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[pct-l] Phone on the PCT

When I was young I wouldn't consider carrying a phone. After all I was
immortal and onmipotent. These days, however, I am not so sure. 

I would only carry a phone for emergency use. 99.9% of the time you won't
need one but I am reminded of the backpacker who fell at New Army Pass a
couple of years ago. Although he had a serious injury he was able to crawl
into his sleeping bag. Presumably he would have been able to make a call if
he had a phone and that might have saved him. Who knows?

I would spring for a used satelitte phone [$395] as opposed to a cell phone
which won't work in many or most areas and can't be counted on for
emergencies. If I had money to spare I would get the newer, lighter 9505
phone that is more energy efficient and would last between town stops.
Otherwise I would carry a spare battery.

Hiking last summer with a satelitte phone I can tell you having one is
really convenient. You can call ahead and make a reservation, possibly get
the Post Office to stay open a bit later, get a hold of the manufacturer of
the bum equipment you have, call a taxi and a zillion other things that are
a real pain if you need wait to get to town and locate a pay phone. Best you
can receive messages from friends [120 character maximum] easily without
using much power. 

Still, this seems to defeat the purpose of backpacking, to slow down and get
away from all that. I don't think using it on a mountain top or a crowded
campground is appropriate because it may mess with the perceptions of other
backpackers; that they are out there, self-sufficient, one with nature.
Leave them to their fantasy.....but when an emergency occurs.....