High Tech Hiking in South America

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Brian Keller and Mike Iem are avid hikers and just happen to be Microsoft employees.  They are heading out on a three week hike to South America in a few weeks and stopped by the Channel 10 Studios to show off the latest gadgets they're taking with them.  

SteriPEN
GeoSetter
SPOT
Live Maps
Solar chargers
Ultra-Mobile PC Canon point-and-shoot hacking

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    The Discussion

    • User profile image
      Matthew Mushall

      Sounds like fun.  I'm not certain I'd want to hike the entire journey, but I'd love to do it on horseback and camp out along the way.  I've been playing with virtual earth for at least a few years now, but it never works as smoothly as it does in your demonstrations.  It's always slow or fails to load properly.  Anyway, good stuff.


      My only complaint with these kinds of sponsored trips are the over use of unnecessary technology.  I don't have a problem with laptops or Zunes along the way, but GPS enabled cameras and music players seems a bit too much.  What happens in the event everything fails or you're hit by an EMP...unlikely as that is.  Always bring a real compass and a printed map.

      Anyway.  Good segment.  Cool sweater, Tina.

    • User profile image
      Brian Keller

      LOL! As much as I would have loved to figure out a way for Microsoft (or anyone for that matter) to "sponsor" this trip, we are paying for it ourselves. And all of the gear you see is indeed gear that we researched and purchased specifically for the trip, or have purchased for prior trips. While for some people this would be excessive, and even I don't always like to hike with this much gear, the fact is that where we're headed is a prime location to do sightseeing and take pictures. I want those pictures to be geotagged to help me go back and review my trip later. I also want the laptop to help me review my digital pictures along the way which will help me adjust the settings on my camera for the environment we're about to encounter.

      But you make a very good point, Arztek. Yes we are definitely taking a compass (three, in fact) and printed maps, and there's no substitute for having these things (and knowing how to use them!). I've been hiking all of my life, and Mike (the other guy on this segment) has summited Mt. Rainier, the highest peak in the continental U.S., and he trained closely with guys who have climbing records on peaks like Mt. Everest (Dave Hahn, Pete Whittaker, Lou Whittaker, etc.). There's no substitute for good preparation!

      Meanwhile, if anybody has any ideas for how to get Microsoft to sponsor a future trip, I'm all ears... Wink

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