Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
Display Avatars Sort By:
Brian Kelly
ipad on 04/15/2013 21:25:14 MDT Print View

Ok so i just started a thread about charging an ipod for my while in the field. That post made me curious how many of you light weight backpackers carry and ipad, ipad mini or e reader of some sort while backpacking? If you carry one could you also post your pack weight?

Brian Kelly
.. on 04/15/2013 21:30:56 MDT Print View

Im starting to feel like this is a very taboo subject on these forums if so i am very sorry ;)

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Soon... on 04/15/2013 21:37:24 MDT Print View

Nothing is taboo. Some things just get you chewed out.

I don't carry, but if I did, I would choose the basic Kindle e-Reader. It's lighter than anything else, the battery lasts a month, and it's pretty durable.

If I wanted to take an iPad, I would bring a portable battery pack, lithium ion. That way, I can enjoy my iPad over 3-5 days. Any trip longer than that and I'd either re-evaluate what I'm using the iPad for or I would bring a solar charger. Some places, like the northeast, a solar charger isn't altogether practical.

At a certain point, some trips in the woods don't allow an iPad (No!!!) But, I think in the next 5 years, we'll see an advance in technology that'll allow more use.

There's a project going on right now that's going to turn body heat and finger pressure into power for ultra-efficient screens. I bet before the close of this decade, phones power themselves indefinitely. Mark my words.

Josh Brock

Locale: Outside
yep on 04/15/2013 21:41:06 MDT Print View

I carry an Ipad. I love it. I like watching a movie while falling asleep. I also like editing and looking at my pictures at the end of a day. I can show my buddies the pics of them that I shot earlier. I can listen to music while enjoying a break. I also have several books on it and love them all. Its not UL but "I" like bringing mine.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: .. on 04/15/2013 21:43:16 MDT Print View

No, it's not taboo. A lot of folks use smart phones, especially thru-hikers. Some use Kindles and iPads, but they are a minority. Each person needs to take what works for them. I am not one for most electronics, but it doesn't mean I am right - there is no right. But, an iPad weighs more than my 3 season shelter, a couple of my packs, and some of my sleeping pads.

Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re: ipod touch on 04/15/2013 21:48:54 MDT Print View

On some trips i'll bring my ipod touch which i can listen to music, CarTalk podcast or read E-books on.

Brian Kelly
Re: Re: .. on 04/15/2013 21:51:15 MDT Print View

mine too. I have a echoo ii tarp system and an windrider pack and depending on time of year the wife will be going just a western mountaineering highLite 35* bag which is very light too. So a 2lb ipad with case is very heavy. I am also thinking about getting a mld trailsatr but that is for a different post

Peter S
(prse) - MLife

Locale: Denmark
I bring on 04/15/2013 22:13:32 MDT Print View

a Kindle Paperwhite - 213g

The Non-light basic version weighs 170g

If you like to read while it's dark, trust me, don't try to save weight here.

Dustin Short
(upalachango) - MLife
For leisure on 04/15/2013 23:42:32 MDT Print View

I usually hike as long as possible and then crash as soon as camp is made...that said if I go on more leisurely trips with friends (so far most of my friends seem to hike till they drop as well) I'd take my Kindle.

I have two actually but I would take my newer paperwhite even though it's an ounce heavier. The reason is that it has a built in light so I don't drain my head lamp batteries (and it's a very good light for reading, just an enjoyable experience to use). The batteries on kindles should last you a month so no need to charge. If you're out for longer than a month, like a thru hike, you can put the charger into a bounce box, but the included AC plug with a short usb cable would be light combo as well (2oz or less).

Anything with a proper LCD screen just doesn't last long enough to justify taking in my book unless you're on an expedition style adventure with lots of down time. Then I'd consider my macbook air or an android tablet and a goal zero setup. But that'd double my gear weight. It seems almost silly to bring so many accouterments of the city into the wilderness when my entire purpose of entering the wilderness is a vacation from the trappings of modern society. Instant gratification is, well gratifying, but it's also instant and thus fleeting.

Sumi Wada
(DetroitTigerFan) - F

Locale: Ann Arbor
Re: ipad on 04/16/2013 10:46:19 MDT Print View

I carry a Kindle, the smallest (and cheapest) one. Weighs a little over 5oz with a protective sleeve I made out of Lawson's 1/8" foam pad and silnylon. Batteries last forever. My base weight is right around 11lb.

Rocco Speranza

Locale: Western NC Mtns
iphone 5 on 04/16/2013 11:06:51 MDT Print View

I just carry my iphone 5. Does most of what the ipad can do and weight almost nothing (4oz) compared to it (23oz).

Bradley Attaway
(AttaboyBrad) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
If it's about "reading" on 04/16/2013 11:18:08 MDT Print View

Audiobooks on an iPod nano play for 24 hours on 105MaH battery in a .74oz package. The 3oz external battery I usually use to recharge my iPhone will give me several months of 12 hour days with the Nano. I can "read" audiobooks while I'm hiking as well. I got through 4 Malcolm Gladwell books in two days!

That said, on shorter mileage overnights where I'll be having a proper camp I'll often bring my iPad to read comics or watch a movie in the tent with friends. If I were just going to read text I'd do that on my iPhone.

Edited by AttaboyBrad on 04/16/2013 11:20:21 MDT.

Ken Bennett
(ken_bennett) - F

Locale: southeastern usa
Re: ipad on 04/16/2013 12:21:12 MDT Print View

I have an iPhone which usually comes on trips, but I leave it off in my pack unless I want to make a call home, or check my GPS (using Gaia.) It's too small to keep a journal, and the camera is not enough to make me happy.

My wife just got an iPad Mini, which I find very intriguing for long distance hiking. It's large enough to use as a journal, carry a PDF of a trail guide, use as a large GPS unit, and with a 3G chip it can be a telephone as well as a general communication/email/text device. The battery life looks excellent, and it's half the size and weight of my 1st-gen iPad. It might replace several items in my pack and justify its own weight.

Edward Silva
Re: Re: ipod touch on 04/17/2013 13:10:40 MDT Print View

CarTalk? Don't backpack like my brother!

But seriously, my iPad 2 came in at 1.8 lbs. After one expedition last summer, left it at home.

Of course, purchased a new iPhone 5, with case, comes in at 5 ounces.

Hoping a new iPad Mini comes out, the existing iPad Mini is very light but based on the iPad 2 -- ergo, it's generations behind the iPad 3 and iPad 4.

Kind of wonder at the anti-technology folks on the trails. As long as the tech people carry is not lighting up the sky or blaring noise, who cares? Not like they don't haul Silicon Valley up to Everest Base Camp for each expedition.

Edited by pcmodem on 04/17/2013 13:11:51 MDT.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Re: Re: ipod touch on 04/17/2013 13:19:11 MDT Print View

"existing iPad Mini is very light but based on the iPad 2 -- ergo, it's generations behind the iPad 3 and iPad 4."

Sorry, but other than the screen resolution and A5 chip, this simply is not a true statement.

iPad mini supports 4G, iPad 2 does not. iPad mini has a higher resolution camera for photos and video, it can Facetime over cellular, the iPad 2 can not. Mini has bluetooth 4, iPad 2 has bluetooth 2.1. Mini includes Siri, iPad 2 does not.

It uses the same A5 chip, yes. But it has a lot more updated technology.

Edited by idester on 04/17/2013 13:19:43 MDT.

Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
Love me some Nook on 04/17/2013 14:06:01 MDT Print View

I'm a huge reader...can't fall asleep without reading a bit. I also love to pull it out at a nice sunny lunch stop, whatever. I have the small Nook with a glow light so I don't need to use my headlamp batteries, I can read anywhere, it keeps hundreds of books on it so I never run out...

I simply cannot read a book on my phone or any LCD screen for that matter, and the e-ink is wonderful to look at.

For those of us who love to read it's a fantastic addition to your pack.

My base weight is 9 pounds, so I don't mind carrying it at all. Worth it's weight...

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Love me some Nook on 04/17/2013 14:54:23 MDT Print View

"Love me some Nook"

You did that on purpose......

If I was going to read, I think I'd just bring a book, since I've never done a hike of more than 8 days. If I was thru-hiking (highly unlikely to ever happen), then I'd definitely bring a Nook.

Josh Brock

Locale: Outside
More fun thats it. on 04/17/2013 15:38:27 MDT Print View

For me the decision to carry my Ipad was an easy one.

1. I backpack for enjoyment and I get more enjoyment out of my time in the backcountry when I have it. This is not a debatable for me.

2. I dont backpack to have the lightest pack on trail.

3. I dont backpack to escape technology.

4. I dont backpack to brag how many miles I did per day or how hard I hiked.

5. Just cause I love the widerness doesn't mean I can't love my tech toys in the wilderness.

Tom D.
(DaFireMedic) - M

Locale: Southern California
Maybe in the future on 04/17/2013 16:57:12 MDT Print View

I've always just carried my Samsung smart phone. It serves as my ebook reader, video and still camera, GPS, and, well....communications device. I've carried my Samsung 7" Tablet on local hikes but no thru-hikes yet. Everything is much easier to read, not only ebooks but the GPS as well. But its still hard for me to justify bringing the tablet being that I would still be carrying my phone as well (I can't use the tablet for calls to the family or for emergencies, and the camera quality isn't as good on the tablet), and the phone can still do all of the things I would carry the tablet for. Then I have to consider charging the tablet as well. So for the time being, its just the phone except on day hikes. But I can certainly understand those who choose to carry a tablet, I've found them quite useful.

Edward Silva
Re: Re: Re: Re: ipod touch on 04/17/2013 17:53:35 MDT Print View

Didn't say it was a copy or clone per se, said that it was based. Perhaps derived would be a better term.

Where they share the same or virtually identical componentry:
CPU: A5 (Mini use the 2nd generation)
RAM: 512 MB DDR2
Flash: 16 GB, 32, and 64 GB
LCD: 1024 x 768

These are the core components. Yes, the Mini offers WiFi only and LTE versions, Lightning Connector, upgraded Bluetooth, upgraded camera and video, etc, but these are more bells and whistles.

Edited by pcmodem on 04/17/2013 17:54:23 MDT.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: ipod touch on 04/17/2013 18:05:43 MDT Print View

Derived, based. Doesn't matter. The 3 was derived from the 2. The 2 was derived from the 1.

I took exception to the statement that the mini was 'generations behind' current offerings. I continue to disagree with that statement.

Sumi Wada
(DetroitTigerFan) - F

Locale: Ann Arbor
The weight "cost" of an expensive iPad? on 04/18/2013 13:05:48 MDT Print View

For those of you who hike with expensive electronics, like an iPad or iPhone, how much of a weight hit do you take in making sure it's protected? Do you pay for insurance?

I have to have reading material when I backpack or camp. I usually have something even when I dayhike. I go through a Kindle in about a year, which is why I usually get the cheapest one out there. I'd be paranoid hiking with a $3-400 iPad... and would probably end up carrying a ton just to protect it with a cover, waterproof sack, etc.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: The weight "cost" of an expensive iPad? on 04/18/2013 13:15:12 MDT Print View

" I'd be paranoid hiking with a $3-400 iPad..."

More like $400 - $1,000 depending on model plus taxes. Then there are accessories. Mine is staying at home!

Ian B.

Locale: PNW
Re: The weight "cost" of an expensive iPad? on 04/18/2013 15:49:34 MDT Print View

"For those of you who hike with expensive electronics, like an iPad or iPhone, how much of a weight hit do you take in making sure it's protected?"

I protect my iPhone 4S with a Lifeproof case. I can't remember the weight but I'm guessing less than a couple ozs. I don't bring my tablet but occasionally I'll bring my Nook Simple Touch/Glow Light. Protected by bubble wrap and clothing in my pack.

"Do you pay for insurance?"

Almost never. With the money I've saved over the years I figure I can replace the occasional gadget. Fortunately I made an exception to this when I bought my Canon point and shoot; camera had problems within a month.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: The weight "cost" of an expensive iPad? on 04/18/2013 18:25:28 MDT Print View

"For those of you who hike with expensive electronics, like an iPad or iPhone, how much of a weight hit do you take in making sure it's protected? Do you pay for insurance?"

No on the insurance. And my iPhone goes into a plastic ziploc with my ID, medical card, car keys and debit card. Sometimes I throw a $20 in there too.

Mike In Socal
(rcmike) - MLife

Locale: California
Little weight penalty on 04/18/2013 22:54:28 MDT Print View

I only have an Incase Snap case over my iphone 5 and I carry my phone in my front pocket. It gets used a lot. There's almost no weight penalty. If it were to rain, it would go into a ziploc and maybe into my pack. I never buy insurance for electronics - new models come out often enough that I would just get a new one if needed.

If I were carrying an iPad, I'd have a similar case - ie no impact protection. If anything, I'd slip it inside a ziploc bag which would then get wrapped in some clothing.


Brian Kelly
Re: The weight "cost" of an expensive iPad? on 04/19/2013 08:44:43 MDT Print View

+1 on life proof case. I personally still haven't decided on bringing one or not but if I bring my wife and she brings a iPad I feel completely confident that it will be in same condition at end of trip as the beginning. Maybe I'm being naive.

Josh Brock

Locale: Outside
Re: The weight "cost" of an expensive iPad? on 04/19/2013 09:24:51 MDT Print View

"how much of a weight hit do you take in making sure it's protected?"

what ever a freezer bag weighs? But if I cared what it weighed I probably would not bring it. I have Ul sleeping bag ul back pack ul tarp ul bivy Ul stove. So that I can still carry certian luxuries(DSLR, Ipad, tripod, fishing pole ect.)

"I go through a Kindle in about a year"

That seems rediculous. You should probably just learn to take care of your stuff. Heavy use is not and excuse all my iphones/ipads have lasted longer than a year and I use my ipad every day.

Sumi Wada
(DetroitTigerFan) - F

Locale: Ann Arbor
Re: Re: The weight "cost" of an expensive iPad? on 04/19/2013 12:08:50 MDT Print View

@Josh... what an interesting attitude. But if you're able to backpack with your iPad day in and day out in just a freezer bag without ever damaging it then my hat's off to you. I basically only use my Kindle for travel and a lot of that usage is outdoors, at beaches, various climates, stuffed in backpacks, beachbags, daypacks, kayaks... Eventually, they all start to form small web-like cracks from the corners.

>> Heavy use is not and excuse all my iphones/ipads have lasted longer than a year and I use my ipad every day.

Is your "every day" usage in backpacking/outdoors conditions? I mean, sure, my previous cell phone lasted 8 years until I finally decided to upgrade to a smartphone. And I have a laptop and a tablet that I use every day and commutes with me in my briefcase but usage conditions are completely different.

Paul Mountford
(Sparticus) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic Canada
IPad Mini on 04/24/2013 04:06:41 MDT Print View

I just picked up an IPad Mini to replace my Ipad 2 mainly for travelling with work (my wife hardly lets me touch the iPad 2). I have not decided if I would ever take the mini backpacking, but I did to a test with it using MotionX in tracking mode. I also used Audible for 2 hrs the first day. I turned off the tracking after almost 40 hrs and the battery was still at 44%.

This would lead me to believe that it would make a practical GPS, camera, book reader and video player for someone to use while backpacking if they were so inclined.

Disclaimer – I hold no shares in Apple!

Sean Passanisi
(passanis) - MLife
iPad vs. iPad mini on 07/10/2013 14:26:03 MDT Print View

Slightly off topic. I use a first gen iPad at home and I'm preparing to upgrade when the new models come out this fall. I'm curious to hear feedback from people that moved from the larger model to the mini. I use it at home and don't take it in the backcountry, but I do have a multi-month international trip planned for later this year during which time I'll use the device extensively. I now look at everything with BPL goggles, and I don't know if the full size model is worth twice the weight...

Mike In Socal
(rcmike) - MLife

Locale: California
Fullsize vs Mini on 07/10/2013 14:46:45 MDT Print View

I have the original, iPad 2, and a Mini (well, not all mine but within my family). Moving from the original to the iPad 2 was a nice improvement - lighter, faster, thinner. I don't have the 3 or 4 but in the store those felt heavier due to the larger battery - the screen was beautiful, though. I really like the mini and it will come down to how you want to use it. If you plan on doing a lot of typing (email, documents, notes) or using remote control software, then the larger screen is good to have. On the other hand, if you mostly consume information (rather than create it) on the device, then the iPad Mini is a great size for single handed reading. I prefer to read on the mini (or a Kindle Paperwhite) rather than on the larger iPad.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Mini Love on 07/10/2013 15:01:38 MDT Print View

My dad had the regular, and my brother. I got the Mini. I had no trouble typing on it, and found it superior to the regular iPad because it seemed to use it's screen real estate better with no effective drawback at all.

I loved the Mini, you likely will too. Since it's in front of your face while using it I see no reason to get a full size, but YMMV.

Stephen Komae
(skomae) - MLife

Locale: northeastern US
iPad Mini on 07/10/2013 16:16:12 MDT Print View

I was originally skeptical about the iPad Mini due to its reduced specs (a huge gap to the iPad 4) but after handling one I was sold. To date it has been fast enough and more than capable of replacing my full-sized original iPad in every way.

I also find myself using it and carrying it a lot more because it is more compact, easier to carry, and feels more durable. I do not even use a case for it.

I also have a Kindle Paperwhite and honestly the Kindle gets far less use since they are almost the same weight and nearly the same size!