It may as well be a brick

ibrickBruce Lewis at LightBackpacking.com suggests that an iPhone makes a great backpacking accessory.

The new iPhone is the ultimate backpacking tool. It weigh just six ounces and includes a phone, digital camera, music player, DVD player, Palm pilot, photo library with a web browser, email program and Google maps. How long before it adds GPS? You can buy a 1/2 ounce, 1.5 inches square iPod shuffle if you just want music. But during storms when your confined to your tent for a dozen hours or more, it’s a great companion.

Just one problem. You can’t get dozens of hours of use out of it if you try to use it for more than just music.

From Apple’s tech specs:

  • Talk time: Up to 8 hours
  • Standby time: Up to 250 hours
  • Internet use: Up to 6 hours
  • Video playback: Up to 7 hours
  • Audio playback: Up to 24 hours

I’m as much of a geek as the next guy and I must admit I’ve entertained the idea of buying an iPhone. And maybe it does weigh less than 5 ounces. But once the battery dies it’s worthless.

Besides, there’s no way I’m taking a $400 gadget in the backcountry.

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5 Responses to It may as well be a brick

  1. […] It may as well be a brick « cutter’s blog […]

  2. Patrick says:

    I took it on a month-long backpacking trip on the CDT August to September and it was a great help for everything from finding hotels to figuring out where the hell we were whenever we were in a town (we had plenty of trail maps but no town maps). The battery life did go quick, but I would use it for 15 or 20 minutes to solve my dilemma, then just shut it off and put it back in my backpack until the next problem.

    I’m willing to bet a solar charger would be a big help in the woods as regards this.

  3. Bruce Lewis says:

    I always enjoy Cutter’s reviews, even if we differ. Patrick has the right idea. I dont’ think I suggested it would last forever on one charge and it is pricey. But if you are a person who has a cell phone, MP3 player, camera, etc. then this is a breakthrough. I know a lot of folks say “KEEP THE WILDERNESS NOISE POLLUTION FREE.” I’m okay with that. However, as I said, sometimes weather traps you in your tent for 12-14 or more hours and some diversion is nice.

    I bought a rubber cover for my and managed to drop it onto the sidewalk the first week I had it. Since it is a flash drive — no moving hard drive — it is tough. The fall didn’t hurt it and since I had a cover on it, there were no nicks, dings for scratches.

  4. cutter says:

    I can see some of the advantages you guys point out. I’m just not sure the technology is there yet to do all of what you want without some hassles along the way. And that’s to say nothing of the cost.

    But if it works for you, it’s alright by me. I’m not a purist about technology in the wilderness. I just tend to rail against over-reliance on it.

  5. Kraig in Loma Linda says:

    If I’m in the wilderness enjoying nature, escaping from noise and pollution… and I come across a person talking on a cellphone for non-emergency reasons… I will grab that cellphone out of the person’s hands and irretrievably shove it far up their a&&.

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