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  1. #81

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    The definition of what a hike should or should not include or how it should be done is an individual one.

    What I have gotten out of the four pages of comments is, if you don't like to carry a smart phone or other noise generating technology with you, don't. If you do, keep it unobtrusive so as not to disturb anyone nearby.

  2. #82

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    Quote Originally Posted by Traveler View Post
    The definition of what a hike should or should not include or how it should be done is an individual one.

    What I have gotten out of the four pages of comments is, if you don't like to carry a smart phone or other noise generating technology with you, don't. If you do, keep it unobtrusive so as not to disturb anyone nearby.
    Well said. In both cases it's an individual election, and should be handled as such.

  3. #83
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    The definition of what a hike should or should not include or how it should be done is an individual one.



    see post number 2....

  4. #84

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    Quote Originally Posted by greenpete View Post
    I’m pleasantly surprised at all the feedback for this forum topic. Just like politics and religion,people have passionate feelings (including me). Someone suggested taking a poll. That might be a good idea. I’m not a regular here, but I’ll try to whip something up.

    Till then, here’s a thought: My loquacious and intelligent friend, Puddlefish, posited the theory that hikers who are averse to rampant electronics on the trail might feel snubbed because they’re being ignored by those who carry “gadgets.” I find this theory pretty daft, myself (sorry, Puddle…by the way, I wasn’t the one whose inspiration source is a Sean Penn movie and, again, I don't think my raising this topic is being "authoritarian"...read my original post). But how about this theory:

    Hikers bring their gadgets on trail because they’re a safety blanket. They provide a connection to home and civilization, and not just a literal connection, but a figurative one. Their toys are like Linus’s blanket. They remind them of their being civilized creatures who have “conquered” the wilds, which can often be threatening. A smartphone is not just a rescue device in an emergency situation, but it’s also a piece of the modern world that says “Look at the amazing thing that man has accomplished. This is on a scale with what God (god, Allah, Yahweh, whatever) has accomplished with these mountains, trees, flowers, and bears.” I DON'T mean people think this consciously, but perhaps subconsciously.

    Also: those most offended by people (like me) who suggest there's too much technology on the trail, secretly feel guilty for having to rely on their "toys." I won't mention any names.


    More controversy, maybe, but I think it’s worth considering.
    I think you're just being unintentionally insulting, and claiming that something that you don't understand and agree with therefore must be a bad thing, as far as you're concerned. You're then making up reasons why they're a bad thing. Safety? No, that one's been debunked too many times. Let's go with "those with technology can't enjoy nature," yeah, that's the ticket. You're telling people, what's in their heads. Think about that. You claim I wasn't in the moment, seriously? That's just a weak argument. Should I have ignored the two women I chatted with as well? Sorry maam, can't talk to you right now, I'm in the moment with nature, and the slightest distraction is taking me out of the moment with nature! You're just grasping at straws. Technology as being rude and distracting to other people on the trail. I'm just not buying that it's a statistically significant problem that's unique to technology.

    I get it, when cell phones first came out 30ish years ago, they were a joke, 20 years ago, I myself was highly skeptical about cell phones and their effect on society. I didn't get a smart phone until three years ago, because I had absolutely no need of one. I thought who could possibly "need" to be so impatient that they couldn't wait to get home to browse the net? Strangely enough, I was gifted my very first cell phone to start with my AT thru hike attempt in 2016. My daughter gave me a beat up old iphone that barely had the processing power to turn itself on, barely enough battery power to run the Guthook app for navigation, twice a day. I also carried a camera, an extra two memory chips for the camera, a compass, a pound of paper maps, a Kindle, and a sixth of the AWOL guidebook. I walked about a month with that set up. I had to interrupt my hike, and get off the trail to mail a memory chip full of pictures to a daughter, who had to drive to my house, download that chip to my PC, drive back home, and mail that empty chip back to a post office ahead of me, so I could pick it up. Hours of my time, hours of my families time, just to get pictures... (which I require because of my crappy memory.) I stopped in Franklin, NC (I think) and bought a brand new phone, Guthook performed flawlessly, the camera was better than my phone, I had no need of paper maps, I sent pounds of weight home, I no longer had to leave the trail to send/store my pictures. It was convenient to label those pictures so I'd remember where they were taken. I learned that "My assumptions about cell phone users being impatient was dead wrong." The cell phone is just a tool, it can be used safely, and different applications can be used by different people, for different reasons and different times." The ones who use them unsafely, are a self correcting problem and die on the roadways. We don't have to worry about that portion of the population on the trail. (I also had a neighbor die in her car when she was putting on makeup, and drove into a bus, so we can't blame all our distraction problems on technology.)

    I live in a cottage in the woods, I can open a window and hear nature for half the year, at the end of my road are a network of trails, I live ten minutes from a legitimate mountain, within thirty minutes of another, and within an hour of many more. Every week, I climb a mountain, every day, I at least hit my local trails. Bringing my phone with me, or forgetting to charge it and leaving it at home isn't a big consideration to me. I'm equally happy with it or without it. Sometimes it makes a nice change to do things a little differently. There is not only one way to enjoy hiking for me.

    As for the lonely old man comment. I'm a volunteer driver for the elderly. A see a whole lot of bitter lonely old people, they're sad because the world is passing them by, they don't understand the technology, they losing the power and control that they used to enjoy, their bodies are failing them, their kids are busy with their own lives. Like every generation before them who's gotten old, rather than accepting their situation and maybe doing something constructive about it they blame what they don't understand.

    So, you can learn to roll with the punches, to embrace the technology, or you can whine about it. Different, does not equate to worse. I'm not suggesting that you specifically are lonely, and bitter, but you just might be heading down that road. It's been a few decades now, it's time to adapt. There's no great percentage of phone addicts out there as you seem to think, skateboarding is not a crime, music today is just as vibrant and inventive as it was when you were young. Or, you can keep railing against the injustice of a world that you don't understand because you're proudly claiming "not to be a swallower." That's just another term for being pointlessly inflexible. There's more to the world than what your daddy taught you. You need to think for yourself and see how the world is actually functioning these days. There's a whole lot of positive love out there in the world.

    As for the people secretly feeling guilty, that's just wishing on your part. Yeah, and you can end that story with "then an eagle few out on of the sky and landed on my shoulder, crying a single tear." A safety blanket? As if cell phone users are infants refusing to let go of their blankies? There's nothing wrong with safety devices.

    Are you suggesting that you walk naked into the woods, and put a stick in the ground to check the angle of the sun to aid with direction, based on the changing seasons, that you take no safety precautions, that you build your own shelters, hunt your own game with tools that you've built, and all that? Because I don't believe that you do, I think you use 98% of the exact same gear and safety devices that the rest of us do, and you're being pointlessly obstinate about the other 2%.

    The cell phone user who walked into the fountain at the mall, that was hilarious. I laughed too! But that's not how people use their tech on the trail.

    Buy a cheap $100 smart phone, like a 4th generation moto X, get a month to month service plan with minimal data, I'd recommend Verizon, which has great coverage along the trail. Use the Google Maps app for every day navigation, buy the Guthook app, get out on the trail. Use the phone as much or as little as you want. Use the phone, once a day, or or once a week, but use it. Ditch your home phone plan when you're comfortable, you'll likely save money overall. Come back in a year and join in this conversation as an informed individual, because currently, you aren't making much sense.

    Hey, maybe I'm entirely wrong about you. I'm not trying to be mean, I can only go by what you're written yourself here in this thread, and making assumptions based on what you've written. Pining for the golden days that were never quite all that golden isn't going to help you enjoy the trail more. The only think that's going to help you enjoy the trail is to get out onto the trail with a positive attitude.

    It's a gorgeous day outside, I'm going to go climb mount Kearsage. Yeah, I'll be driving my motorized horseless carriage to get over there, instead of making the 2.5 hour road walk each way. Wearing high tech clothing, microspikes, poles and yeah, even bringing my phone, with which I'll use as a safety device to text my daughter when I arrive at the specific trailhead, what trail I'm hiking and when I can be expected back. I may or may not listen to music during all or part of the hike. So, respond if you like, I'll read it eventually, because I enjoy debating on the internet probably a bit more than is good for my own mental health.

    Edit: Grammar, typos, general suckiness at typing. There are probably more mistakes, correct them in your head.
    Last edited by Puddlefish; 04-05-2019 at 10:33.

  5. #85

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    The last two $30 flip phones I bought from Walmart are just junk; the one I got last year, a ZTE had poor reception. Then I got an Alcatel, the screen cracked within a couple weeks of light handling and has few features with outdated characteristics. I filed a complaint on these with the state consumer agency and looks like Walmart wants to address the issue.

    I find all these devices to be pretty dehumanizing and ultimately alienating, not doing what people in the social networking world said they would do in terms of improving social networks. The 20 years or so that the internet has been around has been a recipe for passivity at least in my experience. I have a friend who uses a smart phone like a command and control device.


  6. #86
    Registered User greenpete's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Traveler View Post
    The definition of what a hike should or should not include or how it should be done is an individual one.

    What I have gotten out of the four pages of comments is, if you don't like to carry a smart phone or other noise generating technology with you, don't. If you do, keep it unobtrusive so as not to disturb anyone nearby.
    I'll buy this, Traveler. The "too much technology" heading is subjective. One hiker might think an analog camera is too much technology. Another might draw the line at (God help us) personal drones in the wilds. I carry a flip-phone w/built-in camera, and that's my line. So...if you're in a shelter with others, be polite and keep the music off (unless everyone wants to hear LL Cool J), or keep your smartphone use to a minimum. I think the real problem these days is not so much the existence of digital electronics, but the lack of restraint and etiquette by users.

  7. #87

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    Quote Originally Posted by greenpete View Post
    I'll buy this, Traveler. The "too much technology" heading is subjective. One hiker might think an analog camera is too much technology. Another might draw the line at (God help us) personal drones in the wilds. I carry a flip-phone w/built-in camera, and that's my line. So...if you're in a shelter with others, be polite and keep the music off (unless everyone wants to hear LL Cool J), or keep your smartphone use to a minimum. I think the real problem these days is not so much the existence of digital electronics, but the lack of restraint and etiquette by users.
    Yes, this. Also those who think that -their- preference to avoid technology use is something they should see as a weakness in others when it isn't a mutual emotion.

  8. #88
    Registered User greenpete's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Puddlefish View Post
    I think your just being unintentionally insulting... So, respond if you like....
    OK, I'll respond. I don't agree with most of what you say.

    Enjoy your mountain climb.

  9. #89

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    Quote Originally Posted by chknfngrs View Post
    I am fully addicted to my smart phone and only in the last year have made strides to break up with it. Hiking is one of those areas I will not use my phone unless I need it. My challenge forthcoming is to try to leave it alone. Placed in a ziplock and at the bottom of my bag is where it should be.

    To the OP suggestion, I don’t think tech is a bad thing per se but like Kenny Rogers, you got to know when hold em
    Good post and in agreement. "Fully addicted" about says it all. I'm overly attached to my online trip blogs and spend too much time at home on the computer. THEREFORE to fight this craziness I don't want any online snooping to happen on my backpacking trips ERGO no smartphone.

    Quote Originally Posted by Slumgum View Post
    Over a decade ago I traveled to the midwest to help my brother put a new roof on his daughter's house. Every time I turned around he would be up at the peak stroking and poking his phone. After half a day of this I finally said, "Put the %$#@ thing down or get off the roof." That was my first taste of how addictive they can be. I see it on the trail, too. Shelters are the worst; everyone stoking and poking; more in tune with their devices than fellow hikers.
    I don't own one. I have an addictive personality. They are not for me.
    More agreement. That would be a good hiking Mantra: "Put the %$#@ thing down or get off the Trail!!" I like how this might be applied.

    Quote Originally Posted by John B View Post
    I agree with greenpete, so no need to quote the entire thing.

    My tech story is that I started section hiking the AT before cellphones were common, then I got one and carried it with me along with my camera, then later I ditched the camera, lastly I ditched the cellphone. Thankfully I'm not asked to or required to "check in" with anyone (I always think of Meriwether Lewis's letter to his mom before embarking on his journey, the last lines something to the effect of "I'll see you in a couple of years. Don't worry about me."). I'm much happier now without the gadgets -- I get enough of that stuff at home/work.

    That's my .02
    Good quote: "I'm much happier now without the gadgets---I get enough of that stuff at home/work". So very true.

  10. #90

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tipi Walter View Post
    Good post and in agreement. "Fully addicted" about says it all. I'm overly attached to my online trip blogs and spend too much time at home on the computer. THEREFORE to fight this craziness I don't want any online snooping to happen on my backpacking trips ERGO no smartphone.
    Yes, I thoroughly enjoy time away and being incommunicado. Since I live near the border and have to pay to use my phone in the US, it's always been a fantastic reason to be in airplane mode for entire trips, other than a couple times at a hotel, strategic Mcds wifi, etc
    Many of the hikes I do north of me have no service as well, which I find oddly liberating, but the phone is still useful for me to bring for GPS, camera, kindle app, etc

  11. #91

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    Quote Originally Posted by Traveler View Post
    The definition of what a hike should or should not include or how it should be done is an individual one.

    To what extent does that apply?


    This is the type of "I'm only responsible to myself" attitude that can be a growing problem...because in the real world, with imperfect fallible human behavior, the awareness qualifier "keep it unobtrusive so as not to disturb anyone nearby" can be lacking. It's in evidence every time when discussing behavioral responsibility beyond the end of one's nose on WB. It's why LNT or quota or regulations discussions can get so heated. It's why we need MODS to control something that one might expect to be as simple as what to discretionary post on a Female Forum!



    What if an individual's definition of what a hike should be, what it should include, or how it should be done is not pulling or displaying a required permit as part of regs, playing music at 9 p.m. at an AT shelter with six others sleeping on Fri night because it's 'early' on a typical party night - time to dance on the picnic tables with your other two party buddies - backpacking and wilderness drunkenness and other drugs are a natural, being in the habit of arriving at an AT shelter after 9 p.m. because you're going fast and light doing 30+ miles/day making up for a late start - any food anyone, I'm low on food?, hiking naked as a "minimalist- be free" male dangling down the trail meeting up with a Girl Scout Troop or free balling wearing a kilt not using discretion when sitting or doing cartwheels, taking a dump in or right next to the trail or in CS's, hiking with your dog off leash with little command of your "emotional support" pet or saying your Rottweilers are loving needed "service" animals because NO Dogs on trail doesn't apply to you, leaving food tins in fire rings, discarding broken or unwanted garbage and gear under a shelter, cutting switchbacks, trees are for firewood - that's why I bring a hatchet, to chop down trees, stalking women on trail...

    Seen all those situations, some many times.


    We bring our off trail habits and addictions - YES addictions - to the trail. What if off trail you're addicted to digital or fart ph(mobile computer) usage, being a habitual racist, sexist, bigot, slob,...?


    Quote Originally Posted by Traveler View Post
    What I have gotten out of the four pages of comments is, if you don't like to carry a smart phone or other noise generating technology with you, don't. If you do, keep it unobtrusive so as not to disturb anyone nearby.

    It's very easy to say that. In practice people don't do what is said or what they know they should do, especially when being controlled by habits and addictions - such as electronic usage can be - an addiction where one is likely to disregard their impacts on others.

    Modern high income per capita cultures such as the U.S. ignore cultural tendencies and addictions even promoting them for economic, social, or other reasons. We bring these tendencies and addictions to the trail... and we expect and often demand others to kowtow to them - tech and digital applications included.

  12. #92

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    Indeed, good post Tipi.

  13. #93

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    Quote Originally Posted by chknfngrs View Post
    I am fully addicted to my smart phone and only in the last year have made strides to break up with it. Hiking is one of those areas I will not use my phone unless I need it. My challenge forthcoming is to try to leave it alone. Placed in a ziplock and at the bottom of my bag is where it should be.

    To the OP suggestion, I don’t think tech is a bad thing per se but like Kenny Rogers, you got to know when hold em
    You're aware of it and making behavioral changes that impact not only yourself but others.

    Few will admit their addictions and even less are aware of the depth of their addiction's impacts...and less actually change their behavior.

    Awareness can be good!

  14. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogwood View Post
    Few will admit their addictions and even less are aware of the depth of their addiction's impacts...and less actually change their behavior.
    Even my wife becomes very defensive when I tell her she shouldn't be spending so much time on F-Book. I can understand how certain hikers are sensitive to implications that they may be overdoing the technology.

    I'm not sure it's an "addiction," but I'm convinced there's an over-reliance on technology. Yeah, it's less obvious in the mountains than in the local park, or at a restaurant. My God, the bowed heads and glazed eyes that I witness. But I'm convinced those bowed heads and glazed (or at least, diverted) eyes are becoming more and more prevalent on the trails. I'm not being accusatory. I'm just giving my opinion based on what I've observed.
    Last edited by greenpete; 04-05-2019 at 14:21. Reason: Added, changed words

  15. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by greenpete View Post
    Thanks for responding, but I'm more curious how many people agree with me (see my comment). Also, your use of the word "convenience" leads back to my question "Are we over-conveniencing..."

    Also...pardon my ignorance...but I don't know what HYOH means. (I'm a vintage man, and acronyms trouble me.)
    Local saying, Hike your own hike. It means you can like or dislike something, but frankly, I don't care, as I'm going to do as I like to do.
    Time is but the stream I go afishin' in.
    Thoreau

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    Quote Originally Posted by soilman View Post
    I am not a Luddite but I don't own a smartphone. I have recently carried a Kindle and Ipod to use in my tent. I think many people have an addiction to smartphone use and it is not a generational issue. I have seen people of all ages glued to their phones. I don't see how devices expand the outdoor experience for the user. On the other hand I have read accounts of hikers spending extra time in town just so they can catch up with all their social networking. This seems to subtract from the outdoor experience. Like others, what I object to is the intrusion of their use by others on my space. I have encountered hikers on the trail with their music blasting so they could share it with their friends. On numerous occasions people have carried out phone conversations at shelters, overlooks, etc. Just like any public place, to me that is just plain rude.
    I agree with you about smartphone addiction not being generational. Locally in Pensacola, in winter, we have a lot of "snowbirds" who are retirees who vacation here in the winter when it's cheap, because it's much warmer than the snow country they are from. Went out to eat with my wife, and most of the older couples out there were on their smartphones at their tables. The teens/twenty-somethings we saw were actually talking to each other (on dates).
    Time is but the stream I go afishin' in.
    Thoreau

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    [QUOTE=Dogwood;2243088][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.


    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!
    It's fiction, not a true story.
    Time is but the stream I go afishin' in.
    Thoreau

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rain Man View Post
    This is what,-- in debate circles,-- is called "setting up a straw man." Not really for you to say what "the whole idea" of backpacking is, is it?

    BTW, I did not take time to read all the pages of posts, so apologies if I'm repeating someone.

    My dear wife lets me go backpacking just about any time I want, where I want, for as long as I want. I am happy to and want to check in with her from time to time. Apologies to all whom my use of electronic technology offends.
    Tech is useful to keep our loved ones from worrying as much.
    Time is but the stream I go afishin' in.
    Thoreau

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    Quote Originally Posted by perdidochas View Post
    It's fiction, not a true story.
    Uh...yes. And your point? Fiction can often highlight truths much better than nonfiction can.

  20. #100

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    Quote Originally Posted by perdidochas View Post
    Local saying, Hike your own hike. It means you can like or dislike something, but frankly, I don't care, as I'm going to do as I like to do.
    This equals "I'm only responsible to myself."


    I'm going to do as I like to do too! Keg party at Perdidocha's living room tonight. We'll all be tenting on your property and taking dirty baths in your swimming pool. Make sure to have your credit card ready to pay for the alcohol and my new DCF shelter. I'll take one of those new BA $1000 Tiger Walls! Order those 20 pizzas ahead of time. 5 veggie specials with roasted eggplant, organic goat Gouda and artichokes. Dont skimp on the artichokes! Pay for extra ya cheapskate. We'll be taking your credit card for that too. And, make sure they're hot when we all arrive and the Heiny kegs and Grey Goose are well chilled.

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