Sunday, May 28, 2017

Reviews (Equipment, Supplies, Companies) (updated 5/30/17)

(updated 28 May 2017)

My Spot Device has gone on 50 kayaking trips and all hiking trips. 
It will make the 820 mile hike with me as well. Worn like me, but still working.

I am adding a new tab to the top of my Blog where I will be posting reviews of the equipment, supplies and companies I have done (or am doing) business with in hopes it will help others make good choices in the future.
I will be listing reviews by others as well as my own experiences.

1) Outdoor Spirit, Outdoor (avoid this company altogether)


Shoes - Hoka-Mafata - ONE-ONE - REI  (review in progress)

Power Bank made in China, sold by Outdoor Spirit.   DO NOT buy this product. 
I found what appears to be the same product on Amazon called Solar Charger, X-DRAGON Portable 10000mAh Dual USB Battery Charger Power Bank (on left) one I bought from Outdoor Spirit on right).
Here is one review I took off Amazon: 
1.0 out of 5 starsUseless...
BySeanna Quanon March 11, 2017
You have to plug it in to charge it, and then you have to place it in the sunlight to fully charge the solar part of it. Once you do that you can use it. If you plug it up on your phone and it dies, you have to complete the process all over again. I don't know how many times I thought it was charged, and it was not. Plus the clip on the back broke really fast...
I concur with Seanna and most Amazon reviews say the same thing.  You can look up Solar Charger, X-DRAGON Portable 10000mAh on Amazon and read them for yourself.
Outdoor Spirit marketed as being used for backpacking but the clip on the back of the device will not hold the product on a backpack.  It would not even stay on with my figure going gentle under the clip.  And laying in full sun all day, it did not send a charge to my cell phone.
Outdoor Spirit also has a video on their Facebook page with shows how it all works, but they do  not point out this clip on the back… and make it look like you can fasten this to your backpack securely.  You can not.
When I contacted Outdoor Spirit for a return authorization and full refund they denied me saying I to prove it was broken first.  It is NOT broken, just poorly designed and falsely advertised.  I informed the company I would not buy anything more from them and would advise all my Blog and Facebook followers to do the same.  Yet, they continue send me annoying emails trying to give me discounts on more of their junk.
Also, instructions that come with the device are pretty useless. Here they are.  You can see from the penny used for scale, how very small it is. 
Since I can not return it or get a refund, I am trying to peel the Outdoor Spirit label which covers up the entire back of the package to see what information is there.  The label is such that it is design to come apart if someone tampers with it.  I will update what I find.

 I finally got the label peeled off... and the translation is so poor (from Chinese) that I can not even understand what they were trying to say.  Do you?

And here are the specs they had covered up with their big label.   Why would you cover the specs up???

(posted 5/26/17 and updated 5/30/17)

Backpack - REI - Venus (review in progress)

 SPOT-Device (review in progress)

This is a first generation device and still works.  I wrote SPOT to ask how new one differ and got this response on 5/30/17:

Extreme tracking has all of the same features as basic tracking but allows you to vary your track rate down to every 2 1/2 minutes where as basic allows tracking intervals of 5, 10, 30 or 60 minutes. The device that you have in the photo is the first generation of SPOT satellite GPS Messenger. It is no longer manufactured but is still supported by SPOT. Can we help with anything else? Thanks, The SPOT Team


Arizona Trail Guide - written from South to Northbound.  I am going to suggest that a North to Southbound book be written, as some folks like me, have trouble reversing the directions.  You not only have to reverse each paragraph in each chapter, you have to reverse each sentence in each paragraph.  I get easily confused trying to do that and although I would rather hike North to South, I will have to stick to South to Northbound to keep from getting confused or lost.  I am sure I am not the only person on earth to have such a problem.

(this review is in progress 5/30/17)

Who is Swankie?

My photo
Anywhere, USA, Full-Time USA traveler, United States
In 2006, I was shopping for a wheelchair. By 2007, I had new knees, better health and by 2008 a kayak. In Aug 2013, I kayaked my 49th state, Alaska, at the Holgate Glacier and in May 2014, I kayaked Hawaii, my 50th state, to celebrate my 70th Birthday and the finale to the wonderful adventure of Kayaking America? Next up... Solo Hiking the Arizona Trail, 820 miles? Maybe. Still healing from shoulder and trying to decide.