quote:Originally posted by sgRant
Some feel taking a cellphone on the Rockwall hike is dumb. I don't think it's that simple.
For one, you probably have the phone along for the drive from home. Leaving it in the car encourages theft from cars, and it's not much to carry with you. Unless you're doing an out-and-back hike, which is unlikely on the Rockwall, it may be very useful as you make your way back to your car.
This hike can be done safely without a gps or more than a rudimentary map. However, if you have a cellphone set up for offline gps use, it could be very handy.
If the phone has a good camera, you can save weight by leaving a camera at home.
In appropriate circumstances, using the phone's mp3 function to listen to music can be very enjoyable in the mountains.
And for a change, let's not bother with all the usual arguments about battery life, what if it breaks etc.
Mostly, people thought that suggesting a cellphone as one of the important must-haves was dumb. It appeared to be a lack of understanding that there is no service on the Rockwall, and thus a cut-and-paste from what might be considered basic gear elsewhere is not so in Kootenay.
It is absolutely not a basic can't-do-without item on the Rockwall.
As for its assets, sure, they could be reasons why you might bring a pocket computer along even though its cellphone radio is useless, but that did not appear to be why the poster mentioned it, which is why it was ridiculed.
Just wanting to not leave it in the car isn't really a reason to suggest bringing it, and thankfully, we have a lot less of a theft issue in the Rockies, so even if not the most advisable, it isn't uncommon for people to leave a cell in their car. As for getting back to your car (assuming you have to hitch back or something and don't have two cars), it's been a bit, but I'm not sure there's service on the road. If so, it's pretty new. There's service in Banff and Radium, but I'm not sure they've set up the highway in between. A lot of possible locations here, the phone is useless halfway into your drive (as I imagine is not uncommon out west either.
The other features might be reasons you would decide to bring your pocket-computer-that-makes-calls, but not really an argument for it being a basic item.
You need to be satisfied with pretty low-quality camera/GPS for it to really replace those items.