Gadgets For Great Outdoors

Taking technology outside

There is a whole host of gadgets that can be of assistance when taking on Mother Nature. Some are well known and well loved, like the compass and the trusty Swiss Army Knife. But some, while newer and more hi-tech, are just as useful, and once you’ve started using them you’ll wonder how you ever survived outdoors without them.

For example, the portable UV monitor is a handy little gizmo that lets you know exactly how strong the sun’s rays are wherever you happen to be. Calculating against your skin type and the protection factor of your sun cream, it alerts you when you’ve had optimum exposure to the sun and would be wise to find some shade.

The solar backpack isn’t just useful for carrying provisions. It is equipped with a handy solar panel which stores energy from the sun while you are hiking along. This energy can then be used to recharge a device such as a digital camera or mobile phone, meaning you need never lose contact with the outside world, or miss the opportunity to take the ultimate wildlife snap.

For those that enjoy al fresco dining, but lack the patience to build the perfect bonfire, the Notebook portable flat-folding barbecue is a must-have. This lightweight, easy to carry item, which is smaller than the average laptop computer, unfolds into an instant barbecue which can be taken anywhere – just add charcoal!

Gadgets for the urban survivor

If you shy away from the wilderness, but still like to get out about in town, there are outdoor gadgets to suit you, too. Battery powered heated gloves are a real boon on those long winter nights. The shake-powered torch doesn’t need batteries, so can be relied on the event of a power cut. In the event of a breakdown at night, you’ll be glad you had an emergency rechargeable torch in your car’s cigarette lighter.

So if you’re going on walkabout, don’t just rely on the survival tips of Ray Mears or Bear Grylls, wise as they may be. Give yourself even more of an advantage with some hi-tech gadgetry. After all, if it’s good enough for James Bond, it must be good enough for you.

Gadget For Kids

Durability and Reliability –

Electronic gadgets are easily broken, almost by definition. They are built from fragile components that do not normally take well to youthful treatment. Good manufacturers of gadgets for kids make a point of creating sturdy cases and more robust interiors.

Similarly, reliability is an issue with these gadgets. Nothing is more frustrating for a kid then a nifty new toy that stops working. Make sure it’s a reliable high-end gadget, and that does not necessarily mean paying a whole lot more. Stick to good quality brand name, and spare the kid the disappointment of a cool Superman gadget that doesn’t always work.

Make sure the product comes with a good warranty policy, that parents have access to that warranty and that it’s easy to follow through with repair.

Design Issues –

Gadgets for kids need to look hip too. A metallic design that may appeal to adults isn’t likely to impress young children. Your best bet is a colorful design, with lots of buttons in different colors and shades. Speaking of Buttons, make sure the instrument is designed for those small hands and can easily be operated by the child. A gadget that follows a popular TV shows and movies can mean a whole lot fun for the kid, so try to find out which superhero or princess captures his or her heart.

Safety –

As with all toys for kids, safety comes first. Your best bet is to go with a familiar brand name manufacturer and check the label to make sure you’re buying the right gift for the right age range. When it comes to electronic gadgets, take extra care with the ones that require electrical appliances, such as a battery charger. Make sure that any use of electric equipment is always monitored by adults, as suitable for the child’s age range.

Batteries –

By their nature, electronic gadgets need a source of power to operate. That almost always means batteries. Make sure that the batteries are easy to recharge or replace and that similar batteries are readily available, should the parents require an extra set in the future. Gadgets that come with unique batteries that can only be provided by the manufacturer can mean a longer downtime should they ever need to be replaced. Make sure that the batteries last for a long while, and don’t need recharging within minutes of game play. This usually isn’t an issue with electronic games, but when it comes to mobile toys with remote controls, the engines may require stronger batteries.

Battery For Mobile Gadgets

The new battery comes in a discharged state and must be charged before use. Follow the instructions given by the manufacturer while charging it for the first time. It may require 3 or 4 charge/ discharge cycles before attaining the maximum capacity.

When you are charging the battery for the first time, the device may point out that the charging is complete after 10 to 15 minutes. This is a normal observable fact with rechargeable batteries. At this stage, remove the battery from the computer and repeat the charging procedure.

It is important to condition by fully discharging and then recharging the battery every 2 to 3 weeks. This will enhance the life of the battery. If the device will not be used for a month or longer period it is advised to remove the battery and keep it in a cool and dry place. The charged battery will in due course loose its charge if kept unused for prolonged period. Take special care to clean the dirty battery contacts with cotton swabs and alcohol. This helps to give efficient service to your portable devise.

If you do not plan to use the battery for a month or more, disconnect it and store it in a dry place as suggested earlier. Ni cad (Nickel cadmium), Ni MH (Nickel metal hydride) and Li-Lon (Lithium Lon) batteries will self discharge during storage. Remember to break them in before use. Sealed lead acid ( SLA ) batteries must be kept at full charge during storage. This is generally accomplished by means of particular trickle chargers. In case you do not have trickle charger, do not try to store SLA batteries for more than three months.

To get the greatest performance from your battery completely optimize the Note Book’s power management features prior to use. Your user’s guide will provide information relating to specific power management features.

Fitness Gadgets

A lot of manufacturers are starting to incorporate wi-fi into their devices as well. This allows the user to save whatever data they are tracking to a computer or website. Many companies use this to create a social component to help motivate people as well. By allowing you to share your data with other users online, communities form which fosters competition and creates accountability that may not otherwise have been possible alone.

Fitness + Technology = Lots of Data
For example, one of the largest communities of this kind belongs to Nike+. Nike makes a whole range of fitness accessories that can track your runs, monitor calories burned, sync stats to your phone, and all kinds of other cool stuff. Working out suddenly becomes like a video game where you can collect rewards and unlock achievements for different activities as well as compare and compete with others. In fact, they are even about to introduce Nike+ Kinect training for the Xbox 360 in the fall that will create personalized training programs and coaching that evolves as your body does.

With the explosion of mobile apps, there has been a huge increase in the number of fitness related apps in the marketplace. Apps can help you count calories, provide personal coaching, map out where you’ve walked, play music to get you pumped for a run and just about anything else you can think of.

Sleep trackers have also become a very popular in the last couple years. They allow you to track things like the quality of your sleep, how long you slept for, how long it took you to fall asleep, how much you moved during the night and all kinds of other interesting information. Over time, gathering this kind of data can really go a long way towards helping you pinpoint patterns or problems that may be preventing you from getting a good nights rest.

Of course this kind technology is not for everyone, and like with any other technology, it can introduce a whole other level of frustration and complexity to your exercise routine. But even if you are not really techy type person you can still get a lot of benefit from keeping track of your fitness goals, even if just on paper.

For the most part, these gadgets are exactly that. But if you like playing with toys and technology they can be a really fun way to add another dimension to your exercise regimen. There are really a lot of neat little accessories out there, so if you have any interest at all when it comes to fitness and technology, they are definitely worth checking out.

There is a famous quote that says “what gets measured, gets managed” and when it comes to working out those words are very true. If you don’t take the time to track your progress and see whether or not you are improving then it’s tough to know if your workouts are effective and be able to make the necessary adjustments.

After all, if you are going to spend the time and energy to get fit, then wouldn’t you want to make sure you are spending that time in the most efficient and productive way possible?