My New HERO
Okay, I admit it. I'm somewhat of a camera snob. I wouldn't dream of going on a press trip without my Canon SLR and several lenses. For years, fellow journalists have suggested I add a GoPro to my arsenal of equipment, especially for snorkeling, biking, and other adventure shots. It took the loss of two waterproof point-and-shoot cameras (one fell through a slot in a pier as I got of a kayak and another was ruined because the battery enclosure opened up as I was trying to follow a sea lion) and a near accident on a bike ride trying to shoot video with my SLR, to change my mind.
Oh, and the fact that I only had to spend $199 for a HERO GoPro sealed the deal.
I had one of those "what took me so long" moments the first time I packed my new GoPro on a press trip, which happened to be a small ship cruise through Costa Rica and Panama. Between hiking through jungles and snorkling daily in the crystal clear waters, my HERO saw plenty of action. Its miniature size and the many available adapters and holders made it so easy to shoot in a variety of circumstances. HERO features a 2-inch touch display, is waterproof to 30 feet and is extremely durable. A handy voice command makes control and mode changes a snap.
The image quality (especially for a device so small!) was impressive: HD Video (1440p60 and 1080p60) with normal and wide angle 10MP photo performance. And did I mention that the HERO features video stabilization that helps smooth out the shakes? It even offloads your photos and videos to the GoPro app that creates shareable videos automatically (no more fumbling with your SD card or plugging your camera into a computer), so friends and family can travel right along with you.
The real test came a few days ago, as I was biking through the vineyards of Sonoma County's Dry Creek Valley. No more clutching the handle bars with one hand as I try to maintain my balance snapping photos in the other. Thanks to a cool headband, the HERO captured beautiful photos and images, every step (pedal) of the way!
This amazing camera is definitely my new HERO!
It's a Wrap
Now that summer is upon us, your probably aren't thinking of adding a travel wrap to your suitcase unless you are heading to Northern climes. But think again. A lightweight linen wrap can add a stylish touch to your outfit as well as protecting you from the sun or an unexpected chill.
Belt with a Cause
Tired of being asked to remove your belt when you go through security because there is just a bit of metal on the buckle? If so, consider a Jelt Belt, a retro-inspired, multi-functional belt for everyday use, especially while traveling. The belt consists of super strong, stretchy 100% recycled elastic made from recycled plastic bottles (yes, I too was surprised to learn of yet another product made from plastic bottles!)
The patent-pending design has a low-profile buckle and a non-slip grippy inner gel that holds on tight, keeping the belt in place and your pants on.
Started as a social enterprise, Jelt Belt is committed to social responsibility by donating a portion of their sales to organizations that support veterans, families and the environment. The belts are manufactured in Montana as part of the Women's Prison Montana Correctional Enterprise, giving women prisoners the skills and confidence to live a more productive life when they are released.
LIVING Sans Sand
A sandy beach may be beautiful to look at and photograph, but it isn't fun when the fine sand turns your beach bag into a soggy mess. Living here in beautiful San Diego, our family loves to spend time on our region's gorgeous beaches. I've gone through countless numbers of beach bags, but I must say, the CGear Sand-Free backpack stands up as one of the best for keeping our wet towels and swimsuits relatively sand-less after a day at the beach.
The mesh bag can be carried or used as a backpack (which we prefer, especially when we are carrying a heavy cooler). A patented technology allows sand to fall out of the bottom, but prevents it from getting in when you set it down on the beach. While you can't avoid picking up some of those pesky grains during a beach visit, this bag certainly does an excellent job in keeping your experience relatively sand-less.
CGear actually offers a full line of products, from beach mats to footwear, that promise to give you a sand-free life when visiting your favorite strand.
Disclaimer: Please note that the opinions expressed in this review are strictly my own and will not receive any future compensation based on sales arising from my recommendation. My goal is to share my favorite travel tips with my followers, in an effort to improve the travel experience for all.