Yesterday I was invited to the launch of Outdoor Tech in SA and discussion around tech developments.
It literally took me a couple of seconds to adjust my eyes to the dark cellar at Bloemendal Restaurant where we listened to presentations by Aki Anastasiou. I was fascinated by all the tech that is being developed internationally. I always love the latest gadgets whether it is the latest headlamp or trail running shoe.
But where does this tech leave us? In my mind it should enhance our experience and in my case that is the outdoor experience. The experience of exploring the outdoors and your own boundaries. I wonder if we have stepped through the threshold where we will no longer do anything without connectivity, without our phone being by our side. I suspect so.
I love the fact that my mobile phone acts as camera, notebook, gps etc all in one. In fact I used the GPS to get to the conference venue. The problem is battery life. Not only for when you are out on a multi day hike but also when travelling. My modern phone hardly lasts a day without needing a recharge so a Powermonkey offers an ideal solution. This and the Skross multi plug should cover you for most eventualities.
The Powermonkey Expedition offers a comprehensive solution to staying connected to the grid when on long trips. You can charge it via manual wind up, air turbine, water turbine and solar panel. Wow!
I am sick of carrying a cable for my phone, another for my iPad, another to charge my Ambit. That is on top of my lap top charging cable. Outdoor Tech have one cable which covers USB, mini USB and iPad mini plugs. Awesome to do away with clutter! I also like the idea of their Orca wireless headphones. or for those more trendy the DJ Slim. This truly enhances our experience of the world by reducing clutter.
So with increased freedom to access the internet and stay connected so too our responsibility increases that these new gadgets don’t disturb or diminish our (and more importantly other’s) experience of the outdoors. For example if you want to listen to tunes when you are out running trail I really don’t mind if you use headphones but I do have an issue with the use of speakers which interfere with other’s peace and quiet. On a more extreme level Reinhold Messner puts it quite well in this interview with Rock and Ice. There are far to few places that are still truly remote. While I embrace technology I am very aware that we need to preserve some sense of exposure out there. for inspiration read Dave Johnston’s Iditarod Trail Invitational post race interview here. To summarise in close to 140 characters: he ran 350 miles in just over 4 days with 6,5h sleep in total. Be inspired!
I was invited to attend the conference as I previously reviewed product from Wintec Solutions. the above opinions are mine alone and I have not received remuneration for this post. I look forward to reviewing the above products going forward.