Before Offa’s Dyke, I wrote a blog post on the kit I was planning to take with me for my dog (you can read it here: http://www.mycountryside.org.uk/2010/02/15/the-weight-penalty-of-hiking-with-a-dog/). A comment today from Hilke has reminded me that I never really followed up on what I learnt from doing a long distance hike with a dog.
When outdoors, it never ceases to amaze me how my senses seemed heightened and enhanced – the coutryside seems to come alive with small mammals rustling in the undergrowth, my skin seems to be able sense slight changes in air temperature and wind, and I am suddenly aware of the rich variety of smells. Read more
Navigating maps, taking and sharing photos, tweeting, listening to audiobooks and checking in with loved ones – I use my smart phone a huge amount when enjoying the outdoors. Phones are getting better – with rugged phones like the Motorola Defy (or a standard phone in an Aquapac), they can survive the elements more and with power solutions like the PowerMonkey Extreme, battery life for multi-day trips is becoming possible. Screen technology has also progressed away from the single tap resistive screens (remember those styluses?) towards multi touch capactive screens. This however creates a problem for outdoor use – capactive screens need contact with skin which means cold hands in bad weather! The North Face Pamir Etip gloves (slogan: “Get cold weather phone friendly function without removing gloves”) aim to solve this problem and I have spent the last three months trying them out.