As the trek to Machu Picchu approaches, I am evaluating my tech gadgetry that will accompany me on the trip. It is important to take the things you think you need. Last time, I did not take my head phones on the trail. I lent them to someone who listened to her iPod the whole trek long. I have no judgment of that because each person’s trek is a personal journey. Some people think it sacrilegious to listen to your iPod (in the olden days Walkman) when you are in the wilderness. I think, like all things, it depends. In this case it is all about doing what YOU want to do. So this time, I may use them. I KNOW I will use them on the plane so the first thing I will take is my Bose Earbuds. These don’t give me that bruised feeling every other in ear bud has in the past. I intend to use them on the plane and maybe in the evenings. I likely will not listen on trail because I do enjoy just being out there and hearing the sounds that go with the sights.
The next piece of gear will be my kindle. Don’t get me wrong, I mostly am a book purist who loves the smell of Barnes and Noble as well as the sound of pages turning in a real book. I love dog ears and broken backs and spilled coffee with margin notes. My favorite thing is looking back at law books and seeing margins filled to the brim with color coded notes. But I also like the kindle.
It is great for travel and reading outside in the sun. I have a very regulated limit of weight to bring so this will be down with my kindle paper white that holds a charge a good month or more even with heavy reading. It also takes up very little space in my carry on and in the tent when I will use it. Maybe. That is if I can even stay awake after long days on the trail. Then again, on the plane it will be a welcome way to pass the 14 or so hours!
Of course, one of the most important pieces of gear on the last trek was my Spot Connect! Important in that it was a fun interactive way to let my friends back home spot me on the Google Maps and see where I was at the end of each day…that is until I dropped the needed iPhone into the squat toilet and ended my ability to connect the spot and therefor transfer
the coordinates to the satellite. But the spot connect is a fun way to map any trip. It is also a nice tool for hikers who are lost to be located on their hikes. But nothing to depend on because anything could happen to technology and POOF it is gone. Rain, Squat Toilets, Drop it in a ravine…..
After the Spot Connect I guess I must mention my iPhone. That is a great tool for connecting to the Spot as mentioned above as well as taking quick pictures and videos. It can also be used to blog and text home if I need my sis to intervene in the blogging like last time. She was a pretty good guest blogger. My iPhone is a 4S. I had lost the 4 in Nepal and got a new 4S upon arrival back in the good ol’ USA. But that 4S died less than a year later and Apple replaced it with this 4S which is now on its last legs. Funny that this extremely expensive technology seems to last about a year. And if it lasts longer, they find a way to obsolete it by not supporting it with updates.
Because I have NO charging for the Inca trail days, I will get a device that is a backup battery to charge my devices. Yes. It has come to that. This is a device I did not have in Nepal and have relied on all my pals at Trailspace.com to decide to get one. Those gues know life on the trail so I trust them. I took solar last time but it was not easy to use and weather impeded use of it on those blizzard days. This should be a much better choice for the short trip I will be on. I am opting for the ANKAR Astro Pro2. It should be able to charge my phone at least 10 times, which is far more than I will need.
After the iPhone the next bit of tech will be my MacBook pro! Yes, it rode the back of a yak to nearly 18000 feet and I know it can make it on the back of a porter or llama too! This will get less use as I will not have charging capabilities on the trail. But I will blog none the less and just knowing that is with me gives me the chance to write up a storm without the dang thumbs on an iPhone performing more errors than can be counted on hands and toes!
Now it is on to the big guns of photography. I will be bringing my Canon 60 D. I love this camera! It has 18 megapixel processor. Now, you might say that many phone cams are getting just as big. While the numbers are catching up, the processors are not. So don’t just listen to the number of megapixels. The processor is a CMOS Sensor whereas the processor in my iPhone is a version of their iSight external camera used for face time and chat in older formats. Nothing really special there. So the Canon 60D will get me some mad pix of the ruins, the environment and the people. It also shoots full 1080p HD video and the image stabilization is far superior to the iPhone videos. I get a lot of pleasure out of knowing this camera was by my side all the way to Everest Base Camp and will now shoot up Peru!
Of course, my favorite brand new addition to the 60D is a telephoto lens I picked up gently used and at a great price. This will be awesome for picking out the ruins around Machu Picchu that are lined up for whatever purpose the Inca spent all their time lining stuff up. So this bad boy may reveal things heretofore unknown to man. Well, that really isn’t likely. But I wanted to use the word heretofore.
One last item to bring: I will bring the ever popular GoPro camera. Two actually. I love these little cameras. I have mounts for my head and my chest, a grip and boom. They can capture wide angle and get some pretty nice video all along the way and at the ruins as well. They are light too. The batteries are sketchy, but I will get what I can out of them.
So, there you have it. That is what I am dragging up Dead Woman’s Pass with me on my 2014 Machu Picchu Deluxe trek! I thought I may bring a change of cloths or two as well. Stay tuned as I continue to gear up for this once in a lifetime trek!