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How Connected are You?

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How Connected are You?

Old 02-20-17, 07:13 AM
  #26  
andrewclaus
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I carry two things that take batteries, a headlight and a tail light. And with the advent of LED lighting, I don't carry any spare batteries. Oh--a digital watch/alarm and a bike computer.

I use the internet nearly daily on my tours in the developed world. Free library computers are nearly everywhere. I see them two or three times a day in the eastern US. Sometimes I skip the connection on Sundays and holidays, or in remote areas, but that's okay.

One of the main reasons I've always traveled is to get away from the damn phone. I cannot imagine taking it with me and having fun. For some reason, daily email and journal posting doesn't bother me, it's not as "in your face" as a phone.

And the last thing I want to know is what's waiting for me the next place I go. That's the other main reason I travel.

Last edited by andrewclaus; 02-20-17 at 09:02 AM.
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Old 02-20-17, 07:16 AM
  #27  
DanBell
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Originally Posted by Big Lew View Post
An interesting thread and responses....it becomes apparent that the vast
majority are much younger than I am and are from the era of light portable
electronic communication, and multi-task units such as smart phones which
are a huge part of their daily lives. Many of the newer generation are at a
loss or feel 'naked' without their units. Although older people like me might
use these devices, they're not necessarily an extension of our arm, so to speak,
and we aren't dependent or concerned if we don't have them with us at all times.
Like I said earlier, I find it refreshing to go for days without any connection to
the rest of the world other than what's happening right before me in the present.
Sure, but there's a middle ground too. I carry a few different electronic devices but they all serve a purpose and I use them as necessary. I'm not constantly staring at my phone every time I stop or updating Facebook everyday. It's nice to have them but I'm not going to freak out if the battery dies.
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Old 02-20-17, 07:41 AM
  #28  
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I mentioned I take my smartphone ... but I don't actually refer to it as a phone. I don't like phones at all. I have so much trouble using them.

So I call it my micro-computer or mini-computer.

That said, I actually had to make a call with my mini-computer today. That was an awkward experience! Took me three tries to get through to the person I wanted, I think I ended up hanging up on her.


But I think I end up in the middle somewhere. On a tour or randonnee or training ride or whatever, I prefer to spend the day away from the computer ... perhaps only referring to cue sheets or maps ... but at the end of the day, I find it relaxing to browse forums and process my photos etc.
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Old 02-20-17, 10:24 AM
  #29  
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This summer will be the first time I bring any electronic gear with me, an e-book. Other than that I've never really felt any need for anything else.
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Old 02-20-17, 01:00 PM
  #30  
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Last time I took a smart phone (maps and route recording), and a GoPro, plus my normal lights and wired bike computer.

It worked for me, I have every intention of using that load again. I may or may not toss in a tablet, it was on the original list last time but the battery crapped out with too little time to replace it, and it got left home.

Laugh all you want about the younger generation being addicted to electronics, when I hit routes that had been renamed from what was on paper maps on my last trip, the internet was a really nice thing to have.
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Old 02-25-17, 12:49 PM
  #31  
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I rode one from SF area to the Grand Canyon last Sept/Oct just with a smart phone, a Samsung Galaxy s5. It was more than enough connectivity, but i regret not bringing a proper camera. I think even an inexpensive point-and-shoot would have been much better. I charged the phone and my rear blinkie via a brick battery charged up during the day with a solar panel strapped across the rear rack.
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Old 02-25-17, 12:59 PM
  #32  
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20 years ago I got along fine without any of it...

Needed to find out my bank balance, as I was running off my Debit Card, and having currency exchanges , in Europe ,

so I found a nice place to stay for a week or 2, for the letters,to US, to go there and back..


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Old 02-25-17, 08:01 PM
  #33  
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I pack:
Headlamp w/ red and white leds as a backup to main lighting and for camp setup/packaway and night-time breakdowns. USB chargeable.
Tail lamp blinky, USB chargeable.
Rugged MTK phone for email, maps, route recording, music, and general availability for family. USB chargeable.
2 x Bluetooth music dongle, USB chargeable. Tiny, and can listen to one while charging the other.
Panasonic rugged camera & USB battery charger + 2 spare batteries.
LED headlights work from dynohub. USB charging system works from dynohub during daylight hours.

Sounds like a lot, but most of the items are fairly small, and with the exception of the music dongles, all useful in general.

Last edited by tspoon; 02-25-17 at 08:07 PM. Reason: addition
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Old 02-26-17, 05:24 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by andrewclaus View Post
One of the main reasons I've always traveled is to get away from the damn phone. I cannot imagine taking it with me and having fun. For some reason, daily email and journal posting doesn't bother me, it's not as "in your face" as a phone.
I too find that the phone can be a bit in your face and a distraction. For me the answer is to take the phone, but leave it turned off when not actually using it. If I want to use the gps, listen to an audio book, take a picture, or whatever, I am likely to turn off the telephone and wifi functions. I do either call or text my wife once every day or two, but I limit calls to a few minutes and use text as often as not. I never leave it on and answer calls on tour. I check text and email when and if I feel like it. The way I use my phone, it is a handy device that doesn't detract from the trip, is very little trouble, and the battery lasts a very long time.

I have not found libraries very handy in most of the places I have toured. Towns in the rural west and the great plains can be too small to have a library, what libraries there are can have short hours, and I usually don't want to stop at them during the day. Also, when I did rely on them, I have often found a queue waiting for the available computers more often than not. That was a few years ago, so I am not sure how often that is the case now.

I have considered taking an old smartphone with no service plan and using it only as a wifi device, but since I already have a smartphone with a plan I find it easier to just turn off the features that I don't want intruding in my tour.
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Old 02-26-17, 06:48 AM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
...I have considered taking an old smartphone with no service plan and using it only as a wifi device....
A friend offered to give me an old smartphone and I'm considering trying that, as a free auxiliary device with minimal mass and volume. I don't want my traveling to be ruled by the connectivity, or by the need to find an outlet.
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Old 02-26-17, 07:14 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by andrewclaus View Post
A friend offered to give me an old smartphone and I'm considering trying that, as a free auxiliary device with minimal mass and volume. I don't want my traveling to be ruled by the connectivity, or by the need to find an outlet.
On the issue of connectivity...
I have found that wifi has become so ubiquitous that it is much less hassle to find a connection than to find a library.

On the issue of finding an outlet...
I have found that spare phone batteries are pretty light these days, like an ounce or so. They can be found pretty cheaply if you look for them from suppliers other than the phone's manufacturer or the cellular service provider. If the phone is used sparingly, one battery might last me a week or more. I typically find that I am sitting somewhere that I can plug in plenty often without making any special effort to look for charging opportunities.

Additionally, in the rural west and plains I often camp in small town parks or picnic areas that often have an outlet in the picnic pavilion.

If you need to go further between charges or delete batteries faster due to heavier usage, power wallets have become widely available and not too expensive. So unless going into the backcountry for longish periods, I don't see why the need to find an outlet should be much of an issue. I have never toured anywhere that charging my phone became an issue as long as I keep it turned off when not in use and use it sparingly.Even if going off grid backpacking I find that I can easily go two weeks with a spare battery and a small power wallet and that is including using the phone's gps a good bit.
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