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#150035 - 05/08/11 10:12 AM cell phone reception
Mudflap Offline
newbie

Registered: 04/25/11
Posts: 13
I'm going to hike the JMT this summer and am wondering if there is cell phone reception there. I've never been, so I don't know. If there is reception I would like to bring my phone but if there's none I won't bother bringing it. Does anyone know?

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#150038 - 05/08/11 11:06 AM Re: cell phone reception [Re: Mudflap]
oldranger Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/07
Posts: 1735
Loc: California (southern)
Frankly, I would hope there is none. if you do have it, it will almost certainly be spotty.

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#150040 - 05/08/11 11:53 AM Re: cell phone reception [Re: Mudflap]
Rick_D Offline
member

Registered: 01/06/02
Posts: 2802
Loc: NorCal
There might be spots where reception sneaks in, but but they'll be few and far between. I've only hiked bits of the JMT (Yosemite, JM Wilderness, SEKI) and my experience there and in the remote Sierra is there's no reception 99% of the time. Occasionally it will occur on peaks and exposed passes.

Primarily, a phone there is dead weight.

Cheers,

Originally Posted By Mudflap
I'm going to hike the JMT this summer and am wondering if there is cell phone reception there. I've never been, so I don't know. If there is reception I would like to bring my phone but if there's none I won't bother bringing it. Does anyone know?
_________________________
--Rick

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#150044 - 05/08/11 01:43 PM Re: cell phone reception [Re: Mudflap]
aimless Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 2852
Loc: Portland, OR
What the others have said is true. PCT thru-hikers have collected info on cell reception from various providers along the trail (the JMT and PCT coincide for most of the JMT). Reception is practically non-existent for most of the PCT above SoCal, consisting mostly of paved-road-crossings and a few ridgetops.

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#150045 - 05/08/11 02:10 PM Re: cell phone reception [Re: aimless]
Pika Offline
member

Registered: 12/08/05
Posts: 1733
Loc: Rural Southeast Arizona
I was able to get cell phone contact along the JMT only at Lower Cathedral Lake, Red's Meadow, Tuolumne Meadows, Forester Pass and Trail Crest Pass. The service at the above locations was weak and discontinuous, at best. I was able to let my wife know that I was still alive though. If that is all that matters, then a phone is not that heavy. If you need reliable communication, a cell phone is dead weight.

I have given some thought to getting a Spot 2 PLB although I have heard bad things about their customer service, subscription policies and reliability. My wife wants me to have something so I am giving serious thought to getting a McMurdo FastFind 210. It weighs about the same as a cell phone and will send an emergency message and homing signal. It is a one use instrument but has the life-saving features that a cell phone most likely does not have.
_________________________
May I walk in beauty.

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#150049 - 05/08/11 03:36 PM Re: cell phone reception [Re: Mudflap]
Trailrunner Offline
member

Registered: 01/05/02
Posts: 1835
Loc: Los Angeles
I have seen people using cell phones on Mt. Whitney.
_________________________
If you only travel on sunny days you will never reach your destination.*

* May not apply at certain latitudes in Canada and elsewhere.

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#150050 - 05/08/11 03:40 PM Re: cell phone reception [Re: Pika]
oldranger Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/07
Posts: 1735
Loc: California (southern)
Another option that should be on the market soon is the ACR ResQLink. See http://www.equipped.org/blog/?p=284 for a sneak preview.

I, too, have reservations about Spot. Not all that wickedly reliable..

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#150069 - 05/08/11 08:49 PM Re: cell phone reception [Re: Mudflap]
Mudflap Offline
newbie

Registered: 04/25/11
Posts: 13
Thank for all the info guys. When I hike, I too always hope there is no reception but when I know I am going somewhere where there will be reception I take the phone with me. Being an 18 year old girl traveling alone I like to have it, out of fear of the other 2 legged beasts out there. Mostly I hike in the whites and in places in maine so I wasn't sure what expect out in the Sierra. I think though, that I will ditch the phone for this trip. thanks again for the advice!! Safe Treks!

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#150075 - 05/08/11 09:29 PM Re: cell phone reception [Re: Mudflap]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Originally Posted By Mudflap
Thank for all the info guys. When I hike, I too always hope there is no reception but when I know I am going somewhere where there will be reception I take the phone with me. Being an 18 year old girl traveling alone I like to have it, out of fear of the other 2 legged beasts out there. Mostly I hike in the whites and in places in maine so I wasn't sure what expect out in the Sierra. I think though, that I will ditch the phone for this trip. thanks again for the advice!! Safe Treks!


As a woman who hikes in the Sierra... don't worry about the two legged beasts. The ones in the frontcountry are the ones to worry about! There will be lots of folks on the JMT and they will be the Good Kind.(tm) One or two might be a little weird, but I have yet to meet a truly dangerous person on a trail.

Off trail, low elevation national forest... well, that's different.
_________________________
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzuki

http://hikeandbackpack.com

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#150081 - 05/09/11 12:11 AM Re: cell phone reception [Re: Mudflap]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
Mudflap
The reception depends on your phone and how you hold it. I've stood on mountain tops in the sierras and got nothing, but my buddy who also had sprint pulls out his phone and hands it to me and I called my wife. Some places (in the sierras) I have to walk up to an edge to get a signal where my friend with the blackberry did not have to walk to the edge.
Jim
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#155674 - 10/11/11 02:10 PM Re: cell phone reception [Re: Mudflap]
ppine Offline
member

Registered: 01/10/10
Posts: 184
Loc: Minden, Nevada
Mudflap,

Cell phones are the least reliable when you need them most. From peaks and the highest ranges they seem to work most of the time. If you really need communication you need a satellite phone.

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#155747 - 10/12/11 09:44 PM Re: cell phone reception [Re: ppine]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
You're resurrecting some pretty old threads here...
_________________________
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzuki

http://hikeandbackpack.com

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#155753 - 10/13/11 03:18 AM Re: cell phone reception [Re: lori]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
I agree with Ppine, if you are serious about having a phone, rent a Sat Phone, all up it may cost you $100 for two weeks, including a few minutes, which are really costly, but if you want service, that is the only way to go. Google SatPhone rental and a bunch of companies pop up.


Edited by TomD (10/13/11 03:19 AM)
_________________________
Don't get me started, you know how I get.

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