Here is my list of essential adventure travel gadgets for 2010. Now I first went on a big round the world trip just over 10 years ago and didn’t take any of the below (except a leatherman/penknife). I didn’t even have a mobile phone and, amazingly, I got by just fine.
So I know the word ‘essential’ may be a bit over the top. But times are changing and embarking a long adventure travel trip today I wouldn’t leave home without any of the following.
My one caveat with this article is whilst you may be a flash-packer don’t be flash, travel safe and get adequate insurance. Giving the locals of a Rio Favela the run down of your latest iPhone Apps may seem like a good idea at the time but is not always conducive to longevity of ownership.
Top 10 Adventure Travel Gadgets
As with any top 10 this is just my opinion. Please let us know your favourite adventure travel gadgets in the comments below.
iPhone & battery extender
THE gadget of 2009 and still the best smart phone on the market. Ipod, great browser, 000’s of Apps, camera, video, 3G, maps….you get the idea. I recommend you also buy a battery charger case as well, there are a few on the market (CaseMate, Ipow etc).
As we all know that the last thing you want to happen when you are about to beat your opponent at Scrabble or email the office to tell them you need another month off is run out of juice.
Kindle & Case
The Amazon Kindle is an E-book reader (in case you didn’t already know). They were just being sold in the US but are now available worldwide with a smaller screen and free global wireless through Amazon’s 3G Whispernet. So you can now download the latest Mills & Boon bestseller direct to the depths of the Amazon jungle.
The latest version has a text to audio feature as well so you can have your book read to you if you are too lazy or busy to read. I suggest you also get a Patagonia case for protection and in a attempt to make yourself a little less ‘flash’ looking.
GPS with Waterproof Case
I’m not talking about taking a Tom Tom that would just be silly. My suggestion is a pocket GPS, there are a number of these gadgets on the market (Garmin eTrex is a good one) that allow you to do all kinds of useful (some would say pointless) calculations.
With a waterproof case you can take it kite surfing or windsurfing and find out exactly how fast you went and how many kilometres you have covered. What would you do without one?
GoPro HD Cam
Watch the videos and you will see why this little device is on my top 10 list. Gopro have been making small sports cams (for helmets etc) for a number of years and the HD version is their latest and best.
The different versions allow you to attach it to handlebars, helmets, boards and more. We all know that its very difficult to get any decent video footage but GoPro make it much easier and for that reason are one of my top 10 adventure travel gadgets for 2010.
Small laptop & spare battery
The key if you are going to take a laptop with you (which I think is a great idea) is to take a small light one and get a second battery. I’d also recommend you get a ‘non-flash’ crap looking durable case.
Not recommended is a bright red ‘Ferrari’ Acer laptop – whilst the envy of the office at home it will very soon be someone else’s bright red Ferrari Acer laptop if you take it travelling with you.
Noise cancelling headphones
Anybody who has bought these (and especially if they have kids) swears by them. I bought some expensive Shure ones and I think they are excellent. They work really well when you have a constant background noise such as on a Plane.
My suggestion would be to buy some that are ear plugs rather than the Bose style massive headphones – again being slightly more discrete pays dividends and reduces potential tears and insurance claims.
An oldie but a goody. The small pocket shortwave radio will allow you to hear the dulcet tones of the BBC world service from pretty much anywhere in the world. Whilst some of your other neat gadgets may have an FM tuner, its unlikely they have shortwave.
Obvious but essential. The question here is whether to take a decent Digital SLR or a small pocket sized digital camera. On my next trip I will be taking a Canon Eos 40D Digital SLR.
My philosophy here is that you only tend to do these big trips few and far between and when you get back all you have are memories and photos. I want to take the best photos I possibly can. The downside is that taking such a bulky camera may mean you don’t use it as often.
Swiss Army Knife or Leatherman
One of the few things on my list that were around 10 years ago. Both the Swiss Army knife and the Leatherman are excellent and useful in a massive array of situations from the all important stick whittling to picking things out of your teeth and making sandwiches (not necessarily in that order).
Solar powered charger
There is nothing worse than having all these gadgets and no power so my recommendation is buying a solar powered charger with all the necessary adapters. There are a number of good ones on the market so I won’t recommend any specific brands or models.
Universal power supply/adapter
A universal power supply is also a good idea so that you don’t end up with a bag full of chargers as big as your bag of clothes. If this incorporates an adapter to you can use it worldwide then all the better – and one of the top 10 adventure travel gadgets for 2010.
All your other gear
I like to live by the motto ‘you can never have enough kit’. My personal pleasure is kite surfing so I wouldn’t debate leaving home for a potential kite surfing destination without my 2 boards, 2 kites, 2 bars, harness, pump & wetsuit.
Remember being somewhere with rubbish conditions for your sport of choice but with all your gear is a lot better than being somewhere with perfect conditions for your sport of choice but with no gear. With that pearl of wisdom I will finish my list.
So that’s my list of essential adventure travel gadgets for 2010. If anyone has any better suggestions or disagree with any of mine please comment below.