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How Connected are You?

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How Connected are You?

Old 02-19-17, 09:27 AM
  #1  
NoControl 
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How Connected are You?

This will be my first year of touring. I'm wondering what you guys take for electronics and why. What do you find that you can live with or without? Part of me wants to do it up. I'd love to take my iPad, cell phone, notebook, etc, but I'm also a Baby Boomer brought up very modestly in an Irish-American family, so I can surely live without all that and probably benefit from being unplugged.

Any discourse on this would be so greatly appreciated!
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Old 02-19-17, 10:07 AM
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I'm an ultralight type and so just bring an iPhone, battery bank, and Inreach Satellite communiator. The iPhone covers photog, GPS, comms, Internet, and entertainment (music/books/games). The satcom is certainly overkill for for my bicycle touring (typically within cell service and I can always just flag a car down) but I got it for off-grid solo adventure travel (backpacking, RVing, motorcycling, and kayaking), so I might as well bring it along... gives my wife and I a little more piece of mind.
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Old 02-19-17, 10:30 AM
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I'm currently on a long term tour and I am carrying:

- Phone for internet, Skype, navigation, pictures
- Garmin Edge 800 for navigation and ride data
- E-Reader because I don't like reading a lot on a backlit screen like a phone
- Canon S100 to take better pictures than my phone
- Bluetooth keyboard to write blog entries

I'm happy with all of this stuff. Initially I planned to bring a light laptop or tablet but figured I could do what I needed on my phone with the keyboard for when lots of typing is required. I'm not glued to screens all day long, I'm not constantly texting, and I'm not constantly in search of a way to charge everything. I use them when needed and I'm glad I have them along but mostly I just enjoy the ride.
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Old 02-19-17, 12:00 PM
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Originally Posted by reppans View Post
I'm an ultralight type and so just bring an iPhone, battery bank, and Inreach Satellite communiator. The iPhone covers photog, GPS, comms, Internet, and entertainment (music/books/games). The satcom is certainly overkill for for my bicycle touring (typically within cell service and I can always just flag a car down) but I got it for off-grid solo adventure travel (backpacking, RVing, motorcycling, and kayaking), so I might as well bring it along... gives my wife and I a little more piece of mind.
I checked sat-phone pricing. Woooiee!
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Old 02-19-17, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by DanBell View Post
I'm currently on a long term tour and I am carrying:

- Phone for internet, Skype, navigation, pictures
- Garmin Edge 800 for navigation and ride data
- E-Reader because I don't like reading a lot on a backlit screen like a phone
- Canon S100 to take better pictures than my phone
- Bluetooth keyboard to write blog entries

I'm happy with all of this stuff. Initially I planned to bring a light laptop or tablet but figured I could do what I needed on my phone with the keyboard for when lots of typing is required. I'm not glued to screens all day long, I'm not constantly texting, and I'm not constantly in search of a way to charge everything. I use them when needed and I'm glad I have them along but mostly I just enjoy the ride.
So the keyboard bluetooths to your iphone for forum and blog stuff?
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Old 02-19-17, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by NoControl View Post
So the keyboard bluetooths to your iphone for forum and blog stuff?
That's correct. It came with a case for my tablet but it's detachable. I decided I could get by without the larger screen of the tablet, but wanted to keep the keyboard. It's flat and weighs next to nothing, and it's great when I need to write something longer than this kind of stuff.
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Old 02-19-17, 12:33 PM
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On our latest trip I used a smart phone for Strava recording, Maps.me offline navigation, blogging, and internet stuff. It was great for everything but blogging, which was tedious on the touch screen. I also brought a point n' shoot camera.

I love the idea of using the smart phone for everything, including photography, to keep the setup lean, but I care just enough about taking decent photos that a dedicated camera comes along. Bringing along a small keyboard would make blogging more enjoyable, but that'd be one more gadget to buy, tote, and worry about batteries.
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Old 02-19-17, 12:51 PM
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Regardless as to if I'm going on extended tours via bicycle, on foot, horseback, canoeing,
or by vehicle, I don't bring along any electronic communication devices except for an
emergency signaling unit like 'The Spot.' Being disconnected from society for a little
while is a big part of going in the first place.
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Old 02-19-17, 01:32 PM
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I take my dumb phone and that's it.
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Old 02-19-17, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
I take my dumb phone and that's it.
That covers it for me.
On a planed but unsuccessful months long backpacking trip last summer, my phone let me call ahead for motel reservations, told me, within a few yards, where I was at any given time, and allowed my to take care of banking and bill paying.
I did carry a charger that was essential, and a small Blue Tooth keyboard for journal writing that wasn't.
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Old 02-19-17, 02:28 PM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by DanBell View Post
- Garmin Edge 800 for navigation and ride data
Hey Dan, would you upgrade to the Edge 1000 if you had the chance?
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Old 02-19-17, 02:31 PM
  #12  
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iPhone + garmin E1000 and a powerbank!
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Old 02-19-17, 02:36 PM
  #13  
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Originally Posted by NoControl View Post
Hey Dan, would you upgrade to the Edge 1000 if you had the chance?
If I needed a new one I'd probably go for the 810. I think it has wireless connectivity which would be useful for uploading my data as I go. As it stands I have to wait until I have access to a computer so I can plug in and upload the files.

I think the 1000 has worse battery life and costs a lot more, iirc.

A friend has the touring model (looks like the 800/810) which allows you to selected your route based on shortest time, distance, or least elevation gain. That feature has come in handy once or twice when our legs were toast.
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Old 02-19-17, 02:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Big Lew View Post
Being disconnected from society for a little
while is a big part of going in the first place.
Aye, this is part of the allure, indeed. I feel the same way, and I refuse to have the phone mounted in a such a way that I can read texts and such as I pedal along. That would ruin it for me and I may as well sit here in my chair, drinking beers and breathing my own flatulence.

I would like to stay connected. It would surely ease the long times while in the tent or recovering from the day. So my plan is to find a happy medium. Click it all off and set it recharging during the day, but have it available at night. The only thing I would keep my eyes on would be the GPS if I got one.

Does this make sense?
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Old 02-19-17, 02:39 PM
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I get by with a pre-paid flip Tracfone and an ipod Touch for occasional wi-fi web access. Data plans are not in my budget when on the road. With light use the dumb phone costs maybe $5/mo, ipod is free.
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Old 02-19-17, 03:03 PM
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Originally Posted by NoControl View Post
I would like to stay connected. It would surely ease the long times while in the tent or recovering from the day. So my plan is to find a happy medium. Click it all off and set it recharging during the day, but have it available at night. The only thing I would keep my eyes on would be the GPS if I got one.

Does this make sense?
This is what I do. I use the phone and Garmin for navigation while riding, then send texts in the evening if I have signal and feel like it. The girlfriend wants to know I'm alive, and I have group chats with a couple family and friend groups that get updated about once every week or two. I don't currently have a job that I'm trying to avoid contact with, so that helps.
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Old 02-19-17, 03:05 PM
  #17  
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But hey, it's bike touring and there are lots of different ways to do it. Some people bring all the gadgets and some bring none. It's all good.
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Old 02-19-17, 03:08 PM
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iPhone & external battery

Considering the phone is a gps, camera, computer, web-browser, emailer, clock, weather-alert, AND A phone there's nothing else to need!
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Old 02-19-17, 04:02 PM
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Originally Posted by DanBell View Post
But hey, it's bike touring and there are lots of different ways to do it. Some people bring all the gadgets and some bring none. It's all good.
+1. That's why I dodn't really understand the point of threads like these.
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Old 02-19-17, 10:04 PM
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Originally Posted by NoControl View Post
I checked sat-phone pricing. Woooiee!
FWIW, the Inreach it's not a sat. phone.... it's a 2-way sat. text messenger, PLB, tracker thing... ie, a step up from a SPOT - but yeah, still expensive.
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Old 02-19-17, 10:14 PM
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I toured for decades without carrying electronics, mainly because they didn't exist.

But, having gotten comfortable touring unconnected, I still stay that way now. On multi day tours, I'll carry a cell phone, but not keep it powered up. I might use it to secure lodging, or obviously in an emergency, but I still consider it a convenience rather than necessity, and don't sweat that many places I visit have little or no cell coverage.

On longer tours, I'll carry a tablet, and seek out internet cafes or hot spots when I have time or inclination to touch base.

BTW - this cuts two ways. I'm comfortable being out of touch, and likewise my family knows I may be, and is comfortable accepting that no news is good news.
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Old 02-19-17, 10:45 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
I take my dumb phone and that's it.
usually leave the dumb phone in the sock drawer.

sometimes will take my pager (w/o batteries).
clip on to bib suspenders to impress locals.
"yeah, baby....it's a pageboy II!"
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Old 02-20-17, 01:37 AM
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On our 2012 tour, we took our little notebooks. That was the first time I have ever brought a computer with me on a tour.

Almost a year ago, we finally got smartphones, and so now ... if the tour is short, I'll just bring that. If the tour is longer, I'll bring the notebook and my smartphone.
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Old 02-20-17, 06:08 AM
  #24  
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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.
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Old 02-20-17, 06:59 AM
  #25  
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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.
Well put. I take my dumb phone for emergencies and to let one person know I am safe. A few years ago, during a day off, I went to a local library to check email. As I was sitting at the computer I felt compelled to ask myself "What the hell am I doing sitting in front of a computer? This is what I do when I am home."
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