Phones

Obtaining an accurate measurement of a mountain’s elevation has become something of an obsession among hikers. Whether you’re tagging New Hampshire’s 48 peaks above 4,000 feet, the 46 4,000-footers in New York’s Adirondacks, or each state’s high point, your list is ultimately determined by elevation. But how, exactly, do geodesists­—scientists who measure and monitor Earth…

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I like to think of myself as a minimalist. I hate carrying extra stuff when I’m running, whether in my hand or on my back. I still wear shirts, tights, and jackets that I’ve had for 15 years, and I’m one of those snobs who scoffs at wearing headphones on a run. But that doesn’t…

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One night last spring, curled in my tent on an island off the Maine coast and lit only by the glow of my iPhone screen, I posted a photograph on Instagram. This was my fifth post on the photosharing site but my first from such a remote location. As I hit “share,” I felt a…

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Bright bluebird skies sprawl above a dark, craggy mountain peak. Glistening snow drifts along the shadowy forest’s edge. The same natural contrasts that make outdoor photography so spectacular can create a major technical challenge: How do you capture detail in both the brightest and the darkest elements of a scene? Fortunately, a standard smartphone feature can help you eliminate blown-out skies and dark shadows: high dynamic…

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With new Apple watches and whiz-bang wearable devices that monitor your daily activity, you could spend hundreds on devices and programs to stay fit. Or you could just reach for your smartphone—all at once it can be your personal trainer, calorie counter, and route log, as long as you download the right apps. These five…

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One of the biggest drawbacks of smartphones is their limited battery life. To keep them running longer in the backcountry, consider the following:  Don’t leave GPS-powered apps running. Even with the screen off, these apps are still constantly tracking your location—and rapidly draining your batteries.  Turn off wi-fi and set your phone to airplane mode…

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