52 grams which keeps you in touch with other members of your party by texting with your phone, eg if they become separated. Works up to 6 kilometres even when there is no phone service. I think this is a … Continued

Jelly, The Smallest 4G Smartphone

This is a neat little phone – fits in your fob pocket, but has all the functionality of your regular smart phone. Only 60 grams, less than $100. It would be excellent for ultralight hiking. You might also consider it … Continued

Ultralight Hiking USB cables, etc.

This is my tiny bag of cables and other electronic goodies. The cable (17 grams) is only 6″ (15 cm) long and comes with interchangeable tips (5 grams each). Shown USB, micro USB (x2) and Sat Phone charger plug (comes … Continued

Don’t like Google’s intrusiveness?

You can get most Apps here without a Google account: If you go to their site you will see that each App has already been checked by perhaps 50 Anti Virus programmes to be safe – no doubt you … Continued

Aloksak: Waterproof Gun Bag

Aloksak make really great waterproof to 200 metres snaplock bags. This one is even big enough to put your rifle in (great for canoeing/boating/hunting trips. It is the only waterproof gun bag I know of. Of course the smaller ones … Continued

Powerfilm USB +AA Solar Charger on Pack

With the batteries straight out of the storage drawer (so not quite charged) it happily charged my Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini (1900 mAh battery) in this configuration at 1% a minute in dappled sunlight (cloudy Spring 20C day) yesterday. I … Continued

How to Magnetise a Screwdriver:

  If you have a mobile phone which looks something like this you are going to be unscrewing some very tiny screw before you can fix it. They are almost impossible to pick up (at least with my ancient arthritic … Continued

The Not-So-Poor Man’s Sat Phone:

Thuraya’s Sat Sleeve: Pricewise this offering sits about half way between Delorme’s InReach SE ( and the Rolls Royce model, Iridium’s Extreme (  It is also substantially lighter than both (178 grams inc battery) but has to be paired with … Continued

Amazing Mobile Apps: Altimeter, Barometer and Thermometer:

Accurate Altimeter: & Smart Thermometer: (also does humidity and air pressure).

Pedometer App:

Much cheaper than a ‘Fitbit’, etc. Look on Google Play. There is any number of them free. I am using Walklogger. Your data might look something like this (if you spent Sunday and Monday in bed – copied this image … Continued

Mobile Phone Battery Life:

posted in: Electronics, Equipment, Hiking, Phones | 0

Mobile Phone Battery Life: Here’s some good advice. Another important point: choose a phone which has a removable battery such as my Galaxy S4 Mini or Della’s Galaxy K – with a 10x optical zoom! We always carry a couple … Continued

Cheapest Mobile Phone Service

Why have a mobile phone plan when you can have a telephone number (with lots of calls for $5/month via Voip and can buy data for as little as $50/year for 5Gb? Add: Acrobits Softphone App (Play Store = $6.99); … Continued

Emergency CB Radios:

Emergency CB Radios: Lots of folk carry an Epirb. Some (like me) carry a Satellite Phone. Big bucks when your life/safety are the issue. If you are on a budget you might consider a Dual-band CB radio such as the … Continued

Internet Speeds:

We have been experiencing a variety of strange internet speed phenomena here lately, which our ISP (and electrical stores, even Google) have been quite hopeless about. I have struggled away with it, sometimes doubting my own sanity (a separate issue … Continued

Mobile Phone Antennae: 64 x Signal Strength

It is a delight to venture into the mountains far from ‘civilisation’; when we do however we don’t have to forego the opportunity of all contact. A carefully chosen antenna system will draw in mobile phone and internet connectivity to … Continued

NZ Topo Maps: App for Hiking in NZ

NZ TOPO: This is a great App for hiking in NZ: BackCountry Navigator TOPO GPS at $12.99: You can go to the map page ( on the App and colour in the (eg contiguous) bits of map you want … Continued


Bushnell Solarwrap Mini Solar Charger: This little guy weighs approx 85 grams and includes a 2200 Mah battery so should have enough grunt to recharge your phone/ebook reader without itself needing recharging from the sun  which takes about a day: … Continued

GPS Phone Apps & 25K Vicmaps

These 25K Vicmaps are GREAT and value @ $8 ea: They can be viewed with full georeferenceing functionality (ie GPS, etc) with this great App on your phone, tablet etc: You need never get lost and can safely … Continued