Samsung Xcover 4

Garry’s newest phone is the Samsung Xcover 4.

Samsung Xcover 4 phone
The Samsung Xcover 4

After Garry’s old phone packed up, he needed a new one. So he started to look at the different Samsung phones around. (Garry’s had a Samsung for several years now and wanted stick with them!) After looking around, he quickly realised that most new phones have built-in batteries that can’t be changed by the operator! Garry had a separate battery and charger for his old phone and perceived not having a separate battery on a new phone as a bit of a pain!

Having a separate battery and charger allowed Garry to leave the battery on charge, be it in a hotel room, campsite toilets or from the Busch & Müller IQ2 charger on his bike, and still meant he was able to use his phone. He remembered what it was like before having a spare battery! Leaving the phone in campsite toilets to charge, where he then worried as to whether it would still be there when he returned!

The search

Garry looked at several different models including the new Samsung Galaxy X9, but with Garry’s lifestyle that seemed to be a bit too fragile! There was one phone however that stood out and seemed to suit most of Garry’s needs, the Samsung Xcover 4!

The Xcover 4 has a water and dust-resistant body. And is designed to stand up to everything from high and low temperatures! To mechanical shock, rain, ice and sand! And it has a changeable battery!

Samsung Xcover 4 keys
The front keys that allow for easy operation when wearing gloves

The Xcover 4 also has several hard keys on the front. Making it easy to use when wearing gloves or if you have wet hands. A double tap on one of the keys opens the camera. Very useful when Garry’s cycling along and wants to take a photo! Another key on the side operates a torch!

The Xcover 4 isn’t one of Samsungs latest models it’s about a year old! But as previously said it suits Garry’s need!

Rab Down Jacket

Rab logo

Last December I acquired the [amazon_textlink asin=’B07G5HW3W2′ text=’Rab Microlite down Jacket’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’travelsonabik-21′ marketplace=’UK’ link_id=’033d7155-a1ca-4b10-89de-ec290a096e74′] which was perfect for winter cycle touring. It’s lightweight weighing in at a mere 430g, packs down small and is showerproof.

Rab jacket with hood

But after taking it on a couple of camping trips, I found it annoying! The hood would rub on the inside of the tent, causing drops of condensation to drip in, or even worse drip down my back if the hood was down!

Yes, it was nice to be able to pull the hood up over my head on those cold winter nights. But the hood was just too annoying, whether I had it up or down, it would just rub on the inner tent!

To resolve the problem, I acquired the very same jacket, but without the hood!

Rab jacket without hood

I now use the hooded jacket for day rides at home and take the hoodless jacket with me when I go away touring. It’s so light and compact. I even take it in the summer! It can get pretty chilly at night when you’re just sitting around camp!

Petzl Tikka Headlamp

Petzel Tikka headlamp
Garry’s Petzl Tikka headlamp



For those dark nights spent in the tent, Garry has a Petzl Tikka headlamp  which is suitable for proximity lighting and movement over short distances.

It has two lighting modes, mode one is for proximity work. Garry generally uses this when in the tent. Perhaps when cooking supper. Or when he wants an early start before sunrise and needs to pack his gear away.

Mode two is for movement and comes in very handy when Garry gets caught short in the night and needs to pay a visit to the bushes!

GoPro Hero3+

GoPro Hero 3+

These days Garry tends to record his videos on the GoPro Hero3+ camera, housed in its own fully waterproof casing so he can just leave it on the bike and not have to worry when it starts to rain!

It is very small and compact measuring 70mm by 40mm in its case. Unfortunately, it has a fixed lens which cannot be zoomed! But it is simple to operate and comes with a huge array of mounts that allow Garry to mount it on almost any part of the bike or himself!

There’s no preview screen on the GoPro Hero3+. So it’s always a surprise to find out what’s been recorded that day! And Garry’s not fully convinced that it’s the right camera for him! But it does shoot some pretty good footage!