In this week's video, I am going to share with you my five gadgets that I purchased, but never actually used. I am sure we have all been there. The temptation of the Amazon button is glowing in front of you and before you know it you have clicked “buy now”.
Have you used a Shewee?
I mentioned to my work colleagues that I will be making a video of all the naff items that I had purchased and Alison said “Oh Julia, I bet the Shewee was in your top five”. I had completely forgotten about the Shewee! On my first Camino trip in 2016 I decided that it was too much hassle to swat behind the bushes, and even more of a hassle to take my rucksack off to have a number one! Men have it so easy, so when I learned of a new product called a shewee I was straight onto Amazon to purchase one for me and another one for my daughter. After a few practices in the shower I was confident that I could now pee, standing up and not having to worry about my heavy rucksack, boy, was I wrong!
In the middle of the Pyrenees, we approached a small hut. It was in the middle of May, but the weather was miserable and I was cold and wet. I urgently needed a wee, so whilst everyone else got warm and huddled in the shelter, I took myself off to a nearby tree with my trusty Shewee in my pocket. I unzipped my trousers (with gloves on, which was my first mistake!), popped in the shewee and then tried to think of something else whilst I did my business. My leg started to feel rather warm and that was when I noticed that I had somehow missed the Shewee and I managed to get myself even more soaking wet than I already was. I have never been so thankful for rain as it masked my embarrassment. I never used the Shewee again!
Anyway, here are the top 5 items that did make it into the video:-
#1 – Drift Innovation Compass Action Camera
In theory, the Drift Camera should have been a great purchase. It was handy, fairly easy to use and there was no weight with it. But the quality of the video and the photos were really poor. The magnet would fall off when it was attached to my backpack and I was so worried about losing it then I would never take it anywhere! £99 from Amazon.
#2 – Sea to Summit Collapsible Cup
Never say never and I will probably use this at some time in the future, but I had more fun with my Starbucks cup. This cup is well made, can hold boiling water (and you won't burn your fingers), and it also has to measure marks on the inside which is perfect for those dehydrating meals. But I preferred my £1 Starbucks plastic takeaway mug which I can store my Nescafe sachets in, and it has a lid. £11 from Amazon and weighed 55g.
#3 – Boot warmers/dryers
I first saw these after a hiking trip in Wales when we climbed Snowdon. Another hiker was using his boot dryers in the Youth Hostel and I was super impressed! What a great idea. If I am going hiking without the need to carry my gear, and there is a big chance of rain, then I am sure that I will take these with me, but I have now had them for 18 months and I have not used them once. I did not take them on any of my longer hikes because they are just too heavy (530g) to carry in my pack. I didn't mention the next purchase on the video, but on that same Snowdon trip we wandered into a hiking shop (as you do!), and I purchased x 6 Trekmate Absorba balls. You place these into your boots overnight and they absorb the damp leaving your boots nice and dry for the morning. These were around £15. You need two for each boot (so why they give you six I have no idea?). I have never used these either and again it was due to the weight. 6 balls were 898g
#4 – Akileine Sports Tano Tanning Lotion for Feet
This solution causes your feet to become more tough and resilient to long walks. However, after one week of using this lotion every night I gave up. I am sure its great and I perhaps should have persevered, but I convinced myself that I have been walking for years so my feet are probably tough enough already. If you are a newbie to walking then perhaps this is the product for you.
#5 – Water Heater for Portable Coffee
This was another item that I just didn't use. The idea was to grab a coffee in the morning as most of the hostels on the Camino did not have kettles, but they all had plug sockets! Upon my return, I realised that all of the hostels did in fact have microwaves, so heating water for coffee in the morning was easier and quicker than using this gadget. It was also about 50g, so I saved a little bit of weight by eliminating this from my pack.
What did you buy that you have hardly ever used? Do you have any regrets?