PDA

View Full Version : Do you talk on a cell phone while hiking?



kmorgan
04-23-2006, 11:23 AM
It never ceases to amaze me how many people, supposedly out on the trail to get away from civilization, spend half the day either making or receiving calls on their cell phones! Why not carry a laptop and a fax machine too?

I carry my cell phone for emergencies only. I keep it in my pack and it's OFF! I want to hear nature, not "Hi honey, what's for dinner?" or some such nonsense.

Pete_Hickey
04-23-2006, 11:59 AM
I hate those damn thingsYeah, well I hate them more than you do!

I hiked for years before they were invented, so I don't see why I should have them now.. And I don't need them when I go to the supremarket, in case I don't know which brand of butter to get.

I understand their usefulness and practicality, but I want no part of that.

I don't want people calling me at all kinds of times. I don't want people to expect ME to call them. Heck, the voices in my head are enough. I have to bring a device which lets me have more voices?

And I'll hop on my bicycle and ride down to the mountains and hike...without a cellphone.

onestep
04-23-2006, 12:00 PM
Cell phones are dog whistles for people.
-Lisa Loeb.

Amen

Onestep

Dalraida
04-23-2006, 12:50 PM
Don't own one anymore.

jade
04-23-2006, 01:07 PM
I only use mine when I am in the produce section of Bread and Circus, gosh forbid I forget the papayas again...or

When I am walking down a crowded city sidewalk catching up on who's breaking up with who with my gal pals........or

While driving at excessive speeds on the Mass Pike, cell phone in one hand, Peets coffee in the other...people honk at me when I swerve in and out of traffic because I haven't a hand free to use my directionals--jeeez, how intolerant....or

At the theater--only for emergencies though, like when I want to order Sushi before the show is over so I don't have to wait in those gawd awful lines......or

From a funeral or wake ONLY if I have forgotten to program the VCR to tape my favorite show......or

When my tent zipper gets stuck and it's dark outside and I'll be damned if I'm going to spend the night outdoors on a mountain surrounded by wild animals..."Hello, Fish and Game? Ya, it's me again, Jade...you won't believe what happened to me this time"....or

To see if Cantdog has made it to my truck first so I can ask her to warm it up for me.....

I plainly see the benefits of cell phone use for AT thru hikers who can call ahead for food drops and such....luxury smuxury, it's a necessity!

Why all the whining?.....Ooops, I hate to be rude, but guess what's playing the theme song from Will and Grace?

...Jade :D

king tut
04-23-2006, 01:15 PM
There always seems to be a lot of cell phone bashers out on this site. I own a cell phone, only because land lines make no sense to own. I am rarely home, and I normally talk a good amount to people long distance. I never go out of my way to talk on a cell phone when I am hiking, but if i hear someone call me, i'll answer. I also like to talk to people on some summits, if I need to reach someone during the day, b/c that is where the best signal is. I have never seen a "talkaholic" hiking and talking on a cell phone at the same time. This "person" who people seem to be so opposed to, I am convinced don't really exist.

If there is a really fat lazy person on top of mt washington yelling loudly into a cellphone about the idiots that walked up to the top of the mt, and he is smoking a cigar and wearing a hawaiin shirt that doubles as a tarp, that might annoy me.

The only people that really annoy me are the out of stater yuppies that come up to the ski areas like Sugarloaf(places where all trails empty out into the one and only base lodge) and yell loudly into their walkie talkies to their brat children about exactly where they are and exactly when they should meet. This normally takes about 2 minutes of static and yelling.

While we are on the subject of electronic equipment. I notice there is a large discrepancy between the support for cell phones and other equipment like GPS. If hiker A sees hiker B using a cell phone, he might regurgitate his lunch and scream at him for interrupting the sounds of his foot steps and the mating call of the chickadee. Yet, a moment later, he pulls out his GPS and my lord, he is now on the cutting edge of technology and everybody loves him b/c he can tell you exactly where you are, how much elevation gain you have hiked, and where the nearest roads are.

Sooo, until i see this mysterious Wall Street tycoon carrying his fax machine, copier, cell phone, and other equipment up the mountain, i will be a doubter. That would be pretty frickin hilarious though. Others might swear at him and throw eggs on him like he was an enemy of PETA, but i would enjoy watching this. How about a competition to carry this stuff up a white mt? Then at the top of the mt, you would have to go Office Space on the stuff. Sounds pretty fun to me, who's in?

Clown
04-23-2006, 01:20 PM
I carry a cell phone on a hike, for an emergency only but I always keep it off. The rest of the time, I'm like king tut, it's practical to have a cell phone rather than a land line, they cost the same. Not only do I carry a cell phone, but I have a pager also, and I carry them all day long. Now I know people hate it, but some people have jobs that are necessary to use communications during the day. What can you do? :D

alpinista
04-23-2006, 01:30 PM
This topic has been debated, mentioned, discussed etc., exhaustively. But ... here's my answer: Although I can hike and talk at the same time ;) , I usually pull over to the side of the trail and try to stay out of earshot if I have to use the phone. Here's my reality because of work: I need to have a cell phone or I wouldn't be able to hike and get out into the woods. I'm on call 24/7. No phone, no fun, no hiking. That simple.

Am I one of those people who pulls out the phone on a summit and blathers on really really loud about some silly topic? No. Would I rely only on the phone to pull me out of a jam? No.

jmegillon149
04-23-2006, 02:06 PM
don't own a cellphone, my take is this: you can call me at work, you can call me at home, you can call me at my parents house or weekend house, I almost never go more than a few days without being in one of those places, so if I am hiking, skiing, at the gym, etc., I'll call you when I get back, after all, there is MAYBE one time every few years when something so catastrophic happens that my involvement warrents immediate reaching, and its not worth monthly payments becasue some fluke may occur

off of my personal soapbox, I have never had a problem with cell phone users on trails, maybe a handful of times I've sen someone make a quick "hey I am at the summit" call, but thats not that annoying, if people were gabbing away as they walked up the trail, it would suck, but I never see that happen, not even at the Monadnocks of the world

cushetunk
04-23-2006, 02:07 PM
I too have a cell phone as my only phone line.

I keep sane, both in and out of the woods, by remembering this: Just because my phone can go anywhere and be on all the time, does not mean that it HAS to go everywhere and be on all the time.

Rick
04-23-2006, 02:08 PM
I carry a cellphone and if I am gone during weekdays, I might also bring my Blackberry if I am committed to tryng to get a few contracts negotiated via e-mail while I am out. I have the cellphone (turned off and in my pack) in case something ever happens to me from a medical perspective. If I have a signal at night, I discreetly call and whisper goodnight to my 5 year old from my tent - Otherwise one probably wouldn't know Ihad one unless they needed to borrow it for an emergency...

While I don't like to hear folks loudly blather on about every intimate aspect of their lives on a cellphone. I also realize I cannot change their behavior, so I don't let it get to me and simply move away from them.

It's funny, though. I was completely anti-cell phone until I got one a couple f years ago. No I wonder how I lived without it for so long.

rhihn
04-23-2006, 02:21 PM
I've never owned one. That technology somehow just slipped right by me. I may break down and get one at some point, but wouldn't carry it when hiking. I've come across many hikers with them, mostly on mountain tops. I've never let them bother me.

David Metsky
04-23-2006, 02:41 PM
<mod hat on>
We've done this many times in the past, and they've all turned into flamefests. I don't think this one is going to end any differently, but we'll give it a short leash and see how it goes.

Feel free to answer the poll (which listed biased choices to begin with) but no editorializing. If you feel the need to rant at other people, please find another forum to do so.

-dave-

<mod hat off>

lumberzac
04-23-2006, 02:48 PM
I’ll admit it, I was one of those people that was on my cell phone on a mountain summit with the conversation starting with, “Guess where I’m calling you from?” It lost its novelty after the first couple of times. Now I rarely even carry a cell phone with me when I hike.

Pete_Hickey
04-23-2006, 03:22 PM
Something I didn't mention. About people yaking away on a cellphone on the trail or summit. It hardly ever bothers me. There isn't much difference hearing a group yaking away, or hearing someone on a cell phone.

The only time if bothers me, is if I'm hiking with someone, and my partner is spending the whole time on the phone.

No, cellphones don't bother me when they are with others. Only with me. So much so, that I was willing to change jobs and take a pay cut to eliminate having to carry one. I'd rather be lonely and poor.

Use them and yak all you want.

But now, if you start asking me about putting up towers so that there is coverage everywhere in the mountains....

sweeper
04-23-2006, 03:55 PM
I've carried one for years and have yet to recieve a call on it. I don't even know what the ring tone sounds like.
It's off and in the pack. Do I use it in the mountains? Yes. I'll call SWMBO at work as I summit, or call my mother who would love to be there but can't any more.
I will move well out of earshot of people to use the thing.

mavs00
04-23-2006, 04:14 PM
Okay, Okay................. I admit it, Damn you people.

Last week, I pulled out my TREO 650 on top of Colden and called my wife to tell her that I was making better time than I thought and that I needed to be picked up 1 hour earlier than we'd planned (she dropped me at the trailhead and was picking me up at a guesstimated time). It was the 2nd-3rd time I'd ever done so. Not that it was an excuse, but I was hiking solo.

There was exactly 0 people within about 3 miles of me at the time. I try to hike off the beaten path so as to annoy noone....... Come to think of it, in the last year, I've shared exactly (and I checked) 3/34 summits with persons outside my immediate hiking party (Cascade twice, Porter once).

I also admit to the sin of carrying a cell phone, most of the time, both at home and when I travel, including to the mountains. I'm not sure why, I'm not that important, but I do.

I hope I can be forgiven by you folks, my friends, for my transgressions.

{hanging head in shame}

kmorgan
04-23-2006, 05:26 PM
I have never seen a "talkaholic" hiking and talking on a cell phone at the same time. This "person" who people seem to be so opposed to, I am convinced don't really exist.

While we are on the subject of electronic equipment. I notice there is a large discrepancy between the support for cell phones and other equipment like GPS. If hiker A sees hiker B using a cell phone, he might regurgitate his lunch and scream at him for interrupting the sounds of his foot steps and the mating call of the chickadee. Yet, a moment later, he pulls out his GPS and my lord, he is now on the cutting edge of technology and everybody loves him b/c he can tell you exactly where you are, how much elevation gain you have hiked, and where the nearest roads are.


Was out hiking Friday in Harriman with a group of 10. As we reached the top of the first climb I saw one of the women talking to someone as she came over the top. We stopped for a snack and out came 2 other phones! So these people really DO exist (either that or I have to stop eating all these wild mushrooms)...

As for GPS usage, at least they don't create a disturbance. They are about as annoying as someone writing in a notebook on the trail, i.e. not at all. My only pet peeve concerning GPS's are the people who rely on them for navigation. You should be able to navigate with a map and compass, or at least with a compass. Personally, I like to keep records of my hikes with a GPS. It's nice-to-know information and I can make customized maps if I want on a rainy day (like today).

Neil
04-23-2006, 05:34 PM
Sooo, until i see this mysterious Wall Street tycoon carrying his fax machine, copier, cell phone, and other equipment up the mountain, i will be a doubter. That would be pretty frickin hilarious though. Others might swear at him and throw eggs on him like he was an enemy of PETA, but i would enjoy watching this. How about a competition to carry this stuff up a white mt? Then at the top of the mt, you would have to go Office Space on the stuff. Sounds pretty fun to me, who's in?
http://www.vftt.org/forums/showpost.php?p=112291&postcount=60

king tut
04-23-2006, 05:38 PM
To each his own. I am not bothered by cell phone users, but i do try to not be near anyone if i ever have to use mine, just b/c i know that there is a demographic that do not like them. As far as the wild mushrooms, i would stay away from those. I saw some friends in college talking to furniture for hours on end b/c they thought they were involved in a deep conversation w/ someone. ha ha.

Frosty
04-23-2006, 06:28 PM
Q: What's the difference between being on a summit and having two people nearby having a face-to-face conversation, and overhearing one person having a cell phone conversation?

A: If the person is using a cell phone, you only hear half the conversation. Youi actually get more peace and quiet if they are using a cell phone!

Seriously, th initial objection (Post #1) said we hike to get away form civilization, and I think that is a faulty premise. It is correct for the poster, of course. He wouldn't use a cell phone, digital camera, GPS or other electronic trappings because he IS getting away.

The fallacy is in thinking everyone hikes for the same reason he does.

Some just like to be in the woods. Enjoy the views and smells of the forest. Nothing at all to do with getting away from civilization. They eat freeze dried meals, use digital cameras, Gore Tex, deoderant, all sorts of civilized things because they don't mind it. They think nothing of using a cell phone because it does not conflict with the reason they came into the woods. In fact, if you were to ask them, they would say they enjoy it more with teh cell phone (why else would they use it if they didn't prefer to?). Their idea of a good time simply is different from yours. Not better or worse, not good or bad. just different.

Personally, I don't know why people conduct business on the phone on the trial, either, but I have different life goals and a different personality than they do.

They want to talk, let 'em. If they are talking loudly, well, that is rude, but the rudeness is in talking loudly, not in using a cell phone. A loud face-to-face conversation is just as rude.

The big key: Don't let YOUR enjoyment of the woods be dependent on what gear other people carry. You can enjoy your hike even if people are using a cell phone, or drinking champagne, or taking digital pictures and emailing them via whatever that thingie is called. Or you can be angry about the way other people hike and not enjoy yourself.

Tuco
04-23-2006, 07:09 PM
My wife has epilepsy and has had two pretty bad episodes over the last year or so.

If I notice a hike going off schedule I will not hesitate to pull out my cell and call at that moment to let her know and take advantage to see how she's feeling (heavy meds do ugly things sometimes). Or I'll just call anytime to see how she's feeling to make me feel better about getting out.

Most often I don't have coverage so it's a moot point.

Beyond that I don 't know enough people I like to consider calling.... ;)

GNR
04-23-2006, 07:14 PM
...for psychiatric emergencies of my patients, I do have the need to be reached, wherever I am. I have a satellite phone and get great service on the peaks and even in some of the valleys. A necessary evil.

Snowflea
04-23-2006, 07:16 PM
I say who cares?! As long as a person isn't YELLING into their phone, why should I care if they're yakking on one?? :confused: I'm just not THAT tuned in to what others are doing anyway... rather going about my merry way and enjoying my own hike. :o :cool: :D :)

Also, I think it's presumptuous to say that all of us go to the mountains to get away from civilization (see first post in this thread). There are many reasons why people choose to hike. (And a trail is a form of "civilized hiking," is it not?)

And another thing: the only way I'd consider champagne consumption offensive is if I wasn't offered any. :D

bruno
04-23-2006, 07:26 PM
:eek: :eek: :eek:

Darwin
04-23-2006, 07:47 PM
Got one, never used it in the mountains. But I carry it anyway for my wife's piece of mind.

Sugarloafer
04-23-2006, 07:59 PM
The only people that really annoy me are the out of stater yuppies that come up to the ski areas like Sugarloaf

Really ?????...this is like me calling everyone from Maine a toothless product of incest. ;)


BTW......Burlington where ?

mavs00
04-23-2006, 08:17 PM
And another thing: the only way I'd consider champagne consumption offensive is if I wasn't offered any. :D

Classic....... :D

king tut
04-23-2006, 08:43 PM
Really ?????...this is like me calling everyone from Maine a toothless product of incest. ;)


BTW......Burlington where ?


May God bless you.

funkyfreddy
04-23-2006, 08:48 PM
...for psychiatric emergencies of my patients, I do have the need to be reached, wherever I am.......A necessary evil.

I personally don't own a cell phone...... my CIA handlers put an implant in my cerebral cortex a long time ago when I was abducted by their gray alien allies....

My implant works much better than a conventional cell phone... instead of ring tones I get body shocks or premonitions..... it is rather irritating when my handlers call me or try to beam me up during a hike, though.....

I try not to talk to my implant when I'm hiking, although sometimes I've been known to speak out loud when slipping between multiple dimensions..... often I'll cry out "No, No", tell a bad joke or start singing/whistling some oldie I know the aliens hate.... Hey, I didn't ask for the job, you know, but because I'm such a space case the US government drafted me, told me I was one of the best candidates they had for their mission of building bridges to other galaxies...... but this is a story for another forum, of course, as it has nothing to do with hiking..... :)

Nothing like having a phone in your brain for convenience, though...... the battery never goes dead as it's solar powered through my ear lobes..... as long as FF gets enough sun and fluids the phone is always working!

The downside of this unique technology is that sometimes the uplink gets scrambled..... like all new technology sometimes there are software issues or worse..... sometimes I get gospel broadcasts through my teeth! Now the unitiated might think in this case that God was speaking to them, but I asked her and she told me "No, Freddy, I didn't call you...... you're just having another driver issue! Please don't waste any more of my time!" :rolleyes: :)

Neil
04-24-2006, 05:20 AM
Now I know where FF is coming from. :)

In some cases, having a cell phone is what permits the person to be out hiking.

Skyclimber
04-24-2006, 06:01 AM
I hate cell phones period! I don't own one and never will. But I said, I hate computers and that I would never own one too!

Jay H
04-24-2006, 06:14 AM
The only reason I have a cell phone is because I bike commute and like to also bike tour. I would think that if some yahoo ever decides to hit me, that if I'm still ticking, I'd be able to at least hopefully be able to use it and call the cops and ambulance and stuff. And if you ever run into the rednecks and stuff, the act of pretending to call the cops has a strange way of making cagers obey the law.

But hiking, I would only use it for emergencies and typically, there is no reception in the woods where I hike anyway.

Jay

Jasonst
04-24-2006, 06:24 AM
Why not carry a laptop and a fax machine too?

I tried the fax machine but it was a little cumbersome in my pack. :rolleyes:

If I had the type of job where I could hike and work at the same time - I most certainly wouldn't have a problem breaking out the laptop on a warm, sunny summit and working (quietly, that is.) I would imagine I would be the envy of the crowd!

forestgnome
04-24-2006, 06:37 AM
It never ceases to amaze me how many people, supposedly out on the trail to get away from civilization, spend half the day either making or receiving calls on their cell phones!

While I agree about yaking while hiking through the forest, your premise about hikers' motivation to hike is faulty. You may hike to get away from civilization, but others might be there to check off a peak on some list. They would hike to that peak if it was in the middle of New York City. People hike for different reasons, all valid.

Frosty's post is excellent.

I was enjoying lunch on Mt Lafayette, listening to ravens and wind, when a hiker appeared and was soon discussing shopping with his wife, who was in an outlet somewhere. I quickly packed up and left. It would be no different if his wife was there; it was the loud conversation.

They aren't wrong to talk, and I'm free to leave. I hike solo because I immerse myself in the forest, but that's just me. I'll chat with nice folks I see along the way, while being conscious of others.

I keep a cell phone in my pack, turned off. It might save a life one day by shortening the time it takes for a rescue, of myself or someone else. :)

Adk_dib
04-24-2006, 07:01 AM
don't own one. tried it a few years ago and couldn't get reception in the mountains so i figure why pay the rent?

smitty77
04-24-2006, 07:16 AM
I carry one, and I leave it on. :eek: With a baby on the way, I stay close to home and always within earshot.

That said, I never expect to escape from civilization when I'm hiking. Maybe it comes from all of those years hiking and doing trail work on Monadnock - you're bound to run into a few people, if not hundreds, and a certain percentage will be annoying. Even before cell phones were common, there was always the dad/mom yelling for a group of kids from some ledge high on the mountain. Sure it ruins the moment, but I'm not going to let a 30 second hiccup spoil my entire day hiking. It is unreasonable to expect total serenity at any time in the mountains because they are public places open to folks from all walks of life, including some who believe the great outdoors is just an extension of their busy lives in the city.

I've found the best way to "escape it all" is to wander through your local conservation area early on a Saturday morning. Heck, even Wachusett is mostly empty before 8 am.

Camper58
04-24-2006, 08:11 AM
I bring one on every hike because I hike solo. My wife likes to be called when I reach a summit, just for peace of mind. My calls last less than 2 minutes and I would never call if others were at the summit too. In fact, more than one call has ended with "Oops, someones coming, gotta go". :)
I usually don't see too many people when hiking and I honestly don't recall anyone else using a cell, so I can't say whether I'd be annoyed by it or not.

Stan
04-24-2006, 02:38 PM
A: If the person is using a cell phone, you only hear half the conversation. Youi actually get more peace and quiet if they are using a cell phone!
Well, that's what bugs me ... only hearing half of what is typically a louder conversation than two people would normally carry on. Can't stand not knowing what the other party is saying. :)

Seriously, there are lot's of modern technology that I haven't adopted simply because their most useful utility is the commercial success of others. Count me with those who carry one in the off position for possible use in either an emergency or similar situation though I did use it once in a conversation that started like this, "You'll never guess where I am."

In addition to utility, there's a little fun to be had but I'm only annoyed when the serenity and ambience of a peaceful place is broken by poor manners that happen to include a cell phone.

giggy
04-24-2006, 03:00 PM
I usually don't - but I would :D ;)

on rainier I tried to use my phone but it didn't work, so i borrowed SLI74's. I could care less what people do on the trail. :eek:

I could even care less what people think of me on the trail :D I am in the woods for some fun and if I wanted to get away from it all - I wouldn't be hiking in the whites.

as soon as my son was born - the phone comes with me and stays on for the most part. I don't think I am a yuppie, cuz I am not urban, not professional and not really that young anymore.

JohnL
04-24-2006, 03:01 PM
I carry my cell phone in the OFF position for emergencies or plan changes. Discreet phone conversations don't bother me. Vociferous talkers, boisterous kids (or adults) and unsocial animals are just as noisy. Loud is still loud whether it's hi-tech loud or lo-tech loud. That's why I seldom take breaks on summits and I'm always prepared to move along to recapture the serenity.

JohnL

cbcbd
04-24-2006, 03:13 PM
If I'm solo then I usually take the phone turned off (to save batteries and to not be disturbed). When I'm out in the woods there is really no emergency that will get me off the mountain fast enough anyway. God forbid something fatal would happen to a loved one, but even if it did and I didn't know about it for two days because I was in the woods I wouldn't kick myself for being in the woods not constantly checking my phone.
Now... if I knew that something could happen (someone terminally ill, child on the way) then I would probably have no problem checking every once in a while.

jbrown
04-24-2006, 03:50 PM
The only place I've encountered people on cell phones at the summit of a peak was on Whiteface. They were mostly people who had driven up the toll road (as my wife and I did that day) and there weren't any really annoying people. The only annoying dude I encountered was some (description deleted) "summit steward type" guy who yelled at me for standing on some point of rock that "wobbles." It would have really miffed me if I had actually hiked up that day. (I figure if I burn the calories to hike myself up there, I'm not going to let some dude ruin the best photo of the day by telling me I "can't" stand on a rock... but that's another discussion altogether.)

Otherwise, I carry one that's always turned off when hiking alone and only for my wife's peace of mind. I've used my brother's phone on one summit to call my wife and do the "Guess where I'm calling from?" thing that does get old quickly.

I've never even encountered anyone on the trail that was talking on one. It's just not an issue.

post'r boy
04-24-2006, 04:14 PM
i don't own one but have used one before while out in the woods. what's the big deal??? :confused:

Double Bow
04-24-2006, 04:27 PM
My role of my phone on a hike is as a piece of emergency equipment. It is not on and I do not count on it working. However, if there is ever an emergency and I am able to get a signal, I would be able to get help on the way much faster. Call it a little bit of life insurance I hope to never have to use. I'll gladly pay the price of a few extra ounces for the potential benefit.

giggy
04-24-2006, 04:51 PM
its also good to have for calling those 1-900 numbers - hey it gets lonely out there :eek: :eek: :)

Pete_Hickey
04-24-2006, 07:21 PM
...I'll call SWMBO...

...My wife likes to be called when I reach a summit...

...when hiking alone and only for my wife's peace of mind....
Trying to make me feel guilty???

I'll go alone for a week at a time without a phone..... Sure glad my wife doesn't read this site.

focusonbalance
04-24-2006, 07:55 PM
There are plenty of obnoxious folks out there without cell phones.
I don't see the difference between speaking to a hiking buddy who's next to me or speaking on a cell. I think either way one should be respectful to their surroundings.
My cell will always be on when I'm away from my family. I don't consider my boys and husband to be nuisances. If it is anyone else I will ignore and call back later.

Woody
04-24-2006, 09:17 PM
I usually carry my cell phone with me, just in case of emergency. I keep it off. I also usually have a pager with me which is left on. I now try to remember to change the message on it to "out of hospital, page emergency only"! It's not a problem hiking on the weekends, but when I try to squeeze in a hike during the week I kept getting routine pages and comments like "Oh, you're not in the building"? On technical climbs, the pager gets left in the car. It is very distracting to be leading a pitch when my backpack starts to beep at me. :(

Sheomet
04-26-2006, 03:33 PM
I don't own a cell phone, so no I've never used one while hiking.

McRat
04-26-2006, 04:48 PM
The only cell phone on the trail that ticks me off is my own.

Mrs. McRat insists I carry it, though I have come to cherish those precious areas beyond the limits of the wireless leash. ;)

hillman1
04-26-2006, 08:35 PM
My cell is my only phone, because I am never home. I carry it when I hike, on every hike. I usually keep it off, unless I have some type of situation I'm waiting to hear about. My ringer is almost always off. By the wayside, it is also my only camera. So I use it for that too. I enjoy hearing a little Mr Roboto when it rings anyway. I kind of catch a little groove on the trail. Someone should invent a phone that does more, like a built in avalanche beacon/gps/camera/phone. That would be a one purchase deal for folks that get out there. I usually never use it, except to email real-time pictures of me having a blast to my friends that are stuck at work shatting themselves wishing they had time to get out.

jjo
04-26-2006, 08:42 PM
I'm so glad to see the poll results. I HATE hearing people talking on a cell phone in the wilderness (unless it is an emergency, etc). The solitude, quiet, remoteness are part of the appeal. Chatting on the cell phone quickly ruins that IMHO

dug
04-27-2006, 07:24 AM
If I'm solo, I may check in from a peak, but rarely. More likely on a multi-day trip. I always have one, but it's kept off. I do have to check in periodically as my job means that I rarely have the freedom to be away from civilization. :mad:

LivesToHike
04-28-2006, 11:56 AM
I carry a cellphone, but I leave it powered off. I rarely use it on the trail - I keep it for a severe emergency, or on the very rare occasion to call my spouse once to let her know we're running really, really late. Motivation: to avoid an unnecessary rescue call. On a multi-day trip I'll allow that I call out once a day briefly to check-in. I take pains to call away from anyone else around, and often far away from the trail. I never take incoming calls while hiking.

I'll allow there are places my cellphone doesn't work, and frankly I love those places, places beyond the digital tether.

-- LTH

jjo
04-28-2006, 12:00 PM
I carry a cellphone, but I leave it powered off. I rarely use it on the trail - I keep it for a severe emergency, or on the very rare occasion to call my spouse once to let her know we're running really, really late. Motivation: to avoid an unnecessary rescue call. On a multi-day trip I'll allow that I call out once a day briefly to check-in. I take pains to call away from anyone else around, and often far away from the trail. I never take incoming calls while hiking.

I'll allow there are places my cellphone doesn't work, and frankly I love those places, places beyond the digital tether.

-- LTH
Well said. Fully agree!!

Bob Kittredge
04-29-2006, 06:26 PM
Don't own one, but I don't have any problem with someone else using one on the trail. But as for the guy in car ahead of me on the highway...

Roxi
04-29-2006, 06:43 PM
I'm so glad to see the poll results. I HATE hearing people talking on a cell phone in the wilderness (unless it is an emergency, etc). The solitude, quiet, remoteness are part of the appeal. Chatting on the cell phone quickly ruins that IMHO

Can I ask a silly question? What's the difference between hearing someone talk on a cell phone or hearing them talk to someone they're standing/sitting next to? You're still listening to someone have a conversation either way. What's the difference?

As for me, I carry a cell phone with me for emergencies, recognizing that it may not work in all areas due to signal strength or lack thereof, and keep it off because it's the sound of it ringing that I don't want to hear while hiking. Ringing telephones sound too much like civilization and I don't want to answer it when I'm having fun. That's why it takes messages.

I agree with Bob Kittredge - the issues I have with cell phone use are not with hikers, but rather with the person behind the wheel. Today I witnessed the same guy talking on his cell phone 1) run a red light almost hitting someone, 2) then sit at a green light because his conversation was apparently more engrossing than driving, and 3) turn without signaling because that might have required that he remove the phone from his ear.

Cell phones are not the problem....how and when people use them are.

Frosty
04-29-2006, 09:59 PM
Can I ask a silly question? What's the difference between hearing someone talk on a cell phone or hearing them talk to someone they're standing/sitting next to? You're still listening to someone have a conversation either way. What's the difference?If they are on a cell phone, you only have to listen to one-half of the conversation. If they are in person you get both sides, double the yakking.


Cell phones are not the problem....how and when people use them are.The problem (in my opinion) is rude and obnoxious people who act without consideration for others. They were just as rude before cell phones, and will be equally rude when personal hologram transmissions are invented.

sleeping bear
04-29-2006, 10:04 PM
Can I ask a silly question? What's the difference between hearing someone talk on a cell phone or hearing them talk to someone they're standing/sitting next to? You're still listening to someone have a conversation either way. What's the difference?

I've never actually encountered anyone on the phone in the woods. I will say my major complaint (anywhere!) is that people on cell phones tend to talk about 10 times louder than they would in normal conversation. So you get half of a conversation that you can't block out.

I once saw a woman trying to parrallel park a stick shift Jeep with a cigarette in one hand and a cell phone in the other. That was entertaining. :D

the starchild
05-01-2006, 09:00 AM
CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?

I have never seen a "talkaholic" hiking and talking on a cell phone at the same time. This "person" who people seem to be so opposed to, I am convinced don't really exist.

CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?


king tut, believe it or not, a few weeks ago we had to wait to pass a group of 4 coming down monadnock cuz 3 of them were on cel phones walking and talking; blocking the whole trail. they were making plans for dinner and catching up with friends and had no idea we were behind them cracking jokes about them. as we passed i made a few more jokes, those i KNOW they heard. donkeys on hiking trail!?!? CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?

to the other question about the annoyance of a person talking on a cel phone versus a person talking to another person, the cel phone person is usually oblivious to what's going on around them and usually talking louder.



CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?

David Metsky
05-01-2006, 09:09 AM
I've had the exact same experience with folks talking among themselves, not a cell phone in sight. We actually had to run past them because they simply would not acknowledge our existance. I still have no idea what their problem was.

It's not the phones, it's the hikers.

-dave-

MadRiver
05-01-2006, 10:55 AM
I do not own a cell phone, so this is a non-issue for me. However, I do carry a walkie talkie when my wife and I do trail maintenance. I will usually hike to the end of my section and work my way back to the trailhead while my wife will hike half-way and worker her way back. If she runs into a problem or some area needs more work than normal, she will call and let me know. We do not chat for the sake of chatting and limit our conversation to the issue at hand. We also never talk when others are approaching or when we stop to say hello to other hikers.

Kevin Rooney
05-01-2006, 11:23 AM
New York now has a law making it illegal to drive while using a cell phone.

It's a start. I wish all states would adopt a similar law.

dug
05-01-2006, 11:30 AM
New York now has a law making it illegal to drive while using a cell phone.

It's a start. I wish all states would adopt a similar law.

I agree...to a point. Unfortunately, if I'm on the road going to one appointment, I am providing remote support to another appointment via my cell phone. If I actually had to get to both physical locations, my usable hours in a day would decrease and my gas bill would skyrocket. Speaker phones and headsets should be allowed, as I still have my hands and eyes available to drive. It's no different than talking to your travel partner.

WhiteMTHike
05-01-2006, 11:42 AM
I voted for NEVER in the poll but would use it in case of an emergency or to help someone else in trouble, of course whether I could actually get a signal or not is another issue. To me people who talk on a cell phone while hiking, just for the sake of talking,are sort of missing the point.

MadRiver
05-01-2006, 11:56 AM
CT has a similar law, but allows drivers to use a hand-free headset. From my own personal observations of CT drivers, the law has had absolutely no effect on people using their cell phones while driving.

Kevin Rooney
05-01-2006, 12:32 PM
Speaker phones and headsets should be allowed, as I still have my hands and eyes available to drive. It's no different than talking to your travel partner.Do you really think so?

I have some reservations about that, and my hunch if a little unbiased research were done it would show that people are mostly oblivious when talking on a cell phone, whether it's handheld or otherwise. I've pulled up beside people who are actively engaged in a cell conversation, tooted my horn, made faces, rude gestures, etc - rarely does the other person notice.

Cell phones are a necessary part of our life, but for the safety of all, I think people should pull off and park when they want to use the cell.

dug
05-01-2006, 12:39 PM
Can't vouch for everyone, just myself. I have it connected to my stereo, so my cell takes over for my music when a call comes in. I don't see the difference from an internal call. In fact, it may be less so since I am less likely to turn and look at the person I may be talking to, I guess for some it could be different, but I can only speak for meeself.

But, this doesn't really have anything to do about cell phones while we're hiking, so I'll tune out now.

Nessmuk
05-01-2006, 12:58 PM
Cell phones are a necessary part of our life???? :confused: I do not understand that statement at all. Maybe a business person thinks so, but that is only due to escalation of such devices for "keeping up with the competition". People conducted their businesses and lives just fine without a cell phone on their hip or tied to their ear not so long ago. A cell phone is not anymore a necessary part of our lives than is cable tv or satellite phone.

The pressure is already on for people demanding their expectation of full coverage in the wilderness, requiring construction of cell towers on remote wilderness peaks.

Kevin Rooney
05-01-2006, 01:16 PM
???? :confused: I do not understand that statement at all. Maybe a business person thinks so, but that is only due to escalation of such devices for "keeping up with the competition". People conducted their businesses and lives just fine without a cell phone on their hip or tied to their ear not so long ago. A cell phone is not anymore a necessary part of our lives than is cable tv or satellite phone.

The pressure is already on for people demanding their expectation of full coverage in the wilderness, requiring construction of cell towers on remote wilderness peaks.My intent was not to include 100% of the population, but according to a statistic I read recently, cell phone use is surprisingly high.

Some people don't have a car, TV, or Gortex, or indoor plumbing either, by choice. God bless 'em ...

Bob Kittredge
05-01-2006, 01:22 PM
Speaker phones and headsets should be allowed, as I still have my hands and eyes available to drive. It's no different than talking to your travel partner.

Exactly. I've noticed that my own driving tends to deteriorate when I'm talking to someone in the car. At least I've learned to say, "Hang on a minute. Traffic's getting hairy, and I need to concentrate on my driving."

But everyone is different. There are folks who can multitask to beat the band and folks who shouldn't even have the radio on. Just wish people reallized which category they were in and acted accordingly.

Roxi
05-01-2006, 01:34 PM
???? :confused: I do not understand that statement at all. Maybe a business person thinks so, but that is only due to escalation of such devices for "keeping up with the competition". People conducted their businesses and lives just fine without a cell phone on their hip or tied to their ear not so long ago. A cell phone is not anymore a necessary part of our lives than is cable tv or satellite phone.

When my daughter's car blew a tire on a highway, I was very glad that she had a cell phone. She was able to call me and let me know what had happened and that she was ok. She was also able to call AAA and get help. Both of those actions would have been difficult for her to do without a cell phone without leaving her car and/or being at the mercy of whoever stopped. I view cell phones as very useful devices and am glad I own one. As a woman I feel a little safer knowing I can call someone I know for help if I need to instead of relying on a stranger. The problem isn't the cell phone, it's how people use them.

Nessmuk
05-01-2006, 02:04 PM
When my daughter's car blew a tire on a highway, I was very glad that she had a cell phone. She was able to call me and let me know what had happened and that she was ok. She was also able to call AAA and get help. Both of those actions would have been difficult for her to do without a cell phone without leaving her car and/or being at the mercy of whoever stopped. I'm sure you are glad and it was a good thing. I can remember (before cell phones) thinking how fortunate and lucky to have broken down near friendly homeowners in the past who gladly lent a hand or let me use their landline to call for help. One time a farmer brought his tractor out in a blizzard to pull me out of a ditch. I guess times and attitudes are different now though.


I view cell phones as very useful devices and am glad I own one. As a woman I feel a little safer knowing I can call someone I know for help if I need to instead of relying on a stranger. The problem isn't the cell phone, it's how people use them.And their expectations of infrastructure, including political pressure to support their demands, especially in wilderness areas. Some people seem to treat a cell phone as a piece of clothing, and would no sooner be without one as they would be without pants. I think that's sad.

DougPaul
05-01-2006, 02:04 PM
Speaker phones and headsets should be allowed, as I still have my hands and eyes available to drive. It's no different than talking to your travel partner.
From what I have heard, the accident rates for cellphone users are similar to those of drunk drivers--even with the hands-free attachments. The mental distraction is a bigger problem than physical distraction. Accidents have also happened while the driver is searching for a ringing phone.

IMO, talking with a passenger is less dangerous--he can see when the driver is concentrating on a driving situation and when driver is more relaxed. As a driver or a passenger, I stop talking when the driving situation gets critical. And as a driver, I ignore the passengers when the driving demands my attention.

A background radio/music is easily ignored, foreground (eg loud) music is much harder to ignore. And a background radio/music may help a driver stay alert on a long drive.

Doug

MadRiver
05-01-2006, 02:05 PM
When my daughter's car blew a tire on a highway, I was very glad that she had a cell phone. She was able to call me and let me know what had happened and that she was ok. She was also able to call AAA and get help.

In this scenario your daughter was not driving when she used the cell phone. I doubt that anyone would begrudge her using a cell phone in that instance.

David Metsky
05-01-2006, 02:19 PM
<mod hat on>
Folks, we're drifting far away from the question of how much you use cell phones while hiking. Cell phones and driving, or the need of a person to have a cell phone in today's society are interesting subjects, but perhaps not the best topics for this board.

Please keep the focus of the discussion to phones and hiking.

-dave-

<mod hat off>

Clown
05-01-2006, 02:28 PM
???? :confused: I do not understand that statement at all. Maybe a business person thinks so, but that is only due to escalation of such devices for "keeping up with the competition". People conducted their businesses and lives just fine without a cell phone on their hip or tied to their ear not so long ago. A cell phone is not anymore a necessary part of our lives than is cable tv or satellite phone.

The pressure is already on for people demanding their expectation of full coverage in the wilderness, requiring construction of cell towers on remote wilderness peaks.

Well, just the other day there was an major incident in the town I work in. 3 fire departments were there, many local officials, police and state police. Even though everyone has there own private channels you can still hear everyone else talking over the radio, which was alot of people talking at once, and over each other. Without the use of Nextel/Cellphones it would have been much harder for us to communicate to better our efforts.

skiguy
05-02-2006, 09:35 AM
Very interesting thread. I carry a cell phone but I never use it. Has anyone ever had someone else on the trail who does not have a cell phone ask to use yours? How would you reply? If it were an emergency I think we would all gladly hand the cell over; but what if it were not. Kind of like being in "Tuck's" on a nice Spring day and someone asks if you have a Big Mac they can use.

DougPaul
05-02-2006, 10:17 AM
Has anyone ever had someone else on the trail who does not have a cell phone ask to use yours? How would you reply? If it were an emergency I think we would all gladly hand the cell over; but what if it were not.
I have been on the asking side. Was at a remote desert viewpoint (Grandview Point, overlooking Canyonlands) with car problems. Didn't have a cellphone--others let me use theirs and refused my offer of payment.

I now have one which I generally treat as emergency gear when hiking or driving (ie normally turned off). If the above situation were reversed, I'd happily let someone else use it in an emergency.

Doug

Kevin Rooney
05-02-2006, 11:45 AM
Very interesting thread. I carry a cell phone but I never use it. Has anyone ever had someone else on the trail who does not have a cell phone ask to use yours? How would you reply? If it were an emergency I think we would all gladly hand the cell over; but what if it were not. Kind of like being in "Tuck's" on a nice Spring day and someone asks if you have a Big Mac they can use.I've been in several situations where I've loaned my cell to someone in a jam, and would do it again without hesitation. I wouldn't loan it for casual purposes, however, unless it was a close friend.

Whether it were on trail or off wouldn't change the circumstances for me.

Reekee
05-02-2006, 12:00 PM
Proudly don't own one. :)

the starchild
05-02-2006, 01:58 PM
ok, ok ok, i was wrong with my earlier statement. i have seen the light, i agree now, celphones don't suck....rude people do :)
but maybe...just maybe.... cel phones make them worse!?!?

i or my partner always carry one for emergency use. it stays turned off in a ziplock burried in the depths of my pack. i'm out there to disconnect, but an extra few ounces to maybe save a life or lots of extra time in pain seems like a good decision for me.

i couldn't find the post where someone said celphones are like dog whistles for humans. that was GREAT! who said it!?!?!?

Pete_Hickey
05-02-2006, 02:08 PM
i couldn't find the post where someone said celphones are like dog whistles for humans. that was GREAT! who said it!?!?!?Look at Cantdog's sig.

sierra
05-03-2006, 04:29 PM
I own a cell because I have no land line, but I never take in in the woods. Ill take my chances. ok Ill be gone now, packing for Colorado, see you at 14,000 ft.
P.S. whatever happen to dealing with emergencys by yourself,now everyone calls for help in a minute.

Jasonst
05-03-2006, 05:19 PM
I own a cell because I have no land line, but I never take in in the woods. Ill take my chances. ok Ill be gone now, packing for Colorado, see you at 14,000 ft.
P.S. whatever happen to dealing with emergencys by yourself,now everyone calls for help in a minute.

I wonder if Aron Rollston (the guy who had to sever his own arm a few years back) wished he had packed a cell. To have one and not bring it is utter folly, in my opinion.

DougPaul
05-03-2006, 06:51 PM
I wonder if Aron Rollston (the guy who had to sever his own arm a few years back) wished he had packed a cell. To have one and not bring it is utter folly, in my opinion.
If he had one, his chance of getting a connection from deep in a slot canyon was very slim.

Doug

Whiteman
05-03-2006, 08:39 PM
Which can be often, because I love telling my girlfriend how much I love her, but I keep the conversations brief. (Actually, she knows how much I love her, she is just curious whether I am also still alive, so the conversations really are brief.) Other than that, just to check on loved ones and to tell them I might be little late.

AND I always get out of the way and try not to annoy others. NO ringing, just a loving vibration.

AND, since I can't count on cell coverage for emergencies (mine or those of others) I always also carry my little ham radio. Now let the flames begin!

Jasonst
05-04-2006, 06:30 AM
If he had one, his chance of getting a connection from deep in a slot canyon was very slim.

Doug

cmon doug, I think you get my point. If I have an accident on a remote trail and my life is in danger, then it's foolish to purposely leave your emergency tools at home. That's my point.

sugahjohn
05-04-2006, 06:42 AM
I carry mine with me, but it's off. I bring it for the sadly real possibility that I might have to call someone in the event that I find my truck's been broken into and trashed when I get back to the trailhead. Also, should encounter a real emergency--either involving me or someone else--I feel that it'd be worth a shot. Yeah, it's a pain to carry it, but it sucks even more that I feel I can't just leave it in my truck. Where'd the love go?

the starchild
05-04-2006, 08:03 AM
I wonder if Aron Rollston (the guy who had to sever his own arm a few years back) wished he had packed a cell. To have one and not bring it is utter folly, in my opinion.


IIRC, that aron dude was stuck in Little BlueJohn Canyon, which dumps into the larger Horseshoe Canyon. I've hiked in horseshoe canyon, there's a part of Canyonlands national park there where you can visit some amazingly spectacular art on the canyon walls. There is no way a cel phone in that canyon would do any good, even up on the rim there were no FM stations and only a few AM stations. its about 40 miles to the nearest paved road!!

i do agree about bringing a cellphone if you got it, just in case, especially in the east, you never know if you might get service if needed.

ps, my buddy just got a ham radio and will prolly bring it on our next trip. now, as much as i need/want to disconnect, if the yanks/redsox were sparring in an important game........:)

--M.
05-04-2006, 08:08 AM
ps, my buddy just got a ham radio and will prolly bring it on our next trip. now, as much as i need/want to disconnect, if the yanks/redsox were sparring in an important game........:)


You just sparked a hiking memory: My dad was a great one for bringing a little "transistor" AM radio on his overnights, and I recall catching a Sox game -- and stations as far away as Germany -- while sacked out at Hermit Lake. It was a hoot for everyone at the shelter..., and he put it away after a few minutes.

DougPaul
05-04-2006, 10:19 AM
If he had one, his chance of getting a connection from deep in a slot canyon was very slim.

cmon doug, I think you get my point. If I have an accident on a remote trail and my life is in danger, then it's foolish to purposely leave your emergency tools at home. That's my point.
Huh? All I said was that it probably wouldn't have helped him in this case--he was deep in a remote slot canyon when he needed it. I said nothing about whether he should have carried one or not.

FWIW, I have made successful cellphone connections from Grandview Point (overlooking Canyonlands) and the junction of Rtes 191 and 163 (out in the "middle of nowhere", just S of Bluff, UT). And I got a signal while on the upper part of the Nankoweap Trail, below the N Rim of the Grand Canyon. One can get signals in some surprising locations, but the bottom of a remote desert slot canyon is a very poor bet.

Doug

DougPaul
05-04-2006, 10:42 AM
ps, my buddy just got a ham radio and will prolly bring it on our next trip. now, as much as i need/want to disconnect, if the yanks/redsox were sparring in an important game........:)
I too am a ham and have occasionally carried a 2M HT (radio) while hiking. In a place like the Whites, it sounds like it might have better coverage than a cellphone, but I haven't checked myself. (There are repeaters in Colebrook, Littleton, Mt Washington, N. Conway, Freyburg, Berlin, Colebrook, Cannon Mtn, etc. See http://www.nerepeaters.com/ for a more complete list.) I consider both it and my celllphone emergency gear and normally leave them turned off. The HT also receives NOAA weather broadcasts which could be useful on occasion.

Some might find sports events on a backcountry radio as offensive as a loud cellphone yacker. I suggest that you use headphones.

A repeater directory (eg http://www.artscipub.com/repeaters/states/Utah.asp) lists a reasonable number of repeaters in SE Utah, including locations such as Moab, Monticello, Navajo Mountain, and Price. I have no idea how good the coverage of the backcountry might be. (I have never carried an HT out there.) As usual, high points will have a better chance of getting a signal than will low points.

Doug
wb2qje

adirobdack46r
05-04-2006, 10:49 AM
I carry one but it is off until I choose to make a call at the summit. I'm notorious for calling a buddy and teasing him that I'm on a summit enjoying the view and he is not.

Reekee
05-04-2006, 01:28 PM
Does 46 stand for how many mountains you have climbed or how many Post you have on this site? :)

adirobdack46r
05-04-2006, 02:01 PM
It is in reference to the 46 high peaks in the Adirondacks.

David Metsky
05-04-2006, 04:32 PM
For future generations: You had exactly 46 posts before this last one. Reekee was joking. :p

-dave-

sierra
05-05-2006, 06:05 PM
My last post was edited by Dave M ( mod) and he pmed me to let me know. I used a slang term that was in hindsight potentially offensive, I offer my apologies to the vftt, I can have a dry sense of humor, but you guys dont know me so how would you know?
Anyway, we all make our own judgement calls on equipment and protocals for emergencys, me no phone carried, if you decide do carry one, thats your call (pun) Ill back off and respect we all have a right to our own comfort zone. Peace all.