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11 "Got-to-Have" Gear Choices for Active Travelers

Top Gear Choices for Active Adventurers

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Leafing through catalogs and poking around the gear in my house, here are my choices - from a helmet camera to warm gloves for outdoor adventures - to add (or keep) on a "good gear for active travelers" list.

1. Obermeyer's Rush Jacket

Obermeyer Rush Jacket for Skiing
Obermeyer
Made with Cocona® fabric technology, Obermeyer's Rush Jacket is functional, comfortable and moves with your body. The insulation is "PrimaLoft; Dri-Core Breathable Taffeta - 100% nylon with Cocona Baselayer body mapping. All we can tell you is that jacket is warm, there's room to add layers underneath on cold days, and it's windproof.

2. Gordini's Tactic Gloves

Gordini
This rugged glove, with a three-layer thermal ply waterproof, windproof and breathable fabric with goatskin across the fingers and the back of the hand, will stand up to rough weather. It has touch-screen capability in the thumb and a finger, and a nose wipe section.

3. Inexpensive Pack-N-Go Duffels With Toiletry Bag

Wish I had one of these when we went on a Galapagos cruise. because these crush down and take so little space. We had hard-sided suitcases and danced around them the entire trip because there was no place to store them in our tiny cabin.

These bags are sturdy, have handle straps that convert to backpack straps, a shoulder strap, an outside pocket and a multi-pocket toiletry pouch that you can hang from a webbing loop or tuck inside. They come in two sizes - 20 inch and 36-inches.

4. Chaos Hats: Good Face Protectors

Chaos Hats
I've used this Glacier Protector, from Chaos Hats' CTR Collection, and it's a winner if you want to keep wind off your face, as well as snow. You can breathe through your nose comfortably through the die-cut holes. I like the way it's cut, so your neck is protected, and there are flaps you can use to cover your ears. It's more effective than fleece, especially when it's windy, and it will keep you drier than fleece, but it's not as warm.

5. Use This Door Stop Alarm in Your Hotel Room

One trick I've adopted, as a woman who often travels alone, is to jam a door stop at the base of the door to my room, to prevent anyone from opening it in the middle of the night. Magellan does it even better, with its Door Stop Alarm. If someone tries to enter and pushes the door open, it triggers a shrill, pulsating siren-alarm. It has an on-off switch and requires two AA batteries.

6. Kills Bugs in Streams & Cities Where Locals Drink Bottled Water

We trust the SteriPEN Freedom, a small, handheld device that uses ultraviolet light, to purify clear water and kill the bacteria, viruses and protozoa that can create misery far disproportionate to their size.

We've used it to purify water in a hotel bathroom in foreign countries where even locals drink bottled water. Friends use it to purify water they take from stream to drink.

7. A Tent to Share When Camping With Friends

Marmot's 4-Person 3-Season Limelight Tent has space for four to sleep comfortably, two doors and two vestibules for easy entrance and to store gear. You can put it up quickly, and see what's outside through a waterproof window.

8. Crash Pads Garments Help Protect You While Playing Extreme Sports

CrashPads
Wish I had these Crash Pad shorts under my thin high-tech pants, when I fell mountain biking in Scotland and beat up a leg on a pile of rocks. The sport-specific Crash Pad garments, which include padded shorts, padded pants, and padded tops, are made with non-restrictive designs, so the wearers have freedom of movement. The garments are made with technical moisture management fabrics, and have abrasion and impact resistant padding.

9. GoPro HD Hero Cameras

Put a GoPro HD Hero3 camera on your helmet and video the action as you're skiing, mountain biking, surfing or enjoying other active sports. The WIFI-enabled Hero 3 comes in three versions, stretching from 5MP to 12MP (and 1080p30 / 960p30 / 720p60fps to 1080p60 / 720p120 / 1440p48 / 4kp15 / 2.7kp30 / WVGA-240fps).

My friends who own them and use them on the ski slopes say they're terrific. I have to agree after watching a movie of my son cruising through glades while heli-skiing. Don't take my word for it. Look at some of the videos on the Web site.

Here's a link to a Nightline piece about the surfer dudes who invented them.

10. Power Monkey Keeps Your Electronics Powered

The pocket-size Power Monkey can charge all small portable electronics up to 5.5 volts. The power reserve promises 40 hours for iPods®, 96 hours of stand-by time for phones, and 1,600 pictures for digital cameras. It comes with four adaptor plugs, a 110-240V adaptor for recharging in 150 countries, and connectors for iPod® and most mobile phones, all tucked into a travel pouch.

11. Gloves for Everyday Errands in Town & on Winter Runs

The Outdoor Research Gripper gloves keeps you as warm on winter runs and short snowshoe tours, as they do while you're running errands around town. These glove have a Suregrip palm and Gore WindStopper fleece to provide warmth and full wind protection without compromising dexterity.

The reviews suggest these gloves are great for dry, cold weather. The gloves are available for men and women.

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