Starting out adventuring, it is easy to get overwhelmed by the number of travel technology and gadgets out there.
When we were planning the ride across America we were googling everything from phones, GPS’s, radios, SOS beacons and everything else out there.
With the phones it was the what deal could we get? Coming from another country what were our options, where do we acquire one and what networks would have the best coverage over the whole country?
The GPS, what did we need, a tracker or a navigator? At the time these were completely different things. Many would offer safety tracking, which we thought might be handy if we became lost and someone would need to come and find us. But we were in a foreign country, who would know we were missing, or would look? In the end we opted for a Garmin Edge. While the navigation was restrictive, we could see a basic view of the roads and directions. We chose this one as the Adventure Cycling Association maps were so concise that we were confident in our directions. This allowed us to use the Edge to track our ride for prosperity. It was interesting to see the elevation, ks and speed that we had achieved for the day.
A sign of the times
Our trips since then, with advances in technology, we have used our regular phones and bought a SIM card in the country we are in. This has been the easiest thing yet. Not only are we familiar with the working of our phones but the range of apps and platforms like google make navigation and exploration so simple that it almost takes the adventure out of it. This is only counteracted by the fact that you never know what you are really going to experience when you turn up to a location as the images portrayed on the internet often do not match the reality of real life.
The flexibility and technology encompassed in phones these days have also allowed us to dump the camera. No the images are not studio quality but they are pretty incredible and usable for our needs. Photos are instantly available, editable and up loadable. We can share our experience as they are happening if they are that sensational that we would want to.
The only rules about what technology & gadgets you should or shouldn't take when you are traveling are;
There are really no real rules as it is a personal choice that everyone will consider differently.
But here is what we have learnt.
- Take only what you can comfortably carry
- Take what you can competently use
- Research where you are going and make sure that your gadget is supported in that country, or see what your options are to make it functional