We head out into the outdoors to escape our everyday distractions… email, phone calls, the boob tube. It’s nice to separate from the “electronic leash” and the other gadgets that seem to demand our attention every minute of the day. However, there are some pieces of technology that can make your river trip more enjoyable; you don’t have to leave all the electronics behind.
Bringing a camera to record your trip is essential! A number of waterproof point-and-shoot cameras have become quite affordable. If your camera isn’t waterproof, Aquapac makes soft cases that allow you to shoot right through the case material. And you can trust even the most expensive cameras to Pelican’s burly cases.
The lightweight, compact LED headlamp is an indispensable accessory for the outdoor person. The LED “bulb” lasts forever and really stretches out battery life. Models like the Princeton Tec EOS are waterproof. The Black Diamond ReVolt works with either alkaline or rechargeable batteries (included), and you can recharge those batteries right in the headlamp. Most models have multiple brightness modes and use readily available AA and AAA batteries.
Once you push off from shore you’re leaving the electrical grid behind. To keep phones, GPS, cameras and other rechargeable devices working you need portable power. Solar panels like the Brunton Explorer 10 store compactly and can recharge gadgets directly, or store the power in a unit like the Brunton Revolt Power Bank. Or, look for a combo unit like the Brunton ReSync with a built-in solar panel that you can charge up before you leave home and recharge during the trip.
You’re not likely to get reception on your river trip, but if you use your phone as your camera, you’ll want to protect it. Soft cases like the Aquapac Wanganui Plus let you use the touchscreen and take photos right through the case. Pelican makes a line of water-resistant phone cases that will fit many phones. Oh yeah, and don’t forget your headphones so you can keep your soundtrack to yourself.
Remember, these devices are supposed to enhance your enjoyment of your trip, not detract from it. Warning: anyone caught playing video games while floating through paradise may end up getting dunked when they least expect it!
This article appears in the 2016 OARS. Adventures Catalog. Request your free copy here.