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cell phone-- bringin' it?
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Leslie Thurston
(lesler) - F

Locale: right here, right now
cell phone-- bringin' it? on 02/14/2012 06:49:47 MST Print View

who's bringing?
who's not?

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: cell phone-- bringin' it? on 02/14/2012 06:59:28 MST Print View

Never bring. Very little signal where I hike, shoot, where I live.

disclaimer. I dislike phones in general.

Sat. phone on some trips does sound like a good idea though.

K ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
Re: Re: cell phone-- bringin' it? on 02/14/2012 07:12:22 MST Print View

Same as Ken and NO signal where I live.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: cell phone-- bringin' it? on 02/14/2012 07:23:06 MST Print View

Day hikes, yes in general. Overnights if I think I might have a signal. I hide it deep in the car-- I'm always suspect of trailhead break-ins. I happily turn it off.

Chris C
(cvcass) - MLife

Locale: State of Jefferson
I leave it in the car on 02/14/2012 07:27:25 MST Print View

There is never any signal where I hike so I don't bother carrying it at all. I also enjoy being untethered from society when I am in the woods. My buddy on the other hand always brings his smartphone, and usually plays games or listens to music at night.

Ben Wortman
(bwortman) - M

Locale: Nebraska
Yep on 02/14/2012 07:31:31 MST Print View

I always bring a cell phone if I can climb up to a ridge and expect to get out, or rent a sat phone. It is almost a requirement with a wife and 2 small kids. It keeps them from constantly worrying about me.

Mark Verber
(verber) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: cell phone-- bringin' it? on 02/14/2012 08:31:45 MST Print View

yes... but not to use as a cell phone. Normally off, but it gets turned on if I think I am lost (gps with offline topo maps), sometimes it gets turned on in the evening to read a bit.

Edited by verber on 02/14/2012 16:18:47 MST.

Diana Nevins
(artemis) - MLife

Locale: Great Plains
I'm taking mine. on 02/14/2012 08:54:03 MST Print View

i take mine when I hike, but not because I expect to use it. I just don't want to leave anything valuable in the car. I just set the ringer to vibrate, tuck the phone away in a safe spot in my pack, and forget about it until the hike's over.

John Vance
(Servingko) - F

Locale: Intermountain West
Never bring on 02/14/2012 09:24:03 MST Print View

It stays on the car for two reasons; it doesn't fit my backcountry philosophy and no service for the most part.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: cell phone-- bringin' it? on 02/14/2012 09:25:55 MST Print View

Much as I love to schedule dayhikes during work conference calls and get paid to stretch my legs, I can pretty much only do that by walking on the beach or a few trails around town.

Most of my dayhikes have no coverage so I hide it deep in the car (although I've never had a trailhead break-in.

If I'm going solo, light, and long (40-mile dayhike), Imight bring it in case I need to get word out, but usually bring SPOT instead.

The wife doesn't care if I bring it on solo hikes, but wants it on family BPing trips.

On a longer trip, I'd like the ebook function.

Matthew Zion
(mzion) - F

Locale: Boulder, CO
Re: Cell Phone on 02/14/2012 10:00:13 MST Print View

On long hikes yes. Anything shorter than a week probably not.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
NO! on 02/14/2012 10:07:01 MST Print View

I go into the wilderness to immerse myself into the wilderness. The less of "man" you bring with you, the more you can appreciate the wilderness.

I want to absorb the environment, to breath in the sights, smells, and sounds -- not bring barriers that separate me from the wilderness. For this reason I don't bring phones, MP3 players, books, eReaders, GPS, or even a camera on most trips (camera is only used to share certain trips with my children).

I don't build fires, because they separate me from the wilderness.

I usually don't bring people either, because they separate too with talk of politics, sports, news, war, etc. Solitude allows one to spend all their time in the wilderness unencumbered by man and his man-world. To spend more time, especially at night, to ponder the wilderness world, to look at it, to see it, to smell it, to feel it. Do not confuse solitude with loneliness; there is too much to see, do, and take in; which does not allow for excess time to engage in loneliness. The exception is occasionally sharing the wilderness with my wife or children.

Usually I sleep under the stars to wonder about the grandeur of the universe. In poor weather I use a tarp or similar open shelter, so I can still see the environment around me, winter storms excepted.

And when I return to the man-made world, it allows me to appreciate more, the good of it, and to despise with greater clarity the worse.

So no, I do not bring a phone. It provides no useful purpose. It is a burden. It is extra weight that weighs on soul.

Ben F
(tekhna) - F
Yes, of course. on 02/14/2012 10:15:58 MST Print View

But it stays off in my pack unless I need the GPS. Offline maps make the signal problem a non-issue. I don't use it for games or music or anything. And in an emergency I'd rather have it and pray for signal than not have it and not know if there's signal.

Casey Bowden
(clbowden) - MLife

Locale: Berkeley Hills
Re: No Cell Phone on 02/14/2012 10:23:13 MST Print View

Beautiful Nick.
A huge +1.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
always on 02/14/2012 10:32:51 MST Print View

if there is reception ... i often turn it off

there have been too many rescues that have succeeded because of a cell phone or other such device for me not to bring it

ed hyatt
(edhyatt) - MLife

Locale: The North
cell phone on 02/14/2012 10:34:43 MST Print View

I take one as it satisfies a number of uses (ergo UL ;-)

Chris S
(csteutterman) - F

Locale: Tahoe
Sometimes on 02/14/2012 10:42:52 MST Print View

If I think there might be a signal, I consider bringing it, but I usually don't. But the only reason I don't is because it doesn't serve enough of a purpose to justify the weight. I don't really buy into the idea that it somehow diminishes the wilderness experience. Like Diana said, I "tuck the phone away in a safe spot in my pack, and forget about it until the hike's over." Although I turn it off entirely, not just set it to vibrate.

On a related note, I thought I read somewhere on these forums that even in areas where there is no signal (or maybe just a very weak signal), 911 calls can sometimes go through. Is there any truth to that?

Ben F
(tekhna) - F
Re: Sometimes on 02/14/2012 10:45:59 MST Print View

I think a 911 call will ignore any roaming restrictions and latch on to the nearest tower, any tower. There just has to be a tower. If there's not a single tower it won't matter.

Edit: of course there's the CDMA/GSM problem, but ignore that for the moment.

Edited by tekhna on 02/14/2012 10:46:32 MST.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
911 for free on 02/14/2012 11:21:19 MST Print View

Chris: Yes, your system might not have coverage but a 911 call should go to any system with coverage. I'll try to confirm that with the local emergency preparedness guy at the Borough (County).

Therefore, a phone without a service plan also works for 911 (only). So an old pre-pay, or last-year's phone could go on hike and if it goes swimming, who cares?

Or if you're a total Luddite and don't have a phone, ask a friend to give you their old one and the charger.

Or if you want your kid (Scout group, babysitter, elderly parent) to have one "for emergencies only" then give them a phone with no contract. That will save $30-60/month. They can use it very literally "for emergencies only" and you avoid that $350 texting bill every parent seems to get the second month of cell phone use by tweeners.

Editted to add: If you want to test the off-contract phone, keep it in your car and call in the next wild driver or possible drunk driver you see to 911. Then you'll be sure it works.

Edited by DavidinKenai on 02/14/2012 11:24:44 MST.

Geoffrey Lehmann
(yipper) - MLife

Locale: deep south
value of I Phone on 02/14/2012 11:52:15 MST Print View

Prior to acquiring an I Phone, I always carried a paperback book. The I Phone weighs less than most paperbacks, so with its own I Books plus Kindle reader, I have a lot more to read. Then add in (with signal) phone, gps, I Topo maps, weather, star charts, Pandora, etc. and I’m way ahead. I seldom actually turn it on, though.


Edited by yipper on 02/14/2012 11:53:13 MST.