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Thread: Electronics

  1. #121
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    04-23-2020
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    Wilton, Connecticut
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    52
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    This is an interesting thread. I guess I'm one of the technology hikers. I carry a 20,000 Anker on long hikes, along with a phone and InReach. The larger battery pack is really so I don't have to be glued to towns for recharging. I also blog and post to IG, FB and TW at the end of the day. Fortunately today's technology makes this very easy so I don't burn a lot of time using technology. I enjoy writing, and my family loves following along.

    That said, I love the wilderness and respect those around me. I don't camp much near people or shelters and can't remember when another hiker bothered me with their technology. I backpack fairly often. I don't talk on my phone around other hikers or campers, and really only when in town. I certainly don't use my speaker phone. I also leave the phone on airplane mode during the day and just use it for photos.

    Technology is inevitable, and for me personally, it does not diminish my backpacking experience. In some ways it enhances it and allows me to enjoy my surroundings more.

    I'm very sensitive, so please don't beat up on me too hard.

  2. #122

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    Excellent point! The issue really isn't in technology itself, were that the case there would be a hue and cry against the feel of manmade fabrics versus canvass, the heresy of internal frame packs, the noise of propane stoves, and hiking shoes not made of leather and don't have that soul-satisfying creak walking over ledge and rock. Fortunately, this gear has benefited from technology improvements just as electronics have. I cannot imagine hiking in jeans, cotton tees, with a wood frame pack creaking with every move, though I used that stuff many decades ago before the backpacking industry started modernizing equipment and since that time have avoided 10-pound blue jeans soaked from rain. Huzzah.

    Your second paragraph really highlights the issue being about manners and appropriate use than it is about technology itself. Most people use some form of electronics when hiking, from step counting watches and GPS devices to smart phones and trekking applications for specific trails. As the electronic frontier expanded into this activity, much like the LNT philosophy, it took a while for people to adapt to a social contract that established guidelines on appropriate use of this equipment.

    Knuckleheads exist in all things and for our community are usually easy to spot. Digging their initials into shelter walls, tables, signs, and trees as a means to boost shallow legacy, are uninterested illness spread by refusing to dig proper cat holes or observe basic hygiene to stem norovirus, and are typically a constant source of noise late into the night until the booze is gone. Under the "Ignorance Can Be Cured, It's Stupid That's Forever" doctrine, sometimes all that is needed is a quiet word to provide some perspective and education. Some, however, are destined to be stupid forever, their names scribed on outhouse walls for all to see.

  3. #123
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    08-14-2015
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    Rome, Georgia
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    Four days ago I staggered into a hostel north of I-81 in Virginia, beaten to death by a long southern summer day. I spent the next couple of hours mostly seated, reading a book of Jack London stories, cooking dinner, and talking with two very nice gentlemen who came in just behind me. They were much more active than I was - recharging their phones, calling and texting loved ones, showering, laundering, cooking, talking companionably. Electronics gave them several advantages: communication, ready-at-hand information about weather and conditions up the trail, a sense of security. It was apparent that, to them (and most hikers today), whatever disadvantages exist are more than offset by the advantages. Do the disadvantages register anymore, or is it akin to a smoker who no longer smells the smoke on his or her clothes?
    Last edited by Dan Roper; 07-18-2020 at 10:28.

  4. #124
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    04-23-2020
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    Wilton, Connecticut
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    Interesting question. The only real disadvantage for me is really just the weight of the electronics. The Anker battery pack I carry is heavy. I keep my base weight for 3 season hiking around 13 pounds so the weight does not bother me too much. The heavier battery also keeps me from being dependent on towns for recharging too often. Knowing the weather used to be a disadvantage for me. I would see bad weather and start second guessing my decisions or make bad weather "anticipation" decisions. Now I pretty much ignore the weather and take what comes at me. It makes for a less stressful walk. :-)

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