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Re: [at-l] Computers and courtesy

At 10:05 AM 3/10/00 -0800, you wrote:

>     This post will probably piss some folks off, because of its content, 
> tone, and wording.

I've picked up a heck pf a bug and seem to be sleeping about 20 hrs a day sp
I hope this makes sense.  And of course I'm not a thru hiker so I am clueless.

Persom A wants to hike without seeing technology
Person B wants to keep his palm journal without having to slink off
into the woods to do so.

Person A wants to use her whispernot to cook her meal.
Person B wants to eat her meal without hearing or smelling Person A stove.

Why do the As get their way and the Bs don't.  All desires seem equally valid
to me. Is it the power of numbers which sorta means might equals right ?

Why isn;t person A's technophobia considered an imposition on person B's hike?

Person B is expected to limit his peaceful enjoyment of an important facet of
his hike (keeping his journal in a manner he finds convenient) so that 
Person A
doesn't have to see a Palm Pilot......sheesh.  Who's hike is intruding on 
who's here?

Ok.....fair warning to all you white gas stove users.  They reek of petrol 
and make
an unwoodsy sound.  They remind me of the real world.  Please use them
in the same manner and with the same discretion you would use if using a
Is that OK with you Jack?

>I wish this were avoidable, but I'm afraid it can't be helped.
>     That being said, I wanted to thank all the folks who've written, both 
> publicly, and privately to me, in regards to my recent "survey" on 
> computers in the woods, their use, and how hikers view them.  Nearly all 
> of the comments I read or received were thoughtful, sensible, and educational.
>     However, one comment really bothered me.  I won't embarass the guy by 
> naming him, but I will comment on his remarks.  In discussing the 
> propriety of computers on the trail, and the etiquette involving their 
> use, this fellow made it very clear that he intended to carry and use his 
> computer throughout his trip, wherever and however he wished, and that he 
> didn't give a rat's ass how others felt about this behavior.  In no 
> uncertain terms, he said, and I quote, "I don't feel I should have to 
> hide in the woods to use it."  As far as the etiquette surrounding the 
> use of electronic gadgetry on the A.T. he said "Each person should decide 
> for themselves."
>    I know this guy has yet to thru-hike, so perhaps he's merely speaking 
> out of ignorance, but he has absolutely no idea how wrong his mindset and 
> attitude is, particularly as regards the feelings and considerations of 
> other hikers.  There's a curious, and completely false mindset about the 
> Trail regarding that timeworn, overstated, and frequently mis-used old 
> chestnut, "hike your own hike."
>    HYOH does not now, nor did it ever mean, that one can do as they 
> damned well please when hiking the A.T.  What it means for most people, 
> and after 10,000  miles on the Trail and having personally met more than 
> a quarter of all the people who have thru-hiked, I think I know what I'm 
> talking about here---what "Hike Your Own Hike" means for most folks is 
> that how you view your hike, why you choose to hike, what you hope to get 
> out of your trip, is your business.  What you carry, how far or how fast 
> you go, is your business.  Northbound, or south, flip-flop, sectioner, 
> blue-blazer, whatever---is YOUR business.  Your are pretty much free to 
> hike as you please, as long as your actions or behavior do no damage to 
> the Trail, the thru-hiker community, to the environment, or to other 
> hikers.  You are essentially free to hike and live as you please, 
> provided your actions or behavior do not have a negative impact on the 
> Trail, or on those with whom you're sharing it.  In other words, your 
> "right" to Hike Your Own Hike stops flat when it interferes with others' 
> right to hike theirs, and obviously, such behavior as improper cell phone 
> use, playing video games, listening to a radio or tape deck without an 
> earplug----all of this is clearly unacceptable, rude, classless, 
> offensive, selfish, boorish, inconsiderate behavior.  I don't think any 
> of us would argue that the tradition of Hiking One's Own Hike would 
> permit the indiscriminate, thoughtless behavior I've just described.  And 
> to state that proper behavior in this regard is something that "Each 
> person should decide for themselves" is absolutely wrong.  It is a 
> comment so manifestly self-centered and ignorant that it could have ONLY 
> been made by someone who has spent little time on the A.T.
>    And here's the news:  An awful lot of folks view computers, and other 
> high-tech links to the outside world in the exact same light.  Don't get 
> me wrong.  I am not, and never would tell someone what they may or may 
> not carry.  I obviously don't have that right, and wouldn't want 
> it.  It's not my business what other folks bring with them.  But it is 
> EVERYONE'S business how these things are used, and there is a very clear, 
> very well understood etiquette involving the use of these toys.  It's 
> realy very simple:
>    1)  Most people go into the woods and mountains, in part, to leave 
> this sort of thing behind for awhile.  They do not need, or want, 
> permanent reminders or electronic umbilical cords that would remind them 
> of the world they've left, and will have to return to so soon.  In short, 
> most folks DO NOT welcome the sight or public use of these items.
>    2)If computers and phones must be carried, they should be used 
> discreetly, and PRIVATELY.  Nobody goes out in the woods to see other 
> folks yakking on the phone, or tapping away in a shelter or while sitting 
> at a scenic vista.  The public use of these items, their noise, their 
> very presence, even, is viewed by most folks as intrusive, unnecessary, 
> and absolutely destructive of their "wilderness" experience.  It is not 
> behavior that others should be compelled to witness.
>   3)In that it's very clear how most folks feel about this, then it's 
> also clear that anyone who willfully and purposefully disregards this 
> established etiquette is selfish, thoughtless, and rude.  People like 
> this should rethink what they're doing in the woods.  If this is your 
> attitude and mindset, then a well-travelled, public Trail, especially a 
> highly social one such as the A.T., is NOT for them.
>   4)If, after knowing all this, one still continues to use one's toys 
> wherever and however they see fit, without thought as to the felings or 
> concerns of anyone else, well, this to me brands one as an asshole of 
> truly extraordinary proportions.  Happily, tho, in my experience, people 
> of this sort are easily recognized by other hikers, and are treated as 
> though they were carrying typhoid.  They generally don't last very long, 
> they tend to be whiners and very high-maintenance types, and they usually 
> can't hack more than a few weeks on the Trail.  They tend to slink back 
> home, telling friends and family about some spurious injury that ended 
> their trip.  But in any case, they can't hack the Trail, and they don't 
> last.  And if they do stick around, they tend to hike alone.  People like 
> this are poison and everyone knows it.
>     Whew.  Strog stuff, I know, but it needed to be said.  If you're 
> going to spend any real time on the A.T., you MUST be aware of the needs 
> and considerations of other hikers, and you must be willing to adapt or 
> compromise your needs and wants to conform with the desires of 
> others.  If you are unable, or more likely, unwilling to be considerate 
> of the needs of others, if you genuinely feel that matters such as those 
> discussed above are something that "each person should decide for 
> themselves," well here's the news:  Anyone that truly feels this way does 
> not belong on the A.T.  The me! me! me! philosophy so prevalent in modern 
> life is the exact opposite of what life is like on the Trail, and anyone 
> who puts their needs and desires so far ahead the concerns of their 
> fellows simply doesn't understand what the Trail is all about.  Hike Your 
> Own Hike, by all means---but when Hiking Yours starts interfering with 
> other folks' right to Hike Theirs, then we've got a problem.
>                                       Jack Tarlin
>                                   (AT 95-96;97;98;99; and
>                                       hopefully '00)
>Get Your Private, Free Email at http://www.hotmail.com
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