I’m a born and bred Londoner, a city girl with city friends who have visited my house and come hiking in ballet flats and a boob tube. In their purse on hikes, you will find cash, lipstick and mini-bottles of vodka because they were only going for a walk, after all. A couple of months ago, after a particularly enormous meal at Arkville Bread Breakfast, home of the Catskills’ best fish and chips, I decided to hike to Giant Ledge with only two hours of daylight left. Wearing snowboarding boots unsuitable for the icy crust all the way up to the Ledge at 1500 feet, I passed embarrassingly efficient hikers on their descent with crampons and sticks. Miraculously, I made it back. I think I get this from my father whom I once took hiking in his wing-tipped, leather shoes. He was fine.
This year, though, I’m hiking the Catskills 35 and for that you need to be prepared. So out go the wellies, trainers, long-sleeved cotton t-shirts, cargo pants and other unsuitable things with which I go hiking and in comes the more appropriate attire. I must invest in a pair of hiking boots. When I buy something, I tend to use it until it either walks straight to the garbage on its own or gradually falls apart, which is what happened to my Otterbox. I have an iPhone 5c and, I’m told, you can throw your phone at the wall in it or drop it down the toilet, although I never did try either. After over three years of employing my faithful Otterbox, I couldn’t keep it together anymore (literally), but my phone is as good as new.
However, once I removed the case, I realized why some iPhone users don’t have a case at all. Thick, protective casing removes the tactile experience of the iPhone, the delicate feel of it in your hands. For the few days that I became re-acquainted with my gorgeous phone, I decided to go with something more delicate because the only phone accidents I have are the kind where I sit on it when it’s in my back pocket.
So Urban Armor Gear sent us some samples to try and they get the Upstate Dispatch seal of approval because their products are just our cup of tea aesthetically. Moreover, scrolling around their website made me want one of everything! The UAG Maverick iPhone case for the 5c permits some of the natural beauty of the iPhone to shine through its clear plastic shell. Not only do I feel like I’m holding a phone, but I can feel the weight of it again. (Physicists can explain this to me in the comments section.) The case (pictured) passes a “military drop test” which I’m loathe to put to the test but watch this space because it might happen. The edges are rubber, so you can still put the phone on top of the car dashboard and it won’t slide off. Furthermore, the case comes with a plastic skin that you lay on the screen before snapping on the case. (Is it possible to peel something on? If so, it felt something like that.) Finally, it slips more easily into a front or back pocket – even a dress pocket or pair of tight trousers – and once it’s in there, it’s a far less obtrusive than bulkier cases, but you’re still aware that it’s in there. I haven’t sat on it yet.
And talking of tea, we’ve found the perfect hiker’s brew: local and organic… until tomorrow.