With the plethora of new technology directed at use in the outdoors I thought I might highlight a few things that I have found truly useful on expeditions. To be clear, on expeditions I work hard to keep my experience simple and clean. I feel like these are items that aid in that goal.
Petzl Tikka RXP Headlamp -
This lightweight headlamp is a pretty sweet improvement on a simple and proven design. I won’t get into the nitty gritty of the Reactive lighting, rather I will just link to the video on it and say that it is sick technology. What I will rap about here is the rechargeable batteries.
In the past ending an expedition for me has involved dumping a bunch of used batteries. I have tried, fairly unsuccessfully to use rechargeable AAAs but always manage to need to dig into the set of non rechargeables that I have along. With the new Tikka RXP, Petzl has switched over to a lithium ion battery that is recharged via USB. I carry an extra battery pack in case it runs out of juice. It has been a really great system that has worked well and allowed for some serious waste reduction.
I don’t think the Kindle needs any more advertising… but it’s gotta be said that with it’s epic battery life and ability to hold hundreds of books in such a small light package, it is an all time win for expedition climbing.
One note, bring a case of some sort, they are fragile and it is a sad day on a trip when you break it and no longer have any reading material for long weather days…
Sat Phone -
I’ve been running around with a Iridium Sat Phone for a little while now and it is an extremely enabling tool in the mountains. Modern forecasting makes climbing on big mountain a more safe affair and the ability to contact the outside world for help or emergency advice is very powerful.
It also keeps loved ones at home happy, when they hear you jabbering on about whatever you have or have not accomplished while out in the hills.
I love music, and for me, having it along in the mountains is a real benefit to life. I’ve been using the Goal Zero Rockout Rechargable Speakers. They are super simple, inexpensive and have a good max volume and a great run time. They charge on a USB.
Solar Panels -
'The simple life'
The panels can be seen in profile on the right side of the tent.
All of the equipment above can be charged from a USB. This mean that they work perfectly with the Goal Zero set ups. Recently I have been carrying along a Sherpa 20 Solar Kit which has been totally sufficient to keep everything I need charged.
I leave the panels up on the side of my basecamp tent with the cables running through a vent into the battery that lives on the interior. This way, even while I am gone the battery is still charging. It is quite excellent to get back to camp after a 3 day climb and be able to immediately start recharging the equipment no matter what time of day it is.
This setup has also proved very durable, which is of course important!
I thought I would at least mention the cameras I am using. As of late I have been carrying a Sony NEX-7, a Cannon S120 and a Sony Action Cam. Together these allow me to take care of everything that I personally need to capturing images and video.
The point I would like to discuss more is how to keep these charged. Online can be found third party chargers for these cameras that can be plugged into a female cigarette lighter adapter. The goal zero products all come with this attachment making charging easy.
Lastly, it should go without saying but keeping all of this stuff dry is very important. I use a combination of Exped and OR dry bags and pouches along with a Pelican Case to make sure that I can ensure this.