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Re: [at-l] Beware of people packing PC's

     If a hiker strolls up to a leanto after dark, and persistently shines his flashlight in your eyes to punctuate the conversation, are you going to think this person obnoxious or simply "hiking his own hike"? The technology of the flashlight was "high" a hundred years ago, right? If they play their radio loud enough to obliterate the woods' noises, would you think them obnoxious or simply "hiking their own hike"? Obviously, even the now-ubiquitous Walkman was new-fangled 20 years ago.....As OrangeBug said, it's not the technology, but it's use.
     Still, even just "high technology" scares me when I encounter it in the woods. The why is quite simply, though I was a little glib in my reply to BJack's survey. The why is that it is an indication that the user is not in the woods for the same reasons as me.
     We, all of us, voluntarily eschew contemporary comforts found in the modern home/car, all to transport ourselves to a place where The Great Questions in life are reduced to the kernel items needed for living: food, water, shelter. We attempt to balance this rugged construction with our own needs for comfort and convenience — we carry flashlights to see at night, stoves to cook our food without smoking our cloths, urethane-coated petroleum fibers to avoid the worst of the elements...but it's a fine line we draw, between "getting away from it all" and bringing it all with us. (If you want to see people who delight in drawing that fine line ever more fine, btw, tune in to the BackpackingLight list on Onelist.com.) 
     When we encounter someone who has drawn that line such that they expose themselves more basically to the food/water/shelter questions than ourselves, we do not have our construct threatened. When we encounter someone who has drawn the line such that they expose themselves to *less* of the basic questions, they unwittingly violate our rather fragile "rugged construct" — we're no longer having the wilderness experience we were before, we're just in the woods, dirty.
     So when I see someone whip out a piece of technology which *I* have eschewed, my personal reaction is "Uh-ohhhhhh!" I fear for my woodsy delusion/deprivation fantasy. Their use of the equipment may do further damage to my delusion, or may not, though.......
     And a last point might be to watch a throughhiker (wearing their emotional status on their sleeves) when they're in town. Like a moth to a flame, they're likely to walk up to a TV and stand transfixed, likely hating every moment....Leave a USA Today in a leanto and listen to the reaction.
     As I wrote to BJack, a little logical inconsistency can go a long way.*

Have a technologically sufficient day,

*Oh, and to truly answer your question, it's because we are more comfortable with the decreasingly "high-tech" gadgets like Walkman than we are with CellPhones. Over time, I'm sure that objections to these items will be confined to observations of obnoxious use, not their mere existence.

>>> "W F Thorneloe, MD" <thornel@attglobal.net> 03/15/00 09:12AM >>>
You missed the point. The condemnation is for the people using these items. (Sort of like the old argument that guns don't kill people -- People kill 

At 09:56 PM 3/14/2000, Larry G Galyen wrote:
>I got to thiniking more about the technology stuff on the trail.  Why do
>we condemn some gadgets like palmpilots, cell phones, and GPS and not
>others like radios, walkman's etc.

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