With everyone upgrading to the newest and the best I have decided to simply go the other way, for those that somehow have gone through life without hearing about K.I.S.S. it stands for Keep It Simple Stupid.

Down grading can be fun, instead of having a smartphone that you send sms’s, FB updates and email all at the cost of having to almost walk around with a charger with you, you have a phone that you actually use as it was intended to call people on. Granted I did always like to have the office with me at all times but it all got a bit much. I found that I would be sitting at dinner with friends worrying about the email that I just received and finished reading containing bad news. Enough is enough, I’m going basic.

In terms of communication I’m switching to a phone that I bought in India when my Blackberry decided to go swimming and drowned in a pint of beer. it’s a Samsung GT-E2370.


for all its basicness it has the biggest of hearts, sporting a 2000mah battery in a phone with no frills that would drain the power supply dry in a day. With 22hr of talk time on a single charge and a ridiculous (max) 1600hrs standby time for those that don’t do numbers quick in their heads that’s 66 days of standby I would be happy with 30 days. For me it has all I need, makes calls, sms, radio, mp3, micro sd card, waterproof, shockproof, torch and best of all its cheap. I paid about 20usd for it in India and have not regretted it since.


my next downgrade has been in my flying equipment, I’m selling of my XCtrainer and have purchased a Compass Beeper.

photos not to scale

Aircotec-XC-Trainer-Easy-bigCompass Beeper 400w

main reasons for the change? no need to charge, the beeper is absolutely tiny and can be mounted on my helmet or where ever else I find it convenient. even though the xctrainer is very light compared to other varios on the market I hate having to carry chargers with me. I still will travel with my Garmin gps 60 as I do want to be able to track my flights and have the ability to send my co-ordinates for retrievals or in an emergency.

Photos and video, I do love the photos that come out of my Canon DSLR but its heavy, big and just a pain in the you know what when flying to take photos. half the time when I do fly with it I rarely take photos as I simply forget. so ill be sticking with my Gopro, one thing that I will need to buy is the lcd screen for lining up still shots.

4cc984-27ae_12174-eos500dstrapGoPro Hero HD

once again the bonus of the gopro, ease of use, water proof and for the size of it it really does produce great photos and videos in full hd some examples can be found in my Videos. Btw these were only recorded in 720p and not 1080p as my computer simply cant handle editing 1080p.

Power to the people, I find that travelling to some places you may either not have any electricity at all if you bomb out in some out of the way place and you have to bivy your way out or the power supply is dodgy. That’s where my solar charger comes into its element, currently I have 2


on the left you have the Cobra solar charger with a larger panel and a 1000mah battery bank, charges my samsung galaxy s in about an hr in direct sunlight. on the right you have some no name charger however it has a 2600mah battery and selectable output voltages, 4, 4.5, 5, 5.5, 9v and charge indicator. if I know that we will be in one spot at a camping site I normally travel with the larger one if I’m going on my own then I take the smaller charger.

Harness choice, ill definitely be switching from my almost 9kg Sol CX2 harness to either the Advance lightness or the Karpofly Xalps once they have the pod version available as I would like to get my gear down to around 12kg ready to fly.


both with backpacks come in at around the 2.5kg mark, in addition to the weight saving they have much smaller packs of around 80L instead of the almost 160L pack that I have now. from some people I have heard that they have even managed to get there full lightness kit in the overhead compartment on flights.


if anyone is interested

used Canon Eos 500D – 425eur

used XC Trainer – 350eur

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