Gadgets Galore

Joyce’s advice got me going about all the cool travel gadgets I’ve been seeing while looking around, though I have to say, the foundation/sunscreen combo does not make my list. Those who know me know that I’m quite the gadget geek, and while traveling is when a truly useful product shines. So I thought I would post about some of those things that I think are particularly interesting and/or neat products. These are some of the things I plan to have with me next year:

Gorillapod
GorillapodWith our camera, we didn’t know what to do about low light conditions or flash-free zones. Enter gorillapod. Nope, it won’t be a full size tripod, but it’s just small and light enough to fit with the rest of our small belongings. Plus it gets bonus points for being an impromptu drying rack just by turning it upside down (or coat hanger!).

Spork
SporkIt’s a fork, spoon and knife all in one! So you never have to hunt for or use dirty utensils. And it comes in multiple colors! I want red, Theresa wants green, but luckily, they come in a 4 pack, with one of each color.

Steripen
Insta-water purification from a tiny pen. It uses UV light to kill off all the bacterial and parasitic trouble that you can find in unsafe water. Supposedly works a treat, though it is expensive. But it’s worth it to avoid the nasty taste those iodine tablets leave behind.

Renewable Flashlight
It always seems that flashlight batteries die whenever you need them most. Using some cool simple electromagnetic physics, you shake the flashlight for three minutes, and presto, it works for half an hour (or something like that). Just a cool idea, and in the right (or wrong?) situation it’s a life saver.

Packing Cubes
With everything living in one bag, it’s going to be important to keep it organized so I can find whatever I’m looking for at a given moment. As I am not the most organized person out there, keeping things in individual packing cubes will help immensely to keep things sorted out.

Flip & Tumble Bag

I’m not gonna lie, I like this because it folds up into a ball. I love having something to play with. In all honesty, though, it would be a miracle if one of these actually made the whole trip without disappearing. It surely will accidentally find a river or become a stray dog’s chew toy at some point.

Credits: Most of the pictures came from REI, and I read about the bag and steripen at Practical Gear Traveler.

6 Replies to “Gadgets Galore”

  1. Um, I know I’m weak and all, but my arm would get tired from shaking something for three straight minutes. Interesting concept, but I don’t think the payoff is that great: three minutes of shaking, twenty minutes of light. And how strong is the light?

    I think I’ll just carry extra batteries. You can shake all you want, however. I’ll just pop in my extra batteries and shine my light on you for three minutes while you shake, shake, shake.

  2. Why do I feel like I’ve used a renewable flashlight before? It was either that or I shook the hell out of a regular flashlight because the batteries weren’t working, or the light was too dim. And if the spork is also a knife, I feel as though the knife needs better representation in the name…say kspork (silent k of course) or sporkfe…I don’t know.

  3. Ok, the spork idea was awesome. However, if you check it out in a store, you’ll quickly notice that the fork/knife end could be relatively dangerous…. Just image putting a whole mouthful in and then cutting one side of your mouth because that happened to be the side with the knife? Ouch! Jack and I decided to go with a metal option, three different utensils that all connect together so they won’t get lost. Also, sometimes you need all three: fork to hold food down, knife to cut, and spoon to stir a drink.

    We also had a tripod, which fell out of a backpack in Peru. Opps.

    Jack is in charge of all gadgets. I know we have two kinds of water purifiers. We have the steripen, with a solar charger (awesome) and a very simple purifier, because, as you may infer, if you use the steripen it does not mean the water is grit free. Plus it won’t work unless the water is clear, or something. Jack knows more about this.

    Jack also bought this water proof video camera before we left. It was quite high tech and we were so psyched to use it; however, it broke. Hence no video! Ah, the stuff that will and does happen.

  4. I think the Steripen I linked to comes with a filter, so you can filter dirty or gritty water, then use the pen. We’ve spent so much time in REI over the past few years (Grand Canyon trip, every sale they have, planning this trip) that I feel like I could work there, since we have talked to someone in the store about practically every single product at one time or another. We even have this one woman there that we like to call our personal shopper, because seriously, she assists us every single time we’re there. I think she thinks we hide out in the tents and live there.

    As for the spork + knife, the knife is pretty wimpy. It is plastic after all. On our usual adventures, we rely on the good ol’ Swiss Army Knife whenever we have to cut anything, and we’ll do that again here. But with the 4 pack, we’ll each have 2 and could use the fork and knife at the same time if we chose. Though really, I just love cutting things with the Swiss Army Knife. I’ve even used it as a fork before, stabbing things with it and eating them right off the knife. So far, I haven’t severed my tongue, so I think I’ll trust my luck with the plastic knife not doing any real damage.

    Joyce–quit losing and breaking things! And post something new on your website, will you? I know you have Internet access if you’re writing comments here, so give us a post! I want to hear about New Zealand/Australia or wherever the heck you are.

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