We love technology don’t we? Can’t get enough of it! It promises to make our lives easier in virtually every aspect, right? Well, that’s probably because most of us don’t need to carry it (and a different charger for every gadget) every mile we travel, and we don’t need to work out how the heck to charge it when the area around us looks something like… this!
In this post, I’m going to be tackling this issue, and working out which technology I’ll be taking on my tour! My test won’t be a strict as some bike tourers who ‘only take that which they can’t live without’, but it must make my life easier, not harder and give me my weight’s-worth and money’s-worth!
What purposes do I need technology?
- Mum’s grey hair reduction! – Got to stay in contact with friends and family.
- Getting lost prevention – Getting lost is part of the adventure, but technology will, at times, help me get out of the back of beyond!
- Bad memory compensation – taking pictures and videos to capture otherwise forgotten moments and share the journey.
- Blog continuation – Yep, you lucky people will hear about the trip direct from the road!
My Solution – What gear will I be taking?
I have considered a number of options, including the fairly radical, no technology at all, but this seems to look like a fair solution.
- A cheap unlocked mobile phone just for texts and calls. This will primarily be for use in emergencies, sorting out urgent details, or getting in contact with family if I haven’t had wifi for a while (“Hey, I’m still alive and dandy”). Any countries where I’m staying for a longer period of time, I will buy a SIM card there with a few dollars on.
- DSLR camera and an action video camera – Capturing those moments, but these will be used sparingly for battery and memory card space!
- Tablet – On this, I will skype home, write blog posts, get internet access (where wifi is available), help navigate (GoogleEarth and Location Services), and when the going gets tough, maybe pump out some ultra-motivational tunes. One thing that possibly won’t be so easy as a laptop is storing and editing videos and photos.
How will I keep it charged?
There are a tonne of options I could consider for ages, even carrying solar panels on the back of your panniers. Instead, I’m planning to use technology as little as possible, hopefully utilising on available electricity if I have to stay in hostels, and when staying with strangers, couch-surfing or otherwise!
I will have a dynamo in my front wheel which will help keep my lights and some of the above gadgets charged through my millions of pedal strokes.
On paper (pixels), I’m pretty happy with what seems like an adequate solution, but that could all change on the road!