Review of my new G-shock GA-100-1A1ER Watch

GShock GA-100-1A1ER. Cool!

GShock GA-100-1A1ER. Cool!

I bought this Casio GA from Amazon (full specs here: http://www.casio-europe.com/euro/watch/gshock/ga-100-1a1er/) and really I’m happy. I ordered this watch Saturday night, and had it delivered on Monday! The packaging is top, the watch is really beautiful, it is impressive but not bling-bling, the all-black tones are looking very serious. This is a serious timepiece – you can’t ignore this watch! I got to give credit to the Rangermade website with their best tactical watch page.

It is large but not kitschy at all. It is discreet and the LED lamp illuminates just so much as it’s necessary. It is pretty basic with stopwatch and countdown, but it’s very precise. I have already dove with it, ran and did other outdoor activities wearing it. It held its own really well.

For me it is really a watch for athletes and for people who are in military operations. This is the watch that the special forces use.

As usual with Casio and G-Shock, this watch is very well finished. It remains very readable despite it’s multiple functions. Could have been more cluttered or less intuitive in navigation.

Like I already mentioned, it has many features, and it requires quite some time to read the manual and do the initial settings. Once set up however, there isn’t much else that you need to do, the calendar is pre-programmed, and if there is a need to change the time zone, it’s done with a simple manipulation.

However beware, there is no reflective paint, this is what we call a black edition, also, to read the time in the dark, you need to use the internal lighting. Personally it doesn’t bother me, and it wouldn’t prevent me from buying it.

Now there are two things that worry me. Already, the band. Unlike my G9300 which had a silicone texture type rubber, this G-Shock has a bracelet made of real plastic, very unpleasant in the summer. Since that band didn’t do for me, I ordered adapters and a NATO (fabric) band, which added $50 to the original price of this watch.

Then, the minute hand moves every 20 seconds… Until here nothing abnormal except that on my G-Shock, the needle is not super well aligned, also when it is 12 h 53, I need to wait until 12 h 53 and 20 seconds for the minute hand to align perfectly with the 53 minute mark. This is just a detail, but is still pretty annoying, because in the end one never knows the time very accurately without looking at the watch for less than 5 seconds.

But that may be a problem only with my watch. Don’t let this deter you – this watch is still a very good buy, and this Black version is a killer!

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Hiking Gear You Need for Your Next Hike

While hiking is a fun pastime that millions enjoy, there is a side to it that can be very dangerous. Even a simple, short walk can turn into a nightmare when the wrong circumstances happen—someone getting lost, bit by a snake, falling in a river, or so many unfortunate situations. Luckily, the vast majority of situations can be prepared for by simply bringing the right hiking gear with you.

Absolute Essentials

There are some things that you should never go on a hike without. The following won’t prevent bad things from happening but will certainly make bad situations manageable:

  •  Water—to avoid dehydration and for cleaning any cuts
  • A whistle—for each person to blow should they get lost
  • First aid kit—to keep injuries from getting infected
  • Extra clothing—to replace wet clothing or to stay warm at night
  • Trail food—to replenish energy
  • A compass—to give directions if you get lost
  • A map—so you can use the compass effectively

Good Things to Have

There are plenty of things that can help you out that aren’t necessary to hiking. These will help you in bad situations, but you don’t have to feel unprepared for a hiking trip if you don’t have them:

  • Satellite GPS tracker—to track where you have been and find out where to go
  • Knife—not for hunting, but for protection should a predator cross your path
  • Sleeping bag—in the off chance that a day trip turns into an over nighter.
  • Fire starter—to keep you warm in rain or at night

These are just some things that would be smart to take along if you know how to use them. Get acquainted with each of them before you go hiking so that you aren’t trying to figure out how to use them when they are needed. If you feel like something else would be good to have, just make sure that it isn’t heavy enough to impede you and that you wouldn’t get upset if you lost or ruined it

Gear resources:

Newest and best daypack for hiking – http://www.rangermade.us/best-daypack-for-hiking/

The best hiking boots: http://bootbomb.com/the-best-hiking-boots-for-men-and-women-comparison/

 

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Are you into hiking? Here’s how to get your backpack!

How do you choose a good backpack?

Choosing the right backpack: military, tactical, mountain, heavy-duty

Hi, Dan again. The news is, I started doing lots of mountain hiking with a group of friends and I love it! I will tell you today how to choose a proper backpack, since I had this sort of problem and know how I got out of it. It can be challenging, really.

For those who have hiked in the 70s-80s, you probably still remember the backpacks we had, mostly military. They looked like Christmas trees, with all sorts of objects hanging on them: pots, axe, sleeping bag, plastic bags. Of course, these objects clung to all the branches on the way.

But years have passed and technology has evolved so that for a not-so-large of an investment, you can get a good backpack to last you 20 years.

The backpack is an extremely important piece of mountain equipment and, because you will spend much time in its company, it is essential to know some details.

The shape of the backpack: I recommend you to purchase a backpack with an internal frame because it fit the back well and offers stability and a better balance than the backpacks with an external frame or no frame at all. Other accessories that a backpack should have are hip belt, shoulder straps for shoulders, and sternum strap.

The hip belt should be padded and designed such that 80% of the weight of your rucksack to be supported by the hips. The remaining 20% of the weight of your rucksack must be handled by the shoulders, so make sure you get a backpack that’s equipped with shoulder straps that are well padded, lest you suffer discomfort while walking. A military framed backpack could be the right choice, here’s an explanation why: http://www.mountaintroops.us/history_rucksack.html

The sternum strap extends over the chest and shoulder straps, so it is important to have it.uphill

It is also advisable to choose a backpack that has a rigid plastic plate at the back. This plate, in addition to the fact that it transfers the weight to the hip belt, also has the role to protect your back so as not to be encumbered by some of the objects inside the rucksack.

The rucksack’s capacity: Don’t buy a backpack bigger than you need it to be. If you plan to do trekking without camping (day hikes), you need a backpack with a volume of 30-40 litres. If you want to go hiking for a few days, you need a backpack with a capacity of 50-80 litres, in which you can fit the camping equipment (tent, sleeping bag, mat etc).

 The exact size of the pack: Size is very important for maintaining balance on the trail. A backpack can be extra small, small, medium (regular), and large, and the size corresponds to the length of the torso.

torso-measuringMeasuring your torso. The first step is to measure the length of your back (ask a friend to help you), starting from the C7 vertebra (a prominent vertebra, which lies at the base of the neck) until the upper line of the hips (put both hands over your hips and hands in the upper line of the hips).

Here’s a picture to help.

 The backpack material: I recommend the Cordura nylon material, it’s still the best on the market, and if the manufacturers are using it increasingly less, that is due to the high cost. They still use it a lot in heavy-duty backpacks, see this page: http://www.rangermade.us/best-tactical-backpack/ . Make sure however that the backpack is made of a material resistant to water (or waterproof). If not, you will need to buy a rain fly. These come in different sizes, so choose the appropriate one for your backpack.

Subdivision: Get a backpack that has at least 2 compartments (with easy access from the outside) and side pockets, and pockets on the lid. It’s of great help to have easy access to the important stuff.

Buy it from any sports equipment store, or military tactical surplus store. My advice is that you should not buy your backpack online, but instead go personally to test it. Or, if buying online, read reviews written by people who actually own the item.

 

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Give me a decent camera and I’ll give you great pictures

great-camera-picturesSo I’m on the lookout for a good camera, preferably compact and not big and bulky.  Compact digital cameras have surely been and will be the reason why many people fall in love with photography. Not just those who begin to draw their first steps in photography acquire compact cameras, but also advanced users and even professionals have among their equipment good compact camera. Remember that the camera is only a means, and that what really matters is the photographer.

One compact camera that I found great for my purposes is the little and (to me at least) glorious Fujifilm X20. There was one article in particular that convinced me to buy this particular camera – namely, the Fujifilm X20 review at http://maxcnash.com/fujifilm-x20-camera-review/

Before you buy a compact camera – tips I found to work

The moment of purchasing a new camera brings to mind the following questions:

  • Why would you like a new compact camera? Are you sure you aren’t one of the many victims of big brand marketing to keep you constantly spending heaps of money by acquiring a new product that does not provide any significant improvement compared to the model you already own?
  • What use do you want to give your new camera? At this point, it is important to think what are the purposes you need the camera for. Then focus on the features that will support your goals, and label other functions as of second importance.
  • Beware of scams: know that stores and manufacturers have an incredible ability to make us believe things that are not entirely certain. For this reason, I recommend that before going to the store, read the following article: 5 deceptive forms of selling digital photo cameras.

One tip from that article is this: beware of the so called “daily deals”.
Who does not know any of these online stores where each day brings an item at a discounted price, and where you only have that day to acquire it at a “bargain” price? Well, most of these stores’ daily bargains are honest. What is certain is that some directly have decided to make use of the lie as a trade promotion tool: put a $100 on the camera when that is not true, or not quite.

Example: you display a camera lowered to $500 and its standard price in the store is, supposedly, of $600. You see it and say “man, 100 turkeys that I save and I invite the missus out to dinner at the Palace, she’s going to freak out because I’ll also give her the camera to see”. Yes. Really? Look at it in another store, to see the same camera in a normal situation. Look it up in yet another store, another, and another. Compare.

In the end, many times, you realize that the camera never ever cost that $600. Its standard price, with no bargain, was just $500. Or maybe $508 and the savings is only $8 (farewell dinner at the Palace… well, Burger King Yes perhaps).

I will apply these tips to my current camera purchasing venture, and will keep you guys updated on how it went.

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