cell phone-- bringin' it?
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Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: No way I am bringing a phone on 02/24/2012 12:03:38 MST Print View

"My disclaimer to this would be if you are hiking a very significant distance and length of time. I would not even think about hiking (especially alone) for more than about 4-5 days without something to fall back on if something happened."

But tens of thousands (probably) of backpackers did it before the advent of cell phones. What has changed that we now need phones?

Lyan Jordan
(redmonk)

Locale: Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem
cell phone-- bringin' it? on 02/24/2012 12:09:48 MST Print View

You don't get bonus points for causing others stress that can be prevented.

Chris S
(csteutterman) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Re: No way I am bringing a phone on 02/24/2012 12:21:46 MST Print View

"What has changed that we now need phones?"

I'm not sure anybody is saying the we "need" them (although I didn't read every post in this thread), but that the benefits a cell phone provides are worthwhile for some.


"Nothing angers me more than being 3 days into a hike and someone pulls out a cell phone and makes a call. The whole reason I BP is to get away from the world, not to bring it into the backcountry with me."

Sure, if people or whipping out there phones on the trail and making calls to chat with their friends that's pretty lame, but I don't think that's what people are talking about here.

Mike W
(skopeo) - F

Locale: British Columbia
cell phone-- bringin' it? on 02/24/2012 12:32:20 MST Print View

>> But tens of thousands (probably) of backpackers did it before the advent of cell phones. What has changed that we now need phones? <<

Nothing has changed in the back country however, there would be a small number of people that became missing person statistics back then that would just be an interesting rescue story today.

John Jensen
(JohnJ) - F

Locale: Orange County, CA
cell phone-- bringin' it? on 02/24/2012 15:39:03 MST Print View

I think this new world with cell phones (our Star Trek Communicators) is different, but I'm OK with it. I'm on earth, with my communicator. When my communicator works everywhere (and batteries last a month) I'll be pretty happy.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: cell phone-- bringin' it? on 02/24/2012 16:28:03 MST Print View

You might want to bring your smartphone to help you detect e coli....

Mark Olah
(gorgar3141)

Locale: New Mexico
cell phone-- bringin' it? on 02/24/2012 16:45:31 MST Print View

Just wanted to point out a few facts from the perspective an an active mountain rescue volunteer.

In response to earlier questions that when dialling 911, the phone system will use any available carrier, and it will even work for a phone without a contract. Carriers are required to take all 911 calls they receive. You can bring the tiniest phone possible with no contract and still have the benefit of 911.

The E911 system will give the operator and police/rescue an approximate position based on triangulation of the signal. This is often quite good, and potentially locates a lost person better
than what they can describe to the operator. Just like with GPS if you are in a canyon or near big cliff walls, this doesn't work well due to reflection, but normally you don't have good reception there either.

Probably 95%+ of the rescues we respond to originated with a cell phone call (of the party needing help). But hardly any of them are backpackers... so draw your own conclusions, but
I bring my phone (3.0 oz) off in an ziplock in my first aid kit.