On snowmobiles and jewelry
Summit County, CO ColoradoFor some guys, gadgets make the Great Outdoors even greaterBy Dennis WebbHere’s a contradiction about being an Outdoor Guy. Outdoor Guys – and there are many of them in an outdoor state such as Colorado – like heading to the hinterlands and getting away from it all.At the same time, they like taking lots of gadgets with them.There are probably even more Gadget Guys in Colorado’s male population than there are Outdoor Guys. And there’s lots of crossover between the two. Which means it’s easy to fill up a pack quick with the latest in new, high-tech, but not necessarily essential accessories that an Outdoor Guy is sure will enhance the outdoor experience.He may or may not be right. But look at it this way. If you’ve got an Outdoor Guy on your holiday gift list, at least you’ve got a lot of options.
Best of all, some of them even are cheap, setting a gift-giver back just a 20-spot or two.• Take headlamps, for example. Every real Outdoor Guy has converted to using headlamps. Humans are built with two hands, and it sure is nice being able to use them both for purposes other than holding a conventional flashlight.I was sold on headlamps after getting my first one, and even more sold when I got my first one with LED bulbs, which provide for a lot longer battery life.• Wanna bet he’s got another museum for camp stoves? Maybe his current favorite will be ready for the museum shelf if you get him a Jetboil stove. Wysocki said the stove, which costs about $80, is a big seller. It’s a self-contained cookpot, fuel cylinder and stove. It makes use of a heating element that boils water in about half the time of traditional stoves, meaning you can carry less fuel.• Another outdoor gadget that’s seeing improvements in technology all the time is the global positioning system or GPS unit. I have been amazed to see how accurate a friend’s is in measuring hiking and running mileage.• Another offering puts together some gadgets for the endurance athlete, combining GPS with a wireless heart-rate monitor, pedaling cadence sensor for cyclists, and, like the Vista Cx, a barometer-based altimeter. • If your Outdoor Guy tends to get off the beaten path in the backcountry in winter, consider buying him the new Barryvox Pulse digital avalanche transceiver, made by Mammut. Digital beacons are easier to use than the old analog ones, but have a lower detection range. The Barryvox combines a longer range with the searching simplicity provided by a digital beacon.
• You can buy even more safety for your adventurous loved one by picking up a personal locator beacon. But your own health may be jeopardized by its heart-stopping $740 price tag. That’s a lot to pay for something you hope he never needs to use. When activated, the device sends out a signal on a special frequency to search and rescue crews. • The ultimate item on my own outdoor gadget wish list is a snowmobile. How can this be for a guy with a nonmotorized outdoor resumé? Because it would be a great way to see more of the winter backcountry than I can with my legs and lungs, not to mention get to more distance trailheads where I then can strap on skis. And it also looks like a whole lot of fun. Besides, considering all the battery-powered products in the above list, why not a gas-powered one?Detractors point to the noise and two-cycle engine smoke. But Dennis Davis, owner of Mountain Powersports near Glenwood, notes that four-stoke models are now available that are much quieter and cleaner-burning. For that matter, today’s two-stroke snowmobiles also produce far fewer emissions, he said.For some gals, the indoors are greater than braving the coldBy April E. ClarkDennis, I take your contradiction, and I raise it $20.
Because that’s all I can afford.Even though I live in Colorado, that doesn’t mean I’m always gung ho about being outside when it’s cold. Sure, I like to ski, and if my dogs are in tow, I like to hike around – and play – in the powder.Who doesn’t appreciate the intricate beauty of a snow angel?But, at night, when the weather dips down in the single digits, I’ll take a warm spot on the couch or a hot bubble bath over freezing my patootie off any day.• Every relaxing bath needs bubbles and smelly stuff for aromatherapy purposes, of course. This season, Bath & Body Works’ Temptations line offers products smelling good enough to eat. One whiff of the Three-in-One Wickedly Hot Chocolate body wash, bubble bath and shampoo (with Pro-Vitamin B5 conditioner) and melted dark chocolate, hazelnut liqueur and whipped cream cause hunger pains to ensue. Try the Twisted Peppermint, Spicy Gingerbread and Crazy Carmelcorn scents, too. Bath & Body Works also offers faux fur-trimmed satin handbags, velour travel cosmetic cases, the Sweetest, Softest Robe on Earth – in white, lavender and pink – and a “Cold Weather Makes Me Hot” tank from its Ice Queen Collection. And there’s a limited edition Signature Collection fine fragrance line in scents of Warm Vanilla Sugar, Sensual Amber and Japanese Cherry Blossom. Looking, and smelling, sexy is in this season – even for mountain mamas.
• Speaking of sexy, all I need to mention is Dr. McDreamy or Dr. McSteamy and “Grey’s Anatomy” fans heat up a bit. Personally, I’m a McDreamy fan, tried and true. For ladies looking to profess which hot doc they prefer, there’s a shirt out there with his name on it. Visit http://www.abctvstore.seenon.com, and for $19.95-$24.95, purchase a women’s short-sleeve and long-sleeve T-shirt for a novel Christmas gift. Can’t decide? Buy one of each. For those who need to catch up on all that medical-romance drama, Season 2 is available on DVD – on sale just in time for the holidays.• It’s been said, “Music makes the world go ’round.” With the raging popularity of iPods and other digital MP3 players today, that was never more true. Apple recently introduced its Shuffle, the world’s smallest digital music player. At 1 gigabyte, it holds up to 240 songs and can be clipped anywhere – jean pocket, jacket lapel, bag strap, McDreamy shirt collar. The possibilities are endless. To start loading songs, go to http://www.apple.com to download seven iTunes for free. This week’s top two songs in iTunes are “Irreplaceable” by Beyoncé and “Fergalicious” by Fergie.• If music’s what she likes, CDs are usually a safe bet for a holiday gift enjoyed in the car, at a party, or while relaxing at home over a candlelit dinner. (I’m trying ladies, I’m trying). And to win extra points this year, take that CD purchase to the next level. Think box set. Sublime fans will enjoy tearing open the gift wrap to discover the band’s three-CD box set, “Everything Under the Sun.” For the swing lover in her, there’s the newly released “Sinatra: Vegas” four-CD set. Old-school country aficionados will relish in receiving “Legends of Country: Classic Hits of the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s,” featuring “Walkin’ After Midnight” by Patsy Cline (one of my all-time favorites), “Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow up To Be Cowboys” by Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson, and “Don’t It Make Your Brown Eyes Blue” by Crystal Gayle.• One of the best gifts I ever received from a boyfriend was an appointment to the eye doctor and the purchase of the pair of glasses I wear every day. So thoughtful. To protect the eyes of the one you love when she’s in the sun, go big this year with a sweet pair of shades such as Smith Lockets in white or crystal purple frames. Take it to the next level with high-end glam Oliver Peoples sunglasses. I like the 70s-inspired oversized Harlots in pink, but who wouldn’t at $385?• Since Dennis went big with his snowmobile, I’m going all out with the perfect gift for a woman: Jewelry from Tiffany & Co. Just the mention of such a glorious gift, and I can hardly contain myself. Imagine the delight as she unwraps the neatly-wrapped package to find the cherished blue box with a white ribbon that’s as famous as the black Givenchy dress Audrey Hepburn wore in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” I’ll do the guys a favor here and work up in price. The sterling silver star lariat necklace, with matching star drop earrings, are under $200 each. The Tiffany Grand rectangular quartz watch is stunning in its Swiss design, and can be worn out to a casual dinner in jeans and a sweater in Glenwood, or dressed up for a cocktail party in Aspen. Did I mention it’s $3,400? And for the finale, nearly every girl’s dream Christmas gift who’s serious enough to be getting married in the near-future. A diamond engagement ring in The Tiffany Setting, the perfect marriage of platinum and diamond. I won’t talk price, just know that if she doesn’t love it, my work here is not done.
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