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  1. #1

    Default Cell Phone or Spot/InReach

    End to Enders past, did you find enough cell service to feel satisfied with communications or did you use a satellite device? Weighing my options in the gear planning mode for a September 2023 hike with my wife and three kids. Iíve borrowed and used an InReach Mini in the Sierras on a section hike when I was by myself and no cell signal for a week. But across Vermont, and with so many peaks and towns spread evenly would it warrant such a device?

  2. #2
    Registered User
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    07-23-2022
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    It works good on the AT. I have known many people that use them.

  3. #3
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    Cell service was pretty good with T-Mobile last summer in VT. Was spotty in NH and ME.

  4. #4

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    FWIW - I think it really depends on what the needs are for these devices. If needed for daily check-ins back home with family that are not too nervous and like to track your progress the InReach or Spot would work well using pre-set messages like "stopping for the night, all is well". If voice contact is needed for nervous family, a cell phone may be the better choice though checking for signal during the day as high points are crossed can be annoying. It can sometimes be a day or more between cell tower coverage but I have usually found cell signal when I have needed it but results change with seasons and canopy density.

    As an aside, I typically bring a Spot device with me when by myself in remote areas that have little foot traffic and an injury that impacts mobility can be lethal if not managed well. I also carry a cell phone with me along with the Spot device but I typically use this for navigation and rarely use it to talk on.

  5. #5
    Registered User
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    Oops, that was just for the AT section. No experience north of Maine Junction.

    Highly recommend staying on Bromley Peak. Great sunset and sunrise. Of course Inn on the Long Trail. If you stop in Manchester Center, Up for Breakfast is pretty awesome, and Mountain Goat there is a well stocked outfitter.

  6. #6
    Registered User somers515's Avatar
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    05-02-2014
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    Millstone Township, NJ
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    If your wife and kids are with you, who do you need to text more than every few days when you reach a town? If you need to reach someone for sure every night then you already know the answer to your question. I recall wanting to call to set up my final hotel stay at the northern end of the trail and being happy I had service where I was so I could make the phone call to do so. Depending on your carrier of course, but I'm guessing you won't always have service, but you will occasionally have service - at least that was my experience. Fun little side note, I was told when you are at the very northern end of the trail sometimes your cell service can mess up because it tries to connect to a Canadian cell tower. It didn't bother me but I wasn't checking my cell service that often as I keep my phone in airplane mode while hiking, in fact I'm usually happier if I'm hiking in a place with zero cell service. : )
    LT End-to-Ender 2017; AT from Lehigh Gap to Hudson River; NH 48
    "Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won't come in." - Isaac Asimov

  7. #7

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    °Good info! Thanks a lot everybody! I don’t think anyone is too nervous (so far)

  8. #8

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    I used SPOT to notify family and friends through NJ & NY. Never had an issue with them receiving notices of my location.
    FYI, you can rent a SPOT instead of buying one and not pay the subscription fee.

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