This couple gave us £5 for a coffee

I love my gadgets and my latest backpacking toy is one that got me more excited that the GoPro!

One of the things that I regret is to not take a journal with me on the Camino. At home, I use a designed journal called “The 5 Min Journal”.  It is split into day and evening and goes through things to be grateful for, affirmations and ends with what made today amazing.  I have written in this journal every day for a long time now.  I was excited when I read that the 5 Min Journal also had an app, so I downloaded the app and I was all set for my first Camino.  Big mistake!

After my first day, I realised that I missed the act of actually writing by hand.  I would see people in their bunks drawing sketches and writing about their day in their Moleskine journals and I would be envious.  There I was, sitting in my bunk, typing into my iPhone, it just wasn’t the same!

We have now booked our next Camino, and we head out in October 2016, and this time I have a brilliant new plan for my journalling, which is a real mix of old and new technology.

Then I had an idea!

What if I could take a photo and add it to a lovely classic travel journal, so I have my photos right there alongside my written notes for the day.  I could even get my new Camino friends to sign the photos, or make notes underneath their photo.  My first thought was to look at Polaroid Camera’s, so I get an instant photo, and this is where my hunt started. There are two types of instant camera’s on the market at the moment and they are both quite chunky.  This does not bode well when every ounce and inch counts on the Camino.

I stumbled upon a Zip Polaroid Printer

During the YouTube search, I stumbled upon the Zip Polaroid Printer.  OMG!  This was it!  This was perfect and exactly what I needed.  The printer is smaller than my iPhone and it works via Bluetooth to an iPhone Zip app.  You can print any photo that you have taken on your phone, edit it, give it borders and emoji’s etc, and it prints in minutes.   It charges via a standard micro-USB port and the best bit is that it prints on photo paper with a sticky back.  The prints are slightly smaller than a business card size and works well for journalling.

Tried and tested

I couldn’t wait to use my new gadget, so Julie and I went camping this weekend in the Peak District. We had a brilliant time exploring Speedwell Cavern and the Devil’s Arse (Peak Cavern).   We also took a long hike up to Mam Tor (not quite the Pyrenees, but it was still a good challenge).  On our descent,  we stopped at a cafe to buy a few coffee’s, unfortunately, the cafe took cash only.  It was cold and wet and Julie and I were so disappointed.  Much to our amazement, a couple had overheard our conversation and gave Julie £5 to buy us some hot drinks.  How great was that?  I asked if I could take a photo of them to add to my journal and that is exactly what I did!

I love to sit in the tent in the evening and complete my camping journal.   Having my little printer and being able to print small photos such as the one of the couple who gave us the £5 made the journal entry just that little bit special.

Goodbye to my 5 Min Journal app on my iPhone, and hello to a real memory maker!



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