Since I'm one of those older people considering a thru of the AT, need to get in better shape.
Haven't been in a 'gym' since my active duty days, just watch what I consume and hike/bike. Since I carry this 'Tablet' thing everywhere or my 'smart' phone, I make them do a little work. (help me in weak moments.) Seems the older we get, the easier it is to slide into some bad habits. I find that the act of entering info or checking my progress on these 'things', helps me focus on my goals. Guess I want to say, don't fear these 'tech' things. Make them work for you!
Some apps I use:
My fitness pal - My main calorie counter and goal setter.
Endomondo - Use this one to keep track of my hikes and bike outings. Very nice with the GPS thing.
Jefit - This one even has exercises for us old timers; like this one a lot.
Restaurant Nutrition - nice app for when you have to eat on the run. Let's you know the info on what's on the menu.
Hope these help some. Nothing you can't live without, just a different way of getting fit.
" Are you suggesting that coconuts migrate? "
Loc: Portland, OR
I can't say I have taken the $$ plunge in order to have constant mobile access to computing and communications. I still resist the idea of a cell phone and rarely take the one I own anywhere or use it for more than a couple calls a month.
These are personal decisions, not editorial comments on your choices. I say, if this works for you, more power to you. (The tech-impaired geezer jokes are inevitable with this crowd, tho. Just expect it.)
Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
I have old phone lines where I live, so High Speed internet is out. My neighbor sold me on a Droid Pro I believe it was and Verizon service as my current AT&T does not have complete cell phone coverage where I live. Plus the ladies at work are worried about my long drive to work on Monday mornings at O:dark thirty. I was buying into it because he can use the phone for fast internet service by using a USB cord if wanted to hook up to a larger computer or just use the phone. At this time, I do not care to spend the extra dough for a cell phone, although with AT&T giving poor quality service work for the last three years I almost signed up a few weeks ago when I kept getting lots of crackling noise on my phone and losing my internet connection when online when I could get a dial tone or get connected. Happens when the ATT equipment gets wet I guess after a storm.
Loc: Washington State, King County
If you ever talk about tech in a backpacking forum, it seems inevitable that you need to be prepared for at least some minimal interference pattern from folks that might like the HYOY mantra in theory, but just can't resist ...
In terms of apps, when you get around to hiking the AT the suite of apps you'll want will be somewhat different than the ones that you list now. I suggest that if you have a smartphone that includes a GPS chipset, for the AT (and for very few other trails ...), having maps on the phone is sufficient --- it's what I did last year and would go that route again.
A voice recorder app is sometimes handy. Book reading software for times like, for example, you're in a laundromat waiting for your clothes to wash and dry. Internet capability (definitely to include wi-fi in towns) is handy for a variety of reasons, not least of which is to get an occasional weather report (I like the ones via postholer.com mobile version, which is also a great journal site for a mobile device). It's also important for me to be able to upload my cached daily journal entries when the stars align to make that reasonable. FWIW, I like to carry a folding bluetooth keyboard to make it easy to type up a journal entry each night on the trail at the end of the day, but perhaps the on-screen keyboard software will be sufficient for you (I do suggest practicing all of this stuff on one or more decent length shakedown hike(s) to work through inevitable issues beforehand).
You might also consider using your phone as your only camera, though practice with this ahead of time to ensure you're happy with it. I was; the AT isn't that scenic, and a phone camera (especially these days) is plenty for still scenery shots and pictures of people, which is most of what I take on the trail. I was able to get pictures of moose and other slow moving animals, and overall that was fine, plus the photos were then already on my internet capable device for direct uploading when I got to town (time plus power plus good connection ...).
It can be helpful to put a variety of documents on the phone; for example, I have a couple of first aid "books" on my phone to augment a terse, small-print one-sheet set of first aid info that I carry. The pdf for the manual for my watch is on there. And one of the AT guidebooks (the AT Companion) is, or at least was available in pdf format. I carried that on my phone, and AWOL's AT Guide in hard copy, and that seemed like a good approach.
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
I used my "Droid" built-in camera on the last few trips I made. I also use the NOAA weather web site a lot when I out. Being able to gauge the arrival of a nasty storm with radar images has been a great tool for me.
But hi tech isn't always connected to a network or LED screen. Titanium cookware, carbon fiber trekking poles, water filters, and even some of the the materials in shoes and clothes can all be considered "Hi Tech".
I embrace it when it works for me, and dismiss it when it doesn't, or is too expensive.
Loc: Fairbanks, AK
I finally made the leap to a "smart" phone. I had to get a new phone, and my husband asked me what kind of features I wanted.
My response "I want it to make really clear calls."
However, it is very nice to be able to read my book no matter where I am, without carrying a paperback, and it entertains me with the jewel game during meetings. I also listen to audio books while working out, have my grocery list on-line, so both husband and I can access it, it automagically transfers those in my idiot list to VM (drunk callers, repeated wrong number dialers, etc.) I also got rid of my alarm clock. But the biggest "seller" was having my book at my fingertips... =)
put simply - my phone works when the power is down. Its a princess phone, but it does have push buttons... and yes I am the original owner... how many other phones have I seen come and go since I bought the princess? Jim
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.
I just got a Smart Phone a couple weeks ago, as well. I haven't learned to use all the apps and I don't want to pay alot of extra money for stuff I won't use, so I'm being cautious. The camera takes sensational pictures and I love that for the scenic hikes and I can send them right to facebook from the phone, so it makes it really easy for someone such as myself who functions on the low tech level. It's preloaded with Kindle but I haven't tried to download a book yet. Maybe that will be my next effort.
I love tech I'm purchasing a solar charger (about $30 from amazon.com) so that I can recharge my smart phone (functions as GPS, camera, video camera, video game player, MP3 player, note pad/journal, e-mail/SMS texting, web surfing, weather forecaster/radar viewer, watch, alarm clock, instruction booklets, google map viewer, restaurant & lodging reviewer... oh and as a bonus it also makes phone calls!) while away from civilization. Of course most of the time these devices will be turned off, but when needed and when desired they are nice to have.
In keeping with the mind set of traveling light I do think a good smart phone & solar charger is very "economical" weight wise and function wise to bring along. The solar charger is about the same size and lighter than a regular iPhone.
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