Yesterday, the stars aligned and I was inundated with a flood of technology. My solar charger arrived in the mail, I picked up my SPOT device for the hike, and I purchased a digital camera. I am now a cyborg.
It felt like Christmas; it was overwhelming. It felt like buying a new car: the same worries about cost, the same butterflies in the stomach. In the end, I think they’ll prove well worth it, but it still feels so self-indulgent to get so much stuff.
First up: the solar charger. My dear, far-too-kind sister gave me this gift in support of my effort. It’s the Suntactics sCharger-5 solar panel, and it’s a thing of beauty. Clocking in at about 8 oz., it’s light, and it’s about the size of a small paperback. With a few holes drilled in the frame, it will ride on the top of my pack. (Huge kudos to Northstar and Shutterbug and their terrific blog, Wandering the Wild, for the equipment and mounting ideas. It’s also just a great read.)
Next, the satellite messenger. Bringing one of these along with me was a condition of doing the hike. This little baby—the SPOT Gen3 Satellite Locator—will let me check in from time to time, track my progress, and let me call for help in an emergency. That is, assuming I can get signal, which (since it’s a GPS device) is fairly likely. It’s small and light and makes me feel all warm inside.
The real trick here was getting a picture of the device I’ll be using to take pictures. Wheels within wheels, my friends.
This is the Olympus Stylus TG-630, the water-proof, dust-proof, shock-proof camera I’ll be toting along. (I’ll find out how everything-proof it really is fairly quickly, I imagine.) I debated getting a camera for images rather than simply using my iPhone, but in the end I couldn’t find a good protective case for the phone that also allowed it to take good pictures, and with this, I can save the battery of the phone for maps, journaling, and so on. The speed and quality of this beautiful wee beastie, and its capacity for storage, pleases me.
I’m still a bit overwhelmed by all the technical details and the sheer decadence of it all. Now, back to reading technical manuals for me.