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are tech toys spoiling the wilderness experience?


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Home Forums General Forums General Lightweight Backpacking Discussion are tech toys spoiling the wilderness experience?

Viewing 25 posts - 26 through 50 (of 101 total)
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  • #3657982
    Mike M
    BPL Member

    @mtwarden

    Locale: Montana

    for some reason there are a few folks that have it in their head that if you’re carrying a smart phone (and/or sat device) that you’re totally immersed in said device- as I’m sure we’ve all seen at a restaurant, bus stop, other place

    maybe there are a few folks like that in the backcountry?  I’ve never witnessed it, albeit I’m generally in country where I don’t see a lot of folks.

    I grab my phone when I see a photo opportunity I don’t want to pass; once in awhile a check on Gaiagps if I feel I’m off track. My inReach is used at night with a preset message saying “I made it to camp, everything is OK”

    Hardly immersed and can say with certainty that it isn’t spoiling my wilderness experience.

    #3657984
    humorless
    BPL Member

    @sleeping

    Locale: The Cascades

    “Doug claims there’s nothing to be done since tech has won. Well, no, I can choose not to go along. I can be gizmo free–ish! Because as Doug rightly points out, I do bring a Kindle instead of a book–I have to have something to read–at a 3 or 4 ounce penalty; and I love my Steripen. I don’t however stand gazing at my Steripen when I hit a pass with views.”

    I’m not sure I said there was nothing to be done. Of course you can choose to not go along, and you certainly aren’t alone in so choosing.

    Like Mike, I’ve never encountered anyone immersed in their gizmo while backpacking. I’ve seen people use a gizmo for a particular purpose and then put it away, so I’m not so sure that there is something significant to lament. As has already been said, people go to the wilderness for different reasons.

    #3657988
    Monte Masterson
    BPL Member

    @septimius

    Locale: Changes Often

    It doesn’t matter how much electronics you take along. The main obstacle for most people is simply getting out into the backcountry. Finding the TIME and OPPORTUNITY is the primary impediment for the majority of backpackers. You can bring zero electronics or a portable cell tower with solar panels for all I care. But like Roger says, I don’t want to hear your loud music for very long, and if I do I might get really nasty.

     

     

    #3657992
    W I S N E R !
    BPL Member

    @xnomanx

    That’s the funny thing…I’ve done a good deal of miles with both Doug and Mike and I barely remember any instances of either of them using an electronic device, save for taking a picture.

    I do recall a time we got a weather update on Doug’s InReach because, if I remember right, we were considering bailing over a 12,500′ pass in the dark and clouds were brewing that afternoon. Getting hit by midnight lightning isn’t the wilderness experience I’m going for.

    I believe I might have checked a GPS coordinate with Mike to ensure we were headed for the right canyon mouth when we were doing a big XC day in the desert (Doug was on that trip too).

    As for electronic distraction and spoiling among the people I know, I’m drawing total blanks.

     

     

    #3657993
    jscott
    BPL Member

    @book

    Locale: Northern California

    An argument could be made that gps devices ENABLE more adventurous hiking. for example, someone might feel comfortable going off trail if a device is along that will point them in the right direction. OTherwise, they may feel too intimidated or, like me, directionally incompetent.

    I bring a gps along on day ski/snowshoe trips. The trail is covered and I get lost at the drop of a hat.

    Is it worth carrying an extra pound to bring a charger, cable and electronics? when I’m going on trail in the Sierra in summer, with only day trips off trail? For me, no.

    Again, it’s people agonizing over how to lighten their packs but drawing a line at their gizmos that got me thinking. I wonder if going with a 2 ounce first aid kit because the pound of electronics is sacred makes sense. If you’re really worried about safety, I would think a splint would be more useful than a phone. Most scenarios for on trail hiking that involve danger won’t be helped by having a beacon anyway–being swept away while crossing a river, for example.

    I have seen people holding their phones as they hike; maybe they were looking for a photo. I used to carry five pounds of camera equipment until I realized the camera was coming between myself and being in nature. I kept looking around for a photo and framing the scene. I was living the shot I would see back home and forgetting the moment I was in.

    #3657996
    Todd T
    BPL Member

    @texasbb

    Locale: Pacific Northwest

    As with any addiction or unhealthy habit, it’s only the addicted who need to leave the electronic crud behind.  And of course, it’s only the addicted who think it’s unreasonable to leave the electronic crud behind.

    #3657999
    Nick Gatel
    BPL Member

    @ngatel

    Locale: Southern California

    I have seen backpackers (especially on sections of the PCT during thru-hike season), when in cell phone coverage areas, spending a lot of time texting, talking, facebooking, blogging, etc. But that is what they want to do. It sure doesn’t fit my idea of backpacking, but then I might have different goals and reasons for backpacking. Are my own wants and needs superior? Hardly.

    I really see this a lot in campgrounds now that some national parks have Wi-fi. Wi-Fi is Coming Your National Park!

    But is this any different than what people do at home? I see people spending huge chunks of their lives binge watching TV and spending huge amounts of time on social media. But those folks don’t see this as wasting time, and it isn’t my position to determine what is a waste of time. So it is best to let people do what they want without criticizing them.

    #3658012
    Pedestrian
    BPL Member

    @pedestrian

    Let’s look at this from a different perspective….maybe has already been touched on in the many posts above….

    Take a few steps back…. when first invented paper (as we know it today)  was a huge advance in technology. So was printing. Mapmaking (as we know it today) required lots of technology innovation. Compasses were a technological advance!

    It could be argued that using a printed map and compass  is using technology!

    I’d suggest to the OP: stop carrying around those crutches (map and compass), don’t drive your car (another technological advance), don’t use clothes, packs, tents etc made of synthetic materials……always walk to the Sierra from your home using the sun, moon, stars for way finding.

    Daniel Arnold has written an excellent book documenting his efforts to recreate some classic Sierra climbs using gear and techniques only available to the early adventurers.

    Early days in the range of light

     

    We could go on…..but hopefully you get the point.

    Others have made better points about not burdening SAR resources, keeping those at home sleeping well when you’re out there….etc etc

    Again HYOH.

     

    #3658022
    jscott
    BPL Member

    @book

    Locale: Northern California

    pedestrian…I don’t load my car in my pack and bring it with me. I’m not trashing all technology. among other things, I’m suggesting that electronics are often–not always, as I’ve made clear over and over–often not worth the weight.

    Last time I looked this was the backpacking light forum.

    #3658023
    Pedestrian
    BPL Member

    @pedestrian

    “classic Sierra climbs using gear and techniques only available to the early adventurers.”

    Meant to type……”….ONLY the gear and techniques available to…..”

    I bought my first Inreach after an “interesting” solo cross country trip over some rough Sierra country. I was delayed by two days causing some significant worry to folks at home. I’d left detailed trip plans and maps so they knew where I was. But I had no way to tell them I was fine but delayed by two days…..

     

     

    #3658039
    HkNewman
    BPL Member

    @hknewman

    Locale: The West is (still) the Best

    Not too worried about it myself but I know some overly fond of constantly using gadgets even while hiking.

    I plan my usage for set times and let my watch pace me as I hike (steady at 2.5 mph) through all the terrain features I remembered.

    #3660606
    Dan
    BPL Member

    @dan-s

    Locale: Colorado

    I could make a detailed post explaining why I typically bring my iPhone and Inreach Mini on my solo backcountry trips, but frankly I see no reason to justify my decisions to someone who has already decided that his way is the best way to “enjoy the wilderness”. New technology arrives all the time (fabrics, designs, electronics), and I will evaluate it on a case-by-case basis to see if it will enhance my own experience. I certainly will not judge others for their own decisions and priorities, and I’m not self-centered enough to think that my way is the best way.

    #3662619
    jscott
    BPL Member

    @book

    Locale: Northern California

    Fine, I’m being harshly judged for being judgmental. Humorous and sad at the same time.

    I thought I was being observational rather than judgmental. there’s a difference. where did I say “my way is the best way?” Rather the title of the thread clearly ASKS A QUESTION that invited response. I went on to talk about something very objective: carrying electronics with battery chargers is a new aspect to wilderness hiking and it may be changing the nature of our experience in the wilderness. How could it not? Many have said the impact is minimal for them. I never replied that they were wrong; I merely continued to press my case. this is how dialogue works.

    I see now I should have titled this “do you really need a pound of electronics on the JMT?”. Better? Probably not good enough. Still too provocative. the thing is, people put up their gear lists asking for ways to pare down the weight all the time. Are those who respond being judgmental?

    #3662866
    Pedestrian
    BPL Member

    @pedestrian

    Just calm down……:).

    BPL members need some one to beat up on….this time it was you….

    Just go out and hike…..no electronics!

     

     

    #3664096
    John “Jay” Menna
    BPL Member

    @jaymenna78734

    Locale: 30.3668397,-97.7399123

    I “snuck” up on a guy who was wearing earbuds at about mile 60 of the 100 Mile Wilderness. I scared the pee out of him.  The fool probably wore them all the way from Springer Mountain.

    Even though he didn’t have a boom box, it did make me chuckle.

    #3664122
    Mike M
    BPL Member

    @mtwarden

    Locale: Montana

    but, frankly, because we’re anxious about being in nature and addicted to our screens.

     

    you don’t think that would elicit a strong response?

    think again

     

    know thy audience

    #3664203
    Matt Dirksen
    BPL Member

    @namelessway

    Locale: Mid Atlantic

    “Are those who respond being judgmental?”

    Consider the difference between the following questions:

    “do YOU really need a pound of electronics on the JMT?”

    “do WE really need a pound of electronics on the JMT?”

    “do I really need a pound of electronics on the JMT?”

    While all three questions relate to the same subject, I’d wager that each question will invoke different sets of responses from people…

    As you said, this IS BPL. Lightness in mindset, brevity, and humor aught to be appropriately weighed as well!

    :)

    #3664204
    David K
    BPL Member

    @back2basix

    I carry an InReach Mini and a phone.  I’m often out solo off-trail in areas with no reception.  I enable tracking because I like marking cool spots to visit later.  As much as possible I navigate with a map and compass, but I’ve also been injured enough times to recognize the validity of having an SOS feature available.  And it comforts my family to get a check in each night.  It doesn’t interfere with my wilderness experience at all because I choose not to use them to distract myself.  I also carry a Kindle for when I want to read.  I wouldn’t imagine many people getting up in arms if I carried a book, and I don’t find this any different.

     

    Different strokes for different folks, but I think our intention and our use of technology determines whether it distracts from our experiences or not.

    #3664206
    Ben C
    BPL Member

    @alexdrewreed

    Locale: Kentucky

    For some people, myself included, it is easier to pull out my phone to glance at the map and my location on my phone screen than it is to stop, pull out a map, align a compass, and confirm my position. The phone allows me to enjoy the hike more because I am spending less time fooling with the old tech of map and compass. And it’s so multipurpose; it’s a good camera and has a few other apps that are occasionally useful. And when I get off the trail, I can use for most anything, from calling a shuttle to guying a beer and burger.

    #3664216
    jscott
    BPL Member

    @book

    Locale: Northern California

    “BPL members need some one to beat up on….this time it was you….”

    Fair play to hit back! Me against the mob! But seriously, is that supposed to be an argument for ganging up on people who post here? whatever.

    I’ll take my toys and go home. Wait, I mean I’ll leave my tech toys at home and go hiking.

    #3664218
    humorless
    BPL Member

    @sleeping

    Locale: The Cascades

    C’mon Jeff. The majority of replies in this thread simply disagree with you — I don’t see very much ganging up or harshness.

    #3664224
    David Thomas
    BPL Member

    @davidinkenai

    Locale: North Woods. Far North.

    > I “snuck” up on a guy who was wearing earbuds

    In 2002, I got my first iPod.  Cool!  I could listen to tunes while I was hiking local trails.  I set a PR and encountered 5 grizzlies that summer.  I learned I can’t zone out that much on Alaskan trails.  I’ve got to notice berries, water noise and poor sight lines and make a lot more noise in those settings.

     

    #3664226
    jscott
    BPL Member

    @book

    Locale: Northern California

    Oh I’m kidding! I will point out that I never referenced anyone in particular in the course of this, other than Doug who’s familiar with my high horse, but even then none of this was directed his way. whereas I’m mentioned personally on the receiving end of some comments. I don’t care but I would have liked to have seen my points engaged rather than my character…

    umm, Matt, if you look up one spot at Mike’s post you’ll see me quoted using your preferred form of “we”. which n fact I used often throughout altho admittedly I was just dashing this crap off without thinking that much about my grammar.

    edit: well, I did call Doug ‘ageist’ in response to his needling me in the previous post. Doug’s too old to be ageist. He wishes!

    #3664228
    humorless
    BPL Member

    @sleeping

    Locale: The Cascades

    I guess I need to better figure out your humor so I don’t make humorless posts to your humor.

    I’m happy to vouch for your character, or that you’re a (n older) character, or … something.

    #3664229
    Monte Masterson
    BPL Member

    @septimius

    Locale: Changes Often

    Ignore the herd. I don’t let contrarian views bother me because the way I see it, when it comes to ultralight backpacking if someone isn’t doing what I’m doing they’re clearly stupid.

Viewing 25 posts - 26 through 50 (of 101 total)
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