Tag Archives: trail stories

Quote: What’s in Your “Pack?”

I never know where I’ll find inspiration, but I’m always “on the lookout.”

Recently, I was reading the November 1997 issue of “Northern New Hampshire Magazine,” the print edition, a monthly newspaper (long out of print) which offered mostly historical articles relative to “The North Country.” This particular issue featured “An interview with Screen Legend Fay Wray,” who used to visit Northern New Hampshire each year.

Also featured in the November 1997 issue were 3 book reviews, done by Cynthia Jordan.

One of the books reviewed was “Why I’ll Never Hike The Appalachian Trail … More Writings From A White Mountain Tramper,” written by Littleton, New Hampshire’s Mike Dickerman.

The book shares the author’s opinions on topics such as the use of cell phones “on the trail.” 

Keep in mind this was 1997, and, technically, the “cell phone” of that time was actually called a “mobile phone.” This was before texting, and, really, even before mobile phones could, as a standard feature, access the internet … and certainly, before “Smartphones” were in every hand or pocket.

Sounds like an “I’m not that old, but I remember …” entry.

Think about how mobile telephones have changed in such a short time.

Now, they seem to be almost a matter of life-or-death, a necessity. I have heard teenagers make statements like “I can’t live without my cellphone,” or “My cellphone is my life.” I know that may sound crazy to you … but just ask their parents … if you can get their parents off their cellphones long enough to attempt conversation.

Yes, I just wrote that.

‘Ya know … I’m not that old … but I remember … when there were no cell phones.

Anyway … back in 1997 … it was a serious debate on whether mobile/cellular phones were useful/should be taken on “the trail.”

In the review of “Why I’ll Never Hike The Appalachian Trail,” Cynthia Jordan adds that, in the book, Mike Dickerman comments that ‘cellular phones, while useful as tools, have no place in the backcountry because they can’t replace self-reliance.’

Then, she adds this quote from the book:

“What you carry in your pack is important, but what you carry in your head is even more important.”

He would add that we should rely less on technology … and, rely more on education.

The book is still available on Amazon.

To give proper credit, here’s a link to the book:
Why I’ll Never Hike The Appalachian Trail

I think I’ll add that quote again, from, yes, 22 years ago:

“What you carry in your pack is important, but what you carry in your head is even more important.”

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