Not sure if this is the right spot to post this so please move if necessary...
I wanted to talk a little bit about the new HTC Thunderbolt from Verizon and how wonderful it was to have on my last hike/trek/tramp in the sipsey wilderness (Bankhead National Forest, AL).
Before I left for the Sipsey I installed some software on my new smartphone called Backcountry Navigator. BackCountry Navigator is software for your Android phone that turns it into a capable outdoor gps device. Using your Android gps, the app can show your location on topographical (topo) maps, that you can preload for offline use.
So before I left I predownloaded topo maps of the sipsey and marked all the trails/trailheads/waterfalls and other points of interest that I wanted to have in case I happened to hike close to those areas.
Once I arrived at the sipsey I turned on the GPS tracker and immediately noticed the great accuracy. The tracking keep me on trail and also the phone has a built in compass so the arrow actually turns with you to tell you the direction you are facing even while standing still.
Once I reached the sipsey river I noticed the water was up pretty high and had the idea to try out my phones built in HD camcorder. You can check out the video here. http://m.youtube.com/index?desktop_u...?v=B929xcjDWM0
The phone also has a built in 8MP camera.
While hiking deep within the canyons under heavy tree coverage my GPS never lost coverage and performed much better then expected. I marked points of interest while I was hiking such as campsites and different landmarks. And that evening I used my phone to watch a few video's and listen to some music. The battery started to die close to bedtime which wasn't a problem because I had bought 4 extra batteries off of eBay for only around 20 bucks and they weigh practically nothing.
I have an equal love of both nature and technology and while sometimes I prefer the rough it without the added luxuries of today's new toys at other times it is great to enjoy the advances in modern technology.
I'm headed off the New Zealand next week and already have my maps downloaded for the trip... Can't wait to see how it goes and will share the pics when I get back!