The Garmin Forerunner 620 – Take A Look At Garmin’s New GPS Watch For Runners

So it goes without saying, just a few months after I purchased a brand new Garmin 610 Forerunner, Garmin comes out with their brand new FR620 and FR220 models.  I seem to have the same crappy luck with cell phones.  If I buy the latest model, before you get the thing home it is already outdated.

Anyways, as of the time I have written this this post, the Garmin FR620 and FR220 models are just about ready to ship out to stores everywhere.  In fact, you can already pre-order this watch directly from Amazon. I did, now the wait.

Since it is not generally available yet, I have not had an opportunity to personally try it out, but I did get a pretty thorough demonstration from my local Garmin representative who showed it off at my local running store.  I have to say it is quite impressive in its capabilities.  The only negative thing I can say about the 620 is that I believe a lot of the features are frankly “cool”, but I am not so sure I “really” would use them that often.  It just depends if you are someone who is more into really analyzing data, or just want some really cool things to occasionally look at for curiosity sake.  If not, then go with a cheaper model with less features.  A good alternative at the complete opposite spectrum of features is the Garmin Forerunner 10.  But it will get the job done.

sc-01-lgLike the Garmin 610 model, the new Forerunner 620 model comes packed with more than enough features.  In fact, probably more than the average fitness runner needs.  The 620 comes in the following colors of Black/Blue or White/Orange as shown. As for features, have a look at this comparison chart of sports and top tactical watches or these aviator watches to see how outdoor features can overlap.

The only other thing I noticed is that the version the rep shared was still in early release and was expected to have more firmware releases to improve the functionality of the watch and stability.  By the time it hits the market (November, according to Amazon’s pre-order notice), it should be ready for prime-time.

With that said, Garmin is comparing the watch in its marketing campaign to having your own running coach.  As a running coach, and I am biased, that seems like a far stretch.   Here is a nice video they put together to show off some of the features:

Packing Your Backpack

Hiking backpack

Nice hiking backpack

When packing your backpack, there are two main things you should keep in mind. One- keep the heaviest items close to your main center of gravity. For men, this is higher, and for women it tends to be lower – towards the small of the back. Two- keep the items you use frequently, or need to get to quickly, in a convenient, easily accessible spot.

Keep that gorp in a handy spot! It’s always best to start with your sleeping bag in the bottom for a solid foundation. Some packs have a compartment on the bottom of the pack, designed especially for sleeping bags. If your pack doesn’t, attach it to the bottom of the pack with sleeping bag straps or, if it fits inside your pack, stuff it all the way in the bottom. For packs with limited space, you can use a compression bag to reduce your sleeping bag to the smallest possible size.

Put the heaviest items like your food, cooking gear and clothing in the main compartment, keeping the weight close to your back. Using the back of the pack (the part that rests on you) as a reference point, it’s better to pack inward and up, rather than outward and down. Stuff hanging way out off the back of your pack will throw off your center of gravity, which is generally high and in, rather than low and out.

Ready to go! Adam did some rather interesting camping up in Rome last summer… An external frame pack generally has more compartments than an internal frame pack. You also have the frame itself, extending above and below the pack, for lashing on your larger items. A good spot for your sleeping pad in this case is on the top of your pack, lashed to the frame. You can also roll your tent and put it up there, or fold it down and put it under the top flap of the pack. Your outside pockets are a good spot for items you need to get to quickly. Items like rain gear, gaiters, pack cover, toilet kit, first aid kit, bug juice, flashlight, lip balm, emergency blanket, map, camera, binoculars, etc. Also put a bag of trail food on top for quick retrieval by your partner. If you’re alone, keep it someplace handier like in a hipbelt pouch. You can start browsing here thru the best hiking daypacks.

packing-a-backpack

Modular packing

Your water bottle(s) also should be in an outside pocket for easy access. Those hydration bags (with the tube that clips to your shoulder strap) are the greatest invention ever. These fit easily into your pack top (sometimes side pocket) and give you instant hydration without stopping your trek.

Next to proper fit, the order and configuration in which you pack your internal frame pack are of utmost importance. The internals tend to have less outside pockets and don’t have that frame hanging out to lash things onto, so more of your gear is inside the pack. This certainly serves you well if you’re doing a lot of bushwacking, climbing, skiing, etc., because there’s less chance of getting caught on trees, etc.

Most internals have various lash points (daisy chains, compression straps, etc.) on the outside of the pack, which makes it easy to attach your large gear (sleeping bag, pad, tent, snowshoes, etc.) onto the outside of the pack. Also good for those small items (whistle, cup, camera, etc.) that you want at your fingertips. Mini-biners are a great accessory for attaching small items to your pack. But, whatever you hang from your pack should be securely fastened – you don’t want to reach your destination and realize that something left your pack somewhere back on the trail!

As with the external frame, you should start with your sleeping bag in (or on) the bottom of your pack. Many internals also have a sleeping bag compartment on the bottom. Smaller internals have sleeping bag straps on the bottom of the pack. If you’re lashing it onto the outside of the pack, make sure you have a waterproof stuff sack (especially for down bags!) to keep your bag in. Your sleeping pad and tent can usually be attached to the side compression straps. If your sleeping bag is lashed to the bottom, you may want to store your tent inside on the bottom of your pack, or vice-versa. Remember, keep that center of gravity (heavier items) close to your back.

Pack the items you need to get at quickly either in your pack cap, side pockets (if available) or near the side zipper. Many of the larger internals now have a special spot in the cap for your hydration system. Some of these caps are equipped with special straps, so that you can remove them and use them as a day pack for short hikes away from camp. Many also have a special attachment for your keys and/or pockets for your wallet or map. Be sure to check out all of the features of the packs when selecting one that’s just right for you.

Just remember, pack inward and up, with the heaviest gear closer to your back. It will make your trip much more enjoyable if your load is well balanced, with your center of gravity in mind. Don’t pack any emergency gear where you can’t get to it quickly, and always keep your water at your fingertips.

By |February 13th, 2015|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Military boots for cold weather

Military winter bootMilitary boots have always been a great support for soldiers. Since the Roman soldiers, who wore leather Sandals on the field of battle, armies from all over the world began to understand the importance of protecting the legs on the battlefield and beyond. Thus, a new industry was born: the manufacture of durable footwear for outdoor use, waterproof, designed for different types of terrain, in a word: military boots.

Soldiers were among the first people who benefited from this new type of footwear, namely military boots. Military boots were the ones that helped soldiers to take up difficult missions, terrain, especially mountain ranges.
The field is always in need of appropriate equipment, high quality, that can be relied on.

There have been instances in which even the smallest imperfection in boots sent military soldiers in critical situations, accidents, etc. Try to descend an icy mountain slope, wearing something else than quality boots designed specifically for this type of activity, and you will notice the difference between a military boot and another type of boot.

Military boots are among the most robust products on the market. Their special design makes the foot feel comfortable, and at the same time, feel protected against moisture, cold, dust, etc. Thus, when you wear proper footwear, you will always be safe and will benefit from the comfort.

For several models of the best military winter boots as well as other military winter boots visit http://www.rangermade.us/best-military-winter-boots/.

Depending on the boot, the outer sole is soft or very strong, able to cope with a long hiking or a hard climb, and with the rugged terrain in case of rapid intervention in an emergency situation. On some models you can attach spikes in case of need. The inner sole is also contributing to the necessary balance. The top layer is breathable and foam that is your inner composition is not easily deformed, but takes the form of foot to lock properly. These layers remove sweat, so you can take your mind from the moisture that creates a maximum discomfort when doing long trips in nature and the mountains. Also, the inner sole is designed in such a way that minimizes the chance of blisters and corns to occur, and reduces fatigue and muscle contraction.

By |January 10th, 2015|Uncategorized|0 Comments

How to choose a digital compact camera

How to choose a compact cameraIf we’re looking for a compact camera, there’s no better time to get one, because there’s a whole range of them available from all manufacturers. The problem is just that: there’s a little too many of them – how can anyone choose the best camera for his/her needs? One of the criteria that help us opt for a camera is simplicity of operation.

Good and bad in a compact camera

This simplicity is an advantage especially for those who don’t want to complicate their life with too many settings, for those who just want the memory of a point in time and want to do that as trouble-free as it can get. Under auspicious lighting conditions, with a well taken frame, even a point-and-shoot camera can achieve brilliant images.

Other obvious advantages of these compact devices are their size and weight. They are small, lightweight, fit in any pocket and so you can carry them around all the time. But why would anyone carry a camera when nowadays most everybody has a smartphone with a camera in their pocket? This question is difficult to answer for everyone … I will just give you my take: I’m one of those who will carry both a smartphone and a compact camera or even a D-SLR, to be prepared for any eventuality.

One of the major disadvantages of a compact camera is the quality of the images in dim light. I now have a Sony camera that when shooting outdoors in normal lighting, can produce very accurate photos, but indoors in dim light, even with a flash, the images are no longer great.

In addition to the classic ‘cigarette cases’ (as compacts are referred to), some manufacturers have released, for the most exigent and with wide pockets, compact models with full frame sensors. The folks at Sony apparently were the first with the Cyber-shot DSC-RX1 (,00 lei to 13.449 F64).

Leaving aside the Sony model, you can find a compact type camera in a range of prices that’s more reasonable. With a budget between the $100 and $300, you can buy with ease a model that suits your requirements.

Although there are too many models and too many manufacturers for this range of devices, I will take the chance and make some specific recommendations:

Sony DSC-WX60.
Nikon COOLPIX S3500.
Canon PowerShot A3500 IS.

Of the three models, selected from the middle range, I’d choose the Sony for its Carl Zeiss optics and the 8x manual zoom (35 mm equivalent: 25-200 mm) and that despite the fact that the lens of the Canon is the brightest.

Selecting a compact camera

Do not let yourself drawn too much into the megapixel magic because the cramming in of too many megapixels on a small sensor doesn’t really bring any benefit.

Check the technical specifications to see if the chosen model can shoot videos and especially check out at what resolution – make sure it’s at least 720p, which is a minimum for shooting in HD quality.

Choose a camera with a minimum of 4x optical zoom because sometimes it’s necessary to be able to zoom in on a subject, and keep an eye on lens brightness (the brighter the better-2.8 is much brighter than 4.5)

A compact camera with its own battery can be, in time, more cost-efficient than one that uses AA batteries. Unfortunately there is the reverse of the medal – when the proprietary battery discharges, you’re out of luck. Whereas AA batteries are available everywhere – but on the other hand, a pack of AA batteries is heavier to carry than the proprietary battery.

As a final piece of advice in connection with the purchase of a compact camera-choose a well-known brand and don’t buy the cheaper model, especially if it is produced by unknown companies.

If you found the information in this post useful, share it with others!

-update- you can see a comparative test done by the Max Nash photography blog on 6 compact cameras (about the same price range).

By |November 17th, 2013|Uncategorized|0 Comments