[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[at-l] Cell Phones, yet again - the 'rules'

At 05:15 PM 4/19/2005 -0400, Bob C wrote:
> >"...substitute something
> > else you *can't* plan for, like a compound fracture of your lower leg
> > or both legs, or a double concussion, or anything else that might
> > require expeditious medical treatment."
>Yeah, Greg, You are right. Cell phones help eliminate that sense of risk, 
>that sense of challenge, that sense of wildness, of being on your own, of 
>being responsible for dealing with whatever happens.
>And though many have long since lost the ability to understand, your cell 
>phone -- and the knowledge that the things exist, hidden in most packs, 
>these days -- does the same to all other thinking, wildness seeking folks 
>on the trail.

Greg, I don't know what your concerns are. If it is that something terrible 
is going to happen to you on the trail you should read some accounts of 
thru-hikes. The number of really bad things that happen is very small and 
if it isn't "really bad" a cell phone won't help you. You are expected to 
get yourself (though you might get help from fellow hikers) out of any 
minor or even moderate situations you get into. Rescue teams don't like 
being called to help unless it is really necessary. Many are volunteers and 
you are asking them to drop their lives and priorities for you. If you are 
holed up in a shelter by a snow storm, melt some snow for water, eat 
whatever you have and stay in your sleeping bag until the weather breaks 
and you can hike out. As for things you can't plan for... if you've been 
reading previous comments you should have noted that you can't plan on the 
phone working.

If the concern is maintaining contact for the benefit of significant others 
who will be worried if you don't carry a cell phone, tell them to read a 
few thru-hike journals to assure themselves that hikers look after one 
another (though you might not believe it from recent AT-L discussions) and, 
if still necessary, carry it in the bottom of the pack for the first 100 
miles or so. Once they see you are okay, they won't be so concerned.

In the end, despite the objections of a few here, cell phones are not 
instruments of some anti-wilderness devil. They are just another tool for 
communicating albeit a faster and more technological one than the 
pen/paper/post office method. I wonder if my pencil scratching on paper in 
the otherwise silent night will disturb anyone? Also I prefer mechanical 
pencils. The ones that make a clicking noise when you advance the lead.