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2010 Backpacking Light Staff Picks
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Doug Johnson
(djohnson) - MLife

Locale: Washington State
iPhone apps on 12/31/2010 00:58:54 MST Print View

Some folks have asked me for the apps I use in the backcountry. Here they are- if you have one that's betteror another idea we'd love to hear it...
- 360- for panoramic photos
- Planimeter- to measure straight distances (I use this to judge open water swims but also for other things)
- Topo Maps- for free USGS maps of the entire US- WOW!
Geocaching- for, uh geocaching- need to select a cache within data range before heading out
GPS Lite- an okay GPS. I'd love to hear from others on this one
Wx Alert USA- for detailed NOAA weather reports
Snow Report- by REI- quick snow conditions
Flashlight- turns the iPhone 4 into a decent little led light
Clinometer- very accurate
Wind Meter- no clue how it works but it seems to be reasonably accurate
Star Walk- stunning. A killer app
Convert- to easily convert weights for my bpl reviews. :-)
Sunrise and Set- for planning trips and hiking schedules
Zippo- to start my backcountry cook fires. Just kidding!

Keith Selbo
(herman666) - F - M

Locale: Northern Virginia
Iphone apps on 01/02/2011 13:21:06 MST Print View

I haven't tried gps lite so I can't give you a good comparison, but I use MotionX GPS and am completely satisfied with it.

Thanks for the app suggestions, I'm looking into them.

I don't think anyone mentioned journaling. I have an old Palm folding bluetooth keyboard that I use with the iphone for journaling. I like to be able to make notes, lists and journal entries that I can then post directly from the phone when I find reception. At 8 ounces, it's a severe weight penalty, but I understand there are much lighter ones now.

I certainly agree that with calculator apps available, a smartphone is a better choice than a stand alone calculator.

By the way, Star Walk computes sunris/set. No need for an extra app.

Edited by herman666 on 01/02/2011 14:18:34 MST.

Samuel C. Farrington
(scfhome) - M

Locale: Chocorua NH, USA
"2010 Backpacking Light Staff Picks" on 01/03/2011 20:32:36 MST Print View

Wondered what the shortened Warmlite tent weighed. Thanks.

And a very big thank you to Roger for de-commercializing the whole biz. Wonderful pix.

B. F.
(thrush) - F
Re: 2010 Backpacking Light Staff Picks on 01/04/2011 06:23:42 MST Print View

I want the Caldera Fissure!!!

David Brandenberg
(daveinflag) - F

Locale: High Desert
Outsak on 01/06/2011 05:07:20 MST Print View

Thanks for including Outsak UL on the 2010 Gear list. We've got some new ideas we are tinkering around with for 2011, and once we dial them in we will be searching for a field test group again. BPL has experienced packers who offer great insight into gear development. As always, field testing means FREE GEAR. Stay tuned.

Richard Sullivan
(richard.s) - MLife

Locale: Supernatural BC
Why a calculator? on 01/17/2011 14:36:35 MST Print View

I have to admit to being totally mystified as to why anyone would take a 4 oz calculator on a backpacking trip. And this from a guy who has exhorted me to not take a GPS or Cell Phone or First Aid kit beyond a band-aid and a few ibuprofen tabs. (On any early Star Trek episode, the android brain would start to emanate smoke about now :)

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Why a calculator? on 01/17/2011 15:28:03 MST Print View

I don't think he advocated taking a calculator on a trip. For some people a scale is one of their most valuable pieces of gear.

On the same theme, I still use my 40+ year old slide rule. Never had to replace the batteries yet :)

Tim Zen
(asdzxc57) - F

Locale: MI
Re: Re: 2010 Backpacking Light Staff Picks - HP 12C on 01/17/2011 17:59:09 MST Print View

The HP-21 was a my daily carry through college.

It would be handy to take a circular slide rule along if you just gotta do a DIRT calculation or trig out that nav problem.

Richard Sullivan
(richard.s) - MLife

Locale: Supernatural BC
Re: Re: Why a calculator? on 01/18/2011 13:26:21 MST Print View

"lost in the snow (it fell out of my backpack during a storm" - RJ

Ed Huesers
(iglooed) - MLife
Doug's pick on 01/18/2011 21:51:48 MST Print View

My one piece of gear that is irreplaceable is my custom made full grain leather boots. Made by John Calden of Estes Park, they are not light but they are on my feet 365 days a year and they ARE my feet.
I'd also say the ICEBOX but you know my bias. I'll have to thank Doug though, for taking the ICEBOX and the igloos to heart. A honest and compelling review, indeed.