Why these devices are (almost) indispensable for you

Possibly the hottest lighter in the history of fire, and a general-purpose pocket knife that will make MacGyver green with envy.

Possibly the hottest lighter in the history of fire, and a general-purpose pocket knife that will make MacGyver green with envy.

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Four outdoor gadgets I’d never heard of until I dived into TikTok, Google and other platforms on the World Wide Web.

1) Satellite Zoleo

What is that? Imagine you have set out on a multi-day mountain tour to the Zugspitze – or to the Watzmann or the Tegelberg – or whatever else these longing places with a summit cross are called, where hobby hikers smash. Metaphorically speaking.

Suppose you really want to order a calzone from your favorite Italian restaurant up there. Or just call 911 because your foot is caught in a bear trap.

In this (emergency) case, you reach for your Zoleo Satellite Communicator. With the handy device, you set up satellite communication – in places where no mobile network is currently available.

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How does it work? The technology that allows communication (despite the down cell phone network) is called the Iridium satellite network? Iri-referee-dibidum-what? Always slow with the technical jargon.

The Iridium satellite network spans the globe to enable communication even in the most remote corners of the globe. More than 70 satellites that swing through the earth’s orbit ensure that it works.

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Note: If you want to exchange information via telecommunications, you are by no means dependent on the terrestrial coverage of the mobile network.

The following types of communication can now be typed and spoken with the Satellite Zoleo:

  • Text Messages: Mastroianni: Pizza Calzone. Ready!
  • E-Mails: Dear Monsignor Mastroianni, I would like to bother you scusi with the order of a molto gustoso calzone!
  • SOS emergency calls: Mastroianni, you ungrateful pizza maker! Catapult a calzone into my gaping mouth asapissimo!

Okay, jokes aside, Satellite Zoleo really is a win. Because even if the Iridium satellite network is accessed in an emergency, you can start the communication via your smartphone. In addition, you may access location data or weather information.

Personaly thinking: The utility of a gadget like Satellite Zoleo is unquestionable. That’s why I don’t ask the question – but rather a different one: What alternatives are there? One of the most frequently mentioned satellite communicators is called Garmin Inreach Mini 2.

In a direct comparison with the Satellite Zoleo presented here, the Garmin Inreach has the edge – because it is 50 grams lighter (than the Zoleo). The Zoleo weighs 150 grams and the Garmin Inreach Mini 2 weighs 100 grams. In general, the Zoleo is a bit bulkier than the Inreach Mini 2.

The ports you use to charge the respective devices also differ marginally: Inreach Mini 2 uses USB-C, while Zoleo uses micro-USB.

One of the advantages of the Garmin Inreach Mini 2 is that you can send messages directly from the device itself. You can do that with the Zoleo satellite too – as long as your smartphone is within reach and you have paired the communicator. Without a paired handset, you can only make SOS emergency calls with the Zoleo. Stupid if the smartphone was kidnapped by the Amazon river.

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Bottom line, both lifesaver gadgets are worth checking out.

2. Victorinox Swisschamp XAVT 2017

What is it? A tester aptly described the Victorinox Swisschamp as Pocket-sized tool box. Please refer:

This is no ordinary pocket knife. Oh no. That is, this form of increase must be allowed, a supercalifragilisticexpialigetic pocketknife – but which comes across as incredibly unwieldy. It seems so.

The manufacturer advertises its mega knife as the largest Swiss officer’s knife currently available. It weighs 350 grams – a real bundle of joy for a pocket knife. Including the outer packaging, the part even weighs almost half a kilogram (to be precise: 493 grams).

How does it work? This pocket knife has 83 functions. Let this number melt on the tip of a knife.

Let’s keep turning the number wheel: This monster pocket knife consists of 188 individual parts, is manufactured in 500 work steps – and combines the functions of 100 different Swiss Army knives.

To illustrate what you can do with the Victorinox, here is a selection of the most useful and stupid functions of the glorious multifunction cutter.

  • LED display: An LED display is installed on the device casing, which shows either: The current time or the local altitude – but can also be used as an alarm clock, timer or barometer
  • open-end wrench: For loosening and tightening nuts
  • Tin opener: For those of you who want to crack a sheet of frothy Eifelpils on the go
  • Screwdriver: Sure, inventors, hobbyists and craftswomen need sensible tools
  • A selection of other functions: Toothpick, magnifying glass, nail file or, yes, even as a fish scaler, Victorinox Swisschamp is suitable for use

Personaly thinking: The Victorinox shows that pocket knives don’t have to be handy – or cheap. With a price tag of almost 500 euros (!), the Victorinox Swisschamp surpasses everything I would ever pay for a sharp cutting device.

Whether it isn’t more effective to take an entire tool case with you is a question that was scratched with another blade.

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