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Re: [at-l] Computers on the Trail, yea or nay?

>     1)Do you feel comfortable with hikers who are packing computers?

As long as they are used quietly, I could care in the least if they desire to
carry the weight and tolerate the hassle of protecting a computer. Quietly means
that I don't want to hear the typing, hear beeps, waves, or any other sounds. I
also don't want to see the glow of a screen interfering with my star gazing or
the gazing of the back of my eye lids.

>     2)Do you feel computers and other hi-tech links to the outside world are
> intrusive, harmful to ones' "wilderness" experience, and are out-of-place on
> the A.T.?

It would be intrusive for me to carry these items, however I can respect the
desire of someone else to carry these items as long as they are used discreetly.
I would hope that common courtesy would prevail as it should in all situations.
I don't feel my experience is harmed by seeing someone use a phone, if they can
find a place to use it that works, as long as they are doing so quietly and away
from normal travel areas. This is also the same courtesy that I feel should
apply off the trail. Phones should be used away from people, computers should
not be used inside shelters or after dark. I would not have a problem with
someone typing a journal quietly at a picnic table. I would be disturbed by
someone playing computer games. Bottom line, limit activities to those that can
be done without disturbing the peace and quiet one would expect to find in the
wilderness. I would also expect the user of these devises, as well as radios, or
the participants of group games, etc. to always ask everyone present if it's
okay before using any devices or participating in any activities that may in
anyway disturb someone and always be prepared for and not offended when someone

>     3)Do you feel that if used discreetly and privately that it's OK to
> carry and use a computer?

Answered above.

>     4)How do feel the majority of the A.T. community feels about this?

It has been my experience that people are not offended by the presence of
electronics, but the noises they make. If the user asks you first if you mind,
then uses any device quietly and discreetly,  I don't think most people have a
problem with it.

>     5)Do you not really care one way or the other?

Yes, I care if someone is talking loudly on a phone, yes I care if I hear a
phone ringing, yes I care if I hear someone pecking away on a keyboard, yes I
care if I hear a computer beeping or playing waves, yes I care if a screen is
glowing in the dark when I'm trying to sleep. No I don't care if they are insane
enough to carry the extra weight and what ever it is that they carry is only
seen and never heard.

As in all situations, common courtesy goes a long way. If someone ask before
doing any activity, I will almost always say I don't mind and truly mean it as
long as the activity ceases at a reasonable hour. If someone doesn't ask, it
usually bugs the h*@# out of me after about 5 minutes. Go figure.

Midlife Crisis


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