First things first: I’m a relic from the past as I don’t have gps or smart phone. To find my way, I prefer to be battery-free and to rely on my navigation skills with a map, compass and guidebook. I can’t deny it would be handy to have a gps but I feel safer the old way, being more focused of my whereabouts. Of course, different type of adventures might require different type of devices. What comes to smart phones, I stand in the last front, fighting against overwhelming digital noise and a society where everything happens through a device. For me one of the great rewards of a long hike is NOT to be connected. And I’m weak, I know if having a smart phone, I would be obsessed and sucked back into depths of the internet and social media. Besides, I find smart phones clumsy, vulnerable, expensive and in general, not really trail worthy. Okay, so how does my electronics set-up look like then?
For communication I have Nokia 215 basic phone (costs 29 eur, weighs 80 grams, gives up to 20h talk time and 50h music play). Even if listening music or podcasts for a while in the evenings and sending long and longing text messages to home, the need to recharge might not occur even once a week. Sony RX100 with one extra battery have a place of honour in my gear list and comes along without a question.
The latest addition is the Ventura Snooper PB60 power bank (10400 mAh, weighs 140 grams. Updated 14.6, as discussed in the comments, the weight the manufacturer announces might be far from truth). The five lithium-ion cells are in rubberized, weather- and shockproof casing and you can roll up the whole thing. Even the typical 70% actual capacity out of 10400 mAh gives plenty of power to charge the phone battery (1100mAh) and the camera battery (1240mAh). On GR11, I’m expecting the longest gaps between a night at a campsite (and electricity) to be 3-4 nights. I might not even need the Ventura but I think I’m gonna give a try, to see how it works and have more freedom to listen music and shoot video.
The phone and camera charges from the power bank with a usb-cable, and the power bank from a wall with the usb-cable and wall-charger plug. Alternatively, and as a back-up option, all can be charged from a computer with the usb, but this seems more unlikely (maybe at some campsites could be possible). In this setup the need of cables is down to bare minimum.
Suunto Core is the outdoor watch of my choice. It hasn’t been perfect but good enough. The altimeter is really handy to monitor the progress of ascents and descents on those long, never-ending mountain sides. I use the compass of the watch mainly to confirm the general directions but for more precise work, I have a real compass. The original silicon strap just got broken and when checking the prices of a new one, I decided to give a try to the do-it-yourself paracord strap. After few attemps I think I got it decent enough 🙂
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