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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 - 76 through 100 (of 101 total)
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  • #3664553
    Roger Caffin
    BPL Member

    @rcaffin

    Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe

    “For the record, I cook my food.”
    Me, I have raw muesli for breakfast…

    Cheers

    #3664601
    Kattt
    BPL Member

    @kattt

    “I always ask for an epidural with my permit.”

    Lol

    Yeah Doug sorted it out well.

    #3664883
    AK Granola
    BPL Member

    @granolagirlak

    Random reactions to this interesting thread:

    I love the alcoholic chess game. I recently came across just such a scene – seriously, they had a 12 pack of beer and a chess game! – and my little inner voice said “don’t camp here!” I didn’t.

    All the talk about Wilderness- that was once something to be conquered and eliminated. Some people still believe that, including some who hike. Spray for mosquitoes, shoot all the bears. Make it safe and comfortable for me. Or, eliminate all the people (especially the locals) so I can enjoy my Wilderness experience. I’ve started using the term “nature” instead, which is perhaps less tinged with racism, biblical overtones, other baggage.

    I see a lot of comments by people new to hiking/backpacking on a FB group I’m on, who frequently ask “but what do you do at night to keep from being bored?” I hope they find out what most of us do when they push themselves hard on the trail … sleep! Or just lie there and think, stretch, listen, relax. One gal commented that she used her cell phone music to keep her from panicking at night, tuning out the scary night noises. That seemed sad to me, and I hope one day the battery will be dead and she’ll realize how special that time is. But ultimately her headphones aren’t my concern. Just like you let your kids experience things on their own, with minimal guidance, you can’t really preach to other hikers how they ought to experience things. They’ll get out of it what they put into it.

    I remember a yoga class I took a long time ago. We had a substitute teacher, a Kundalini practitioner. She put us (beginner level class) directly into an 11 minute meditation in “easy” pose. As I sat there trying to get my mind to settle, I kept hearing the gym door open and close, open and close. When I finally opened my eyes 11 minutes later, most of the students had left! Sitting with one’s thoughts is difficult if you’ve never done it. That happens a lot when hiking solo, once you take out the headphones. Alone with your own rascally mind.

    I was kayaking last week on a lake, and saw a couple in a canoe. The guy was paddling, and she was on her phone. I had paused to watch some cute gull babies, and a few minutes later when I paddled away she was still on her phone. Maybe looking at cute pics of gull babies!

    If all this sounds judgmental, my apologies. I don’t tell other people how to live, unless they’re interfering with my enjoyment/safety (then I become a Karen). But how people hike does influence my choice of companions; I prefer to hike with folks who like to do what I do, and I’m sure the reverse is also true. As to the folks who want to play with electronics I don’t mind if it doesn’t interfere with my hike. Someone with a cell phone glued on won’t want to hike with me either, as I stop and look at spiders, or spend 20 minutes finding an Orange-crowned Warbler in a bush. Certainly fast hikers would be well beyond me in no time.

    I think there are a lot – a lot!! – of folks trying out hiking and biking and backpacking and paddling, for the first time. That’s wonderful! If they stick with it long enough, they’ll probably start leaving the crutches behind. But if they don’t, then HYOH.

     

    #3664988
    Roger Caffin
    BPL Member

    @rcaffin

    Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe

    Looking at spiders …

    Cheers

    #3665007
    Nick Gatel
    BPL Member

    @ngatel

    Locale: Southern California

    Karen,

    Nice post.

    I have mostly been hiking solo for around 50 years. Mostly because in the beginning I couldn’t find anyone who wanted to go with me. Not that I find anything wrong with hiking with friends, I do that occasionally too. But I find hiking alone makes it easier to occupy my time and thoughts with the environment around me.

    #3665008
    jscott
    BPL Member

    @book

    Locale: Northern California

    I’m with Nick. Especially during the day–from morning until camp–I like having silence and the freedom to lose myself in nature (if that’s not too confusing to people) that hiking alone allows. I’m responding to my environment, rather than conversation or the needs and desires of companions.

    #3665054
    Hanz B
    BPL Member

    @tundra-thrasher-ouch-man-2

    When i started hiking i took no technology because of weight and affordability of replacing it – if i broke it. Now, I take a garmin mini and an iphone 11, which in a case is rgged enough. I find the waterproofing, small form factor, built in safety, and fairly good photos  on a moments notice to actually clear my mind, reduce stress, and improve my attention to the nature around me. but perhaps that more about my own psychosis then tech itself. I kind of feel from a general standpoint if used correctly and with a goal in mind today’s tech has improved my experience with nature.

    #3665725
    Garrett
    BPL Member

    @gtturner1988-2-2

    We clearly backpack in very different settings. Without a GPS/SOS device, you simply would not be around anymore to make this thread.

    ” We used to revel in ‘leaving civilization behind’ and finding our self sufficiency”

    Don’t confuse groomed trails with leaving civilization and self sufficiency.

    The bigger question is why are you backpacking in a place that gets cellular reception? Why are you in an area where there are other people around?

     

    #3665728
    Nick Gatel
    BPL Member

    @ngatel

    Locale: Southern California

    Why are you in an area where there are other people around?

    My preference, but it is getting more difficult to do each year. Besides, some folks don’t see this as important and prefer places where there are other people for whatever personal reason they may have.

    #3665760
    Roger Caffin
    BPL Member

    @rcaffin

    Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe

    We clearly backpack in very different settings. Without a GPS/SOS device, you simply would not be around anymore to make this thread.
    Chuckle.
    Which explains why after nearly 60 years of backpacking, mostly off-trail in very wild areas and without any GPS or SOS devices, I am still here.

    Yes, we traversed this range.
    Cheers

    #3665763
    Garrett
    BPL Member

    @gtturner1988-2-2

    Roger, Im failing to see your point. Sure it can be done in certain circumstances where your around reliable water sources, rivers to follow and track, high points for visible identification, etc. However, try that in flat terrain with low water availability. We now have a completely different situation at hand.

    Emphasis on the “We clearly backpack in very different settings”

    #3665769
    Pedestrian
    BPL Member

    @pedestrian

    “We now have a completely different situation at hand.”

    Post your own pictures ;).

     

     

    #3665772
    jscott
    BPL Member

    @book

    Locale: Northern California

    “Without a GPS/SOS device, you simply would not be around anymore to make this thread.

    ” We used to revel in ‘leaving civilization behind’ and finding our self sufficiency””

    Whaaaa? And yet, here I am, making this thread.

    Maybe you needed the sos device to rescue you sometime(s)? I never have.

    If you’re out exploring the River of No Returns with Roosevelt, more power to you. The vast majority of people here are travelling on trail; anyway, my posts were clearly directed at this population. Let me quote myself: “do you need a pound of electronics on the JMT?”

    by ‘self sufficiency’ I was again referencing not having said electronic devices at hand; I should have really written, ‘the ability to spend time alone without electronic devices to entertain or alleviate unfounded fears.”

    Actually, I think these devices have often served to make people MORE anxious, not less, for a variety of reasons (see: search and rescue sent out when an expected message fails to appear).

    I’m not sure that bragging about your manly exploits with a gps/sos device really works. Are you writing for National Geographic, detailing your exploration of never before traversed terrain?

    #3665773
    Roger Caffin
    BPL Member

    @rcaffin

    Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe

    The dry desert of Central Australia maybe?

    OK, not quite flat – but much more interesting. A bit dry though.

    But if you want flat, we can provide. This is a 180 degree pan of dead dry country.

    I found water in a slot gully coming off the massif. It came out of a crack in the rock and disappeared into the sand.

    This ignores the fact that many generations of walkers have been roaming around the wilderness with nothing more than a compass, and enjoying themselves. Not just Australia, but also the Antarctica and other wild places. We don’t need crutches.

    Cheers

    #3665774
    jscott
    BPL Member

    @book

    Locale: Northern California

    Perhaps Garret meant something other than, ‘if you go hiking in more remote areas without a gps/sos device, you will die’. But that’s the implication of his post.

    and that’s exactly the sort of fear mongering I’m questioning, for the average on trail hiker.

    I’ve also made plain that I get lost easily and take a gps in winter when skiing or snowshoeing.

    #3665778
    AK Granola
    BPL Member

    @granolagirlak

    I love that spider web, but where is the spider? This is why I like hiking with others; they go first and clear the path!

    Why be in an area with other people around? because there are some darned gorgeous places that everyone goes to! Nothing wrong with that. Nothing wrong with seeking solitude in the desert either.

    When I am going very remote however, I’m glad to have my inReach. It’s also sometimes hard to get adequate maps. The hike I had planned to do tomorrow has a nice georeferenced Avenza map, but I cannot find a paper map to – save my life. So devices can help.

    #3665796
    Garrett
    BPL Member

    @gtturner1988-2-2

    People just getting into this hobby go to this site for guidance. Many of them don’t post, yet just read through the comments for their trip preparation. I find it implausible that people here are recommending week long backpacking trips without a GPS/SOS device. Sure many of use have the experience to do without, but that takes time and trail/error.

    Pedestrian  ”Post your own pictures ;)”

    Sure. The image doesn’t really explain much though.

    IMG_0033

    It’s not just about being lost. It’s about not wasting energy and time, only to find out that the once reliable creek has now dried out. Guess what now you have to zig zag your way back to your prior location for water. Assuming its high elevation gain, hot, no shade, and your already dehydrated well… Sorry buddy, but your odds aren’t looking too good. Time is important in areas without water. You don’t have all day to just go around looking for things.

    I think people we need to be more clear about the conditions were talking when we say you don’t need a safety device. Just saying we should do without gps/sos as a whole is just dangerous and ill advised.

    #3665798
    jscott
    BPL Member

    @book

    Locale: Northern California

    “Just saying we should do without gps/sos as a whole is just dangerous and ill advised.”

    Agreed; I’ve been at pains to say as much throughout this thread, from the very first post.

    I’ll further stipulate that I mainly hike in the mountains of the West through areas where water is usually abundant.

    #3665800
    Roger Caffin
    BPL Member

    @rcaffin

    Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe

    Well, a GPS is not going to find water for you if there isn’t any. If you don’t know where you are, should you be there?

    An SOS device might save you, but if you use just because you are thirsty, expect some serious criticism from the rescuers. And possibly a bill for the service.

    In desert country, carry enough water to handle problems. The desert is not there to be your playground. And Nature simply does not care.

    Sorry to be so harsh, but better harsh than dead. Go cautiously.

    Cheers

    #3665801
    Roger Caffin
    BPL Member

    @rcaffin

    Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe

    Now, for Karen, spider webs.

    In this picture look at the top supporting strand. In the middle there is a bit of curled leaf hanging down. The spider is hiding inside that.

    The spiderweb is bright because of morning dew. The weight of the dew probably also explains the sagginess.

    Cheers

    #3665803
    Garrett
    BPL Member

    @gtturner1988-2-2

    +1 jscott ;)

    “GPS is not going to find water for you if there isn’t any. If you don’t know where you are, should you be there?“

    The point is that you can’t afford the hours of the lost time that it took you to get to your potential water source. A to B is much quicker than A to C to D to B.

    “In desert country, carry enough water to handle problems”

    Sometimes that’s just not feasible. Best way is to carry enough to get you to your water source, then a little extra for a night hike in case its empty. One simply can’t carry enough water to accommodate getting lost. Water is HEAVY.

    Anyways, I believe I’ve made my point. Glad to see others acknowledge that there are times where a gps/sos device are important.

    #3665914
    HkNewman
    BPL Member

    @hknewman

    Locale: The West is (still) the Best

    fear mongering

    The jurisdictions around the southern PCT now really want to helicopter a rattlesnake bite victim into treatment in about 30 minutes due to the hemotoxin destroying muscle tissue at the bite site.  The only way to do that is tech. Not that’s there is many bites on that trail itself (know one happened in 2016), but a number of non-thru hikers get bit every year in the foothills below.  Just because I have an inReach doesn’t mean I’m going to take more chances when close to a rattler anyways (had a Green Mojave encounter a few weeks back … and now going to the Cascades for my next trip)

     

    An SOS device might save you, but if you use just because you are thirsty [or an idiot], expect some serious criticism from the rescuers. And possibly a bill for the service

    Even in US states that normally cover the bill (not all do btw), gross negligence could possibly result in a bill iirc.

    #3665922
    Eric Blumensaadt
    BPL Member

    @danepacker

    Locale: Mojave Desert

    You guy say “Tech Toys” like its a bad thing. ;o)

    On a recent backpack I was quietly overjoyed when my 14 year old grandson used all his iPhone battery playing Minecraft.

    Nothing else for him to do but pay attention to the scenery, setting up camp, cooking, etc. We even talked about Nature.  Go figure.

    #3665924
    Roger Caffin
    BPL Member

    @rcaffin

    Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe

    And next year, when he is older and more mature, he will be carrying a mega-battery-backup pack. He may even have read about them here at BPL.

    Cheers

    #3666720
    Diane “Piper” Soini
    BPL Member

    @sbhikes

    Locale: Santa Barbara

    I am late to this party, but I brought my iphone with gaiagps on it. I had a paper map with topo lines and my partner had a paper map by a different company also with topo lines. But they were both missing a lot of trails. The topos in gaia were older and had more trails.

    While I was camping at one location, I went up the hill to find a bush and noticed a small series of ducks (cairns for you weirdos). It appeared there was a trail there. I looked on my gaiagps and sure enough there was a trail there, but it wasn’t on my paper map.

    I looked at other similar places on the map like this one and saw that there were other old trails that were missing.

    When my hiking partner and I were approaching one of these we decided to keep an eye out for where one of these old trails might be. We found the inconspicuous ducks and were able to follow the faint trail, using the gps when we lost it. We ended up here:

    Lower Crabtree Lake

    And here:

    Upper Crabtree Lake

    Maybe you all are better than me at this, maybe my brain is addled by the way the Los Padres National Forest forces you to use trails to get places, but I was pretty excited and now I want to find other hidden places like this off the beaten track.

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