Poll: How much do you use electronics on the trail

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  1. #1

    Default A Kabash On Electronics

    I have typed out and deleted this 3 times now....

    In todays time we live in a society that is strongly driven by our handheld devices.

    In todays time we, we being hikers as a majority, are weight conscious.

    I as a hiker have an Iphone 7 plus. It is my camera, my phone, my map, my entertainment that could be present in the form of music, watching movies, facebook etc....Now I have to power this phone and even though I am aware of battery usage my go to method is use it as much as I want, and in return I carry an 8oz battery pack that I can recharge it 5 times off of. Now I have been on the trail for 5 days and am in a motel for the night, so I am carrying a dual wall charger and charge cords for both battery pack as well as phone. And then there is the ear buds which on some trips I have been known to carry 2 pairs of in case 1 pair breaks...

    So what gives here! Why, for one, am I counting ounces on a sub 2 lb tent yet I am completely great with 2 lbs worth of electrical crap.

    Why am I going to the trail and the woods to escape yet staying plugged in via electronics. I would like to do some trips without anything more electronic then my headlamp this year.

    Thoughts on this rambling topic above? haha -
    Safety concerns in case of emergency instances?
    Trail Miles: 3,715.9
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    AT Map 1 Completion: 1818.9 Springer, GA - Franconia Notch, NH
    AT Map 2 Completion: 263.8 Gaps From GA - PA

  2. #2
    Registered User ldsailor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gambit McCrae View Post
    Why am I going to the trail and the woods to escape yet staying plugged in via electronics. I would like to do some trips without anything more electronic then my headlamp this year.

    Thoughts on this rambling topic above? haha -

    Safety concerns in case of emergency instances?
    Familiar with Geraldine Largay? She got off the trail to answer nature's call and couldn't find her way back. She died of exposure and starvation. She had a cell phone. However, what she didn't have was a navigation app or a device like Spot. Either would have saved her life.

    I use Guthook when I'm on the trail. It works with the phone's GPS, so I turn off the ability to send and receive data and make calls (airplane mode). I never make calls from the trail. People know I'm inaccessible, but I do check email once a day if I have a signal.

    It's funny you should ask this question now. I'm a sailor, too. I lament my loss of navigation skills on the water using dead reckoning and a sextant. Everything is electronic and GPS. When I head back to the trail to finish my last section of the AT (900 miles) in May, I'll have some maps and a proper compass, which I intend to use in the more remote areas. It just makes sense to maintain the skills if the electronics fail you, which they will sooner or later.
    Trail Name - Slapshot
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  3. #3
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    Gambit McCrea, don't confuse rambling with being a sane logical questioning critical thinker having a sober moment of reflection.

    It's an inane misplaced wt saving approach to endlessly gram weenie tents, cookware, DIY stoves, fuel usage, apparel, and ground cloths ignoring the wt of food, water, and increasing cummulative electronic's wts.

    What I find additionally inane are those whIle voicing very strict gear and trail budgets

  4. #4
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    usually no coverage where I hike anyway, so no point in carrying it.

  5. #5
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    ...What I find additionally inane are those while voicing having very strict gear and trail budgets spending so much $$$ on UL/SUL gear when they could apply knowledge and self restraint at no $ cost to save more wt, much more wt., dialing in food and water logistics and electronics purchases and on trail electronics usage.

  6. #6
    Leonidas
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    I use my phone pretty minimally at home and on the trail. I guess technically I use it more on trail since like you, it is camera, video recorder and occasionally a communications device. I don't use it for entertainment and attempt to drop a post on IG once a day.
    AT: 471 mi

    Pinhoti Trail: 254 mi

    @leonidasonthetrail

  7. #7
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    What could have also saved Geraldine Largay's life was having a map and compass knowing how to use them, not so absolutely relying on a cell phone for survival, and not just hearing but also grasping by applying what little Warren Doyle taught his pupil should one get lost on an AT hike.

  8. #8
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    https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.bos...QobvK/amp.html

    Doyle responded appropriately as quoted in another article covering this tragedy.

    Off topic, but Geraldine's case is an example of a common mistake promoted by some survival shows. With dwindling supplies facing a fatality related to exposure not being injured sometimes it's best not to stay put especially going into four weeks as it was in Geraldine's case less than 2 miles from the AT and less than a 10 min walk from a trail that turned into a road.

  9. #9

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    Well, we did manage for many, many years with just a ATC data book and state road map (no real trail guide), a hand held flashlight and a AM/FM radio if you wanted to listen to music or the news and weather.

    But a smart phone is such a handy little device, no wonder it has taken over the world.

    I carry two phones, a 4400 mAh USB battery pack, charge and a cord for 15.7 oz. If I only carried the Trackfone and 2200 mAh battery pack, it would be down to 8 oz. The 2nd phone I just use as a tablet since it has the 5.5" HD screen and 17meg camera.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  10. #10
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    "Why am I going to the trail and the woods to escape yet staying plugged in via electronics. I would like to do some trips without anything more electronic then my headlamp this year."

    Another reasonable sober moment of reflection.

    It possibly demonstrates an unwillingness, a strong tendency, maybe even a bonafide behavioral addiction that few want to admit exists or, if they do, unwilling to address changing, if one under many situations, can't disconnect from electronics replacing that connection by a new connection with Nature, face to face socializing with others, a higher power, or a greater personal and universal awareness.

    It's usually at this point when the electronically addicted start denying it, justifying the addiction very similar to the illicit and legal drug addicted.

    A hike can be the optimal place for fasts of all manner electronics(sometimes myself), coffee(me!), ego, junk food, anger, selfishness, irritability, smoking, alcohol, rampant unquestioned consumption, Materialism, etc

  11. #11
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    i don't own an iphone, smartphone thingy

  12. #12
    Registered User russb's Avatar
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    One of the main reasons I go to the woods is to unplug om the borg.

  13. #13
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    A smart phone should not unquestionably be thought of as a substitute for being intelligent, making smart decisions, or using that possibly smart organ between one's ears!

    The thing about so called smart phones is they can better be regarded as a hand held computer that has phone capabilities.

    If one is very obsessed about having phone use on trail a phone, just a cell phone, is way less expensive, lighter wt, probably less bulky, and less hassle keeping charged in context of using the phone minimally.

  14. #14
    Registered User russb's Avatar
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    We used to do these trips before the age of cell phones and gps. When I return from being unplugged for weeks at a time it is amazing how little I missed. Nothing really changed. I would have a crapload of junk email, a few important ones. But an auto-responder took care of reminding ppl I was not available. One voicemail from my mom, "oh yeah, I forgot... call me when you get back".
    It is quite freeing to be connected to the real world, when one is disconnected from the artificial.

  15. #15
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    You're bucking US cultural standards so expect a backlash of justification for mindlessly adhering to them.

  16. #16
    Registered User russb's Avatar
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    I am used to being thought of as a heretic.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by russb View Post
    ...it is quite freeing to be connected to the real world, when one is disconnected from the artificial.
    Russ demonstrated a great and much needed awareness. He was able to distinguish connectivity as it is often defined - usually by someone else or something else, with a self serving agenda - to redefining connectivity as he sees empowers him in a different way.

    We so often unquestionably cede our ability to self decide and individually define to others or a system that very often have their own agenda prioritized rather than our own.

    In order to be free it's common to be labeled a rebel or heretic.

    Connecting to something commonly involves disconnecting from other things. Those bent on influencing others to connect invariably intentionally ignore what's being required to disconnect from.

  18. #18
    Registered User LittleRock's Avatar
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    I don't begrudge people for using their phones to take pictures or check in with family. Those are nice things to do, and smartphones make it easier.

    What really makes me cringe is when I see people who spend all day listening to music or (god forbid) podcasts while hiking, or spend half their time at the shelters/campsites on social media, watching movies, etc.
    It's all good in the woods.

  19. #19

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    No service where I usually hike. Makes the decision easy.
    "It's fun to have fun, but you have to know how." ---Dr. Seuss

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    I have been known to borrow other peoples phones to report in.

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