Toys for Iceland – After Action Report

We’ve been back for a few weeks now and had time to think on the trip a bit and on the toys I took with me to “enhance” the experience.  Let me sum it up by saying that taking all of the toys with me wasn’t a burden because we had a car for most of the time we were there so carrying the extra weight didn’t matter.  Having said that I didn’t actually use all of the items I took.

The Seat Pak was super useful.  All of the goodies we needed close at hand, Elke has one too, we loaded up into our Seat Paks and it made finding what we needed when we needed them super easy.  I continue to have poor experiences when it comes to pens I take when traveling, not the Seat Pak’s fault.  I took a Sharpie fine point which leaked into one of the pockets.  Dammit!  On the positive side, the lining inside the Seat Pak kept the permanent black ink from going anywhere but into the bottom of the pocket it was in.  The Seat Pak itself seems to magically expand to hold all of the normal stuff one might take on a journey and then some.  I can comfortably recommend this for anyone who travels occasionally or frequently.

Next up is the Sony Action Monopod.  It is not a selfie stick.  Really, it’s not.  This was handy at some stops but mostly stayed in the pack.  We unpacked it and had some fun towards the end of the trip.  It’s light, takes up almost no space, and is easy to use so taking it along was ok.  I would take it on the next trip.  This is really one of those “use some common sense” items.  Think about where you are and those around you before you pull this out.

Second of the three Sony Action Cam accessories I took along was the Sony Action Cam Extended Clamp Mount.  This we used almost every day while we were in the car.  We originally clamped this bad boy to one of the door handles.  After checking the view of the camera we discovered we weren’t getting the best shot from that location.  I moved it to clamp to the post where the rear view mirror connects to the windshield.  That did the trick.  We connected the camera and from this spot we could each easily reach up and start the camera if we came upon something interesting and wanted to record.  Very handy.  I’m not sure why but when we returned the car I unscrewed the camera but completely forgot about the clamp and left it clinging helplessly to the rear view mirror.  I contacted Hertz and we’ll see if it makes its way home to Ottawa in the post.

Lastly we have the suction cup.  It never got used.  There were a couple of places where it would have come in handy but the things/sites we would have filmed were on us and gone before we could prepare to actually use the suction cup mount.  I’m going to play with it a bit now that we’re home in the hope that on the next trip we’ll use it more.  Perhaps I’ll buy another cam and stick one outside the car and one inside for easy access.

On a side note, but still related to travel gear, I took my travel tripod with me as well.  I have a most excellent Manfrotto BeFree tripod.  This thing is one of the nicest pieces of photo kit I own.  My company bought it for me as a reward for passing some exams a while back.  I packed this so we could use it to capture some night photos of Aurora Borealis.  Iceland is one of those places you go to for light free photos of the Norther Lights.  Most of our trip the conditions weren’t really good for night photos.  Not the best hotel location, rain, clouds, etc.  When we arrived at Fosshotel Nupar on the day before we arrived back in Reykjavik on check-in the young man at the front desk asked if we wanted to be woken in the night if the night staff spied Norther Lights.  Of course!!  I pulled out the tripod and got everything setup and ready to go so when the knock on the door came I would be able to step out the door and the camera could be deployed without delay.  No such luck.  The clouds rolled in about Midnight and the rain started shortly after that.  Just one more reason to go back to Iceland I guess.

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