Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Packing for REI's Outdoor School: eXpo Mini Action Cam and Kestrel Heat Stress Tracker

Pyle Audio eXpo Action Camera and Kestrel Heat Stress Tracker
I'm getting ready for REI's Outdoor School this coming weekend by packing some technical gear that is made for use in all sorts of climates and terrains. I am taking the Mountain Biking Class which is being held in the high elevations of Morris County, New Jersey. I'm originally from that part of north Jersey as we call it and I can remember going up to Eagle Rock, South Mountain and other wild life reserves in the area. It is a very challenging zone for hiking and mountain biking but the view is beautiful!

eXpo Action Camera by Pyle Audio
This is a new piece of technical equipment that I am bringing along in place of my DSLR camera which I used at the InterBike/Outdoor Retailers Charged Up Media Event and The Woman's Story. This new action camera is being called the "GoPro Clone" but actually has a higher mega pixel resolution than the GoPro. You can choose between 20, 14 and 5 mega pixel images on the eXpo while the GoPro Hero3 Black Edition only goes up to 11 MP. Likewise you can choose from multiple video frames per second with the eXpo - 60, 50, 30 or 25 while the GoPro Hero3 gives you only 30 video frames per second max. Just on these two features alone, the eXpo clearly distinguishes itself from the GoPro. 
eXpo Full HD Mini Action Cam in its waterproof case
Underwater eXpo
Right now I have the eXpo outfitted with the handlebar brace for the Novara mountain bikes we will be riding for the course. Before that, I used this camera underwater in our pool utilizing its waterproof case shown in the photo above. Look closely at the upper left hand portion of the screen and you'll see the green Wi-Fi bars all lit up. This is synced with the wireless remote allowing me to start or stop filming and take photos even while the video taping option is in play. Brilliant! This camera comes with all the mounting accessories you will need to turn it into a serious helmet or bike cam for both road and off road use. Check out the eXpo Full HD Action Cam PSCHD90 at PyleAudio.com

Underwater photo with the eXpo Full HD Action Cam PSCHD90 at PyleAudio.com 

Coming up out of the water shot with the eXpo

eXpo Action Cam and Wi-Fi Remote. Bag: Mountainsmith Focus Camera Bag
Kestrel Weather Meters - Heat Stress Tracker
One of the issues I've seen from participating in several outdoor adventure events is heat stroke. It can sneak up on you as it did for me when I was competing in the Woods Hollow Mountain Bike Classic race. I was in the Sport or Advanced Division which was twice as long as the intermediate section. Yes, I was rather naive back then.

Yes, I won in my division!
It was very hot as it was held in July. I didn't have a hydration pack, only a few water bottles. There were hydration stations but you really needed to haul your own! About half way through I began feeling sick to my stomach. I know part of that is growth hormone being secreted but it can also be a sign of heat exhaustion. I was on a closed race course in the park but what if I were out on the road in traffic? The results could have been very different.

Kestrel 4400 Heat Stress Tracker
Someone should really have been keeping an eye on the heat index for that race as the afternoon temperatures soared into the 90's. A lot of riders simply quit and went home, it was just too hot and difficult. Just on account of the adverse heat index, the race should have been rescheduled.
So for REI's Mountain Biking Course, I'm bringing a Kestrel 4400 Heat Stress Tracker. It fits in my pocket and gives real time weather information with conditions based on where you are at the moment. This is important because you can have a wide range of weather conditions and variables going on at distinct altitudes and elevations within the same zone. The Kestrel Heat Stress Tracker calculates those parameters for you such as: temp., humidity, air velocity, altitude, barometric pressure, pressure trend, wind chill and speed, relative humidity and waterless WBGT (wet bulb global temperature) plus several more values to access the Thermal Work Limit and Heat Stress Index exactly where you are. Crucial information to assess how safe it is for athletes and outdoor enthusiasts to be participating in strenuous exercise.

User Screen showing: temp. humidity and dew point
September can be a tricky month because the days often start rather cool. You dress accordingly for the temperature and conditions you encountered upon arising. However by mid-afternoon, you may feel like it's the middle of summer. This is why this month can be so dangerous for outdoor fitness training and events. So my Kestrel Heat Stress Tracker will be keeping tabs on conditions all day long for the REI Mountain Biking Course on September 14th,whatever they may be. Check out more pocket weather trackers and meters at Nielsen Kellerman online at NKHome.com

Keeping on top of the weather on the road. Kestrel 3500

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