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Thread: Electronics

  1. #101

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    Quote Originally Posted by bronco96# View Post
    I have not ventured back onto the AT in the age of machines......................
    Machine age -1850 to 1945. You have been off trail a long long time. You should get out more.
    If you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything.

  2. #102
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    Quote Originally Posted by bronco96# View Post
    soilman wrote:
    "What would Earl Shaffer or Grandma Gatewood think about those hikers in 1996 using all that new fangled technology? Nylon internal frame packs, down sleeping bags, leather boots with Vibram soles, well marked and maintained trail, staying at hostels, using shuttles to get to town or the trail, unexpected trail magic of cold drinks and food - where is the wilderness experience?"
    I actually met up with Earl Shaffer in 1998 and hiked with him for a few miles for an article I was writing. He partook in most of what you listed, including shuttles.
    That is my point. I am sure that Earl upgraded his gear for his 1965 hike using the latest technology. And he did again on his 1998 hike. The trail and trail experience is dynamic. The trail you hike today will not be the same trail next year due to continuous improvements and relocations. Your hiking experience will also be different. Nostalgia is fine but you can't go home again. If you go back on the trail don't expect it to be like 1996.

    I feel that you have difficulty reconciling the fact that many hikers on the AT today are using modern technology that, in my opinion, eliminates some of the adventure.
    More walking, less talking.

  3. #103
    Registered User JNI64's Avatar
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    "WHAT, we have here is a FAILURE , to communicate some men you just can't reach, which is the way he wants it, well he gets it ".

  4. #104

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    Sorry I wasn't looking at the post count, this has gotten a little out of hand. Just a reminder that WB has a user agreement that I encourage all members to read and be aware of. It includes the following
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  5. #105

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    Quote Originally Posted by JNI64 View Post
    "WHAT, we have here is a FAILURE , to communicate some men you just can't reach, which is the way he wants it, well he gets it ".
    Classic.

    To the OP: I have a book shelf full of books on backpacking. Many, perhaps 15, are trail accounts from the AT. Everything from Earl's first thru-hike, to hikes that occurred just recently. I can't recall any of them pointing out, pro or con, high usage of electronics on the AT. I used to spend my lunch break reading Trail Journals, can't remember but a few where people posted "someone using their cell phone too close to the shelter". I'm saying it DOES happen. And the account you reference, I've not come across. But each of us needs to decide to let it not bother us.

    If you want true wilderness, there are lots of places. In 2016 I was hiking for a few days with a 2-time AT Thru hiker. He and I were on a trail in west central Arkansas. That trail is blazed, has signs. No shelters. There were people about but since there is zero cell reception, most just had their phone to take photos. I had my IPOD, but with ear buds. My buddy laughed when after two days of peppering him with questions, I got quiet for a time. I was listening to music in one ear. We finished that trail and went a few miles away to hike 2 more trails. Those are in a designated "Wilderness" area. Meaning, only hand tools are used on the trail. No engines. No pack animals. And NO blazes. We actually lost the trail on a ridge top (and he'd hiked it before). Only a few rock cairn's were around. We saw NO people at all except very near the trail heads. There were places where we had to work together to stay near the trail. Someone had gone in and painted blazes (against the rules for Wilderness areas). The trail maintainers had gone in and sanded off or scraped down the blazes, then matched the tree bark with paint to even hide the "human" evidence. Both hikes were just great. If you really want that true Wilderness experience, there are ton's of little used trails, trails in designated Wilderness areas, western trails with sparse usage.
    For a couple of bucks, get a weird haircut and waste your life away Bryan Adams....
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  6. #106
    Registered User JNI64's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HankIV View Post
    Hopefully he didnít crawl under the new bridge, like the one one in Three Billy Goats Gruff!
    Enter the third goat.

  7. #107

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    I listened to a guy near a shelter talking on his phone for a good half hour. He was trying to explain to his wife how to set the timer on their VCR so she could record something other. It was actually kind of amusing. After a while it was like "give it up man, she's never gonna get it".

    Hiking the AT back in the late 80's was an adventure. Southern Appalachia was much more of a third world experience then it is today.
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  8. #108
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    I can't recall any of them pointing out, pro or con, high usage of electronics on the AT.



    OP, by his own definition, hasnt been on the AT since the "machine age"........


    without first hand knowledge, the argument is pretty mute.......

  9. #109
    Registered User JNI64's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bronco96# View Post
    JN: You don't get it. You cannot have a "wilderness experience" when people are filming and recording all around you.

    I can't believe this topic hasn't come up on this forum already. I can't believe the ATC hasn't made some kind of regulations about this already. Do people want to have a wilderness experience or not? If they do, how can phones and video recorders be any part of that? What's next -- catering at shelters? helicoptered in, or packed in by horse or mule? massage tables at the shelters for those who can afford them?

    what's the difference?
    Actually massage tables at the shelters , great idea. ( just saying)
    Last edited by JNI64; 07-08-2020 at 01:03.

  10. #110

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    Quote Originally Posted by JNI64 View Post
    Enter the third goat.
    Wasn't that a Bruce Lee film?

  11. #111
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    A remake of...... starring the Alligator as Bruce Lee.

  12. #112

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    I've seen the question of electronics come up every few years. It isn't a new debate, but it's become a larger part of peoples hikes for many, and more intrusive for others, as smartphones became more common after 2009. Having the expectation that no one is going to have them isn't realistic. But at the same time, we should be able to expect to not have them used in a manner that disturbs the peace and quiet for others.

    I have always carried camera gear, even when it was just film based, and still do. Taking photos and video has often been a part of the backpacking experience, it's just there are more cameras then there use to due to every phone having one and the numbers of people hiking named trails like the AT may be greater than it use to be so the numbers have naturally increased that way as well. I do think people should ask if it's okay to film or take photos of others in places where people gather like shelters.

    Issue with phones in the last decade is you get more service in the boonies then you use to and phone battery life is much better so they are on more often and used in many more places than they use to. In 2009, my phone was rarely on outside of town as it served little use in the backcountry. That isn't the case anymore. On the PCT, I do remember being rudely awaken in the early morning in a small campground near town (in a trail angels camp) by another older thru-hiker (who should have known better), who was in their tent using their phone on speaker mode so we all got to hear both sides of the conversation. None of us were amused. I think hikers can have the expectation that someone on their phone should keep their conversations quiet and move away from others when using their phone so we don't have to listen to it. No reason someone can't use their phone in a way that won't disturb others. The problem is so many don't care or even consider others, else there wouldn't be much of an issue with this.

    Carrying a GPS enabled device doesn't really change much, other than the argument that people are more and more lacking in basic navigation skills, and what happens when your device dies. I've personally dropped my phone in a deep pool on a trail to it's destruction before. When one looks at how many people are finishing the CDT today without any more understanding of navigation then when they started thanks to things like the Guthook app is a bit disturbing. But it doesn't really intrude on others, unless they suddenly need to ask you for navigation assistance since they don't have a backup method and broke their phone/gps or their battery died.

    Music or podcasts in the backcountry. If someone wants to listen to something other than nature while hiking or in camp, that is their business. But when they don't use headphones and play it so everyone else around them can hear it, that is crossing a huge line. Please use headphones as that is what they were invented for. Not everyone has the same taste in music and for some, it could just sound like noise similar to scratching on a chalkboard. This seems to be a growing problem that I see more and more on various trails and I can't tell you how annoying some of us find it. I don't care if you are hiking in a group, I'm not part of that group and shouldn't be subject to it. I think this is the most relevant complaint in the whole debate as every other disturbance by electronics is minor in comparison. And if I ever support a ban on electronics, it would be over this issue. Oh, and if you are using headphones like you should, make sure you can still hear a rattlesnake when you hike by it. I once watched a person hike 2 feet from one and never heard it rattling loudly due to how loud their music was. I could faintly hear their music from several feet away despite their use of headphones. I can only imagine the long term issues with hearing loss if that was their habit.

    For many, it's not the electronics themselves that are the issue, but rather the individual's choice in how they are using them that gets under most peoples skin. If people were more considerate of others in putting even a small amount of effort to avoid bothering others, I don't think the issue would come up as often as it does.
    Last edited by Miner; 07-08-2020 at 23:15.

  13. #113

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    Quote Originally Posted by Miner View Post
    For many, it's not the electronics themselves that are the issue, but rather the individual's choice in how they are using them that gets under most peoples skin. If people were more considerate of others in putting even a small amount of effort to avoid bothering others, I don't think the issue would come up as often as it does.
    Miner brings up what I feel is the real point. It's not the electronics, it's people's behavior with them that is the friction point. Mannered people will typically move away from others for cell phone conversations or when the phone is generating noise. Some need a gentle reminder of their disturbance which cures ignorance. Stupid, unfortunately, is forever.

  14. #114

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    Miner hits the nail on the head.

    I would vote for the speaker phone conversation as top annoyance over music on speaker, but to each their own. Although at camp I guess they'd be tied.

  15. #115
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    [Mannered people will typically move away from others for cell phone conversations or when the phone is generating noise. Some need a gentle reminder of their disturbance which cures ignorance.]



    I questioned OP if they ask the user to turn down the music----but I was met
    with the answer of not being on the AT since the "machine age"....

  16. #116

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    Quote Originally Posted by TNhiker View Post
    I questioned OP if they ask the user to turn down the music----but I was met with the answer of not being on the AT since the "machine age"....
    I cannot imagine the difficulty transitioning from maps etched on sheepskin to man-made fabrics, never mind the culture shock of leaving beasts of burden to the sheer terror of automobiles passing at high rates of speed.

  17. #117
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    Quote Originally Posted by Traveler View Post
    I cannot imagine the difficulty transitioning from maps etched on sheepskin to man-made fabrics, never mind the culture shock of leaving beasts of burden to the sheer terror of automobiles passing at high rates of speed.


    and bushwacking through the mountains as the trail, i'm guessing, wasn't as easy as it is today to file...

  18. #118

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    I recently left wb for 5 months because of crazy hostile attack-laced threads like this one. I think I will leave for another 5 months, and I'm probably not the only one...

  19. #119
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    Quote Originally Posted by RockDoc View Post
    I recently left wb for 5 months because of crazy hostile attack-laced threads like this one. I think I will leave for another 5 months, and I'm probably not the only one...
    This is a shame I've read your posts and I think you have alot more to offer than the occasional troll. I've only been here a couple of years and only happens every once in awhile. I'm learning how to moderate myself im getting better. But anyways they get dealt with or ignored and a moderater will shut it down. If someone would have alerted a moderater it would have happened. You say you and others are leaving don't let the trolls win.

  20. #120
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    Quote Originally Posted by RockDoc View Post
    I recently left wb for 5 months because of crazy hostile attack-laced threads like this one. I think I will leave for another 5 months, and I'm probably not the only one...
    I've done the same in the past, too, but why leave a good thing to the trolls? I can always choose to ignore.

    In this case, the OP seems more upset about what might happen (noting he hasn't been on trail since the machine age), not a specific experience. Yes, you will run into the occasional jerk who's noisy, impolite, aggressive, etc., but the vast majority of your nights on the AT will be quiet and peaceful and spent with people who share something in common. It won't be a wilderness experience if you sleep in a box with a dozen other people. And by the way, even nice people snore. Don't let the 1% get you down (or get your hackles up as the case may be).

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