I am the proud owner of one Plox TITAN!!

I know, right!

Absolutely no kill switch on awesome, and this will keep the switch definitely on when I’m in the back of beyond with no connection to reliable lectric.

What is a Plox TITAN I hear you ask?

Well I’m glad you did, because dear power sucking, social medialite, earth pillager, I am about to rock your device hungry world.

The Plox TITAN (sorry I just love saying that) is an 11,200mAh portable battery pack. Yep it’s a mobile charger for your i-, g-, and w- devices. Actually, anything that needs a 5V DC charge. Which includes my Liquid Image Torque HD Goggles, not to mention my GoPro, and yep, even the Sony NEX Camera.

At 11,200mAh it will charge an iPhone EIGHT times. And with a 1A & 2.4A output it will charge an iPad!! As well as another device simultaneously.


Like beer. In a bottle. Only electricity.

Perfect for the Himalayas

Shout Out
I promised to shout out the guys at Plox. Y’see since hearing about this awesomeness on the Two Blokes Talking Tech Podcast I spent the week visiting Dick Smith and JB HiFi stores in vain to get one.

Finally just two days before the trip I visited the Plox website, and enquired if I could even get the device before I left. Yes was the promise, and thanks to Josh at Plox, AusPost and the new awesome Parcel Locker service , it was in my locker this morning.

Totally buzzed by this product that must surely be a best seller amongst us nomad types who want to stay connected, I also enquired about an affiliate program.

“Alas, no” they said. But then proceed to give me a 20% discount code for whoever wants to buy one.

So head on over and get $20 off this piece of magic. PLUS Free shipping. Ooh Billy.

That means for a mere $80 you get a mobile power unit for tablets and smartphones, cameras and action cams. Cheaper than those units that only half charge your phone like, once.

Contact me for the code. Better yet, leave a comment below…

Better than that, head over to my Himalaya Ride Blog and leave a comment there. Especially when I’m riding.

Post, share, retweet, link, you know the drill.

All power to you!


Pass Go, Do Not Go to Jail

Project 2012: Day 272

It seems I’m destined to not visit an island prison. When we were in South Africa almost 2 years ago, I wanted to visit Robben Island, famous for incarcerating Nelson Mandela. But I never did. Just too many conflicting priorities when you get 10 different people together with limited time on holiday.

Cruising past Alcatraz from Sausolito. Not Stopping. Nothing to see here.

So I was determined to visit Alcatraz this time around.

But alas, no. Every tour is fully booked until after the time we have to leave SF.

In short, for some things, unless you’re in one place for at least a week, you just need to bite the bullet and book in advance.

Yes, this restricts your options to do something on the fly.

Yes, you can screw it up because the weather changes.

And yes, all those arguments that go:

“What do you want to do today?”

“I don’t mind”

“Ok, let’s go to Alcatraz”

“But I don’t want to go to Alcatraz”

“I thought you said you didn’t mind”

“I don’t, but I don’t want to go to Alcatraz either”

Those arguments, you have to have beforehand.

But for me, I have yet to visit an island prison…


Getting Close Now

Project 2012: Day 227

Update 1 – Planning


The planning phase for my Bucket List Ride, the Topdown Tour of the US 2012 is really starting to ramp up now. I’ve booked and paid for most of the bike rental. I pick up the bike in Seattle on 9th September from Motoquest. My flight is booked, as is the Vancouver to Seattle bus.

I’ve also paid for a return flight from Long Beach to Seattle for the 19th September, when Lucy and the girls fly in to the US.

Safety Gear

Because I’m riding alone, I wanted to ensure that people could track my progress, and that I have a way to call for help, or alert Emergency Authorities even if there is no cell signal. To this end I ordered a SPOT GPS Messenger, which does exactly that.

You can follow my progress on the page on this blog. I’ll also be testing it on my Black Dog Ride week-end that you can check out at Feel free to sponsor me 🙂

The one frustration is that a device that costs just $99 in the USA (which is about AU$93) is charged at $200 here in Australia. “On Sale”

I also ordered a UTAG ICE Dog Tag. This is a USB device that carries all of my personal, identification, medical and emergency contact information. Along with insurance details. If I’m unconscious, I want to ensure that people can rapidly get the information they need to treat me. Especially insurance in the USA, not to mention my rare blood type.

This is a cool device that hangs around your neck, just like a dog tag, but plugs into any USB drive.

Home from Home


I’m planning to get off the beaten track, and at least half of my nights will be camping. Partly to minimise cost, but mostly because I actually enjoy getting out into nature, and the ride from Top to Bottom on this continent’s coast has some of the most spectacular nature in the world.

Now Air Canada is quite strict on their “1 bag 23kg” policy, so I’ve been researching light, strong, weather proof, compact, yet large enough, inexpensive tents. 🙂 No mean feat. Especially when this has to include my Helmet, and Riding gear.

After weeks of research, including building an Excel model, looking at tents both locally (more expensive, have to include in flight weight) and in the USA (less expensive, have to bring it back, potential warranty issues) I ended up finding a tent left over from the Aldi “Extreme Hiking and Mountaineering Sale”

Alloy poles, gear loft, alloy pegs, taped seams, bathtub groundsheet, 2 entrances, 2 vestibules, in a compression dry bag, at only 2.5kgs and just AU$70 – bargain. 🙂

Especially when you have 60 days to return it if not satisfied.

Now I’m doing the same with both sleeping bags, and hiking self inflating mattresses. I’m also looking at a dry bag for the camping gear on the back of the bike.

At the moment I’m unsure about cooking equipment, as I may just eat out all the time. I’d rather not spend too much time shopping at supermarkets.


Another big issue is what to take in the way of electronics. On the one hand I don’t want to spend all my time editing, and posting etc. On the other this is a “once in a lifetime” opportunity and I don’t want to leave the SLR at home and then get to experience a shot that I’ll never get the chance to see again.

Of course all of you get to live life vicariously through my lenses as well.


Suffice to say I’ll have:

  • Contour GPS Helmet Cam
  • iPhone 4S for most Instagram and Candid Shots
  • Canon 550D with twin lens for serious photography
  • All three of the above devices take HD video – but I may try and reclaim my Flip Camera from the friend I lent it to a year ago
  • For editing and Internet, I’m tossed between the iPad and the MacBookPro. I’m erring toward the iPad at the moment because of battery life, ease of charging, limited replacement cost should something happen to it, weight, and the limited functionality will minimise the time I’m messing around with electronics. Mostly this trip is about disconnecting.

To that end, I’ll be testing the iPad this week-end as well. If it works, I’ll leave the MacBook at home. I can pretty much do everything on the iPad and iPhone.

That’s it – I’m getting the riding gear together as well, but I’ll leave that for another update.