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  1. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by Puddlefish View Post
    Ah, I missed that. I'm still figuring out this internet thing. Anyway, it's above 40 degree now, I'm going to go climb a hill. (Yeah, I am a giant cold wimp.) It's been fun chatting.
    Yes, always fun.

  2. #42
    Registered User evyck da fleet's Avatar
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    Iíll start with I donít believe in absolutes. Nothing is 100% better or worse.

    I carried an iPhone on my thru to double as a camera. It stayed on airplane mode and I carried paper maps. Now when I got into town hopping on the internet to pay bills or let fam and buds Iím good is convenient and doesnít take away from the non outdoor experience Iím having at the moment.

    Mock smartphones if if you will but I can recreate my thru my looking at the photos and their time stamps to recall memories that I didnít capture with a photo.

    if someone else wants to hike the trail listening to books on tape instead of sitting on the couch, thatís fine with me,

  3. #43
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    To the OP's Question - The question of are we 'Over-Conveniented' and 'Over-Safed' is one each person must answer for themselves. For me the answer is I would be if I carried a ton of electronic crap, but I don't.

    Most I the times I do not bring a cell phone because I do not own one. No apps. no GPS, I use paper maps. It can be inconvenient at times, I do worry about the folks back home, but that is the path I choose.

    No phone and no In-reach' I guess means less safety, but I'm not particularly worried about myself. If I happened on someone on the trail who needed help I would feel bad about not being able to make a call, so hopefully they brought their phone

    I do not bring a watch or anything that plays music. I would rather listen to nature than tune it all out by wearing headphones.

    I don't care what other people do, because I'm usually not camping anywhere near them anyways. I do get annoyed if I get to the top of a beautiful mountain pass and someone is playing music or blabbing on their cell phone. I have been know to wait for a couple hours if that is what it takes to get that view to myself, because damn it I earned it, and I'm in no hurry anyway.

    Crazy has it sounds I have been know to carry a full blown laptop in my backpack because when I finally get to town I use it as my communication device, research device, and to process photos. I typically only use it in town, I started carrying in when I got tired waiting for computers at the public libraries.

    The one electronic device I use and carry on the trail is a camera.
    ďFor of all sad words of tongue or pen,
    the saddest are these, 'It might have been.Ē


    John Greenleaf Whittier

  4. #44

  5. #45
    GoldenBear's Avatar
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    Exclamation In answer to your initial question

    > the whole idea of a mountain hike is about getting out and enjoying nature, and separating oneself
    > from the artificiality and cushy conveniences of urban/suburban society. Isnít it?

    No.


    The purpose of a mountain hike is whatever you want it to be.
    Last edited by GoldenBear; 04-04-2019 at 22:09.

  6. #46

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    So what level of tech is appropriate? AT shelters are tech. A picnic table is tech. A TH sign is tech. Picking up a stick to use for walking is tech. Sleeping in a pile of leaves to stay warm is tech. Clothing is tech. Those white blazes and 30" wide tread and trail construction so many are fond are tech. That convenient fondly embraced nearby resupply and hitching a ride or walking a road is tech and the info that lets you know it's there is tech. Getting to the TH involves tech. A map is tech. A sextant, compass, or GPS is tech. That convenient bridge that crosses a creek or river is tech. All that shart that Tipi hauls in is tech including involved in the avocados he has flown in from somewhere else and how they're commercially grown. All the shart I take on a hike including the techniques and skills that allow UL and SUL kits are tech. Even cultures intimately close to Nature such as Native Americans, Inuits, Maya, Nasca, Olmec, Inca, Maori, Aztecs, Polynesians, Ancient Persians, Druids, etc all used tech. But it wasn't necessarily thought of tech at the time. Do you think Naturalist Muir didn't use and apply tech? Tech is not just the physical materialistic goods and service but the methods, skills and techniques. How can we have too much skills? What kept Native Americans flourishing in organized societies was tech, relying on their natural tech skills as much as their material technological advancements. Even Les Stroud, Tom Brown Jr, Cody Lundin, Bear Gryllis, Naked & Afraid reality "stars" are using tech.

  7. #47

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    If the real deal Les Stroud started playing that freakin harmonica and we could hear it would it technologically bother us?

  8. #48

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    Of course there're imposing fart ph mobile computer addicts just as I'm a paper map addict with 17K WB BS blog posts. Stripping tech down to the literally bare naked with only the skill set to get through just 24 hrs would be a very very rare individual. Try it...just once! THEN, come back and bitch about tech and what level is essential.

  9. #49

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    Dont mistake the huge tech support those N&A contestants have! That's TV shart.

    Go watch Castaway. Try it. See what happens when an abscessed tooth needs removed and tech is an ice skate. No Vit I. No novocaine. No Jack D.

  10. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by greenpete View Post
    Donít devices like handheld computers (iPhones) and various ďappsĒ compromise the back-to-nature experience?
    I suppose when we take a good look at these long trails and today's mindset toward them (a quest to conquer or complete), the "back-to-nature" experience you speak of is but a small part of why so many are out there. I know it's precisely why I head out, and completing a trail is usually only a letdown. But I'm not sure if seeking solitude or time with nature is of much importance to others. Many claim that it is, but they seem more excited to proclaim that they "did" the AT (and/or other trails), rather than to continue doing. I know we're not talking about thru-hiking specifically here, but its very essence is goal-oriented, and the primary goal is to go the distance (and then to brag about it online!), not to connect or reconnect with nature.

    I'm with imscotty in that I don't care what others do, so long as it doesn't infringe on my reasons. If it does, I try not to find fault. I simply move onward or elsewhere, looking to experience nature/wilderness/a human-free environment more intimately, on their terms. That may mean creating some sort of false divide between civilization and all our communication gadgetry (which I tend to view as interference in the process), with a minimalized approach to heading out. (No electronic stuff; tarp rather than tent; and so forth.) Ever since I was a child it's been a game for me to see what I could do without, and what I might thus develop within. Experience can teach us what we could do without, and whether we want to.

    I love these conversations!

  11. #51
    Registered User greenpete's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Puddlefish View Post
    No, I've not seen it go both ways. I've never been internet lectured that I'm enjoying nature the wrong way because I don't bring a smart phone. I've been mocked because I love music more than I love birdsong.

    I sat for an hour on a trail up the side of Hawk Mountain watching ... (some sort of non hawk raptors, I forget what kind) circling and diving to hunt. I was listening to lovely music the entire time. I stopped for ten minutes and watched a bunny eating clover on the side of the trail once, it was not ten feet from me. I took a pic and sent it to my bunny loving daughter. A few weeks later, I sent a pic from the trail of a westbound brightly shelled turtle, to my turtle loving daughter.

    One can just as easily miss things unfolding one's big paper map. One can sit an a canvas tent and read a paper novel, or writing in a paper trail diary and be anti social, just as easily as one can by sitting off to the side of a shelter with one's nose in a phone checking the box scores of your favorite sportsball team. You can sit quietly by the side of the trail and knit, if that's your thing.

    The electronic device is not the determining factor on if you do, or if you don't enjoy the outdoors, it's not the determining factor on if you socialize with others on the trail. Why would you (the general you, not the specific you) need to worry if I'm enjoying my trail experience properly? It's my trail experience, and I'm minding my own business.
    Puddlefish, I think it's great that you're able to enjoy raptors, turtles, and bunnies while listening to "lovely music" and taking many photos. Do you think maybe your experience would be even more enhanced by listening to a soft wind, and not having your visual attention diverted by focusing your camera, trying to get the best angle, checking the photo you just took, then maybe repeating the process if you don't like that photo? I'm not being sarcastic, I'm serious. No matter what you say, no matter how little or great, your nature experience has been compromised by fiddling with your technology. And this is just a camera. Throw in a smartphone, GPS, apps...whatever...and I hope you can see what I'm getting at. And you're a boomer (or close to it). Imagine how tempting these devices are to a millennial (like my son) who has been spoon-fed digital chocolate almost their entire life (though not by me). Then put them out on the trail.

    I'm not "lecturing." I'm just stressing an observation of mine, and posing the question "Do you think hikers are going too far with the technology?" Others have said that hikers with boom boxes and cells have disturbed their peace on the trail. A legitimate beef. Someone's personal drone whizzed and buzzed over my head in Yosemite last year and f***ed up an otherwise luscious experience at Sunrise Lake. So this obsession with technology DOES affect other people.

    It's like the argument against cigarette smoking in public places. Sure, if you want to clog your lungs with nicotine, go right ahead...Smoke Your Own Smoke (SYOS) out by the dumpster...but I'd like to eat my meal, or smell the honeysuckle without inhaling your second-hand tobacco smoke, thank you.
    Last edited by greenpete; 04-04-2019 at 14:41. Reason: Changed word to make more sense

  12. #52
    Registered User greenpete's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=Uriah;2243070]...I'm not sure if seeking solitude or time with nature is of much importance to others. Many claim that it is, but they seem more excited to proclaim that they "did" the AT (and/or other trails), rather than to continue doing. I know we're not talking about thru-hiking specifically here, but its very essence is goal-oriented, and the primary goal is to go the distance (and then to brag about it online!), not to connect or reconnect with nature.

    I'm with imscotty in that I don't care what others do, so long as it doesn't infringe on my reasons.QUOTE]

    Good post, I agree. I think more hikers are about the "achievement," and broadcasting it to others, than about appreciating nature...unfortunately.
    Last edited by greenpete; 04-04-2019 at 14:37. Reason: Changed word to make better sense

  13. #53

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    I carry a flip-flop, and that's how i like it. As for the OP, start a poll.

  14. #54
    Registered User greenpete's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stephanD View Post
    I carry a flip-flop, and that's how i like it.
    Me too, Stephan. Keep it for emergency, but leave it off most of the time.

  15. #55

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    [QUOTE=greenpete;2243073]...great that you're able to enjoy raptors, turtles, and bunnies while listening to "lovely music" and taking many photos. Do you think maybe your experience would be even more enhanced by listening to a soft wind, and not having your visual attention diverted by focusing your camera, trying to get the best angle, checking the photo you just took, then maybe repeating the process if you don't like that photo?...
    ...your nature experience has been compromised by fiddling with your technology. And this is just a camera. Throw in a smartphone, GPS, apps...whatever...and I hope you can see what I'm getting at.
    I'm not "lecturing." I'm just stressing an observation of mine, and posing the question "Do you think hikers are going too far with the technology?" Others have said that hikers with boom boxes and cells have disturbed their peace on the trail. A legitimate beef. Someone's personal drone whizzed and buzzed over my head in Yosemite last year and f***ed up an otherwise luscious experience at Sunrise Lake. So this obsession with technology DOES affect other people.[Quote]


    The question was posed to someone else but I absolutely do understand what you're saying Greenpete. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JfjkiTB1fHQ


    Ben Stiller: When are you going to take it(picture)?

    Sean Penn: Sometimes, I don't. If I like a moment, I mean me, personally, I don' t like to have the distraction of the camera. I just want to stay...in it. Yeah, right there. Right here.

    Sean is there, in it, absorbed, connected in the moment. Did you feel it? I did. I felt like I was having the moment with him. I could see through his eyes, having the experience as he did. That's connecting in different aspects. RICH!

    Consider the worth of those pics? Consider the effort in getting to that place in the world and into that situation to locate, clearly frame, the lighting, and get a front cover Nat Geo cover shot of a snow leopard as a professional photographer? Yet Sean didn't lose himself in technology. He even pulls back from the camera having the profound moment for himself. Look at his face. Hear his voice. That's being there in the moment ported on film!

  16. #56

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    My experience has been shooting video on my phone has caused me to slow down and appreciate the smaller things. I feel zen getting a good shot - and not for others - just for my own record. Some prefer to record things in a journal. I prefer a visual record. Sitting down for 25 minutes to record a time lapse is peaceful to me. I understand to some, getting on the phone reminds them of their life off trail and all the weight that comes with it. I donít feel that. If you do, then by all means disconnect. To me the phone is like a piece of paper - a tool. I donít get anxiety or sucked into the intrawebs by looking up a GPS location or checking the weather.

    Personally I try to focus on reducing electronics both on and off the trail. I wonít eliminate them totally in both places but I do hope to reduce it to only what is necessary. I used to love watching football but realized how much more time I could be spending with my kids by forgoing it. I feel like folks waste more time in front of a TV than playing on their phone in the wilderness. Americans spend huge amounts of time consuming media. From what Iíve seen in the wilderness, itís a heck of a lot less than at home.

  17. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Southeast View Post
    Please expound... Iím not catching the point you are trying to make. Itís probably just me being dense.
    For most people, getting outdoors is a deliberate change. Staying "connected" is toxic to that aim. The behavior of an addict, really. Having people around you in the outdoors glued to their screens is like walking down a street with a bunch of carousing drunks. I have the good fortune to have no cell coverage at all where I backpack, solving the problem nicely.
    "It's fun to have fun, but you have to know how." ---Dr. Seuss

  18. #58
    Registered User greenpete's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Southeast View Post
    My experience has been shooting video on my phone has caused me to slow down and appreciate the smaller things. I feel zen getting a good shot - and not for others - just for my own record. Some prefer to record things in a journal. I prefer a visual record.

    Personally I try to focus on reducing electronics both on and off the trail...I feel like folks waste more time in front of a TV than playing on their phone in the wilderness. Americans spend huge amounts of time consuming media. From what I’ve seen in the wilderness, it’s a heck of a lot less than at home.
    I completely agree about reducing electronics both on and offtrail, and the insidiousness of TV. I grew up with the TV being practically a babysitter for me, and I regret so much time glued to that glass teat. And I feel smartphones are merely television - magnified - on a 24/7 basis. One can take this addictive device anywhere, at any time...and people do it, everywhere.

    It's a matter of degree. People like yourself, who appreciate the aesthetics of nature and want to capture it on film, are one thing. But like I said to another commenter, most hikers are less about nature's aesthetics than their "achievement," then broadcasting their achievement to others. This "Me, Me, Me" tendency has exploded since the advent of social media. And it's on the trail almost as much as it's on the street.

  19. #59

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    Quote Originally Posted by greenpete View Post
    Puddlefish, I think it's great that you're able to enjoy raptors, turtles, and bunnies while listening to "lovely music" and taking many photos. Do you think maybe your experience would be even more enhanced by listening to a soft wind, and not having your visual attention diverted by focusing your camera, trying to get the best angle, checking the photo you just took, then maybe repeating the process if you don't like that photo? I'm not being sarcastic, I'm serious. No matter what you say, no matter how little or great, your nature experience has been compromised by fiddling with your technology. And this is just a camera. Throw in a smartphone, GPS, apps...whatever...and I hope you can see what I'm getting at. And you're a boomer (or close to it). Imagine how tempting these devices are to a millennial (like my son) who has been spoon-fed digital chocolate almost their entire life (though not by me). Then put them out on the trail.

    I'm not "lecturing." I'm just stressing an observation of mine, and posing the question "Do you think hikers are going too far with the technology?" Others have said that hikers with boom boxes and cells have disturbed their peace on the trail. A legitimate beef. Someone's personal drone whizzed and buzzed over my head in Yosemite last year and f***ed up an otherwise luscious experience at Sunrise Lake. So this obsession with technology DOES affect other people.

    It's like the argument against cigarette smoking in public places. Sure, if you want to clog your lungs with nicotine, go right ahead...Smoke Your Own Smoke (SYOM) out by the dumpster...but I'd like to eat my meal, or smell the honeysuckle without inhaling your second-hand tobacco smoke, thank you.
    Do you imagine it's only one choice or another, or that I'm incapable of deciding for myself what enhances my own hike on any given day? I find it bizarre that anyone would presume to suggest I'm not enjoying nature properly, or that their nature experience is somehow more pure than mine for any reason at all.

    I just climbed the local hill, it was windy, and I could hear wind, windy wind, creaking trees, some wind, my micro spikes crunching along, and more wind. I put in the ear phones, and listened to some Shannon and the Clams/Natalie Merchant/Big Thief, it perked me right up and I climbed forth with renewed enthusiasm, taking in the gorgeous views. On the way back down, I chatted with a couple of nice ladies as we slowly navigated the ice. That was what I needed today. Last fall, I hiked out to a beaver dam, and had a nice lunch, just listening to the river, that was what I needed that day.

    I think far too many people get obsessed about cell phones because they're lonely, and people out on the trails... aren't paying attention to them, like they would prefer. It's their neediness for attention that's being disturbed. Those kids are talking to each other, and not to me, I blame cell phones! Back in the day, I could barge into anyone's conversation like a boss! They're spending time looking at a map on a screen, instead of a map on paper! Oh, noes! They're probably going to die!

    I can only suggest, if you can't beat them, join them. Use the Guthook app, it's glorious. Look, the little dot that represents me, is moving towards the next water source! I'm halfway up the hill to the shelter, I think I'll take an hour for lunch here! After the first day the novelty wears off, and you'll rarely glance at it. It's entirely your decision how often you want to peek. You can still talk to people to find the next water source, or ask the goofy question "am I near the top yet!?"... again, entirely your choice. You don't have to be tethered to the phone constantly.

    Sure electronics have the potential to cause disturbances, much like many many other things on the trail. You can't paint all electronics users with the same broad brush. You can't paint all shelter users/alcohol users/smokers/pet owners/old men/young people/etc. with the same broad brush. The technology doesn't mess up your experience unless you let it, same as all the other human behavior you will encounter.

    In 600 miles on the AT, I heard someone's music exactly once. A group of young folk were at a hostel, gathered around a phone, and going through the Hip Hop top 100, and testing their (poor) voices and memories of lyrics and just generally having a blast. I chimed in with the Humpty Dance, the only hip hop song I know, and was pleased it was on their list. It's now a fond memory and part of my AT experience.

    No electronics on the trail has ever annoyed me. Yeah, I've been briefly flustered by someone talking on a phone, who I thought was talking to me, but didn't dwell on it, or suggest that her day was ruined by her lack of communion with nature, feeling bad for her, or mocking her for doing her hike wrong. Wait, I take that back, I've been annoyed by a bright white flashlight/headlamp shined on my tent a few times, so let's start a thread about light users aren't appreciating the beauty of the night sky properly?

    Also, you don't have to focus phone cameras. I literally can give my phone a quick twist, which turns on the camera function without need to go through menus, or even turn it on first. Then touch the screen. Even I can do it, it's brainless.

  20. #60

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    When i'm hiking, i'm as low tech as possible; a flip flop phone and a charger. But i like to watch u-tube hiking videos/vlogs or whatever they call them these days. for example, i like to watch 'Second Chance' the current undisputed WB star, among a few others. so i guess there's some hypocrisy here.

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