Gadgets for outdoors


Gadgets are my hobby. With an interest in the outdoors including photography and roaming around in wild country I need a support group of gadgets in addition to camera gear.

In the photo, starting on the lower left, is an Iridium Extreme 9575 Satellite phone. With GPS enabled I can report my location, mental and physical condition to anyone in the free world who has a telephone. The SOS function can be used to notify the rescue posse that I need help. I can see my current location but navigation to another point is not a feature.

The yellow gadget just above the sat-phone is a passive (receives signals only) Magellan Explorist 200 GPS unit which allows navigation from point to point and is very handy for relocating my vehicle when I have wandered too aimlessly in the field.

The orange gadget just to the right is a Spot Messenger device which also tracks my position and allows me to send prerecorded messages to selected friends… or if I choose to alarm the rescue posse that something has gone awry… but does not allow me to talk to anyone or see my current GPS location. With the Iridium Extreme 9575 in hand the Spot Messenger has become a backup device. When I am injured or the vehicle breaks I want to talk to someone.

To the right of the Satellite phone is an HTC droid cell phone. One needs to have a cell phone tower within range to communicate with anyone outside of hollering distance. Out here in the western USA where the deer and buffalo roam  there may not be a cell tower where you need one but applications on the phone can be handy. The phone can take photos, videos, and provide GPS locations. I also have bird identification apps and flower identification apps. It is capable of voice recording should you choose to record field notes. If a cell tower is within reach I use the cell phone because air time is cheaper than on the satellite phone.

To the right of the cell phone is a Sony D50 digital recorder which allows one to take high fidelity recordings of anything close at hand except echo location calls from bats. If you want to reach out a little an accessory boom mike is necessary. If you want to listen to recordings you will also need a headset or portable speakers. The unit does not have speakers included.

Just above the Sony D50 is another digital recorder in case you don’t need a high fidelity recorder but just want to take voice recordings. I find it handy to use in the car when writing legible notes might be awkward. It also has a playback function that is audible without earphones. At night the D50 rests on the bed stand in case I get one of those million dollar ideas that will be forgotten by morning.

The yellow object to the far right is a Kestrel 4500 pocket weather station. It is very handy for observing and recording weather data for scientific observations. It can measure wind velocity and give magnetic directions. It does not come with a rain gauge however. Check with your local garden shop, they will have small portable rain gauges.

Not pictured are the many battery chargers and spare batteries that are needed to keep the various gadgets operational over time.

more later…

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