With the weather warming up and the great outdoors beckoning, here’s our selection of must-have gadgets for technology addicts heading off for a day strolling over heath and heather.
Snapping the scenery: Ricoh GR Digital
Fast, pocketable and with enough controls to grab perfect exposures in the trickiest of conditions, the Ricoh GR is our fave take-anywhere camera.
With its panoramic 28mm, f2.4 lens this small, rugged and highly versatile beauty is perfect for capturing dramatic, sweeping landscapes.
Attach the optional 21mm superwide angle lens for capturing the
entire pub interior majestic mountain vista with one shot or get up close to weird crawly things and strange flower-like growths using its 1cm macro lens.
Smartphone: Treo 650
The Palm Treo packs in enough functionality to keep you in touch with the cricket scores, send off emails, write texts and perhaps pen a short, moving poem to the Great Outdoors using its WYSIWYG keyboard.
If you prefer strutting to the sounds of Wolfmother rather than hearing the gentle rustle of Mother Nature, you can slap in a MP3-stuffed 2GB card and rock your way through the countryside.
And if the weather turns bad, you can shelter under a tree and pass away the hours playing the annoyingly addictive BeJeweled game.
Where the chuffin’ ‘eck am I? GPS and Memory-Map
Although an Ordnance Survey map and a trusty compass are more than ample for finding your way around, that’s clearly waaaay too lo-tech a solution for a full-on gadget freak.
Gizmo-lovers should instead load up their GPS-enabled Pocket PC PDAs with Memory-Map and head to the hills.
This mapping software uses real OS colour maps and offers waypoint-to-waypoint directions, bearing and distance indicators, real-time positioning and a tracklog to see how far you’ve shuffled.
There’s also a velocity vector for projecting your current course/speed so you can work out how far it is to the nearest boozer.
Keeping track of time: Suunto X6 Pro
Naturally, when it comes to watches, a mere pair of hands giving you the time won’t be enough for hard core tech heads, so we recommend the Suunto X6.
With this baby strapped on your arm you’ll have no need to look at the countryside around you, as the display offers a far more interesting display including an altimeter, barometer, thermometer and compass.
Armed with all the kit above (and suitable weatherproof clothing and boots, natch) you should be ready for anything the countryside can throw at you.
Just don’t forget spare batteries for your bag full o’gadgets and your bus fare in case you get tired lugging all those gizmos about.