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Kindle vs. Kindle Paperwhite or Nook for backpacking?
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Michael K
(chinookhead) - F - M
Kindle vs. Kindle Paperwhite or Nook for backpacking? on 04/26/2014 23:27:28 MDT Print View

I want to buy a kindle for backpacking. I usually take along a book on solo long trips and I was surprised to put them on a scale recently and found them to be heavier than a basic kindle which is 5.98 oz. Therefore, I will be buying an e-reader mainly for use when backckpacking longer trips 7-12 days, especially for when one is stuck in a tent because of stormy weather and sometimes when I'm bored and not quite tired enough at night.


What e-reader would you suggest? Kindle (5.98 oz and 69 dollars) or kindle paperwhite (7.3 oz and 119 dollars)? The paperwhite has a light so reading at night may be easier, but I always carry a long lasting headlamp. I'd also consider a nook if you like them over the kindles. I do not need something with web surfing or web browsing capability.

Another advantage of an e-reader over actual books, is that it will cut down on the mess of torn out pages that I have torn out of guide books. With an e-reader, I can load them onto it and study the routes the night before the trip at night.

Thomas Conly
(conly) - F - M

Locale: Lots of canoeing and snow
Kindle on 04/27/2014 00:03:59 MDT Print View

I wouldn't get one with a backlight if it were me. The battery on a regular kindle is three months or something but it's only a few hours with the light on if I remember correctly. I always read with the red bulb of my headlamp because it lasts forever so I don't need to worry about it. I had a kindle and loved it for backpacking. I've got a sony now do I can't speak to the nook.

Mitchell Ebbott
(mebbott) - F - M

Locale: SoCal
Re: Kindle vs. Kindle Paperwhite or Nook for backpacking? on 04/27/2014 00:18:18 MDT Print View

I agree with Thomas. Think about it in multi-use terms. The backlight on the Paperweight is an extra ounce, and is single-use (reading). Worse, it's performing a function you already have in your headlamp. The display is definitely nice, but the regular Kindle does fine for me for less weight and less money.

In fact, I wouldn't get a paperwhite myself because it uses a touchscreen. I like to run my finger or some other pointer below the words when I'm speed-reading, and you can't do that with a touchscreen device. But that's just me, most people don't do that.

For a case, I've been putting mine inside a bubble mailer type shipping envelope, folded over so that the display side gets double protection. Then I put that in a Ziploc bag, and take care not to pack it in a way that will get the screen torqued. I definitely don't recommend carrying it without any sort of padding, the E-Ink screen is fairly fragile.

Jeremy Gaddis
(j3r3my) - F - MLife
Kindle on 04/27/2014 01:02:34 MDT Print View

The original kindle with a keyboard can have audible audio books. IIRC, none of the new e-ink models offer this, and the battery last months when reading.

kristen buckland
(buckie06) - F

Locale: Colorado
Nook on 04/27/2014 07:13:35 MDT Print View

I have the first generation Nook and really love it. simple and easy to use. battery seems to last a long time. I have not used a kindle so can't really compare.

Nathan W
(werne1nm) - M

Locale: Michigan
kindle on 04/27/2014 07:58:27 MDT Print View

we have the kindle paper light. You can turn the back light off. we haven't charged ares in a while. they are great light weight and you could up load your maps in pdf form onto it. I have no experience with the nook other than my mother has it and loves it.

We took our kindle backpacking for 5 days up at pictured rocks last summer and it was a good way to wind down after a day of hiking.

Edited by werne1nm on 04/27/2014 08:00:13 MDT.

Walter Carrington
(Snowleopard) - M

Locale: Mass.
kindle paper white vs keyboard kindle. on 04/27/2014 09:24:13 MDT Print View

I have the Kindle Paper White and had the keyboard version (same screen as and very similar to the $69 non backlight version with a useless keyboard added). I like reading the screen of the Paper White better but dislike the touch screen and menu system. The paper white is thicker. I haven't tested the battery life, but my impression is that the older version lasted longer. The charger is the usual miniusb plug used by android phones. I don't think they come with chargers anymore. The battery packs for android would charge them. The keyboard version used to have a 3g option so you could download books on the trail (I think they used ATT towers), which seemed a bit useful on a long hike where there's cell service.

I dropped the old one several times with no damage. Then the cat knocked it onto a hardware floor and the screen broke. I'd worry most about somebody stepping on it in a shelter or putting my elbow through it rolling over in my sleep.

I prefer the paper white, but if I were using it mostly on the trail I'd get the cheaper version.

And E
(LunchANDYnner)

Locale: Pacific Northwest
kindle on 04/27/2014 10:48:03 MDT Print View

My fiance uses her nook simple touch with glow. I just bought both the kindle paperwhite and the regular kindle this weekend.

That said, having the glow is really nice for reading at night on the trail and while traveling/flying, etc.

I'd go for the Paperwhite, you can always convert epub files to the .MOBI that the kindle uses.

Edited by LunchANDYnner on 04/27/2014 10:51:33 MDT.

Nathan W
(werne1nm) - M

Locale: Michigan
nook 3g on 04/27/2014 14:22:35 MDT Print View

i think the nook can be used to get books and stuff w/o wifi. My mom said something like that

anyone confirm?

Diane Pinkers
(dipink) - M

Locale: Western Washington
get the cheapest Kindle on 04/27/2014 18:54:24 MDT Print View

Get the cheapie, no backlight and not touch screen. Can use a headlamp on red light setting so as to not blow night vision so much, lighter weight. No touch screen, can use the buttons to turn the pages even with gloves on. Also, when it freezes because you get it too cold, not so expensive to replace--remember to keep it in your sleeping bag in shoulder seasons.

Jamie Derudder
(Nicodimas) - F

Locale: Arizona
Idea on 04/27/2014 21:52:37 MDT Print View

Paper white without a doubt.. I have the 3G keyboard and the backlight is just worth it to me on the new one..You could read in complete darkness if needed.

As a heads up if you leave the 3G keyboard older versions the screen can break in heat so be careful. I think the paper white is a thicker screen. Granted amazon will accept the return, but your out of your book in the field.

Andrew Martin
(am1982) - M

Locale: PacNW
Paperwhite 2 on 04/27/2014 22:50:11 MDT Print View

With the screen brightness turned to it's lowest (it's never really off) and Airplane mode on I've gotten days of battery life out of the Papwewhite 2. Plus, the back-light is nice to have and you may find that you also like using it at home in lieu of buying paperback books.

Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
Nook simple touch with glow light on 04/28/2014 01:29:32 MDT Print View

Frankly I'm not sure it matters...

I personally love the backlight. I go months between charges and I read every night with the light on.

I'm one of those anti-conglomerate folks so I went with the nook (amazon seems to be taking over the world!), but when it comes down to it I think it probably doesn't matter.

Two quick words of caution: those screens are fragile!! I'm on my third now (thanks to backcountry mishaps) so make sure to buy a replacement warranty. You WILL use it if you are taking the thing hiking. Secondly, I totally recommend the backlight, but in your pack be mindful of not accidentally turning it on. I ran down a full battery that way and ended up with no book and an inoperative reader for about 5 days.

steven franchuk
(Surf)
Re: Kindle vs. Kindle Paperwhite or Nook for backpacking? on 04/28/2014 20:19:33 MDT Print View

I have both kindle"s. I would take the original. The paperwhite at it's lowest light setting against a black background gives me some eye strain. I don't get eye strain with a headlamp because it also lights up the background. I prefer the longer battery life of the original. I also wish they kept the music player in the paperwhite.

Edited by Surf on 04/28/2014 20:22:47 MDT.

Mike Whitesell
(madgoat) - F

Locale: Ohio
kindle touch on 04/29/2014 06:00:04 MDT Print View

I have the first version of the kindle touch and really love how compact, handy and readable it is. I used it voraciously for about 6 months, but now my son uses it.

I currently have a galaxy s3 phone and use the kindle app on it for all my books. The kindle has a better, more readable screen. The kindle has better battery life. But, my GS3 is lighter than a kindle, easier to pack than my kindle, serves as my camera, serves as my phone, serves as backup navigation, and occasionally provides me internet access.

I used to have a phone with a 3.5" screen, but I found that too small to comfortably read on. For the last 2 years, I have been doing almost all of my reading on my GS3's 4.8" screen. And while the kindle screen is better to read on, I always have my phone with me and I find it far more convenient than using a separate device.

I have an upgraded 3000mAH battery on my phone. I still have charge to spare after a week long hike. But I usually leave the phone in airplane mode or off when I am backpacking to conserve battery.

I understand those who would prefer using the larger screen on a kindle device. But for me, I have found that I prefer using my convergence device.

Richard Gless
(rgless) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Other E Readers - KOBO Mini on 04/29/2014 10:58:33 MDT Print View

I have been using a KOBO Mini for about a year or so now. It only weighs 4.8 oz and lasts for a month with the WiFi turned off. Might be worth a look as an alternative to Kindle and Nook.

Chris .
(cwb) - F

Locale: Los Angeles
Kindle on 04/29/2014 21:50:47 MDT Print View

Don't know if you take a phone, but the Kindle app on my phone works great and I can download new books if needed. Couple with a charger and I can go for many days on less than 10oz.