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.
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.
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.
It's a lazy (or efficient) person's way to travel. Just hang these lightweight, folding shelves in your home closet and fill them with the clothes you're taking on a trip. Put the shelves - clothes and all - into your suitcase.
In your hotel room, just lift the shelves out of your bag and hang in your hotel closet. These shelves are made of poly with a lightweight interior metal frame, and breathable side mesh.
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.
This Cocoon Insect Repellent TravelSheet helps repel biting insects while you sleep. You can use in a sleeping bag, a tent in buggy, humid areas or even a hotel bed. The sheet has Insect Shield Permethrin-based repellent built into the fabric, and moisture-wicking CoolMax®. It's machine washable, quick-drying, odor-resistant, and you tuck it in a travel pouch.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.