Premium Member Aaron Zagrodnick Posted February 21, 2015 Premium Member Share Posted February 21, 2015 Do you take your phone into the backcountry? I used to be in the adamant "Never" group, until the time I ended up stranded at an unexpected trailhead and it took forever to find a ride when a quick call would have done the trick in just a few minutes. Of course now that I do usually take my smartphone, that hasn't happened again. These days I view it as more of a tool - I have topo maps for the area I'll be hiking in saved to the phone in addition to my paper maps, it has GPS capability that's been a time saver on a few occasions, and one night I was even able to determine that the bird keeping me awake directly above my tent in the early morning hours was in fact, a Northern Saw-whet Owl utilizing the bird field guide app I have on the phone. It can also serve as a backup camera and I've even used the notepad to start a few TrailGroove articles at night on a few occasions. Of course there are some drawbacks, such as a little extra weight and the worry of keeping another electronic item dry. However it could be said that the largest drawback is being too connected - I’m lucky enough to usually backpack in areas where I won’t get service, but I can recall one time in the Maze District of Canyonlands (Often referred to as one of the most remote places in the contiguous United States) where I happened to pick up pretty good service and the emails started flooding in – Not really the best way to get away from it all. Luckily here in Wyoming mountains usually help with that problem. In any event, I'm now in the "Most of the Time" group - Interested to hear your take! Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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