Adventure Quickies: Altitude Sickness Drug Treats COVID-19, Robot Sloths, and More

My Friday “Adventure Quickies” post is all about sharing some interesting and unique news stories that I didn’t have the time or space to cover elsewhere. That can include gear reviews and deals, travel news, exciting discoveries, and so much more. So, with that in mind, here are a few things you may have missed over the past seven days.

  • Dexamethasone Shows Promise Treating COVID Patients: The big health news from this past week is that a drug called dexamethasone has been shown to be highly effective at reviving coronavirus patients who are in critical condition. This isn’t a new drug however, as it has been used for years as a cure for altitude sickness with mountaineers, usually in the worst cases of High Altitude Pulmonary and Cerebral Edema.
  • SlothBot Will Study Endangered Species in the Wild: Researchers looking to study endangered animals in the wild now have a new tool at their disposal. SlothBot is a slow moving, unobtrusive device that can be used in the field to keep an eye on elusive creatures that would otherwise be difficult to spot. ‘
  • Youngest Kids to Walk New Zealand End-to-End: Think you had an adventurous childhood? Chances are you didn’t have anything on Elizabeth and Jonathan Rapsey, who have are walking across all of New Zealand end-to-end with their parents and are likely to be the youngest hikers to accomplish that feat. ExWeb has their story.
  • U.S. Government Makes Historic Win, Loss for the Environment: It was a week of mixed emotions for outdoor lovers and environmentalists. On the one hand, the U.S. Senate passed the Great American Outdoor Act, which should help protect more public lands through out the United States. But at the same time, the White House has eliminated an important marine sanctuary, opening it up for commercial fishing. One step forward, two steps back.
  • Nat Geo Asks if it is Safe and Ethical to Go Hiking This Summer: As some sense of normalcy starts to return across the globe, trails and campsites are opening up to visitors for the first time in months. The question is, should we be going? National Geographic examines that important question.
  • Rugged Solar Panel and Battery Pack on Indiegogo: Keeping your gadgets charged on an adventure can be a challenge, but a new crowdfunded-solution could change that. The Frost Summits is a solar panel and USB battery pack combo that is compact, efficient, and built for the outdoors. The designer claims that it can function in temperatures as low as -50ºC/-58ºF and it includes features like the ability to control it from a smartphone app and a fully-waterproof design.
  • REI Running Summer Clearance Sale: It isn’t even officially summer yet, but REI has launched its Summer Clearance Sale. If you’re in need of some new gear for your upcoming adventures, you can get some really good stuff for as much as 50% off the regular price.

That’s it for this week. Have a great weekend and stay safe.