Humans now than ever are less adapted to the natural world. We are soft and squishy. However what sets us apart from the beasts is our wondrous intelligence that has led to technological breakthroughs which allow us to thrive in the harshest landscapes known to nature. I have compiled a short list of some of the most useful gadgets I have come across to help keep you at the top of the food chain.
La Sportiva has created an amazing, very colourful, high performance boot. Its TPU lacing harness is introduced in liquid form into the material so the entire upper of the boot becomes one piece. This means no seams and no eyelet holes. Making it pretty much a mountain welly. That is breathable and rigid.
The G40 from Grangers combines all the technology from its predecessors (G10, 20 and 30) into one very lightweight performance insole for the most challenging activities. Whilst keeping your feet in comfortable bliss. The high quality microfiber top sheet improves the surface for socks so as to reduce friction and potential of blisters. Full length EVA cradle with integrated arch support provides the highest level of stability for the entire foot. Gel pads in the forefoot and heel cup provide shock absorption and energy return. Memory foam allows the insole to form to the shape of your foot, insuring a great fit and synergy within the boot.
Fill the bottle with compromised water, turn it on and shake for 60 seconds for unpolluted, drinkable water. It Uses USB to charge and a full battery will allow for 80 uses. A potentially life saving bit of equipment.
Inevitably some of your electronic power hungry gadgets are going to need a top up. This lightweight, small, touch, waterproof solar charger that has a USB port to connect your gadgets to and a 9000mAh battery for when the clouds block the sun.
This tablet is loaded with outdoor tech and apps, featuring: thermometer, barometer, GPS, weather sensor, compass, AM/FM/SW/LW radio, solar charging, Bluetooth 4.0, built in walkie-talkie with a range of 20 miles and Android 4.1. All shown on a specialized E-ink screen (think Kindle) which is very battery friendly.
This may seem abit pedestrian compared to the others. But when you have spent hundreds of pounds on down insulated equipment, you want to keep it at its best. I have always been told NEVER under any circumstances to wash my down equipment as it ruins the loft and removes the natural oils. The obvious problem is that using this equipment as its intended in high energy outdoor pursuits is bound to leave it abit smelly. And loft does decrease over time. Grangers have figured it out and produced a product that not only cleans and removes odours, but also restores loft without removing the natural oils. Magic.
I must admit, I might be a bit biased as a meat lover. Tired of granola and mint cake?, well say no more! Enter the Epic protein bar, made from 100% grass-fed meat. You can choose from three meatalicious flavors!: Bison, Beef or Turkey. The low glycaemic index keeps you energy levels up for longer rather than peaking and crashing. The protein helps this as well as aiding recovery, to help you get going the next day.
I have been using a Jet boil for years and I continue to recommend it to everyone I can. AS they are by far one of the quickest and easiest bits of camping cooking equipment I have across. They have not sat on their laurels and have now produced the Jetboil Joule, which has been tested to boil a liter of cold water in 2 minutes 40 seconds. Supposedly the fastest product of its kind on the market. Its rated to 10,000 BTUs of burning power. It can be used all year-round, including cold weather down to -12 degrees.
Streamlined, practical and efficient. That’s all I want in a pack, and I am sold. But the Arc’teryx FL is also completely watertight, you could use it as a small life raft if needed!. Due to its dry bag roll top closure and strong nylon construction. All attachment points are welded on so there are no seams or stitching to fail. It can weigh as little as 610 grams. It comes in both 35 or 45 liter models and a variety of colors.
Post written by Jadon Ortlepp. Jadon is an experienced professional outdoor instructor and youth worker with a Msc in Psychology, currently living in Worcestershire. There is nothing he likes better than going on adventures with his friends, whether it’s climbing, hiking or messing about in the woods. When he finds himself indoors he likes to dabble in a bit of writing.
Full Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links and any purchases made will help support Hiking The Trail. Thank you!
Pro Bar has come out with a new product. The Pro Bar bite was created to be an anytime snack. Loaded with 190 Calories, and 10-11g Sugar. They are certified USDA Certified Organic. Another big plus to the bars is that they are Dairy, Gluten, and Soy Free. The “bite” line is brand new and was launched earlier this fall.
They currently have 6 different bars:
Chocolate Cherry Cashew
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip
Peanut Butter Crunch
Superfruit + Greens
The Offpiste Ultra Pack is a new twist on old technologies. Backpacks have been around for years and have come a long way, but the Offpiste takes the backpack to a whole new level. This pack is extremely comfortable and easy to use. The coolest part of the pack is its ability to be adapted to the situation or activity you will be using it for.
As hikers and backpackers we have experienced merino wool in many types of clothing especially our socks. The most common is Merino is wicking, quick drying, and antimicrobial. There is a new sock contender in the market. The entire line of socks are made from Alpaca yarn. Cleverly named Alpacor® the Ausangate sock company is adding new fibers to the sock industry.
The obvious would be that the yarn comes from an Alpaca and not a sheep. They both grow fibers that can be farmed to create many different types of products. Just like merino wool they are antimicrobial natural fibers that comes from a renewable resource.
Alpacor® Yarn was created by using a unique patented process for the yarn itself and the yarn manufacturing process. This process blends the unique alpaca fiber with other natural and synthetic fibers.
Many of you have figured out by now that I am a big fan of socks and sock technology. This may seem weird to you but keeping your feet dry comfortable and comfy is extremely important when in the outdoors. Especially if you are on longer adventures. When Testing socks I have several factors that I examine to determine if I will wear the socks again and if I will like them or not.
After wearing the socks during the Hell Hike and Raft adventure as well as a few times since then as every day socks I am comfortable providing a truthful review on these socks. They are very comfortable with the right amount of stretch but also allowing for a snug fit. They are not the fastest drying socks on the market but they also do not claim to be. While wearing them in both hiking boots and trail runners I found that they allowed my feet to breathe and did not leave my feet and socks soaking wet post hike. They did not leave any unwanted blisters or hotspots after wearing them. Overall they are a great quality sock and I am excited to see how Ausangate continues to refine and grow their current sock lines.
To learn more about Alpaca yarn and Ausangate socks please visit the Ausangate website.
Full Disclosure: The Ausangate Socks used in this review was provided to me by Ausangate as part of the Hell Hike and Raft product sponsorship and was provided at not cost to me. This did not influence my review in any way. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely my own and were not guided in any manor.
The Wojo wallet is a light weight compact wallet that keeps all of your cards and cash together when you are out for an adventure. You could be climbing a mountain, fishing for the big catch, or even just camping for the weekend. The wallet is made up of two bands that provide a place for your cards, cash, and key. The card holder can snugly hold one or hold up to twelve. The Wojo wallet even floats if it is accidentally dropped into still water. The wallet is made from silicone and neoprene that keeps the wallet sturdy and light enough to float.