SCORE 18 MSRP: ~$200
NOTE: This is the last in my series of The Baker’s Dozen of Outdoor Gear, Gadgets, and Gizmos from Worthless to Essential. For a table of the rankings and links to the entire list CLICK HERE. I appreciate your comments. Keep them coming. Thanks for following along.
Okay, some of you may think I’m crazy but I’m going to experiment and take my smart phone (I have an android-based phone) or my Google Nexus 7 (a 7 inch android-based tablet) on my next trip. Why would I bring a smart phone or tablet on a trip? There is no phone service where I travel so why take a phone? The battery won’t last very long without needing a charge. Here’s why; Apps! Imagine having a bird guide with bird calls or a star map allowing you to figure out what’s what in the night sky by geo-location, and so much more. Even without a phone or data connection you can have a world of resources with you like a wildflower guide with color pictures or a video of how to tie that important knot that you haven’t been able to master. It would be like having all your nature guides with you except that not only would you have the text and color photos but you could have video and audio. You wouldn't have to walk by a flower without learning what it was. You wouldn't have to listen to a bird call without know what bird it was. I’m taking my Google Nexus 7 on my next trip and I’ll let you know how it works.
- Google Sky Map – A star map that allows you to figure out exactly what each star is thanks to the use of GPS technology. Bring a book like Jonathan Poppele’s Night Sky if you want to learn the mythology and history behind the stars and constellations. We’ll have to wait for an e-version of Night Sky.
- Nature Share - Nature Share produces an entire series of nature guide apps for Audubon
- Scats and Tracks of North America – Includes the scats and tracks of nearly 150 critters found in North America
- Sibley Birds of North America – If you are a fan of Sibley’s Guide to Birds, and who isn’t, this pricey app might be for you. It has 2300 selected audio files to help you ID that bird you can hear but not see.