Saturday, April 9, 2011

Sleeping Pad Wins Recognition

Part of my motivation for writing this blog is to become more familiar with gear that might benefit friends and family members during camping trips. A primary category of interest to me is sleeping pads. I used a number of different pads when I was young: inflatable pads that slipped and squeaked as I turned during the night, cheap foam pads that seemed to flatten under my weight, and blankets which seemed to do a fair job, but many were needed in order to produce a desired level of comfort. There's now an award-winning sleeping pad from outdoor gear maker, NEMO. The company's "Astro Insulated with Pillowtop" pad has earned a 2011 Editor's Choice recognition from Backpacker Magazine. We have not yet experienced the comfort of this pad first-hand, but Backpacker gear editor Kristin Hostetter says: "This is the only sleeping pad I'll ever need - for my ounce-counting backpacking trips." The Astro Insulated has a 20-inch width and the length is 72-inches. It's listed at about $100.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The North Face Running Clothes

We've all seen the popular "The North Face" logo on jackets and cold weather gear, but did you know that the company also produces running clothes? The North Face website offers running windbreaker jackets, along with shorts, arm warmers, capris, hats, crew shirts and even running shoes. The company website also has a yoga section, containing some attractive tops, pants, jackets and headbands. The logo that seems ubiquitous during winter months may become more visible year-round.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

L.L.Bean to Donate $250,000 to Japan Disaster Relief

Outdoor gear merchant L.L.Bean commits $250,000 to the Red Cross to support Japan earthquake and tsunami relief efforts. The company operates 20 stores and other facilities in Japan. "The Red Cross is known for its swift actions to provide emergency care and to help reconnect loved ones in these times of crisis," said Chris McCormick, President and CEO, L.L.Bean. "It is the quickest and most effective way for L.L.Bean to offer our assistance to the Japanese people suffering from this disaster." You may read the full press release here.

Donate to Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami relief efforts via or text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Airbak Backpacks Aim to Relieve Back Pain

Airbak is offering a series of backpacks that use air bladders to relieve the pressure that is often felt while carrying a bag with shoulder straps. The weight-distributing air cushions are intended to protect users' backs, and the gadgets within the bags. You'll find models that work as laptop backpacks, camera backpacks, airplane carry on bags and more.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Ski Helmet Bling by Crystograph, Bogner

Looking to stand out on the slopes? Check out this stunning bejeweled ski helmet. Crystograph produced the Bogner titan edition helmet, using approximately 20,000 Swarovski crystals:

Nice lid!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Mukluk Socks from Turtle Island Imports

Mukluks are a popular footwear that provide warmth, and make a fashion statement. Turtle Island Imports offers a relatively inexpensive version of mukluk socks. The knee-length boot-socks are a wool/rayon blend with leather soles. They're good for lounging around, particularly if you're spending time in a cabin or in a yurt. The folks at Turtle Island Imports say that dancers love these products as warm-up socks. The products are made in Pakistan. At the time of our visit to the website, they sold for about $15. a pair. The company offers online ordering on their website.

If you're feeling really crafty, here is a link to a knitting pattern for mukluks involving felted versions from Canadian Living magazine.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Yoga Mat Options from Dream Yoga Mat

Yoga mat
If you want your yoga mat to express some information about your personality, then you may enjoy some of the yoga mat designs presented by Dream Yoga Mats. The Aspen, Colorado-based company creates custom embroidered yoga mats with designs such as peace signs, om symbols, skull and crossbones and more. The company claims that their products are eco-friendly, made of: "...Thermal Plastic Elastomer (TPE), a newly developed material that is hypoallergenic, 100% PVC free and contains no latex, rubber or toxins." The company also claims that the materials are odor free and that they prevent bacteria buildup. The company offers online shopping.