By 2 September 2011 | Categories: feature articles

Spring has sprung and if you're heading to the great outdoors, the following tech gear is essential, especially if you want to shake off that winter fat and hit the road again.

Puma Complete Trailfox 4

When it comes to the great outdoors, you don't want to suffer due to inadequate trail running shoes. Puma's Trailfox range has built up quite a reputation over the past few years, with the new Complete Trailfox 4 looking set to continue in this tradition. With ldCELL cushioning for improved shock absorption, directional lugs to help with footing and a forefoot frame for added support, there's no trail this shoe can't tackle. R1199.

Puma Complete Trailfox 4

Nikon Coolpix AW100

If cameras were people, the Nikon Coolpix AW100 camera would be the adventurer you read about in National Geographic who is bushwacking through the Amazon, barefoot. This 16 megapixel camera boasts a 5x zoom and is waterproof to ten metres, freezeproof to minus ten degrees Celcius and shockproof from heights of up to 1.5 metres. The camera further features full HD (1080p) video and includes a built-in GPS, electronic compass and integrated world map, enabling users to geotag their images and track their route when exploring.

Nikon Coolpix AW100

Nike Vapor Flash jacket

Remaining visible at all times is the name of the road safety game while running. Nike's new Vapor Flash jacket has a reflective laminated face that ensures 360-degrees of visibility in low-light conditions. And while one side is highly visible, the jacket can also be reversed to be worn when not sweating on the road. It costs a pretty penny though, retailing at R2999 in Nike stores only.

Nike Vapor Flash Jacket

Bear Grylls Survival Kit

The name Bear Grylls is synonymous with survival under extreme conditions. Therefore when he endorses a survival kit, you know it's going to be worth taking notice of. The Bear Grylls Survival Kit contains a Gerber miniature multi-tool, miniature light, hand saw, signaling mirror and number of other survivor essentials that is a must in case of outdoor emergency. R649 from The G.A.D.G.E.T. Shop

Bear Grylls Ultimate Survival Kit

Vibram Fivefingers Bikila LS

If Hobbits had the need for running shoes we're quite sure it would look a bit like this. Vibram started the "barefoot" running craze which has now taken the running world by storm. Their new Bikila LS's closed quick lace system makes sure different foot types fit comfortably, and apart from looking unlike any other running shoe, the Vibrams can also be machine washed. R1499.

Vibram Fivefingers Bikila LS

Panasonic Toughbook

Panasonic's Toughbook range are built for outdoor abuse and its line-up includes fully rugged, semi-rugged and business rugged notebooks that are designed to work in extreme conditions or less than ideal situations. The latest fully rugged models have received a performance upgrade in the form of 2nd generation Intel Core i5 vPro processors. This should add even faster performance, with the CF-31 for example boasting a 13.1" high brightness LCD (1200 nits) and battery life of between thirteen and twenty hours. Most importantly it's dust and water resistant and has passed a drop-shock free fall test up to 1.3 meters.

Panasonic Toughbook CF 31

Nike+ SportWatch GPS powered by TomTom

Working in conjunction with the Nike+ sensor (although not needed), the Nike+ SportWatch GPS tracks not only distance, pace and time, but now also maps your route thanks to help from the folks at TomTom. Once done you download data to your PC via the included USB connection. This cheeky timepiece gives little run reminders, while also congratulating you for a hard worked personal best. Unfortunately we'll have to wait until February 2012 for a local debut.

Nike GPS Sport Watch TomTom

Motorola Defy+

The Motorola Defy+ smartphone is the go-to device when you want a phone that's water resistant, scratch resistant and dust proof. It features the same life-proof design of the Motorola Defy (our review), but comes with a 1 GHz processor that the runs 25% quicker than its predecessor's 800 MHz Cortex-A8 processor. Additionally, it comes pre-loaded with a CardioTrainer application, which no doubt trail runners and joggers will find a use for. We might just see a spring release for this phone.

Motorola Defy+
Article first published in TechSmart Issue 96, September 2011. Follow TechSmart on Twitter and join us on Facebook.


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