What Would YOU Do?

So, I want a little camera to take with me on hikes.

Then I went hiking with my friend Barb who has an iPhone with the Map My Hike app, and I thought that was kinda cool.

But I’m pretty cheap and those phone plans are more than I want to spend.  I have a tracfone for calls and texting and I spend about $40 every 3 months or so and that’s fine for me.  I have a landline at home which also provides access to the internet.  I don’t want to pay for more services than I plan to use.

So I started wondering… do you have to have a phone plan?  Or can you use a smartphone for everything BUT phone?  Would the GPS work without a phone plan?  Could I upload my pictures when I have wifi access and be satisfied with that?  Would Map My Hike work without a phone plan?

I’ve been looking around on the internet to see if anyone is doing this.  Sounds like it’s doable, though not necessarily a super easy seamless thing to do.  I found this article, for example:


And of course, when you find the perfect phone for this solution, the price is high!  They sell you the phones cheap when you are also getting a phone/data plan.  But “phone” only is pricey!

So I started looking at gps-enabled point and shoots… turns out they are similarly priced to the “unlocked” smart phone.

What to do?

Do any of my readers have suggestions?


4 thoughts on “What Would YOU Do?

  1. A // W // F October 27, 2015 at 11:17 pm Reply

    An iPhone has a fabulous camera and will work without a plan … I upgraded to the iPhone 6 awhile back and changed providers. My older iPhone can still send take pictures, send emails and log onto the net when it’s using my home wifi signal.

    I bought my first iPhone used from a tech guru who truly knew how to wipe and refurbish it properly. It was inexpensive and it met my needs, even if it wasn’t the latest model at the time. I *will* say that an unlocked phone can too often be a stolen phone, so be thoughtful and careful about where you buy it.

    Good luck!! 🙂

  2. Norbert Haupt October 28, 2015 at 2:49 am Reply

    I have tried apps like “Map My Hike” and found that where I go, they don’t work. When I need a GPS most, it’s not working on the smartphone. My smartphone becomes a camera and nothing else as soon as I leave cell phone connectivity – which is just about on every real hike.

    • Jennifer Schlick October 28, 2015 at 8:27 am Reply

      So, are you saying that the GPS feature on smartphones does not use satellites, it uses cell towers?

      email: Jennifer.Schlick@gmail.com website: JenniferScottSchlick.com

      On Wed, Oct 28, 2015 at 2:49 AM, Jennifer Scott Schlick wrote:


      • Norbert Haupt October 28, 2015 at 10:47 am

        I am actually not sure exactly how it works. All I know is that the “map” becomes completely blank – so it’s useless, even if it records GPS. I assume GPS still works, but the underlying map needs a network connection. A track without a map will still get you hopelessly lost.

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