Poll: How much do you use electronics on the trail

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  1. #101

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    To be fair, you didn't say you were younger either :-)

  2. #102
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    I figured I'd lure some 37 yr olds into posting when I mentioned alcohol and cannabis.

  3. #103

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogwood View Post
    I figured I'd lure some 37 yr olds into posting when I mentioned alcohol and cannabis.
    All ‘em Millennails...they really love that one

  4. #104

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    Not everyone requires full emmersion into the great out of doors to recharge their internal batteries, and having electronics along on a hike isn’t synonymous with the crazed wired-in “walk into a wishing” well zombies of town life, It’s not an all or nothin’ thing, many can be quite content with the splendor of nature and then utilize the worlds knowledge in the palm of a hand at will.

  5. #105
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    Quote Originally Posted by gpburdelljr View Post
    Some people aren’t happy unless they are moaning and groaning about something. No matter how much they moan, however, smart phones on the trail are here to stay.
    So true. And as for the "moaning and groaning," I find it sad that there are people on this forum who cannot simply state an opinion or acknowledge an opinion of others and leave it at that. For some reason, they believe it necessary to beat others into submission if a stated opinion conflicts even slightly with their own opinion. I always thought these forums were for an exchange of ideas and not a platform to bludgeon other forum users into agreement.

    I also find it sad that we seem to have some age bias creeping in.
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  6. #106
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    Not a moan, groan, gripe, or complaint - just my thoughts (40 yr old, white male with a beard) I didn't/don't own or use a smart phone on a thru or in "real" life. I am happier to carry my camera, mp3 player, guidebook, pen and paper, map and flip phone. In "real" life I am happier to not be expected to have pocket access to emails, and social media. I prefer acoustic to electric.

  7. #107
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    Quote Originally Posted by ldsailor View Post
    So true. And as for the "moaning and groaning," I find it sad that there are people on this forum who cannot simply state an opinion or acknowledge an opinion of others and leave it at that. For some reason, they believe it necessary to beat others into submission if a stated opinion conflicts even slightly with their own opinion. I always thought these forums were for an exchange of ideas and not a platform to bludgeon other forum users into agreement.

    I also find it sad that we seem to have some age bias creeping in.
    Thats probably aimed at me.

    Let me make it clearer and extend an olive branch. Again, I acknowledge your valid opinion electronics - navigational apps - on a smart phone can certainly be useful. I'd be a hypocrite if I suggested otherwise. I have navigational apps on a phone sometimes which I partly rely. I wasn't putting an absolute kabash on electronics in our exchange. It was the hikers possible over reliance on it that possibly led to an escalation of events that cummulatively tragically led to loss of life. We hear so often about the greatness of electronics , the side we most often hear about. That's not in contention! It is the sides we often don't hear about which I was opining.

    We can disagree, or in our exchange do what we were doing which was adding to the scope of each other's valid opinions even though we were coming from different angles.

    That does not mean I was not acknowledging your opinon, which FWIW I consider based on fact rather than mine based on conjecture.

    BTW I've read your posts several times considering your info before I replied to them. You were not being ignored.

  8. #108
    ME => GA 19AT3 rickb's Avatar
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    Would now be a good time to wax poetic about a Dollar Store Candle in a Coke can lantern?

    Nah, there really is something nice about 1000 lumens at the press of a button .

  9. #109
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    With the near extinction of pay phones over the past few years, carrying a cell phone is necessary for a number of reasons. My Moto G is a bit over 5 ounces. I keep it off while I am hiking and only use it very rarely for navigational apps and I sometimes listen to audiobooks in the evening once I'm in my tent and sleeping bag because I find listening to audio books easier than reading in my tent. I have a separate lightweight camera which lasts a long time on a battery so I rarely have to recharge my devices. I will carry my InReach device on most trips where I know cell coverage is limited and this is the for the peace of mind of family, first, and potential safety second.

    As someone who is connected almost all the time in civilization, I highly value my time on trail as a chance to unplug and reconnect with the real world.

  10. #110
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    Sure is.

    When your life might depend on light and that push of a button doesn't instantly result in that light what does one then do? Is that being verbose to consider that?

    From reported info, four wk's uninjured sitting in one place less than two miles from the safety of a massively well used trail with spent supplies facing exposure with no evidence of an eventual attempt to walk out after repeated attempts at connecting via electronics reeks of an over reliance on safety coming from those electronic connectivity attempts.

  11. #111
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogwood View Post
    Sure is.

    When your life might depend on light and that push of a button doesn't instantly result in that light what does one then do? Is that being verbose to consider that?

    From reported info, four wk's uninjured sitting in one place less than two miles from the safety of a massively well used trail with spent supplies facing exposure with no evidence of an eventual attempt to walk out after repeated attempts at connecting via electronics reeks of an over reliance on safety coming from those electronic connectivity attempts.
    and she had a spot type device left back at the motel - this was my reasoning for a sat phone (a thread I had started) - one device that potentially does it all would be likely to be carried when you need it

  12. #112
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    Quote Originally Posted by rickb View Post
    Would now be a good time to wax poetic about a Dollar Store Candle in a Coke can lantern?
    Nah, there really is something nice about 1000 lumens at the press of a button .
    I kind of miss the flickering light of a candle. In fact, I've started to bring my old candle lantern on short overnight hikes in the fall. It's nice to have a little non-glaring background light.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  13. #113

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slo-go'en View Post
    I kind of miss the flickering light of a candle. In fact, I've started to bring my old candle lantern on short overnight hikes in the fall. It's nice to have a little non-glaring background light.
    Definitely - decades ago it was candles. Although, check out those Luci blow-up solar lights. Pretty decent.

  14. #114
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    Quote Originally Posted by George View Post
    and she had a spot type device left back at the motel - this was my reasoning for a sat phone (a thread I had started) - one device that potentially does it all would be likely to be carried when you need it
    What if she had no power for the sat ph?

    That's another kick in the electronics arse. We say if she had navigtional apps, more connectivity, more electronic device help she might be alive, which can be true, yet she already had electronics that could have saved her - a SPOT and she didn't have it on her....in Maine.

    If I had to choose any one state on the AT I'd want a SPOT the most ME would be at or near the top of the list.

    I muse did she become over confident in her smart ph as is common as her sole source of info and as "the" tool in a one tool does it all approach? What happens when that one tool breaks or is not functioning? What happens when what we expect to occur, what we're accustomed, what we've become spoiled to, like having power or connectivity, isn't realized and our lives depend on still being able to function?

    She may have gotten lost or even more turned around attempting to get connectivity via electronics. That could very well factor into why she was found on a hill. Although we dont know for sure a very real case can be made that she over relied on electronics which is why she got lost in the first place and found where she did.

    What I take from her situation is electronics are great, darn useful tools, but in the event expectations of connectivity or power are not forthcoming I better be able to know other non electronic ways of proceeding even if it means self rescue.

    What's the back up plan to no electronic usage? Is there such a plan?

    Take this in context the massively popular highly used AT super hiker highway and the most populated areas of the east coast are not always at the center of everyone's hike.

  15. #115
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    It is very easy to get turned around and lost in heavily wooded terrain - it has happened to me a few times, one time briefly when I went to get water after setting up my camp where all my gear was located and it was getting dark and cold - very scary. That was a while ago, I am less complacent now - I take more precautions now like making many mental notes of where I am relative to the trail or camp, taking a compass bearing if walking into the woods to dig a cat hole or find water, etc. I also always have my Delorme InReach with me whenever I am hiking or even away from visual distance of my campsite. These things are kind of embarrassing to admit to. It's easy to get lost in a dense forest with no easy points of reference which is what I think happened to the unfortunate hiker in Maine, although a lot of that story is really inexplicable to me.

  16. #116

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    I think most everyone who has spent time on trails has gotten disorientated for a short time when leaving the trail or campsite for water or other reasons. The experience can feel embarrassing or be very frightening.

    These incidents can occur with anyone, including the most experienced and physically fit among us, serving as a reminder the forest, like the ocean or sky, is not necessarily dangerous in and of itself. It's simply indifferent and intolerant of carelessness or mistakes. You don't need to be in the middle of a several hundred mile wilderness to become lost, knowing how to work your way back is the only real prevention.
    Last edited by Traveler; 03-08-2018 at 07:47.

  17. #117

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    Guthooks (Using my smartphone) has saved my rear 4 times, two times in the smokies and twice on my 250 mile walk in the mid atlantic trip last October. None of which were in any way life or death. 3 times were to let me know I was off the AT and on another trail. and the 4th time was when I could have sworn I wasn't on the AT(in the smokies, before daylight, in the rain) and it ended up being a peace of mind when I saw I was on the AT.

    I have decided to continue bringing my iphone on trips. The weight is already justified, and I will continue to leave it on airplane mode until the end of the day. Maybe on my week and 2 week trips this year I will try turning it off and putting it in my backpack more instead of having it on my hip. I enjoy taking pictures of all my trips so it may just stay on my hip after all.

  18. #118
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coffee View Post
    It is very easy to get turned around and lost in heavily wooded terrain - it has happened to me a few times, one time briefly when I went to get water after setting up my camp where all my gear was located and it was getting dark and cold - very scary. That was a while ago, I am less complacent now - I take more precautions now like making many mental notes of where I am relative to the trail or camp, taking a compass bearing if walking into the woods to dig a cat hole or find water, etc. I also always have my Delorme InReach with me whenever I am hiking or even away from visual distance of my campsite. These things are kind of embarrassing to admit to. It's easy to get lost in a dense forest with no easy points of reference which is what I think happened to the unfortunate hiker in Maine, although a lot of that story is really inexplicable to me.
    This is exactly what I'm saying one can do - dont always use electronics as your sole means of reliabilty. Yoy display multiple layers of safety of approaches.
    Consider this happened on the AT. What happens when youre backpacking/hiking takes you into greater remote regions? Even though you have your Delorme with you youre not turning your mind off. You have multiple levels, multiple approaches to keep from getting lost and getting unlost. You are not being complacent, mentally lazy, electronically spoiled. That's developing your abilities beyond being able to look at a screen or tap a keyboard. You're not allowing yourself to be electronically dumbed down. You're demonstrating a greater awareness and it didn't come from yrs and yrs of hiking.

    That's not a beat down on devices. It's an opinion about developing ones abilities, challenging electronic comfort zones. Isn't that what backpacking is about for so many or so they(we) say...expanding comfort zones?

  19. #119
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    I agree with all of that. One must have multiple redundancies when it comes to survival and to not rely on electronics exclusively. Getting lost can be a good learning experience provided that one survives to learn from it. In retrospect, one of my most embarrassing (but harmless) learning experience came from taking a break and blissfully getting up from my log and heading back in the direction from which I had come, only to find out probably four miles later when I returned to a road crossing that I had crossed earlier in the day. After much cursing at the time, I look back on it with some amusement today (while still wishing to never repeat it).

  20. #120

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    I often find a smart phone to be a very valuable tool. I also have no trouble being completely disconnected. Either way I hike my own hike.

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