I'm a bit of a gearhead, especially with the items I bring along in my outdoor adventures that play an important role to the success of the trip. With new travel opportunities emerging over the past few months and more just around the corner, I've been penciling a list of big ticket items to purchase that will be added to the packing list. These items I qualified for this list as a result of having significant influence (either direct or indirect) on outdoor photography as well as travel. I am not by any means being paid to create, mention or pitch any of these products or brands - this is totally out of my own list as well as some great items that have been released as of late. I find that all of these items will have a major benefit in outdoor photography or a useful tool to incorporate into the adventure. So, lets check out some new gear!
1. Goal Zero Solar Recharging System -
Goal Zero makes a portable, solar recharging system for just about every need imaginable - from a power stick to keep your smartphone fully charged to the expedition style Yeti systems that can keep a small base camp functioning in the most remote corner of the world. Somewhere in the middle of all this is the Sherpa 100 series system. This system is offered in the perfect bundle - solar capacitor, an inverter for standard plugs, and a large solar panel for keeping it all charged for around $600. This system is well adapted to keeping camera batteries fully juiced as well as being able to handle charging a laptop or tablet. In addition to charging via the solar panel the Sherpa 100 can be charged while on the drive from location to location or in the swank hotel digs via a standard plug. This is high on my list for working abroad when regular charging isn't always an option or I'm off the grid.
2. Compact, high output LED flashlight
Kinda vague, I know. I have a hard time just picking one brand here. I personally have been a big fan of the products rolling out from Fenix Lighting - a mix of standard battery and rechargeable options ranging from compact 100+ lumen flashlights to larger, search and rescue (SAR) style lights pouring out 2600+ lumens of light. Many other companies like Surfire, Four Thirds, and others have been doing a great job of providing high out put lights in relatively small packages. I've used these with colored gels in light painting as well as for general needs in camp and visibility on the trail. I tend to opt for lights in the mid range category that take AA batteries or are rechargeable (pair that up with the Goal Zero Sherpa). Regardless of brand, its something that you should have in the bag!
G-Technology G-Drive ev ATC
This hard drive from G-Technology is a great option for someone needing a tough, efficient hard drive for file management and back up while out in the field. The all terrain casing (ATC) protects the ev RaW hard drive that's engineered to easily take a 1.5m drop. Available in both Thunderbolt ($230) and USB 3.0($180), this is a big wishlist item for backing up images on the go. For current G-Technology owners the ruggeg ATC case with either Thunderbolt or USB 3.0 will be available for purchase to incorporate your existing G-DRIVE ev or G-DRIVE ev SSD.
Petzl Tikka RXP Headlamp
I think Petzl has made a remarkable piece of equipment in the Tikka RXP ($100) headlamp. This high output (up to 215 lumens) and rechargeable system brings new innovations to headlamps with customizable programming for burn times and light output via the USB charging port through Petzl's free OS software. The idea behind this light is to have reactive lighting technology - basically it is able to sense the distance between the light and the object it is lighting and modify the lumen output based on distance. This multi-beam light is high on the list if you're overdue for a headlamp upgrade.
GoPro has done it again with the fourth installment of their popular action cam. This time around we've been given 4k video recording at 30 fps, night shooting modes, Wifi+Bluetooth connectivity, increased image quality and much more built in to the Black edition. GoPro has also rolled out the ability to accessorize with a touch display panel for the back of the GoPro4 (and an option now for the Hero3+ and Hero3). The GoPro Hero4 comes in at $399.00 for the Silver and $499.99 for the Black edition. The additional features make this a substantial upgrade if low light and high quality imagery are priorities with your action cam.
So I've given you some of my big ticket items that I am hoping to acquisition for my camera bag and worldly travels. What are some of your wishlist items?