PDA

View Full Version : Electronic gear



El Toro '94
06-14-2009, 13:38
Just wondering who all carries things like cell phones. ipods, blackberry, even laptops on thru hikes. If so, why? Not criticizing, if you do or don't just curious. When I last thruhiked, the only stuff like that I saw was a walkman. Am thinking of taking my ipod for music, and maybe an NOAA radio for weather reports (will be in VA, TN/NC in Jan & Feb). Going without a cell will be tough, never thought I would be addicted to the convience of one, but I am-gonna have to go without, as the reason I like long distance hiking is being away from all that stuff.
Was wondering if say buying a tracfone, or prepaid cell for use when in town and then bouncing it to my next stop be a good idea, or just a waste of resources?

vamelungeon
06-14-2009, 14:23
I like having access to a cell phone for emergencies. You'd be surprised at the amount of cell coverage even in remote areas in the mountains. I DON'T want anyone calling me if I'm in the woods, though, which is why I resisted getting a cell phone for years.

They don't weight that much, and could save your life or someone else's life.

bigcranky
06-14-2009, 14:33
A prepaid cell phone would actually be a pretty good idea for a thru-hike. No monthly bills to worry about, and they can be less than 10 cents a minute usage charge. Grab a <4 ounce phone and toss it in the pack for emergency use, calling family from town, etc.

I still carry a phone card, but there are fewer and fewer pay phones these days.

El Toro '94
06-14-2009, 14:46
The prepaid cell is looking better and better, though I'll probably just bounce it up/down the trail. Do not want it in my pack-too much temptation to use it uneccessarily and don't want to receive calls in the woods.
What about battery life and/or availability? Don't want to buy something and have it not work when I get to town and need to use it.

warraghiyagey
06-14-2009, 14:49
I don't carry any electornic devices. . . . I go to the trail for the trail:sun:sun:sun

Cabin Fever
06-14-2009, 15:02
Here's a outlandish though...if you don't want to be called, turn the phone off. If you need it, turn it on, use it, turn it off.

Prepaid phone sounds pretty good though. AT&T has some out now. I think they are called GoPhones.

bigcranky
06-14-2009, 15:44
I took my regular cell phone on my Georgia section hike in March. I used it once or twice a day to check for text messages from my daughter, who was on a spring break trip to the Southwest, and to call my wife. Otherwise it was turned off in my pack. So no one could call me, and the battery still had four bars at the end of the week.

mooseboy
06-14-2009, 15:58
Here's a outlandish though...if you don't want to be called, turn the phone off. If you need it, turn it on, use it, turn it off.

Exactly. Your battery would die pretty quickly anyway if you left it on the whole time.

I recently bought this device for trail-charging:
http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?t=50596

I haven't tested it on the trail yet, but have been testing it out at home, and it will seem to be very useful when I'm not near an outlet for a good while... (I'll have both a cell phone and iPod and it works on both) I guess if I had an iPhone there'd be even less weight...

vamelungeon
06-14-2009, 16:05
Here's a outlandish though...if you don't want to be called, turn the phone off. If you need it, turn it on, use it, turn it off.



[sarcasm on] Wow! I never thought of that! [sarcasm off] :rolleyes:

Summit
06-14-2009, 17:37
Depends on your situation, but if you have a significant other who may tend to worry about your well being, then a cell phone makes perfect sense at 4 oz or so. Cell phones make shuttles to towns for food resupplies and hotels/hostels much easier, saving many idle hours hitch hiking over the course of a thru.

My Windows mobile cell phone (at 7 oz), in addition to cell phone benefits, provides web access for weather updates, Bible and eBook reader capabilities. Much lighter than a single paper back book.

Other electronic devices such as Ipods or other music players, or GPS devices fall into the personal choice realm. No right or wrong. If you're willing and want to carry them, then do so and don't worry about detractors.

I use an electronic water treatment solution (Steripen), and find it faster, ligher and more convenient than traditional pump filters, and without taste altering that tablets and drops cause.

Johnny Swank
06-14-2009, 21:23
Everyone's got to figure out where they stand with electronic at some point. From my thru-hiker study, most people are ambivalent at best to other's electronics, and as long as you show some common courtesy, everything's cool. Step away from the shelter to take a call or text. (that was mentioned numerous times)

Having said that, I carry a cell phone all the time now (didn't use too.) I've been on 2 trips where I had a family member pass away while I was gone. The first time they couldn't get in touch with me (no phone), but I got a text message the second time and was able to make it back for my grandmother's funeral.

Payphones are disappearing everyday, and pre-paid phones are a great deal if you're just going to be checking in from time to time.

NCYankee
06-15-2009, 08:10
I carry my Blackberry with me on the trail. I use it to call my wife each night, when possible (this is part of our deal) and I use it to journal rather than carrying a pen and paper. To each their own. Anytime I use a cell phone I always try to go as far away from other people as possible and talk quietly, but it is really to each their own.

I also carry an iPod with me, but normally I wear just one earbud so that I am not in a complete bubble. Music really helps on some of those climbs.

sly dog
06-15-2009, 09:43
I carry a phone for emergency like most others, it is in my pack and turned off. Even if I turn it on I make sure the ringer and text alert is on vibrate so no one ever has to hear it. As far as music, I love the stuff but I never let it interfear with other hikers unless they want it on. I have a little battery powered speaker that plugs into my MP3 player but usually it is used on low in my tent so I am the only one who hears it.

mudhead
06-15-2009, 14:28
FYI- Read all the fine print. I bought a prepaid ATT Razr as a gift. Got her 2 $25 time cards. My work was done.

Except- The $25 and $50 cards expire 90 days after activation. The $100 is good for 1 year. I think I am correct with the time frame. Should have bought the $100 time card from the gitgo. There are also some rollover type things dependent on how you do the second card.

All very confusing. Far too confusing for me.

I am so glad I don't have to deal with it.

OldStormcrow
06-15-2009, 14:32
I bought a cell phone primarily because I hike solo and wanted it for emergencies. I quickly discovered that if I was by myself in any place remote enough to run into an emergency, medical or otherwise, the chances of getting a signal were quite slim. In towns and at road crossings are not where I anticipate a need for one.

Lemni Skate
06-15-2009, 14:42
I take a cell phone. It's off unless I need it. I try to never use it where other hikers might see me (kinda like pooping in the woods).

I took an ipod to listen to at night before I went to sleep last week. I confess to using it to get up some of the bigger hills.

CowHead
06-16-2009, 10:00
I carry my Blackberry with me on the trail. I use it to call my wife each night, when possible (this is part of our deal) and I use it to journal rather than carrying a pen and paper. To each their own. Anytime I use a cell phone I always try to go as far away from other people as possible and talk quietly, but it is really to each their own.

I also carry an iPod with me, but normally I wear just one earbud so that I am not in a complete bubble. Music really helps on some of those climbs.

Amen to the music my first hike I was out of breath singing so loud going uphill my favorite song is row row row your boat get your but up that hill, now I carry pod it let it do the music :banana

Manwich
06-16-2009, 10:12
I take a cell phone. It's off unless I need it. I try to never use it where other hikers might see me (kinda like pooping in the woods).

Precisely this for me as well. Have 8 gigs of music on it too in case I want to listen to some pink floyd or something

10-K
06-17-2009, 13:23
I take a cell phone, and check it a few times a day for messages. I'd love to be one of those folks who "get away from it all" but I've got a wife, kids and a business and need to be accessible.

If I'm out more than 2-3 days I've got a 1.9 oz midland NOAA weather radio I bring along.

Wise Old Owl
06-17-2009, 13:37
Just wondering who all carries things like cell phones. ipods, blackberry, even laptops on thru hikes. If so, why? Not criticizing, if you do or don't just curious. When I last thruhiked, the only stuff like that I saw was a walkman. Am thinking of taking my ipod for music, and maybe an NOAA radio for weather reports (will be in VA, TN/NC in Jan & Feb). Going without a cell will be tough, never thought I would be addicted to the convience of one, but I am-gonna have to go without, as the reason I like long distance hiking is being away from all that stuff.
Was wondering if say buying a tracfone, or prepaid cell for use when in town and then bouncing it to my next stop be a good idea, or just a waste of resources?


Today some two way radios include the Noaa and my Nokia cell phone has Media Net which gives me zoomable maps of the local area and where the storms are. I can call up weather & news. The phone has MP3 and a 4 meg chip so I can listen to my favorite CD's and all I have to carry is a spare recharged battery. So look for things that offer light weight and double duty,

Cabin Fever
06-17-2009, 14:39
So look for things that offer light weight and double duty,

Also known as an iPhone.

Tenderheart
06-17-2009, 14:49
Boy, things sure have changed in the hiking community since 2000. Pretty much all electronic gear was taboo then. Makes you wonder. Is it real or is it memorex???

litefoot 2000

Mags
06-17-2009, 14:57
http://www.pmags.com/joomla/index.php/Media/wildbeat_pt1.html


Just an observation...

10 yrs ago, a call about once a week to check in was expected and kosher.

5 yrs ago, cell phone technology was (is) ubiquitous. Reception, not so much.
A call every 2-3 days was kosher.

Now? It is expected on a cultural level and by loved ones that there is a DAILY check-in.

I am not going to argue if that is good or bad. As I said, that's a rube's game. One no one can win. (cf. guns, knives, filters, blah blah blah)


I will say that because of technology, people can (and do) check in daily. Because they must? Or because they can? Or a little of both?

It is not just a technological shift, but a cultural one as well.

SunnyWalker
06-18-2009, 00:42
I like carrying an I Pod for entertainment. I bounce the phone in my bounce box or carry a phone card.