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



----Original Message -----
 > Date: Wed, 08 Mar 2000 16:13:16 PST
> From: "Jack Tarlin" <baltjack@hotmail.com>
>     1)Do you feel comfortable with hikers who are packing computers?
>     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.?
>     3)Do you feel that if used discreetly and privately that it's OK to
>         carry and use a computer?

I have always been a section hiker, and 10 days has been my longest trip.
So, I speak from that perspective and can only speculate on my reactions
were I a thru-hiker.

I don't like being forced to listen in on someone else's conversation on
their cell phone. If someone was pounding out some tale on their laptop with
the usual accompanying  whirs, clicks, beeps etc., I suspect I would not
like that much either. If someone is click clacking away when I am trying to
settle in for the night, they'll really hear my annoyance. However, if I
come upon an
incredible trail vista and someone has plopped themself down to write
something on their laptop, I'll be disappointed but no more so than if
several noisy people were present to detract from my spiritual moment. In
those cases it is a first come basis, and I'll just wait for my time or move
along. If I
am already enjoying a wilderness experience and some one comes up and
unlimbers their PC,
well I'll just have to tell them that their PC is not pc. IMO, consideration
and
good manners on the part of the user of techno stuff is all that is
necessary to avoid conflict.

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

Well, the vast majority of the "AT community" are day hikers and section
hikers and not thru-hikers. I suspect that most day and section hikers are
on the trail for a wilderness experience pure and simple - and for them it
is wilderness - and would be less than thrilled to encounter scores of
computer-using techno-hikers.

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

I care. I prefer not to encounter them.  But,  for me, a computer would be
less intrusive than a radio, raucous yelling and screaming, the odor of
tobacco smoke, the sight of trash, or a watch chime interrupting my sleep.
And of all of the above, it's the watch chime that bothers me the most. Go
figure.

My last word is that encountering any of these distractions on the Trail is
still preferable to not being on the Trail at all.

Frank



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