Any avid outdoors-person you know, at some point, has been obsessed with the details. We check the weather, we review our gear — maybe a 20° sleeping bag, a sleeping pad with the proper R-value, wool base layers, and something warm and waterproof. Then we check the weather again.
Because, the details can save our life.
The handy device attaches anywhere that a tiny keyring can attach. It’s also water resistant, meaning it can withstand some rain, and perhaps even being dropped in a puddle. (Please note: it’s not for measuring water temp, so don’t submerge it for a long time and expect it to function properly.)
The small digital thermometer display is about the size of a nickel, and can be backlit at the touch of a button. The display also rotates depending on the way you’re holding it, so you will always be able to tell the difference between 6°F and 9°F. (But, trust me, at that point it doesn’t matter, it is COLD!)
As far as where this little guy can be attached? I originally clipped it to my coat zipper, but I worried that maybe my body heat would affect the reading. So I moved it to my pack, and felt more confident in the temps it was giving me.
Holding the thermometer in my hand immediately affected the reading, so for a proper temperature, I make sure it’s out in the open. One thing to remember is that the ThermoDrop takes a couple minutes to adjust when brought from inside my car or house to being outside, so it’s important to have a little patience.
My favorite thing about the ThermoDrop is that it will tell you the minimum and maximum temperature you experienced during your adventure — so that you can know exactly how scorchingly hot your trail day was, or how cold the temp fell in the early morning before the sun crested over those distant mountains.
Knowing these two things is key for me. If the day got really hot, I ask myself, ‘was I drinking enough water? Should I have taken a break in the shade?’ Or if it got bone-chillingly cold during the night, ‘should I wear more clothes to bed? Should I bail? Is it still safe to camp outside with the gear I brought?’
I was not born with the gene that tells me to just “tough it out” when it feels like nature is trying to kill me. Some people are, and that’s ok with me. Luckily, I know when it’s time for me to tap out, and call for a ride.
This tiny piece of temperature-reading tech is super user-friendly, not overly complicated like other outdoor tech I’ve used in the past. One click to turn on the light, and a longer click and hold to view the min and max readings for the day.
Having a thermometer that is easy to use helps me a lot when I’m out there in the backcountry. Physical exhaustion makes it hard to deal with overly complicated things. Often I just want to know what the temp is so I can decide if I need to take a hot water bottle to bed or not. The ThermoDrop makes things simple.
The Bottom Line
It’s not always easy to know remote trail conditions. Uncertainty is part of most adventures. So be smart, plan accordingly, use your outdoor training and tools wisely, and don’t hesitate to pull back from a dangerous situation.
The ThermoDrop is a straightforward tool that helps me narrow down the details. It’s been a no-brainer to add the ultralight thermometer to my gear kit.
- Temp Range: -13 to 122°F (-25 to 50°C)
- Accuracy: ±1.8°F (±1°C)
- Unit Size: 49mm x 33mm x 12.5mm
- Weight: 14.3 grams
- Backlight: 10 seconds
- Price: $22
Pros of the Ultralight Thermometer
- Small enough to attach to a zipper
- Has min/max readings for the day
- Backlight for night temp checks
- Water resistant
- Price — $22 is a small price to pay for peace of mind!
- Available in lots of colors
Cons of the Device
- Small enough to lose if not attached
- Comes with a cheap split ring, so you need to purchase an S-biner or something else
- Adjusts slowly, you must be patient for accurate temperature readings, especially after going from inside to outside
Ace Curtis is a plus-sized outdoor enthusiast. She enjoys hiking in Northern California and taking photos of many tree-covered hillsides. She was born and raised in Mt Shasta, CA at the base of a 14,163’ mountain. She is currently working with her husband on creating an off-grid lifestyle on 2.5 acres just a few miles from where she started life, 36 years ago.