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Non-Tech Person has Question
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John McAlpine
(HairlessApe) - M

Locale: PNW
Non-Tech Person has Question on 06/17/2011 15:01:14 MDT Print View

I just got my first cell phone a year ago. It's an Android from AT&T. I'm so non-tech I still don't have a home computer.....yes I'm at work.

I'd like to use my Andriod to send data to my journal I just opened at When you're on the PCT (Ashland Oregon to Canada..starting Aug 1)how do you power the battery? Do you really stop off at stores/resturants/etc. and just plug it in to recharge? I don't want to carry solar stuff. The battery doesn't seem to last that long when I'm at home. Do I 'power off' when not in use on the trail?


Sage Bauers
(nepetalactone) - F
re: on 06/17/2011 15:12:14 MDT Print View

I can say that for iphone the best thing to do is put it into 'airplane mode.' This deactivates the cell service and the wifi (which you probably won't get either of anyways) but keeps the GPS running if you use your phone for that sort of thing. This greatly extends battery life (nearly a week on iphone 4). Turning off when not in use of course helps as well. One good thing about Android phones is they (usually) have replaceable batteries so you can get spares, but really on trail solar isn't too bad if you're out for an extended period.

Sage Bauers
(nepetalactone) - F
though... on 06/17/2011 15:13:21 MDT Print View

You would need to activate your service to post to your journal however.

Kier Selinsky
(Kieran) - F

Locale: Seattle, WA
Re: Non-Tech Person has Question on 06/17/2011 18:54:35 MDT Print View

Yeah previous commenter has it right - put it into airplane mode and then shut it down. In addition, I wouldn't write off solar chargers so quickly. There's lots of options out there, and you can rig them to the back of your pack. I've even seen people take the solar panels out of old garden lights, wire them in a series, and plug them into their phones and get a respectable charge. At roughly 3" square each, there's no reason you couldn't quickly secure them to your pack so that your phone will charge while you're hiking.

Ken Bennett
(ken_bennett) - F

Locale: southeastern usa
Re: Non-Tech Person has Question on 06/18/2011 18:14:40 MDT Print View

You can make the battery last longer even at home. Check this story ( for some tips aimed at iPhone users, but most can be used by the Android. The comments offer more suggestions. Turning off things that use power - push services, notifications, even WiFi if you aren't using it - seem to help a lot.

On the trail, put the phone in Airplane mode (no wifi, no cell service), and turn it completely off when not using it. When you want to write an entry, turn it on, but leave it in Airplane mode while you write, then turn it all the way off again. Every few days, when you think you might have service, you can take it back to regular mode and upload all your journal entries. (I think Postholer takes email updates, right? That would be easiest, I think.)

For power, yes, I have asked politely at stores and restaurants if I could plug in my camera or phone charger. I've never had anyone say no, but then I am always a customer (i.e., buying something.)

I've had a regular cell phone (not a smart phone) on the trail for up to two weeks with no recharge, and only a few texts or a phone call ever day or two, but totally off the rest of the time. It still had five bars of battery life at the end of the hike. I would expect my new iPhone to last at least a week under similar conditions, based on how well the battery lasts when it's on all the time at home.

John McAlpine
(HairlessApe) - M

Locale: PNW
THANKS on 06/20/2011 09:24:19 MDT Print View

I apprciate all the responses. I'll wlak up to my local AT&T store during lunch and learn where 'airplane mode' is.

I got into while at work and create my site. When I was home I pulled the site up and found I couldn't type in the "Journal Entry". If I can't do that then I won't bring this Android phone along. For safety I carry a FastFind.

Piper S.
(sbhikes) - F

Locale: Santa Barbara (Name: Diane)
Re: THANKS on 06/21/2011 14:22:24 MDT Print View

Postholer should have an option to send in your journal posts as emails. Maybe even as text messages.

I don't have a smart phone, but I did carry a dumb phone on the PCT. I kept it turned off until I wanted to make a call. When I did charge it, I recall charging it in the day lodge at Timberline lodge right outside the bathrooms. I also charged in hotel rooms and when I stayed with trail angels.

I've heard that someone did a study and determined that cell phones bother bees and possibly is a contributor of colony collapse disorder. So it's good to keep the phone off to help the poor bees.

Chas Ho
(i_charles) - F
Non-Tech Person has Question on 06/23/2011 12:09:52 MDT Print View

Get an extra battery. I personally get a no contract cheapy phone. Seems to me it picks up more towers than better phones which seem to have more area restrictions? Anyhow,for about $220 I am good for the year.
Obviously, I am not a big talker.