Category Archives: Gear

Backcountry Magazine Gear Test 2013

The word’s been out for years. There’s no better place to host a ski test than Utah when you want assurances that you’ll have decent snow, reasonably priced amenities and easy access for your team.

All of the big boys have shown up this month- SKI, Skiing and Powder just finished demoing the sticks for 2013. Now, Backcountry Magazine, which also creates the gear guide for Outside Magazine, is hosting their own test junket up at Powder Mountain, Utah. Editor Drew Pogge (pronounced Poe-Gee) stashed his team of 50 in the town of Eden, busing them up to the Hidden Lake Lodge “headquarters” for five days of “work”.


SIA Snowshow 2012 Flashes More O’ The Same But Different

It’s 2012 and Denver not Vegas. As much as I would like to get over that fact, I’m still missing the Vegas party. It’s been three years since the move and the vibe still hasn’t escalated. At least the temps were about the same with a nice spring-like day greeting Day 1 retailers, media, athletes and manufacturers to the Snowsports Industry of America Snowshow 2012 convention. One thing I can say about Denver as the host city is it’s easy to get around, the restaurants are less expensive, the hotels don’t smell like ashtrays and you won’t burn up your wallet at the craps table.

Snowshow 2012

Here’s a sneak peak at what’s in store for 2012/13. It’s a lot of the same- bright colors, longer hems, rocker in the skis- but elements have been fine-tuned. Designers are combining fabrics in a way they never have before. For example, Skea’s leather down puffy or Sessions men’s jackets.

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Snowshow 2012

Snowshow 2012

Hands down the cutest little girls’ stuff is coming from Obermeyer next season.

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Next year’s styles are (mostly) fun, lively and (nearly) timeless. So what do you think of this O’Neill one piece? Ahead of its time or behind? Look for it on the hill before you decide.

An OnSnow Walk Through OR 2012

Jan. 19, 2012- I visited Solitude Ski Resort to check out the On-Snow day of the Outdoor Retailer Show. 70 manufacturers (out of nearly 1000) set up tents so retail shops and media could get a first-hand look at winter gear for 2013. Walk with me……

Outdoor Picks For Outdoor Kids

No one’s denying that unless you get your grom the ‘it’ item of Christmas whether it’s a Transformers action figure, Disney Princess Castle, iPod Touch or Justin Bieber door poster, you’re failing as a parent. But what about the other eight gifts under the tree? Offer up something more substantial this holiday with these faves for active parents and kids.

Chaco Loyalist Ecotreads

Start ’em early. You don’t have to wait for summertime and sandals to get your little explorers their own set of Chacos. The Loyalist for girls and the PedSheds for boys will take busy feet on first adventures. The suede leather shoes are built with the same arch support and long-lasting, non-marking sole that elevated the brand. $120.

Kodak EasyShare Sport C123 Digital Camera

No need to worry when your little Ansel Adams reaches for the digital camera. Put an EasyShare Sport into his hands and turn him loose. For just a few dollars more than you’d pay for those cheap imitation/play cameras, you’ll actually get a worry-free camera that takes decent photos. It’s not ruggedized but it is sand, dirt and waterproof (up to 10 feet), and sized just right for tiny hands. The C123 shoots 12MP, takes AA batteries and uses SD memory cards. The controls are simple enough for a 5-year-old but bigger kids will dig the instant upload to their favorite photo-sharing websites. $55.

Exxel Outdoors Disney 5-piece kid’s camp set

A surefire way to entice kids to bag the game controller and explore their backyard is by slapping their favorite Disney and Marvel characters onto sleeping bags and tents. Sturdy fiberglass shock-corded tent poles prop up this water repellent tent while the mesh ceiling opens up the sky for stargazing. It’s meant for outdoors so don’t be shy. The sleeping bag is warm enough for summer nights and it comes with a backpack/stuffsack, flashlight and compass. $39,

Leki Drifter Vario S Ski Poles

They beg and beg and beg and it’s finally time for their first set of ski poles. Maximize your yield with the Drifter Vario S. Adjustable from 36 – 48 inches, you won’t have to buy them another pair until high school. No fumbling with straps when you use the Junior Racer S Gloves or Mitt. Now if they only came in pink…..Poles/gloves- $99/$59;


Motorola MJ270R Talkabout Radios

Whether they’re calling Star Command or Dad, your kids will freak having their very own walkie-talkies in their hands. Blip from up to 27 miles away and unlike cellphones, you won’t have to worry about dropping them in the snow, losing your signal or wearing down your battery. Speaking of which, rejuice the battery through a USB cable. No more bulky chargers to lug around. The radios come equipped with NOAA weather channels, a built-in flashlight and emergency alert siren. Plus you get two free, colored faceplates of your choosing. $47 per pair.

Insta Snow!

The wait for new snow is excruciating right now. We couldn’t take it anymore so Sage and I made our own… with Insta Snow!


All you do is add water and voile! Fake snow.The non-toxic powder is made of the same polymer used in gardens to keep soil moist. Sprinkle water and it puffs to look like real snow. it doesn’t melt but if it dries out all you do is spritz a little more water on it. It’s safe for kids, plants and most household surfaces (avoid untreated wood). It’s soft and fluffy to the touch but definitely don’t try to put it on your tongue (or eat for that matter).

We haven’t tried to ski on it but then I doubt one little jar would be enough for my fatties.


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