Adventure is a source of joy. We can prove our abilities, learn new skills, forge new relationships, and improve physical and mental health through it.
In our adventures, we would probably feel disbelief, terror, amazement, or bliss because of the challenges we could face or the beauty we would see. Yes, adventures could either be awesome or frightening. They are enjoyable most of the time, but there could be chances that they go the other way around. That’s why we use tools so our trips could be more enjoyable, safer, and less regretful.
As much as we can, we want to preserve the experience too. We aim to have a future where we can look back at the past with a smile. That’s why we always bring a camera to capture all the funny moments, waves of laughter, and jaw-dropping views we will see on our adventures.
In this blog post, you will know the four devices or tech in travel that are enough to make your adventure accomplished and well recorded.
This set of devices is for everybody. However, I think they will apply more to people new to backpacking or those who want to try outdoors for the first time. This list of tech for traveling is perfect for minimalistic travelers.
These would be the summary of our discussion in this blog post:
- A travel device for navigation, survival, learning, and discovery
- A tech for travel for recording our adventures
- The tech in traveling for backup storage and power source
- The gadget we would use to charge up all our other devices
Device #1: Navigation, Survival, Discovery, and Education.
We use many tools and gadgets during our adventures to help us savor and accomplish the trip. As modern technology gets more modern, new tech in travel emerges to make our experiences better.
One of them is our smartphone.
Before, we only used phones for calls and sending messages. Now, we can already leave all our compasses, maps, and even bulgy cameras at home. All because of our smartphones doing all their work.
Our phones are more flexible and capable now than ever. They have built-in electronic sensors that eclipse all the functions of ancient tools used for traveling. These sensors are accessed by software, called applications, that we download from the internet. These applications are our interface to the sensors in our phones.
Modern smartphones have a motion sensor, Ambient Light sensor, Moisture sensor, Gyroscope, Compass, Barometer, and most importantly, GPS. They have almost everything you need, from your navigation to your survival.
For this year (2021), I recommend two smartphones:
- CAT S62 Pro
- iPhone 12 + outdoor accessories
CAT S62 Pro
If you like the great outdoors and you are an Android fan, CAT S-series is for you. It is a smartphone specifically for adventures recommended by techradar.com, digitaltrends.com, and techadvisor.com.
CAT S62 Pro is one of the fewest phones to meet the IP69 standards and has a front panel protected by Gorilla Glass 6 technology. When a smartphone is rated IP69, it means the smartphone is safe against the ingress of dust, high temperature, and high pressure.
It is easy to handle with non-slip TPU rubber on the rear. It has a thermal sensor which could be handy in some situations. The reinforced die-cast frame of CAT S62 Pro allows it to endure drops within 6 feet high (as the manufacturer mentioned).
However, CAT S62 Pro has no physical buttons – which is a bummer. For me, they are pretty much necessary, especially in harsh environments. I learned that it has a glove mode to access the phone – but nothing beats clicking that button to wake the phone up.
Read more about CAT S62 Pro on Amazon.
iPhone 12 + Otterbox Defender
Of course, the other smartphone that you might want to bring is an iPhone. Everybody knows why. It is, I think, the best smartphone you can buy out there. In my experience, it has the best quality, best internal specs, design, screen, and camera.
It’s great to have if you are going for only a single adventure since you can use it for other activities as well. HOWEVER, since it is pretty expensive and delicate, you might want to put it in an Otterbox Defender. So you protect it from the environment and sudden drops.
Otterbox Defender is an iPhone case with a synthetic rubber outer cover and a foam-lined inner shell. They absorb all the force that could destroy your iPhone in a snap. This case also protects your iPhone’s ports from dirt and dust.
You don’t have to worry about your phone’s camera getting scratched too. It is because Otterbox Defender protects it too.
Otterbox has tested the case from different scenarios like UV exposure, high temperatures, humidity, drops, and thermal shock. Read more about Otterbox Defender on Amazon.
You can bring the smartphone you are using now as long as you know it can survive and help you accomplish the expedition. As mentioned above, our smartphones are flexible, and they can do many different functions. Here are the apps that you must try when going on an adventure:
GAIA GPS (for your Navigation)
It has almost all the functions that every adventurer will find. GAIA is for backpacking, day hiking, hunting, camping, overland, backcountry skiing, mountaineering, and mountain biking. It is even used in professional work like firefighting, search and rescue teams, and guides.
Animated Knots by GROG (For your Survival)
This app could go very handy if you are a newbie and the trail involves mountain climbing. Grog’s Animated Knot is the most comprehensive app to make knots during your climbs. It is a compilation of knot-making tutorial videos for all sorts of adventure activities.
goTenna Pro (Best for adventure with companions)
GoTenna Pro Legacy app is a tactical situational awareness application that pairs with goTenna Pro and goTenna Pro X mesh networking radio devices to enable mission-critical communications independent of traditional cell, WiFi, or satellite connectivity.
PeakFinder (For adventure discovery and fun)
PeakFinder makes it possible to show the names of all mountains and peaks with a 360° panorama display. Peak Finder functions completely offline – and worldwide! PeakFinder knows more than 850,000 peaks.
iNaturalist (For your outdoor education)
iNaturalist helps you identify the plants and animals around you. Get connected with a community of over 400,000 scientists and naturalists who can help you learn more about nature. What’s more, by recording and sharing your observations, you’ll create research quality data for scientists working to better understand and protect nature.
Device #2: Capture and Record the Adventure
You can take your “real” camera like a DSLR or Mirrorless on an adventure, but you’ll need expensive gear to protect it from many factors that could destroy it.
Although you can also use your smartphones to catch those unimaginable places during your adventure, it is still compelling to bring an action camera. That is, if you wholeheartedly hate missing saving even a single experience, view, and emotion as you explore the wilds.
When we use our smartphones as our primary cameras, we will surely fry out its battery to death. Oh, I just remember my first adventure in the cordillera region of the Philippines. Back then, I only had an iPhone 8 plus to capture every astounding scenery along the way. I filmed even the views from the windows of the van that we were riding.
It was not even lunchtime when my phone died.
Besides, when we are on an adventure, we would not want to hold our phones all the time. I would not even dare bring my phone when jumping off a cliff to dive or splash around. An action camera attached to our body should do all the work of capturing all our experiences outdoors.
On any nature trip, the best and the most reliable action camera is what we need. Even though it comes with a high price, the quality we get from that amount is absolutely worth it.
For 2021, I would recommend GoPro Hero 9.
Technically it can capture 20MP images and shoot 4K60 and 5K30 videos. It can last underwater 33ft or 10m deep. With Hypersmooth, the videos are fascinatingly studio-level quality. GoPro Hero 9 could even shoot slow-mo at 240 frames per second.
For me, the best thing we could get from GoPro is the software features. First and foremost, HindSight. GoPro Hero 9 will capture up to 30 seconds of footage before you start recording. Even if you press the shutter button too late, you will still get the shot!
Next is LiveBurst. Record 1.5 seconds before and after your shot. With this, you’ll be able to find the best pic or share it as a short video. Similar to iPhone’s live photos
When you are waiting for the perfect moment, you can utilize Scheduled Capture. Schedule the time you want to begin your recording. Then, there is Duration Capture. It allows you to select the length of time you want the camera to record.
For more information about GoPro Hero 9, read this.
Device #3: Backup storage and power (for devices 1 & 2)
Our adventure could last from days to weeks. Sometimes, it could continue even for months! That is, like, when you want to complete Pacific Crest Trail or wander the European Alps.
In that period, you could fill your phone and camera’s storage with tons of photos and videos. That’s why it is better to have extra storage for those upcoming recordings of experiences in the wilds.
You will need an extra supply of power for your device too. If you are like me, who films even the scenes from our vehicle’s windows, definitely you will. LOL!
You will need the following gadgets depending on the specification of your camera and smartphone, as well as how you will use them:
Solar Power bank
It is best to bring a solar charging power bank if you are on a long adventure where you will be isolated from the electric grid. With this, you would be able to charge your gadgets even if you get lost in the middle of the wilderness (but I hope you will not!). Just be sure that you don’t forget to put the power bank out of your bag while you trek.
I recommend you to have Solar Power Bank. It has a 30000 mAh capacity that could fully charge your phone around seven to ten times. This power bank has Qi Wireless Charging too. It will allow you to power up your wireless charging phone even if its ports are wet.
This power bank is rugged and heavy-duty, rated at IP66. Thus, it is dustproof, shockproof, and waterproof – perfect for your rain-or-shine outdoor expedition. It has bright LEDs that can replace your lamp in your camp.
Bring only backup storage only if the adventure is near your accommodation or if you have access to the electric grid. If you have a small capacity SD card or smartphone, I suggest that you bring extra space for high-quality photos and videos. We must take high-quality shots as much as possible, don’t settle for less. I promise you won’t regret capturing those memories in high definition.
Here goes SanDisk Connect Wireless Stick. I recommend this for you because it is thumb size, lightweight, and does not need wires to backup your files from your phone. Using SanDisk Connect Wireless Stick is very easy. Just click the power button on it, connect your device thru hot-spot, perform the automatic backup feature from its smartphone app, and that’s it! However, you must manually set-up first the device before your trip using a PC.
If you want to know more about this product, check this out. Alternatively, you can use the OTG Drive for this.
If you want a power bank and extra storage packed in one device, you can check RAV Power Filehub. It is a multimedia hub that you can use to save your photos and videos on an SD card or hard drive wirelessly and directly from your phone.
It has a 6000+ mAh battery it uses to become a standalone device for catering data transfer from multiple gadgets. It can charge your smartphone twice up to 85%, considering a smartphone with a battery size of 3000+ mAh.
What’s good about RAV Power Filehub is that you can directly copy the footage from your action cam’s SD card to your external hard drive with just one click. It’s 200% useful if you plan to create vlogs of your adventures, giving ease of creating a backup while charging up your camera.
To know more about the RAV Power file hub, check about it on Amazon.
Device #4: Charger (for devices 1, 2, and 3)
Finally, all those devices would not be useful if they were drained and dead. Aside from using the sun as a source of power, the fastest way you can recharge your phones is through wall sockets.
Good thing people have invented adapters. If you are going to buy one, be sure to select Epicka Universal Travel Adapter. It is the one recommended by nytimes.com. It is so helpful that it contains all the features that any traveler would need. It includes the most common international plugs that should cover you in most countries in the world.
Besides, it has an integrated USB charger (4 USB-A and 1 USB-C). With this, you won’t have to worry about bringing all your chargers for each device above. Epicka Universal Travel Adapter also has a built-in fuse that would safeguard your charging devices from electrical spikes and failures.
Adventure with fewer electronics is better because the more physical things you have, the more you can’t enjoy your activity. You know, you will probably think about more of their safety than the actual adventure. So, the less cluttered you’d be, the more prepared you are for travel, the more you can focus on enjoyment, the more you’ll learn, and the more “worth it” your adventure would be.
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