Friday, February 11, 2011

Gear Accessories -

These watches can alert you as to whether you're gonna get dumped on or not in any situation. The sky could be clear while riding across the plains early in the day or bedding down for the night without something over your head, but that can all change in a matter of time.

Good watches with accurate Barometer readings can help you set up your camp better, change directions, speed up, or cut your day a little short before storms hit.

I know, most people don't wear watches because of the time being on their phones. However, these watches can do things phones simply can't do. Furthermore, if you enjoy the outdoors and are active, they can be a life-saver in a lot of different situations.

Suunto Core Extreme, $400

-Limited edition
-Altimeter with altitude log memory and altitude difference measurement 
-Barometer with storm alarm and weather trend indicator 
-Automatic Alti / Baro switch 
-Compass with semi automatic calibration and a digital bearing 
-Depth meter 
-Multiple watch, date and alarm functions with dual time and countdown timer 
-Sunrise/Sunset times for over 400 locations worldwide 
-Digital thermometer 
-Menu based user interface in English, German, French and Spanish 
-User-replaceable battery
-Barometer Watch: The sun has been shining for days, but you know you'll need to hunker down tonight thanks to the storm alarm on your Suunto Core Edition Everest. The storm alarm is activated by a rapid drop in air pressure over a 3 hour period.
-The automatic alti/baro mode senses movement, or lack thereof, switching between altimeter and barometer accordingly. -- -The weather trend indicator shows 3-6 hour barometric history.

Suunto Altimax, $175

-Easy, 1-button access logbook stores total ascent/descent, average ascent/descent rate, number of runs skied and duration of log
-Altimeter function ranges up to 9,000 m (or 29,500 ft.) in 5 m (or 10 ft.) increments, featuring vertical ascent/descent rate of ski runs/climbs
-Automatic 24-hour memory stores altitude and ascent/descent rate for every hour
-Barometer with automatic 4-day memory helps you see weather trends; ranges from 8.90 - 32.40 in Hg (300 - 1100 mbar) with 0.05 in Hg (1 mbar) accuracy
-Barometer provides data in 1 hour intervals for the first 6 hours, then in 6 hour intervals for up to 4 days
-Thermometer displays temperature range from -20 to +60 C/-5 to +140 F
-Water resistances ensures normal operation in wet conditions, not as a diving device. User should avoid pressing buttons while the unit is underwater

Highgear Alterra Watch, $160

-Altimeter watch. Extremely easy to use. Features an altimeter with altitude alarm and 15 data log book memory, barometer and weather forecast feature, tracks rate of acscent and descent, Compass feature, Ski Chrono tracks vertical speed, thermometer, time, date, daily alarm, chronograph with 50 lap/20 run memory, smart backlight, mineral glass lens, water resistant to 50 meters. Perfect for many outdoor activities: snow sports, hiking, trail running, biking.

How to: Understand Your Watch’s Weather Warnings
Information you need about: the weather.
By Jason Stevenson
-Your fancy mountaineering watch fixes your elevation and predicts the weather by measuring barometric pressure, or the weight of the column of air above you. The higher you go, the less air there is, the lower the pressure. Likewise, an approaching storm can cause barometric pressure to free-fall hours before any clouds show up. When pressure drops for an extended period and elevation isn't the cause, a watch's storm alarm beeps, or an image of menacing clouds appears. Suunto's new watches give a warning when pressure declines continuously for three hours. But always double-check any storm alarms by scanning the sky. If pressure drops are accompanied by southerly winds, warmer air, and heavier cloud cover, expect rain within 12 hours. If those atmospheric clues aren't evident, your watch's pressure sensor could be acting up. Recalibrate it by inputting the known elevation of a city, airport, or trailhead at your current location.

-The Weather Channel offers an app for your phone. Don't know how reliable it is, but it's supposedly free for Android, iPhone, and Blackberry users... Laugh all you want, but everyone uses cell phones - Maps, Directions, Weather, Whatever - why not get the most out of them on the road? Anyway, with the way phones are advancing, these things are gonna be wiping our asses soon enough if we let them.

In a pinch, if your really freezing your ass off, these take up no room and can save your hide before you get adequate shelter or a fire going.

Grabber Warmers, all different sizes and heat-times

Nothing makes breaking down, finding things, or setting up camp in the dark more enjoyable than being hands free and having more than enough light to see/accomplish what you're doing.

Tikka 2 Petzl Headlamp, $30

Black Diamond Gizmo Headlamp, $20

Ever buy a big bottle of sunscreen/contact solution/shampoo/Etc. and not want to haul it on trips? These types of containers are small and just enough to fit necessary amounts for most long-distance rides.

GoToobs - 2oz. Silicone Travel Bottles

If you're really gonna go all out and be as self-sufficient as possible on your trips, you can take dry food and some sort of cooking system. Here's one of the most efficient of its kind. The burner and fuel canister fit into the cooking cup to save space.

JetBoil Cooking System, $80

-The Jetboil Camping Stove Personal Cooking System (PCS) is a multi-award winning lightweight, super-efficient, quick-boiling camping stove that has revolutionised outdoor cooking.
-The Jetboil Camping Stove can operate in the bleakest of weather and fits into its compact 1 litre insulated cooking container for easy packing. Combining the stove and the pot together not only reduces pack size, it also gives super fast boil times.

Fuel Efficient
-The Jetboil FluxRing yields fuel efficiencies of over 80% compared with the 30-40% typical of standard camping stoves and cookware. A single 100-gram Jetpower canister boils 12 litres of water, saving you money, space and time. The Jet Boil will boil 500 ml of water in just 2 minutes, approximately half the time of a standard camping stove.

Light and Compact
-Jetboil stows in places standard cooksets won't go, like your bumbag or your backpacks side pocket. At 15 ounces, Jetboil rivals the very lightest titanium cooksets and micro-canister stoves.


Leatherman - easy access to common tools strapped to your belt(instead of having to fish through your tool pouch)

Goggles/glasses with replaceable lenses - one frame, two sets of lenses(shaded/clear), saves space. Replaceable lenses will fit in your pocket, just cover them up nicely so they don't get f'd up.

Butane Lighter - windproof and reliable in any situation

Map - I usually stop and look at convenience store maps or use my phone

Bike Rag/Towel - You'll use this more than you'd imagine

Bandanas - Keep your head a little warmer and double as a temporary front fender if rain hits

Duct Tape - wrap some around a screw driver handle or wrench so you don't have to take the whole roll.

Stirrups - To keep your jeans from riding up your leg while you rip down the highway(I made my own with supplies from my local Hardware Store - clamps and webbing)

-- If you have any other suggestions, feel free to comment or send me an email(email's at the bottom of the page). Been getting some good feedback on these gear posts...

1 comment:

  1. Dude! I have no use for watches...however, know all too well the uses for those hand warmers. I stuff one behind the neck and one in each of the front jean pockets...lots o' blood in the crotch and neck areas.

    Now I wanna look into that jetboil deal...I want my own damned coffee on the road.