[pct-l] Cheap(ish) trail photo / blog updating option for Canadians

Danny Cox dannywcox at gmail.com
Thu Apr 23 22:10:21 CDT 2009

Hi all,

I've been a list lurker for a couple months now, ever since hearing
about the trail and falling in love with it sometime in February (I'll
be nobo sometime in the next two weeks). I'm just finishing up my
research and wanted to post up some findings for any other Canadians
who may not be finished their prep work either.

If you want to pack a communication device on your hike, it's worth
checking out a cheap smartphone offered through Superstore / Extra
Foods / Loblaws in Canada. PC Mobile apparently has a universal
roaming agreement setup so that any prepaid (no contract needed)
customer from Canada on their network (Bell in Canada) can receive
service from any carrier in the USA for flat rate roaming fees. The
phone service works out to be very high at $2.79 / minute, but for $10
/ month you can receive unlimited web browsing ($5) and unlimited
picture and video messaging ($5) even while roaming in the States.
Text messages are $0.15 each or unlimited for $10 / month. And
supposedly (I haven't been able to test it yet) you can receive this
service from any local carrier you may be able to find service from -
not just AT&T or Verizon or Sprint etc - while on the trail.

The phone is the LG Rumour - it has a built in picture / video camera
and a slide out keyboard so you can type quickly with your thumbs,
plays music through a built in speaker or headphones, and it accepts
microSD cards. It costs $100 Canadian with no contract, and weighs 114
grams (4 oz) with 1 battery plus 60 grams (2.1 oz) for the charger. I
picked up 3 extra batteries off of ebay for $30 cdn including

So, for $130 cdn (phone and 3 extra batteries) up front, plus $10 /
month, I can upload unlimited photos (with up to 1000 characters of
text) to a blog or through email to family, send up to 10 second long
videos, listen to audiobooks / music if I choose, and check info
online if needed. It will work anytime there is cell service from any
carrier, but only simple 144 character text messages can be saved
offline for future sending (so it doesn't work well as a digital

I know this reads like an ad for the company... sorry... and I'm not
advocating that people pack a device like this on their hike - but as
someone looking for a way to help family follow along on my adventure
this option seems to be the best by far compared to any other options
I found (I had to have everything confirmed by 3 different customer
service agents before believing it and taking the plunge).

The website is www.pc.ca/mobile for anyone interested.



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