2011

Altimeter watches are incredibly useful, but they haven’t been cheap—until now. The Casio SGW300H-1AV multifunction watch ($65) is one of the first altimeter watches to break the $100 price point, making this the most affordable wrist-top option for measuring your elevation. To achieve this price point, Casio has made some significant trade-offs. First, there is…

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If you have a new pair of hiking or winter boots, make sure they fit properly. If they don’t, return them immediately for a better fitting alternative. Here’s what to look for. Check the LengthFirst, don whichever socks you expect to wear with your new boots. Next, identify your longer foot (most people have one…

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GPS watches measure your speed and distance, providing detailed stats about a given workout, whether running, walking, biking, or any other motion-based activity. But how accurate are they? Not very, according to a recent New York Times article. The piece cites several personal tests by the author, as well as some good interviews with race…

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It’s the final countdown. Here’s a quick round-up of week-before-Christmas deals (and shipping speed) from major online outdoor retailers. Cabela’sCabela’s has their “Christmas Hot Buys: 25 Days of Deals,” which features a variety of heavily discounted items at 20 to 50 percent off. To get it there by Christmas, Cabela’s is offering a free upgrade…

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Raven MapsRaven makes the most beautiful wall maps. Period. For big-picture dreaming, check out their North America Map ($40 paper, $60 laminated), one of the few maps I’ve seen that portrays the continent in its entirety. For more local dreaming, Raven produces a striking series of State Maps ($30 paper, $50 laminated). AMC White Mountain…

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It’s crunch time for holiday shopping. Here are a few inexpensive gear items that I’ve given over the years to the outdoor adventurers on my list. Head and Neck First Winter hats are a highly personal choice of style and fit—and thus a challenging gift to get right. I recommend instead a liner balaclava ($20…

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A Lego headlamp makes a fun gift or stocking stuffer for the children and toddlers you’re trying to inspire for future outdoor adventures. Even better, you’re helping support wind power with every Lego item you purchase. What’s the connection between renewable energy and strapping a Lego Man to your child’s head? Lego was one of…

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Winter is gear junkie paradise. Crampons, ice axes, snowshoes, shovels, skis, snowboards, avalanche gear…whole worlds of specialized equipment await the cold-weather adventurer. There’s just one problem. You need a way to carry it all. And for that, you need the right winter backpack…This column originally appeared in the November/December edition of AMC Outdoors. You can…

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My 1-year-old just discovered the fun of riding piggyback on Daddy—and has since been demanding rides like I’m a pony at the fair. Which is why the Piggyback Rider has captured my attention of late. The Piggyback Rider ($79) consists of a pair of shoulder straps worn by the parental pony of choice, which are…

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Victorinox produces several hundred styles of Swiss Army knives. Dozens of different tools are available on the various models. Do you have a favorite style, color, or tool preference? I do. For years, my go-to knife has been the One-Hand Trekker ($53). Unlike most other styles, it features a locking blade that is nearly an…

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