I am excited about the cooler weather accompanying the approaching fall as I leave the Long Trail Inn. Dressed in my bright orange Patagonia Micro Puff jacket and green beanie, I relish the crisp air biting my lungs knowing that soon the sun and physical activity of hiking will warm me. Upon reaching my resupply box I have stripped off my jacket. My internal engine producing more and more heat as my body consumes what little calories I have left from only pausing briefly in the morning to stuff a few bagels down my throat as I hurried to start my day. Hurriedly grabbing my resupply box from the postmasters hands, I begin ripping into the white flat rate cardboard box as a walk outside. I am agog at the sound of the tearing cardboard until it stops suddenly when I reach a heavily taped section. I stop just as suddenly, shocked, tugging at it excitedly for a few seconds, trying to get to the snacks I know are just beneath this tape, protected like bullion in Fort Knox. I set the box down after realizing this, groping in my waist belt for the key, my tiny Juice Leatherman. With it I slice through the previously impossible as easily as a hot knife through butter. While stuffing my face, I decide that this would be an easy spot to catch a ride back to the trail. Armed with this knowledge I decide to find a restaurant. You can never eat enough food hiking! After what would be a filling breakfast, if I wasn’t thru hiking, I stick out my thumb as I walk along the side off the road until I hitch a ride to the trial.
One of the most important items I brought along for the hike was my Iphone. I know I can hear all you haters now. You shouldn’t have technology, unplug, you should connect with nature. Well you should mind your own business and hike your own hike. I was in a hostel looking for an outlet to charge my phone when a woman accosted me and gave me her opinion on what was right and wrong and what I should be doing regarding technology. All the while she was ridiculing me for my use of modern conveniences, she was using an electric toaster oven to toast her bread in a hostel with running water and lights. I pointed out how she was using just as much technology as me. I politely asked, “do you use a smart phone at home?” She replied, “yes.” Then I relayed that this is my vacation and on a normal daily basis I live fairly rustically. This was actually my first smart phone. “How long have you had yours lady?” “What do you heat your house with?” I cut and split wood for about 8 weeks straight. “Where do you get your food?” I, for the most part, harvest and can mine from a garden or wild game. “I wonder which one of us actually relies more on technology?” She stomped away in the middle of me telling her about my lack of technology on a daily basis.
The reason my phone was one of the most important items I brought is because it allowed me to zone out and keep going when I got tired. I just put on some motivational music and charged on or an audio book and got lost in it. This was extremely helpful in keeping me motivated though the pain and the rain. It also served as a navigation tool. I downloaded maps on it, which permitted effortless scrolling though multiple map sets and easy access to the information rather then digging the paper maps out. It also served as a means to watch movies on at night occasionally, when I was by myself, to keep me occupied for the 15 minutes before I would pass out from physical exhaustion.