[at-l] hike prep

Jim and_or Ginny Owen spiriteagle99 at hotmail.com
Thu Dec 10 19:39:56 CST 2009

JimB wrote:

>My take on cell phones. They can be useful. They aren't necessary. If you
>aren't an ounce weenie and are sufficiently in control of yourself to not
>use it as a crutch, turn it off and take it. 


Jim - 

We've never found a use for a cellphone in the backcountry.  If we haven't 

needed one in the last 20,000 miles with the problems we've had, we're not 

likely to ever need one in the future.  


>If you will resent the extra
>weight in your pack and/or are so tied to 'being connected' that you can't
>resist using it then leave it at home. For me they are in the same category
>as emergency supplies (stuff to stop bleeding, etc.). It's there if I need
>it (as opposed to simply wanting it) but the rest of the time I forget about


We've been through the "bleeding" part.  And survived - and have a better story 

to tell about it than any cell phome story I've ever heard.  We've been through 

falls, broken bones, a torn meniscus, being snowbound - and "lost" - and a bunch 

of other stuff that others think are worth carrying the weight for.  But we think 

the pride and learning involved in solving that stuff without "running to mama" is 

simply a part of the experience that cell phone carriers miss. 


Actually, we have a thing about being "connected" - if we wanted to stay connected, 

we'd stay home.  And if you have a cell phone, you ARE connected, whether you 

keep it off or not.  It's there - it's a link to the world you supposedly went out there 

to leave behind. But by carrying the phone, you've taken the "world" with you. 

 And that link is heavier than anything (or even everything) else in 

your pack.  It's an invisible, unavoidable lifeline that becomes the first line of defense 

for anything that happens - when the first line of defense should be you own mind, 

your own skills and abilities.  For too many people, the phone makes the acquisition,

the learning, of backcountry skills and abilities "unnecessary".  Well, they think they're 

unnecessary - until they need them and the cell phone doesn't work.  And then they're 

just screwed.  Or --- they're on the trail and they call home one night and Grandma's 

cat has disappeared and everyone expects them to fly home and find the it.  Or - a 

dozen other real-life scenarios that I've witnessed - all of which are truly unnessary 

because without the phone the hiker wouldn't have learned about the home problems until 

they'd been resolved.  And the situation would have been resolved.  Or the hiker would 

have solved his/her problem (broken arm?  - you don't walk on your arm - so walk out) and 

become a better, more capable person for it.  


It's kinda like carrying a gun - the physical weight is manageable - the 

mental/emotional weight is much too heavy to carry.  


Bottom line - we don't need to carry the weight for something we don't need 

and don't want.  

Not sayin' you shouldn't carry one, just sayin' - we don't and won't.  


Walk softly,




-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: http://patsy.hack.net/pipermail/at-l/attachments/20091210/84c84fdb/attachment.html 

More information about the at-l mailing list