a lot is something you view as a "bad" thing, then most age groups are very guilty.

Due to a lack of finances I have an old brick phone at the moment, but if I were to thru hike I would likely upgrade just for convenience sake. I hike often on the AT and have seen map apps and internet searches for shuttles/supply points/weather updates help people out before. If I'm doing a few days out in the backcountry I never bring my phone since service is usually non-existent anyway so why add the weight, but I do have a Delorme InReach if I'm solo... it has a weather option now so it basically covers all the bases for me.

PennyPincher
10-10-2017, 15:27
I would hike without a phone but would likely carry a digital camera. However, people who love me and worry about me want to know I haven't fallen off a mountain or been killed by man or beast at least once daily. And since it's odd to find public pay phones anymore, I guess I'll stick with my cell phone. After all, it doubles as a pretty good camera.

Puddlefish
10-10-2017, 16:01
I always wonder what is behind these types of generalizations. I think that often it may be that older generations are seeing the things younger people use phones for and deeming them as "less important", or are not able to understand them in context... kind of the same way it always seems to work with music from generation-to-generation. A middle aged career-addicted businessman, mom with kids at home, sports fan stuck working during a game, politics obsessed person, etc etc etc will all become just as disproportionately upset at lack of a phone signal, or even lack of wifi, as a younger person wanting to send a snapchat or what not. The reason that basically all hotels, and now even some campgrounds have free wifi is not because "millenials"(which includes up to age 34) were complaining, the older generation is just as responsible for this device oriented society.



I used to have great fun, when shopping with my teenage daughters. Without fail, We'd run across some middle aged or elderly person chatting on a cell phone, blocking a store entrance, or wandering aimlessly across a sidewalk, showing zero consideration for others. Whereupon, I'd mutter "stupid teenagers with their cell phones."

Many people, of all ages tend to demonize what they don't understand or care for, and blame that behavior on those they perceive as others.

cliffordbarnabus
10-11-2017, 00:10
I always wonder what is behind these types of generalizations. I think that often it may be that older generations are seeing the things younger people use phones for and deeming them as "less important", or are not able to understand them in context... kind of the same way it always seems to work with music from generation-to-generation. A middle aged career-addicted businessman, mom with kids at home, sports fan stuck working during a game, politics obsessed person, etc etc etc will all become just as disproportionately upset at lack of a phone signal, or even lack of wifi, as a younger person wanting to send a snapchat or what not. The reason that basically all hotels, and now even some campgrounds have free wifi is not because "millenials"(which includes up to age 34) were complaining, the older generation is just as responsible for this device oriented society.

I'm a returning student who takes both day and night courses(going on 4 years now)... days being mostly 18-24 year olds, nights being more in the 30-40's, with a few above and below that. Regardless of which class I'm in, before class starts and during any breaks, typically no one is talking, and there will only be one or two people not staring at their phones until the professor starts speaking again. This includes the professors. During lecture, it seems like phone usage is actually much heavier by the older crowd, possibly due to coordinating with families or children at home. One person may be using their phone to post on instagram or snapchat, and another may be setting up a babysitter for the next night or checking work emails. It doesn't mean either are more or less attached to their devices, everyone just uses them for different purposes.

I think that saying "I don't have a smartphone" or "I don't use my phone a lot" is becoming the new "I'm a vegan" for some people, enmeshing some sort of association with a self-righteous philosophy with a simple unimpressive act that no one really cares about. While the social impact of smartphones and the effects on neurotransmitter activity by the instant gratification is an intriguing debate to have, saying that 'millennials' are in some way in a special category of phone-usage just isn't really true. If using a phone a lot is something you view as a "bad" thing, then most age groups are very guilty.

Due to a lack of finances I have an old brick phone at the moment, but if I were to thru hike I would likely upgrade just for convenience sake. I hike often on the AT and have seen map apps and internet searches for shuttles/supply points/weather updates help people out before. If I'm doing a few days out in the backcountry I never bring my phone since service is usually non-existent anyway so why add the weight, but I do have a Delorme InReach if I'm solo... it has a weather option now so it basically covers all the bases for me.

awesome, well thought out post. love it! thanks!

evyck da fleet
10-11-2017, 07:38
I carry a smartphone for the camera feature and to make calls in town during resupply. It's also helpful for changing plans on the fly especially if a flight gets cancelled. Airplane mode will keep the outside world away for as long as you like.

I also carry maps maps and extra food so I'm not the dude (not directed at anyone) bragging about how light he hikes and what he doesn't need before asking to borrow my phone, maps or asking for a few of my snacks.

colorado_rob
10-11-2017, 08:36
Just my $0.02...

I really look forward to be disconnected during my hikes, it's a true pleasure to have this "forced" on me by either having no service (perhaps 50% or so of the places I hike has little or no coverage) or by having limited battery life, meaning I keep the phone in airplane mode, even on the AT where there is excellent coverage.

However, we live in what I consider to be a Golden Age of tech (and craft beer!), my modern mobile phone is fantastic at so many things; really decent camera, excellent navigation apps and jpeg map storage, kindle-app reader, music player, audio book player, all of these things I use extensively on the trail. All for about 7 ounces! Fantastic.

So, bottom line, I don't see why folks bad-mouth these wonderful devices, however I DO understand why folks bad-mouth staying connected to social media and whatever most of the time on the trail. Silly and counter to what I enjoy on the trail myself, which is being disconnected from "regular" society for a good bit. Yes I'm old and crotchety ! But apparently way less so (the crotchety part) then a lot of folks around my age on here.

TexasBob
10-11-2017, 15:27
I always wonder what is behind these types of generalizations. ............................
I taught high school for 5 years as a second career prior to recently retiring. Our school had a strict no cellphone use in class policy that if a student violated then their phone was taken away and returned at the end of the day. Students often were reduced to tears when their phones where confiscated until the end of the school day. They would literally beg not to have their phone taken. The thought of being out of touch for several hours was abhorrent to them. When my daughter was a teenager (now 21) the worst possible punishment in her eyes was loss of her cellphone. I have been taking classes for fun at a local community college since retirement and the 20 somethings I know there are very similar in their attitudes. Every person my age I know has a smartphone and they use them a lot but their attitude toward their phone is different than the young folks I have been around. I am not making a value judgement or demeaning younger folks just telling you my personal observations. I am not an anti-smartphone Luddite. I don't care how much you or anyone else uses their phone. That's their business not mine.

Zea
10-11-2017, 19:45
I taught high school for 5 years as a second career prior to recently retiring. Our school had a strict no cellphone use in class policy that if a student violated then their phone was taken away and returned at the end of the day. Students often were reduced to tears when their phones where confiscated until the end of the school day. They would literally beg not to have their phone taken. The thought of being out of touch for several hours was abhorrent to them. When my daughter was a teenager (now 21) the worst possible punishment in her eyes was loss of her cellphone. I have been taking classes for fun at a local community college since retirement and the 20 somethings I know there are very similar in their attitudes. Every person my age I know has a smartphone and they use them a lot but their attitude toward their phone is different than the young folks I have been around. I am not making a value judgement or demeaning younger folks just telling you my personal observations. I am not an anti-smartphone Luddite. I don't care how much you or anyone else uses their phone. That's their business not mine.

I see where you're coming from, but again it seems like a context issue to me. And if your students were "often reduced to tears" for having a phone taken away... there must have been other factors at play there. That is in no way representative of a typical teenager, and I'm hoping you were just using hyperbole.

If you were to tell a teenage girl in the 80's or 90's or whenever that they weren't allowed to use the home phone, it'd likely be a very similar reaction to the reaction your daughter had. It can be seen clearly even in pop-culture, just look at any number of older sitcoms that would regularly have the stereotypical teenage girl of the time getting into a shouting match with her parents because they wanted to use the phone she was hogging. It's a reaction to isolation, not deprivation of a device.

Adolescence is the most social period of our life, and deprivation of those social connections causes genuine stress. I remember being in middle school and having an "end of the world" feeling when my teacher caught a girl I liked passing a note to me, and separated us. Taking a phone away is not a whole lot different.

Today, a gigantic portion of socialization occurs with phones and the internet, with young people as well as older. If your online(and txt) personas aren't up to date, you get left out, and this is not just inconvenient but actually can be life-changing when you're younger. There are plenty of opinions on the negatives of the impersonal-nature of web-based social lives, but that's a completely different discussion. Almost all of us are hopelessly addicted to instant gratification, whether it's from checking our Facebook likes, looking at our stock profiles, seeing "3 new texts" on our phone, scrolling the internet, turning on a TV, etc etc etc.

I'd just hate to see that people are neglecting technology that can make them easily and generally/measurably safer(or even just have a better time) in the back country, to maintain this strange "unconnected" philosophy which has proved irrelevant in nearly all other ways we live our lives. That said I'd still way rather be in a vast wilderness with no connection to society, and no bailout options except for my own experience mixed with intellect, but I settle for a happy medium since it's the responsible thing to do.

TexasBob
10-11-2017, 21:19
I see where you're coming from, but again it seems like a context issue to me. And if your students were "often reduced to tears" for having a phone taken away... there must have been other factors at play there. That is in no way representative of a typical teenager, and I'm hoping you were just using hyperbole..............
Adolescence is the most social period of our life, and deprivation of those social connections causes genuine stress. I remember being in middle school and having an "end of the world" feeling when my teacher caught a girl I liked passing a note to me, and separated us. Taking a phone away is not a whole lot different.
Today, a gigantic portion of socialization occurs with phones and the internet, with young people as well as older. If your online(and txt) personas aren't up to date, you get left out, and this is not just inconvenient but actually can be life-changing when you're younger..........

I wasn't using hyperbole and you have explained in eloquent terms why these students reacted the way they did and why it is a natural for an adolescent (or young adult) to have an entirely different view of the importance of a smartphone than an older person.

cliffordbarnabus
10-11-2017, 23:25
it's all personal choice. bob dylan got the noble, for amidst other things, saying that the times are changin'.

i get it. i don't do facebook, but i know what a like is...

...i guess i just "like" a snickers while sitting on a shaded rock more. for me. not applying that to anyone else. but give me nougat (whatever that is) and caramel and peanuts and chocolate and that's a helluva thumbs-up for me!

Steamm
10-12-2017, 00:10
Are you seeing solar chargers everywhere too? They add weight but seem indenspenable to modern trail communication. Puerto Rico needs thousands!

Heliotrope
10-12-2017, 06:19
I bring my smartphone.

Normally it's in airplane mode, so it isn't going to ring with a call or chime with an incoming message.

It serves me as a store of field notes, a few reference books, an atlas, a secondary navigation system, maybe the novel I'm reading, a camera, .... just about everything but a telephone and text messenger.

If I brought a notebook, or a field guide to birds of flowers, or a deck of maps, or a paperback novel, or a conventional camera, most hikers wouldn't say a word. Those are traditional and accepted things to have in a pack.

But there are always a few who say my device ruins their wilderness experience, once they learn it's there. And ordinarily they won't, because unless I'm actually looking something up or taking pictures or making notes, it stays put away. Reading on it is by myself, in my tent, so the light from the panel won't bother anyone. (Just as I'd do with a paperback novel and flashlight, back in a bygone time.) I don't see much of a difference, but I recognize that others do, and try not to whip out the phone in front of people who might mind.

In any case, you're not going to put the genie back in the bottle.

Perhaps tech etiquette is the issue here. Being considerate of others' wilderness experience. I recently had hikers come up from behind me on trail having a loud and lively conversation only to discover it was only one hiker on a f.....g phone.




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

adamkrz
10-12-2017, 07:30
I will say that smartphones ruined a yearly hike between friends - for many years a group of us would get together for a week long hike and enjoy nature and nightly Bourbon plus stories around the fire, when smartphones started coming to our hikes it became a gathering of just looking at our phones at every stop and retreating to the tents every night.

Now it's just me and a rescue dog and so far he's not asked for a phone.

Puddlefish
10-12-2017, 09:44
I wasn't using hyperbole and you have explained in eloquent terms why these students reacted the way they did and why it is a natural for an adolescent (or young adult) to have an entirely different view of the importance of a smartphone than an older person.

You started off with a very specific statement about how an entire generation behaves. You then shared an anecdote about how young people get unhappy when you revoke communication/entertainment privileges.

Maybe we could talk about hiking, instead of bashing an entire generation, which will go through the same cycle of personal growth as every other generation that's existed since the dawn of mankind.

cliffordbarnabus
10-12-2017, 10:26
I will say that smartphones ruined a yearly hike between friends - for many years a group of us would get together for a week long hike and enjoy nature and nightly Bourbon plus stories around the fire, when smartphones started coming to our hikes it became a gathering of just looking at our phones at every stop and retreating to the tents every night.

Now it's just me and a rescue dog and so far he's not asked for a phone.

you think your rescue dog is begging for that dog biscuit?? heck no! he's begging for a samsung galaxy s9 with unlimited talk, text, and internet!

ha!

bummer how your trips with your buddies have turned out...

firesign
10-12-2017, 10:51
95% for phones.
How many of you carry a PLB or equivalent in case of emergency. Navigation is one thing, but how do you call in the air cav in an emergency?

gpburdelljr
10-12-2017, 11:35
Apple came out with the iPhone 10 years ago.
When I joined this forum 6 years ago many people on the forum were rabidly against phones on the trail, but now there is more acceptance.
In another 5 years it will be a nonissue.

Leo L.
10-12-2017, 13:02
...
In another 5 years it will be a nonissue.
Maybe because the first ones will show up on the trail wearing AR goggles?