Final Push

All right guys, this is it. The final push towards new adventures has come and I’m about to leave in a few days. Now, here is my last update before I will head out into the wild. Seriously, I can’t wait any longer and it feels like a torture to me that there are still a couple days left. However, its just days – not weeks and luckily not months to go – so this wont be to hard I guess 😉

Now, what happened the last weeks?

After being done with my last tasks at work (handing over open topics to my colleagues and such things) I was able to retire mid January which gave me another two weeks of “preparation” time. Most of them were simply some organizational things like getting a good health insurance for my time abroad.

I decided to get such an insurance from one of the biggest Automobile Clubs here in Germany (ADAC) which isn’t too expensive and covers most of my needs.

I also got my “doctors” run done which included seeing a dentist. The reason for that is pretty simple. To make “sure” that I’m in a healthy condition before I will start. Same for my teeth, obviously. Everything is fine and should be like that for the entire length of my trip.

What else… oh yeah. I had time to test out my Camera Equipment on a couple short hikes which were “only” dedicated to figure all that out.

I opted for a Sony HX90V as my main camera. This Cam is doing a pretty good job so far and seems to suit me well for my hike. (Honestly, I don’t want to deal with that again. I mean, doing research on what may be the best Camera to be used on a long distance trail – it’s been nerve-wrecking – and I hate that) So I set out to do some test shoots with it and checking the results. As you may know, I don’t plan on bringing a Laptop or Tablet so I will do all of my editing tasks on my phone.

As I already wrote in my Gear-Selection Post I will carry a Rugged (Outdoor) Smartphone made by Blackview. I got the BV8000 PRO to test if everything will work as I had in my mind and as of now, its doing pretty well. I may have to buy another phone in the US to be able to communicate in case my phone won’t work in their network. There may be some issues getting the device connected to Verizon (which I would love to use, if possible). Maybe not. That’s hard to say from here and I need to check that in a Store I guess. So much hassle for such simple things – oh my. More technical details will follow below – for all who are interested 🙂

I know that I will carry a lot of technical helpers and devices and that I need some good battery packs to keep them up and running. That’s why I will bring two of them with 26800 mAh of capacity each.

Usually I’m not too much concerned about my own safety on the trail. I think I’m able to handle most situations pretty well. Anyways, I will get a PLB (Personal Locator Beacon) as soon as I’m in Georgia. I did a lot of research about this topic and decided to buy a Garmin InReach Explorer+. This will be used as my backup navigation device, just in case if my phone is failing. The more important thing is, that I’m able to get in touch with friends and family no matter what. I won’t need cellphone coverage since this device can communicate via Satellite and it will also allow me and others to see where I am and to keep track of my journey (location-wise). Maybe I will add a link on here or even include it on the page. I will see.

For hosting the videos I will make, I kinda decided to use Vimeo instead of YouTube. There are pro’s and con’s for both. The most important for me is, that its completely ad-free! I don’t want to make money with my adventures as it feels like nagging the audience and falsifying my intentions. I wanna test that out and see how it goes.

For editing my Videos I will use the Cyberlink “PowerDirector” and maybe the “ActionDirector” App for Android as well as GoPro’s “Quick” App. I’ve tested them out the last couple of weeks to make sure that I can work with them on trail. You can check out the result of my “first” Video below 🙂

In order to provide a better performance for this Blog, I’ve set up a CDN (Content Delivery Network) which will provide all Pictures from a closer Server System to speed up the whole page. I really hope that this will work as expected. I haven’t used one yet but I’m sure everything will be fine.

Another change in my Equipment will be the GoPro I plan to bring. Its a GoPro Hero 4 instead of the 5.

For all interested in the Smartphone I will use, here are some more technical details on it.

Brand: Blackview
Device: BV 8000 Pro
Type: Rugged Phone, IP68 (Water proof, Dust proof, Shock proof)
CPU: MediaTek Helio P20 (8 Cores, 4×2,4 GHz, 4×1,6GHz)
ROM: 64 GB of local Storage (up to 256GB in addition via microSD Card, 128GB installed)
Display: 1920 x 1080, 5 inch (FHD)
OS: Android 7.0
Battery: 4180 mAh
Navigation: GPS and GLONASS included

Furthermore I got a bunch of different Memory Cards for all of my Devices:

2x 128 GB SanDisk Extreme (A1, U3 -> 4K UHD)
4x 32 GB SanDisk Extreme (A1, U3 -> 4K UHD)

I plan on using the high capacity cards as a “long-term” storage for Pictures and Videos whereas the smaller ones will be used for my Camera and the GoPro. When in town for a zero, I will upload those to my online storage.

In terms of Charging my Devices I will use two battery packs.

One Anker PowerCore with 26800 mAh Capacity and
one Anker PowerCore+ with the same Capacity.

I may end up choosing one of them and ditching the other, maybe I will bring both. I will figure that out as I’m on the AT to see how much juice I will need for all of my devices. I also switched out all Cables for the Anker PowerLine Cables. Just to make sure that I can recharge all of my devices with the best possible method.

Additionally I also decided to ditch some of my gear and get a proper replacement in the US. That being said means that I won’t bring my cooking set and stove, my knife, sleeping bag and maybe my Nalgene. But this last item may also stay and keep on being used on the trail. The knife and cooking set are just too heavy for my setup and are still mandatory for me. Going stove less is not an option, going without a knife isn’t either. My sleeping bag isn’t warm enough for what I can expect on trail. My new quilt and liner should help me staying warm at night.

This will be my last post in Germany. The next update follows before I will start the PCT 😉

You can easily follow me here (Subscribe) or on Vimeo (link in the header section)

See ya soon 😉 and happy trails!

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My name is Ronny, I'm 34 years old right now and I'm known as "Blade" when hiking a long-distance trail. I am working as Linux Administrator when in Germany but my love belongs to the wild. I see myself as human being, open minded and a rebel at heart - AND i prefer to find my own path, to learn what the world and life can teach me.

I love to travel the world and to go and see places I've never been to before - that's why i "Boldly-Go" ;)