Holiday Gift Guide 2006

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Forget about fruit baskets. Don’t even consider a tie. This year give your friends and family the gift of outdoor adventure.

The following 13 products — each one a Gear Junkie-sanctioned stocking stuffer — are guaranteed to motivate. The gift of gear, indeed, may just get your loved ones out the door and on their way toward a new outlook on life.

Digital Hero Camera. ($79.95; www.goprocamera.com).
Made for high-action photography, this tiny digital camera comes sealed inside a shock-proof and waterproof polycarbonate case. A strong Velcro bracelet mounts the camera to your wrist, ready to shoot photos or video clips in an instant. You won’t get high-resolution photographs with the Hero, but the camera — which captures 640 × 480-pixel shots — does the job for snapshots and Web imagery.

Kombi Captain Freedom ($70; www.kombisports.com).
Salute your inner ski patriot with the red, white and blue Captain Freedom gloves. The leather gloves, which conjure visions of the 1970’s hotdog scene, have low-loft insulation and a wicking lining to keep your hands dry.

Marker Cosmic Goggle ($79.99; www.markerusa.com).
Want a bulletproof ski goggle? Marker’s latest lens material — a polyurethane polymer branded NXT — is the same clear concoction used by the military for bulletproof windows. NXT is scratch-resistant and more clear than competing polycarbonate lenses, according to Marker. The Cosmic’s frame comes in silver, blue or orange.

REI Fall Line Backpack ($89; www.rei.com).
Built for skiers and snowboarders looking to access the backcountry, the Fall Line pack comes with a Nalgene hydration bladder that’s insulated from freezing. Skis or a snowboard attach on back; the pack’s main compartment is supported by a lightweight aluminum frame. A top pocket lined with soft fabric cradles sunglasses or an MP3 player.

Swiss Army Clipper Tool ($32.95; www.wengerna.com).
The stainless-steel clipper on this knife is strong enough to snip wire, making it a tool perfect for fly fishing, hunting, and other outdoor activities. A self-sharpening scissors, a toothpick, a tweezers, and a traditional Swiss Army Blade are further accoutrements. It’s available in traditional Swiss Army red, translucent pink, and translucent purple. Oh, and it can clip fingernails too.

Tarma Designs Jewelry ($25 – $30; www.tarmadesigns.com).
Tarma Designs touts its jewelry as “green bling,” meaning it’s made from materials that are recycled and fairly-traded. Necklaces, bracelets and earrings in the company’s Active line feature outdoorsy and meditative motifs as well as iconic little skiers, snowboarders, hikers, kayakers, and the like. Materials include silver and recycled steel.

Redwood Creek Wine ($6.99 to $9.99; www.redwoodcreek.com).
With a goal of making wine that is enjoyable around a campfire, Redwood Creek’s single-varietal wines feature outdoorsy labels printed with short tales about hiking and hot-springs hunting. The corks are stamped with GPS coordinates to recommended outdoorsy destinations.

Tifosi Kilo T-V010 ($59.95; www.tifosioptics.com).
Tifosi’s Fototec lenses change tint to optimize vision depending on light conditions. The company’s Kilo frame teamed with Backcountry Orange lenses provide good contrast for reading snowy backcountry terrain. In sun, the orange lens fades to a brown to block out brightness.

Pacific Cornetta Tea-zer ($21.99; www.pacific-cornetta.com).
High tea in the outback is as easy as boiling a bit of water. The Tea-zer carafe is a double-wall thermal cup with an integrated stainless steel basket for steeping loose leaf or tea bags. The 14-ounce cup keeps beverages hot or cold for up to eight hours, according to the company.

Nite Ize L.E.D. Upgrade Kit ($8.99; www.niteize.com).
Turn your old Maglite-brand flashlight into an L.E.D. torch with a tiny switch-out module. The Nite Ize L.E.D. Upgrade Kit for AA Mini Maglite flashlights comes with a three-bulb module that fits inside the flashlight to replace the standard — and often quite dim — incandescent bulb. White, red, green or blue L.E.D. modules available.

Trek-Tech T’Pod ($79.99; www.trek-tech.com).
This tough little tripod provides stability for cameras and binoculars in the backcountry. It weighs less than a pound and packs into a 3.5 × 1.5 × 8.5-inch case. Trek-Tech’s MagMount system lets you securely attach a camera via a magnetized tab in one second flat.

Air Grill Blower ($9.99; www.air-grill.com).
Stoke the coals with the turn of a handle. This innovative campfire friend blows a steady stream of air onto burgeoning embers to produce flame. No batteries — or lung power — required with this product. The Air Grill Inflator model ($19.99) is made for blowing up air mattresses and rubber balls.

SolLight LightCap($24.95, www.sollight.com).
Billed as “the water bottle with a light in the lid,” the LightCap is an odd fish. Set this solar-paneled bottle out in the sun for a couple hours of charge time. Then at night, the flip of a switch illuminates the water inside, creating a lantern of sorts with diffused red or white light. You can drink out of it, too.



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