I’ve hurt my back and that coupled with busy work life has meant no real outdoorsy-ness for a while. My lower back occasionally fubars (traced back to schoolboy rugby and then a very long tumble down an ice-field where it all went a bit somersault-y). This time it was brought on by an innocuous slip on some leaves on a steep cobbled path. Pah. Enough of a slip to have me eating diclofenac like smarties this last week or two
So I’m using this downtime to share some kit and also tech / gadget geekery info, which you might find useful.
1. Kit review – the POcpac wallet.
I recently spotted that an ex colleague (my old boss actually) has been distributing a waterproof wallet – initially aimed at the cyclist market – that keeps your phone, money, cards etc dry when you’re out on the road. He’s a keen cyclist and whilst that’s not my bag we got talking and he mentioned that it’s an ideal bit of kit for hikers and the outdoors crowd in general. A couple of days after our chat a pOcpac arrived in the post and although I haven’t had day-long hikes of late I have been up on the moors on a couple of (wet) occasions – so I’ve ‘test driven’ the pOcpac enough to get a feel for it.
I always take some spare change and also notes with me when I’m out an any length of a walk but I’ve tended to keep them in a sandwhich bag. Which is okay when it’s dry but often – it isn’t! So a waterproof wallet is a good idea. The pOcpac also acts as a phone pouch / wallet. My HTC HD is a tad larger than an iphone and it fitted in well, the zip closed up nicely even with a chunky phone like the HTC HD inside. And I was able to check my phone through the clear cover and navigate the touch screen despite drizzle on the cover – so it does what it says on the tin (website).
There’s also some clever technical properties which appeal to my geek nature too.. more details on the pOcpac website.
5 out of 5 for quality and usefulness (zip closes well, study construction and it fits with a slim profile into my trouser side pocket)
5 out of 5 for waterproofing (used on 2 occasions, one drizzle, the other low cloud and rain and both phone and money stayed dry).
2. Next up is some App news:
(I’m not getting a free App or software for this, just sharing the love as it were).
The guys who developed the West Highland Way app have a new one out: The Cotswold Way App
They sent me an email saying that this is the first app guide to the Cotswold Way long distance path .. and (pleasingly, as an Android fan) it’s available for Android phones and tablets. People can use it to plan their route and accommodation in advance and also day-to-day as they walk the route. From their news release: “The app can display a map of the route overlaid with the locations of essential facilities such as hotels, hostels, B&Bs, campsites, restaurants, pubs, shops, transport links, etc. Users can move around the map and touch a location to see information about the facilities there, including links to the appropriate website for further information. So people can find the best accommodation options and link straight to their websites for contact details and booking.”
Mapping / GPS routeplanners like Viewranger are available of course but this app seems to me to be a useful tool in undertaking one of the long distance trails and good luck to guys behind it.
More info available on the Calton Hill site.
3. And finally, there have been some updates on the Social Hiking website / service which I spotted.
If you like to share your trails/ hikes (and especially I guess if you’re embarking on a long distance challenge) then Social Hiking is to my mind a neat bit of technology. I think there’s a time for silence and solitude (real world and electronic) but also times when you want to share and keep your friends / family / supporters / buddies up to date with what you’re doing.
Again, no commercial link or incentive for me on this service – I just like it and if you’re a hiking geek, or a geeky hiker – it’s worth a look