Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Gear & Gadgets

What's in their packs?
For the gear geeks among us, here are a few cool gadgets the Team will be packing.

The days tick by toward departure. As a Mom, I'm seizing every extra minute I can get in order to hang out with Andrew before he leaves. Today, he did some final gear shopping. I was really glad to tag along. Here are a couple cool items from our day-out.
Photos and video will be such an important means of communication during the trip. V-Team has received both a digital still camera and a digital video camera from generous friends and supporters. So, in order to afix their cameras in any place, any time, in order to do group shots or video blogs, we have today's Gadget #1.
The "Joby gorillapod" is a toy-like thingy that firmly secures a camera to just about anything. "Each Gorillapod is made up of 30 or more fully articulating ball-and-socket joints. You can bend and twist them into any shape ...Unlike traditional tripods, Gorillapods do not require a level or elevated surface for you to take the perfect shot." And, heck, they are fun to play with!
Check out the gorillapod website:

There are some survival needs specific to global travel. One important survival issue, is water. Americans are extremely fortunate to have clean water at the turn of a faucet. However, globally speaking, water carries a high risk of contamination and disease. Water filtration systems are a necessary piece of gear for globe trotters.

Standard water filtration systems typically include some sort of pumping device which manually filters out impurities and water-born diseases. One side of a tube dangles into the water source and feeds pumped water through a hand-held filter, then pours out of a clean tube, into a water jug or bottle. Portable pump devices fit in a small draw-string bag. Some travelers choose to go smaller. Iodine tablets can be carried easily. Once dropped into a clean bottle full of water, the iodine requires 20 minutes to adequately filter out impurities. But it also leaves a slight after-taste.

Today's V-Team Gadget #2 is new technology in water filtration. Andrew purchased a UV filtration system for the team. The Steripen uses ultraviolet light to destroy microbes. "Whether your source is a woodland brook or an overseas hotel tap, SteriPEN purifies clear water by destroying viruses, bacteria and protozoa—including Giardia and cryptosporidium -- in seconds." (from the website). This purifier looks like a digital thermometer and comes with a solar-powered case that recharges the device. Cool. And I can be a real-life testimonial. We used one of these on my 4th annual Women's Backpacking Trip up into Holy Cross Wilderness, and it was handy!

And finally, today's V-Team Gadget #3 is a simple solar lid.

Proof that great ideas come in little packages, this water bottle lid by day, is also a light by night. During the day, the LightCap 200 charges with solar power. At night, the water bottle glows bright. Re-usable energy. Fits on any standard nalgene type bottle. V-Team has gone green!
Watch for more Gear & Gadgets updates..
and comment with your own travel gadget tips!

The LightCap 200


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