12 Guys of Christmas: The Adventurer
What do you get the guy who spends more time sleeping under the stars each year than most people do in their entire lives? The guy who has gear for every season, every sport, journey, and surprise bug-out? When buying for the discerning backpacker, climber, skier, and general "live larger" type, you can't simply walk into the nearest outdoor shop and buy something flashy. These explorers live and breathe in the world of Gore-Tex, crampons, and ice axes -- and a gift card will get you dropped faster than the cell phone coverage on his last jungle trek. Stumped? Don't be. We've tested out some great gear this year and zeroed in on the best selections for the adventurer. He might destroy your gift on his next expedition into the wild, but he'll be grateful you bought the best.
Petzl Tikka RXP
Some products break the mold by being first. Others do it by making innovation accessible. Petzl's NAO headlamp revolutionized the headlamp market last year through a new feature called reactive lighting. A short 12 months later, Petzl has managed to package the same system into a new headlamp costing roughly half as much. While the NAO is still the brighter headlamp, the Tikka RXP ($90) still boasts a respectable 180 lumens of light output and a variety of useful features beyond reactive lighting.
Kit: Climbing Mount Rainier
To take on our recent ascent of Mount Rainier, we rounded up some of the latest and greatest mountaineering gear. And after two days, 9,000 vertical feet of climbing and weather that ranged from downright scorching to subzero wind chills, we’ve got a thing or two to say about each piece. So whether or not you plan to use any of this gear in your urban, or more rustic, adventures, you can be assured we’ve put it all through rigorous testing in a worse place. Just don’t take an ice axe on the subway.
Kit: Climbing Ancient Art Tower
No other sport relies quite as heavily on gear during life-and-death situations as climbing. Your gear is the only lifeline (and sometimes when you're a few hundred feet up a sheer wall, no amount of gear seems to be enough) holding you to the rock. Selecting the right harness, rope, and protection, then, makes the difference between not just surviving your time on the wall, but enjoying every agonizing toe hold and finger-cramping crack jam. Here's what we hauled up the rock on our climb up Ancient Art tower in Moab, Utah.
12 Guys of Christmas: The Outdoorsman
The outdoorsman on your list is easily identifiable: he’s rarely home and smells faintly of man sweat and wood smoke when you do catch him between excursions. His particular passion falls within an extensive of range possible pursuits (noodling for catfish, anyone?), but one thing is for certain — he does them outside. His look...
The latest in automotive headlight technology is downright impressive. Adaptive headlights turn with the steering wheel, high-beams deactivate when oncoming traffic approaches and self-leveling low beams move when the road angle changes. Why can’t headlamps follow suit? No more complaining: the Petzl NAO ($175), an adaptive and rechargable headlamp, seems to work in conjunction with...
Essential Gear: Winter Emergency Survival
Should you ever be in the unfortunate situation of being stranded in the winter, most survivalists advise that you stay in your vehicle and wait for help. This, of course, is the wisest course of action. Should you find it absolutely necessary to leave your vehicle to get help (for a loved one in medical...
Petzl Tikka Plus 2 E97 PM Headlamp
I recently decided to ditch the use of flashlights entirely in my life, in favor of a solid headlamp. After all, what can a flashlight do that a headlamp can’t (aside from not sticking tenaciously to your noggin, of course)? After researching the best model for my need, which include camping, hiking, and late night...
Petzl Tikka Plus 2 Headlamp
Head lamps have come a long way since we were on our last scouting trip. No longer do you need to have a glorified Mag Lite strapped to your head, bobbing around and weighing your head down. Petzl’s new Tikka Plus 2 has opened our eyes and become quite a convenient piece of gear to...