How to choose a backpack for your travels?

When choosing a backpack, the range of brands and models is extensive. As in any industry, things have changed a lot in a short time. If 30 years ago, mountaineers used external frame backpacks, today, in light of the rapid progress in manufacturing techniques and materials, there are dedicated backpacks for each activity that you can do in the outdoors. Diversification of the products is not necessarily a bad thing, but it’s good to bring things down to the essence, even when it comes to buying a backpack. Let us not forget that the purpose of a rucksack is to help carry things more easily, too, on the route of your choice.

From our point of view it is better to keep an eye on the following points: comfort, loading, reduced weight, freedom of movement, materials and ease of use. Check out this website dedicated to outdoors tactical gear

1. The comfort given by a rucksack is important throughout the duration of a trip, especially if you carry it on your back for a long time. The shape, thickness, possibility of adjustment, and the material from which the straps are manufactured make the backpack more or less ergonomic.

2. Loading refers to the way in which you will carry weight. If the backpack’s weight rests 100% on your shoulders, you have problems. The backpack must rest as close to your center of gravity as possible, rest on the waist, without putting a lot of pressure on the backbone, leaving the hands free for movement. A backpack should help you keep your balance, on any type of terrain. For this, before starting on the trail, you must tighten up the compression straps, attach well any external equipment you may have (that’s attached to the exterior of the rucksack), and adjust it in such a way as to support the weight on the hips and to be as close to the body, in order to have stability while walking.

3. Being lightweight is important, especially for long trips. That’s if you want to carry with you more things than an empty backpack. A backpack up to 70 liters (rucksack volume) must be under 2 kg/4.5 lbs. The lighter, the better for you.

4. The freedom of movement is given by the narrow and tall shape of the rucksack and by how well adjusted the shoulder and waist straps are. The backpack should allow you to move your arms in any direction, as easily as possible.

5.The fabric and seams of the rucksack should be resistant to wear and tear. Also, the materials should have a higher degree of waterproofing, to keep your things free from moisture in the backpack, if you go through rain.

6. The ease of use can make the difference between a pleasant getaway and one after which you want to change your backpack. The sleeping bag compartment at the bottom of the rucksack, the straps for fastening the equipment on the outside, the removable or extensible cover are are just a few of the features that you need to consider when getting a backpack. It’s important to be able to reach fast to the things from the inside, and to be able to configure the backpack for each specific trip.

For a detailed article on how to choose a tactical backpack, see:


And Now, for Something Completely Different…

I’m pretty good at guessing ahead of time what Hollywood movies will be “successes” or not. This year has some typically huge blockbusters – which ones do you think will be studs vs which ones will be duds? Here’s my picks:

“Avengers” – Bigger than huge.

“The Dark Knight Rises” – Huge.

“Prometheus” – Big but not as big as the above.

“Spider-Man” – dud.

“GI Joe II” – Complete dud.

“Men in Black 3″ – moderate success

“Total Recall 2″ – dud.

“Bourne Legacy” – Moderate success but lower than MIB.

What are some of the Summer 2012 Blockbusters are you looking forward to – or dreading being dragged out to see?

“Why Apple CEO Tim Cook Met With Valve” (we actually have no idea…)

Cult of Mac is low hanging fruit for misanthropes. If you’re ever feeling too up and happy, simply go to their web site and some egregious example of bad journalism, awful writing, muddle headed thinking and just plain rampant stupidity will jump up and send you into a murderous rage which, quite frankly, some of us deal with better than relentless perkiness. Today is no different.

With a headline of “Why Apple CEO Tim Cook Met With Valve [Exclusive]“, you smack your lips in anticipation of yet another dumb CoM article full of bad information and poor writing. It doesn’t disappoint.

Let’s start with the “[Exclusive]” in the headline. Really? As you wander around the web, make note of which sites use that in their headlines. It’s a pretty accurate pointer to a web site that is trying to be more important than it deserves to be, has an inferiority complex and is trying way too hard to get noticed by Techmeme.

An unconfirmed report surfaced yesterday saying that Apple CEO Tim Cook was spotted at Valve’s headquarters in Bellevue, Washington. Whenever Cook is spotted out and about, people take notice. The CEO of the world’s most valuable company doesn’t personally visit other tech companies to simply have a chat.

Maybe Cook was just asking for directions. I’ve been to Bellevue – it’s kinda confusing to drive around. And the only people who “take notice” when Cook is spotted in the wild is the media. Average people couldn’t give a rat’s ass but the media seems to take every sighting as if it were a rare white rhino somehow spotted roaming the vast plains of Palo Alto.

And how the hell does CoM know that Cook doesn’t just pop in to other companies to have a chat? Jobs did it all the time. As a matter of fact, I once spotted him in the Turkish Baths in Vancouver, BC – a story he swore me to secrecy until after his death….

But CoM knows because they have “sources” – obviously, highly connected ones that know the intimate details of this very secret project and the details of what Cook discussed with the people at Valve. So – what was discussed?

According to sources to Cult of Mac, Apple is working on a television set with an iTunes-integrated touch screen remote and Siri-like voice command technology. The TV set will be coming before the end of 2012. Our sources also say that Apple’s television set will come with an Apple-branded, Kinect-like video game console. The interface will rely heavily on motion and touch controls.

Are you kidding me? All that buildup just to trot out the same old rumor? CoM sources just repeat what every other “source” at every other web site has said. Repeating the obvious doesn’t make you a source – it makes you a parrot.

But, as always, there’s a kicker. The second to last paragraph has this line:

We don’t know the exact details of why Tim Cook met with Valve…

Wait….WHAT? Talk about burying the lede! So, when your headline said, “Why Cook met with Valve”, you were just pulling our leg, right? The headline you actually wanted to write was, “We have no Clue why Cook met with Valve (or frankly, much of a clue about anything) but We thought We’d gin up a Sexy Headline, Mix in some Old Crock of Shit Rumors, toss in a Dash of History and Voila! Serve Our Readers a Shit Sandwich with Light Mayo….”

That’s the headline they should have written.

Why Instagram cheats the Viewer (no – it doesn’t)

In a piece at CNN, Nick Stern opines on “Why Instagram photos cheat the viewer“. It’s an interesting piece if only for the blinders the author has clamped down over his head.

He bemoans the rise of what he calls ”news images” – ones that have been altered in any number of ways, primarily through apps like Hipstamatic and Instagram. But as a professional news photographer, he should know better. Any reputable news organization does not allow that kind of manipulation to images. So his complaint is a straw man from the very start.

But his specific complain is this:

The app photographer hasn’t spent years learning his or her trade, imagining the scene, waiting for the light to fall just right, swapping lenses and switching angles. They haven’t spent hours in the dark room, leaning over trays of noxious chemicals until the early hours of the morning.

And he’s right. Technology, in any number of ways, has made many skills and talents moot. But it doesn’t mean if you don’t use those skills, you can’t/shouldn’t be taken seriously as a photographer.

I say his blinders are on because, look at what he’s doing – he’s writing on a web site. Did he hand code the page? Did he lovingly write out the HTML required to get that font just that size or that photo in just the right place? No – he used any number of tools to make the process easier for him.

He hypocritically complains about people doing exactly the same thing he’s doing – using technology to make communication easier.

I don’t consider him less of a writer because he didn’t hand code the article and he shouldn’t consider those taking good, newsworthy photos with iPhones any less of a photographer than he is. It’s not about the tools, it’s about your skills and abilities and how you use them.