Backcountry Cell Towers

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freestone
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Re: Backcountry Cell Towers

Post by freestone » Wed Nov 07, 2018 10:12 am

I hope they do a better job on the camouflage, maybe some of the towers should resemble the dead and dying pines conifers as well.


Fram...






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Re: Backcountry Cell Towers

Post by dave54 » Wed Nov 07, 2018 10:13 pm

I believe they are not allowed in designated Wilderness, so that is a moot point.

Multiple use lands, no problem.

From the comments on that article, most responders are not aware of the difference.
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el marinero
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Re: Backcountry Cell Towers

Post by el marinero » Fri Nov 09, 2018 2:40 pm

Tom_H wrote:
Tue Nov 06, 2018 6:44 pm
rlown wrote:
Tue Nov 06, 2018 11:48 am
Yes in the front country. No in the back country. Next they'll want cellphone recharging stations as well.
Front country is easy as they already have underground services there. Back country, they do not.
Spot on answer. They will only put them where they can make money. In Yosemite Valley and along major Yellowstone routes, there is enough demand. In the backcountry, there isn't enough demand to justify the cost of the equipment. SpaceX's Starlink constellation will drive down the cost of simply taking a sat phone with you wherever you go on Earth. Cell phones will likely be able to switch between cell towers and satellites as needed.
Completely agree that this is not really an issue in the backcountry. The cell companies will only put towers where there are lots of people. Cell towers cost money, and every carrier makes the financial and marketing calculation where to put them. Verizon and ATT brag about their coverage, while Sprint and T-Mobile don’t even provide coverage in busy Yosemite Valley.

I do think more and more hikers will carry some sort of satelllite communications link as the social media generation goes outside.

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Re: Backcountry Cell Towers

Post by Wandering Daisy » Fri Nov 09, 2018 4:53 pm

I do not think the physical towers are the main issue; rather, the coverage range that goes into the wilderness. It is not a physical impact, but still a wilderness impact. If you are not able to get a cell signal, you experience the wilderness as I suspect John Muir would have intended. If you can daily call out to civilization, then you have a different (not saying necessarily worse) experience. In the long run, satellite communication will drive this more than cell towers. We as individual backpackers can make the decision to be totally "off the grid", or only on the grid for emergency purposes which I still contend that knowing you can call for help will also deliver a different (not necessarily bad) wilderness experience. Or you may choose not to break the tie to civilization at all, regularly calling home and having long conversations, blogging daily. This last choice to me really wrecks the solitude aspect of the wilderness experience. Last year when I got to the top of Forrester Pass, there were a dozen people jabbering away on their cell phones, which quite annoyed me. But in general, someone blogging at night in their tent has no impact on my experience. Those who choose to connect need to establish some courtesy guidelines so they do not impact other's wilderness experience (digital LNT). We all will have to decide just how we will utilize (or not) technology as it rapidly changes.

Personally, I really cherish my "old school" idea of wilderness experience, with only minimal technology (yes I do like my lightweight gear). Not using a GPS is my personal choice. Not carrying a cell phone is my personal choice. I an still on the fence about PLB's.

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Re: Backcountry Cell Towers

Post by rightstar76 » Sun Nov 03, 2019 6:30 am

bumping this thread from last year...

This article on smartphones on the PCT is very related. Definitely worth reading.

Backpacking in The Age of Smartphones
https://www.kalw.org/post/backpacking-age-smartphones
In our day-to-day lives, we’ve become accustomed to having everything we need just a smartphone touch away. “Then when you get out into the wilderness, and you look down at your phone and realize you do not have a cell connection, I think it causes a little bit of panic.”

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Re: Backcountry Cell Towers

Post by Wandering Daisy » Sun Nov 03, 2019 12:03 pm

Relying on smart-phone apps destroys your wilderness skills, as if anyone still has any. We have been duped into thinking we can live our lives staring at a small square, addicted to technology, unaware of the real wilderness experience, fearfully tethered to other's instructions, with no confidence in our own abilities. OMG, if you cannot even get yourself back to the PCT after resupply! Technology as a safety back-up: OK. Technology as your standard mode of operation; NO. If you are so bored walking down a trail that you have to blast music into your earbuds, you have lost your observational skills. If you cannot find your own campsite, there is another lost wilderness skill. And on and on.

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Re: Backcountry Cell Towers

Post by balzaccom » Sun Nov 03, 2019 6:00 pm

But Daisy, if you leave your cellphone behind, how will you post your photos on Instagram???? :lol:
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Re: Backcountry Cell Towers

Post by robow8 » Sun Nov 03, 2019 6:04 pm

balzaccom wrote:
Sun Nov 03, 2019 6:00 pm
But Daisy, if you leave your cellphone behind, how will you post your photos on Instagram???? :lol:
And vlog on YouTube? :rolleyes:

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Re: Backcountry Cell Towers

Post by rightstar76 » Sun Nov 03, 2019 7:54 pm

and she tells me that she saw many hikers walking with their heads down looking at their phones.
Like cyborgs. Or sheep. Baa. Baa. :)

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Re: Backcountry Cell Towers

Post by rayfound » Sun Nov 03, 2019 8:50 pm

I'll be honest.... I'd probably appreciate service on many backpacking trips. I have no problem ignoring when time is appropriate, but in evenings, I think its nice to be able to listen to a podcast or text my family a picture from the day.

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