Sunday, January 8, 2017

My Favorite Outdoor Gadgets of CES 2017

Solos Smartglasses

For those who have never been to the Consumer Electronics Show, I can't begin to tell you how overwhelming it is. With the entire Las Vegas Convention Center to cover as well as exhibits at the Venetian Hotel, it is nearly impossible to see everything. This is my third year attending the CES show and I love the wearable technology which means I spend most of my time at the Venetian.

I love to share with other outdoor enthusiasts the awesome finds at the CES show. It's so hard to choose favorites but it always boils down to what I would actually use. This means I look for both innovative and practical products. To the left, I'm wearing my favorite innovative gadget of the show, the Solos Smart glasses.

     For the Cyclist

Solos Smart Glasses 

One of the things about seeing products at CES is that I never know if they will really work in a practical environment. I have high hopes for Solos Smart glasses for cycling. When paired with a smartphone, the glasses have a display right on the lens that show how fast I'm going on my bike. The best thing is that it does this without obstructing my vision of the road. The only drawback I see with this is that the glasses felt like they were squeezing enough that I worry about wearing them too long. These are not available yet to the general public but I hope the company seriously considers comfort along with the cool technology.

 Linx Smart Cycling Helmet by Coros

Okay runners and swimmers, I'm not ignoring you this show but two favorite gadgets fell in the cycling department. The Linx Smart Cycling Helmet by Coros finally has it figured out in the music department. The built in earbuds work through bone conduction technology so you don't have to put an earbud in your ear and can still hear the traffic coming up behind you during a ride. I rarely if ever listen to music while biking as my life is more important than my music. I would love to try this helmet on a ride. Not only are the earphones integrated but the helmet comes with an app to manage GPS ride details. It will also integrate with other riding apps. I can also hear my navigation through the headphones. I want one of these for my next ride.

For the Skier

My Core Heated Jacket

One of the cool things about wearable technology is the ability to add heating coils inside of clothing.  Some ski days, I get so cold, I have to leave early. The My Core Heated Women's Jacket could solve my problem. With heating coils near the pulse point of the wrist, the theory is that it could keep an core warm. I have no idea if it works but it sure is enticing and the best thing is that it's already available on Amazon.

For the Runner

AiQ Smart Clothing

Wearable technology works for so many sports. AiQ Smart Clothing integrates electronics with clothing fibers so runners and other athletes will be able keep track of heart rate and other metrics just by wearing athletic clothing. While still in development, I can't wait to see how it will work.

For the Hiker and Backpacker

re-fuel PowerBiner 

For those who follow my blog, you already know I love to hike. I do a lot of solo hiking which means I rely on my phone for emergencies. If it dies, I'm in trouble. I usually carry an extra battery charger with me but the idea of having a carabiner and charger in one with the re-fuel PowerBiner is awesome. No hiker or backpacker likes to carry extra weight so any gadget that is multipurpose is a bonus. The rechargeable power bank has 3000mAh of power. That is usually enough power to charge my Samsung Galaxy once.

TomTom Adventurer GPS Outdoor Watch
The TomTom Adventurer GPS Outdoor Watch is really a multi-sport outdoor watch as it tracks heart rate, speed, distance, and even altitude. What's most appealing is the idea of starting it at the beginning of my hike and having the navigation ability to get me back to my car. It can also show me  a route so I can discover new trails. It will definitely be on my next gift list.

For the Adventure Traveler

JamBag Backpack 

I travel enough that I keep a backpack ready at all times. I love the idea of the JamBag Backpack. It has an internal battery pack so I can keep my devices charged while on the go. It also has built in Bluetooth speakers for those who like music. I like the pocket for my tablet with extra padding for protection. The best part of the bag is the security pocket along the back. I can put my money and valuables in the pocket and when I put the backpack on, it sits along my back so a thief can't reach in and grab it like the outside pockets. I'm excited that this is already available on Amazon and will soon be in office supply stores.

Not a sponsored post though post contains affiliate links.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Gift Idea for the Outdoor Enthusiast: Nite Ize Rechargeable Lantern

Product received at no charge to facilitate an honest review.

I've tried a lot of headlamps and camping lanterns throughout the years. Gone are the days of the old lanterns I would have to light and hope I had enough gas to last. I always worried about flames and gas. 
I've had the opportunity of trying the Nite Ize headlamps and I fell in love with the brand immediately. The products last and are super bright. the Nite Ize Radiant 300 Rechargeable LED Lantern is no exception.

With three brightness settings, I get all of the light I need. It lights up an entire six man tent with the brightest setting. Even the low setting puts out enough light to find my shoes in the middle of the night.

The Nite Ize Lantern has a rechargeable battery with a good battery life. We've used it for several hours at a time playing night games and for camping. The battery has lasted for our activities. I've never had the patience to let it run long enough to die soI have no idea how many hours it actually lasts. Even better, the rechargeable battery is strong enough to charge my smartphone. With input and output plugs, it gives the lantern versatility others don't have.

A metal clip on the top allows the lantern to be clipped to a pack or can be hung from the center of a tent. It doesn't get too hot so I don't have to worry about it melting the fabric on my tent.

The lantern comes with a carry case to keep it from getting scratched. I haven't found anything about it I haven't liked. Though I like taking it camping, I wouldn't take it backpacking as it would take up too much space in my pack and I like to keep it as lightweight as possible.

Check out Nite Ize Products on their Website.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Mt. Olympus in Utah: 2016 Peak Goal

Just before Halloween, I set off to climb my 16th peak. I can't believe that the mountain I look at every day is the one I climbed last. I've hiked Mt. Olympus several times to the saddle but always on days when the rock scramble to the peak was too slippery to attempt on a solo hike.

The trail is located along the east size of Wasatch Boulevard about 1.6 miles south of 4500 south. Parking is allowed on the road but I prefer to park in the parking lot. The trail is marked and very easy to see. It is well traveled even on weekdays. Expect a steep climb for much of the trail as it gains  4,200 feet in 3.75 miles. Be wary of the hike in the heat in the summer as most of the trail is exposed. Plan water accordingly. The majority of rescues on this trail are with hikers who don't bring enough water so pack a lot. I carry a hydration pack with a full water bladder. I prefer the fall when the weather is cooler which is why I waited toward the end of the year. I've climbed to the saddle during winter.
The 9,026 peak climb is considered a class 3 and is doable for beginners but expect it to take a while.
It took me nearly 5 hours and I am an experienced hiker. The average is 6 hours and I've heard of many people even taking longer.

I didn't have to hike far before I got a good view of the Salt Lake Valley which is what makes this hike so amazing.

I love the area approaching the saddle. With a great view of the peak and a great overlook of the Wasatch Mountain range, I always take time to stop.

The last part of the hike is a rock scramble to the top. Since I did this as a solo hike, I made sure to take my time so I wouldn't lose my balance. One of the nice things about Mt. Olympus is that the proximity to the city means I had cell service the entire hike making it a good choice for those who must hike solo.

As for what to hike in,  I like my trail running shoes, that way I can run down parts of the trail. 
I have a hard time running up since it is so steep.

My quads burned when I got to the bottom and hurt for a few days after but the views from the top were so worth it. I felt like I was standing on top of the world which.

My peak goal has inspired confidence in myself that I can do hard things and helped me recognize what a beautiful world I live in. I'm not stopping just because I attained my goal. Machu Picchu here I come!

Not a sponsored post but may contain affiliate links.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Active Life Meets Comfortable Sustainable Clothing: prAna Review #LoveprAna 15% off

I received complimentary product in exchange for a fair and honest review.

I admit, one of the things I hate about working is wearing a suit coat to look professional. What I really want is to get out and do the things I love in clothes that are comfortable and move with my active lifestyle. Ever since I discovered my first piece of prAna clothing at my local outdoor retailers, I have been in love. 

It wasn't until after I owned my first prAna shirt that I discovered the company went beyond making stylish clothes. A true believer in loving the planet, prAna sticks to their philosophy recycling and using sustainable products. I love that they use organic cotton and combine it with hemp for clothing that is breathable was well as comfortable. It's important to me to support companies who abide by Free Trade practices too.

                      Kara Jean

I could own a pair of the Kara Jeans in every color. I already have a blue pair and have had my eye on the Cargo Green Kara Jeans for about six months. What I love about the Kara Jeans is how soft and stretchy they are. The last pair I got were too big so I went with a size 6 this time. They fit perfectly and are comfortable enough to walk in all day. They also look great with boots during cooler weather. When I travel, these jeans are my first choice for wearing on the airplane. I like that they fold down well and don't take a lot of room in my suitcase.
Stacia Sweater

I'm embarrassed to admit that I've always been a little freaky about the way my tops feel on my skin. As a little girl, I used to find ways to remove the tags out of the neck area of my shirts. Needless to say, I'm still fussy about my tops, especially sweaters. They have to be soft or I won't wear them.

I couldn't ask for any better than the prAna Stacia Sweater. It doesn't make me itch at all. It feels soft on my skin so I'm not anxious to get it off. I chose the Winter color and it looks great with the jeans and is easy to match with accessories too.

I wouldn't hesitate to give the Stacia Sweater five stars. It's by far one of the most comfortable sweaters I've owned. My adult daughter told me how nice it looked before she knew I was trying it out for review. I have a feeling I'll be buying her one soon.

Overall, I'm impressed with prAna clothing. I am willing to pay a little more for the comfort and think the prices are fair for the quality of product.

Just in time for the holidays:

Get 15% off non sale items with promo code BLOGF16TRZU 

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

It's Pine Bros. Time of Year Again: Product review.

Disclosure: Product received at no charge in consideration of product review. My opinions are based upon actual experience.

It's that time of year again when sore throats make life a little less pleasant. I suffer from a condition that causes dry mouth. This means I have a sore throat quite a bit. Pine Bros. throat relief drops have always been a favorite of mine. I get excited every time I find out about a new flavor release. What I've always liked most about Pine Bros. Throat Drops is the way they coat my throat and help soothe it. Pine Bros. Throat Drops have always helped with my dry mouth. Having them to suck on, helps stimulate my saliva flow so it's not uncommon for me to carry around a pack in my purse. I like them better than other throat drops because the don't contain menthol. I don't like the hot taste of menthol which feels irritating.

The new orange flavor contains vitamin C. I'm excited to get  portion of my daily vitamin C through the drops instead of having one more pill to swallow. I like the orange flavor. It's not too strong and has that nice citrus taste. My son got a hold of one of my bags while he was sick and finished off the entire thing. He liked the orange flavor a lot and told me he wanted me to get them for him the next time he had a cold. He made it clear that they were better than what I got for him the last time.
Pine Bros. has introduced me to a sugar free option in the wild cherry flavor. I'm always looking for sugar free option and hope they add it to their other flavors. While I like the wild cherry flavor, it's not my favorite. Of course, this comes from someone who loves the taste of black licorice and prefers that flavor to all others. Still, with the sugar free option, I'm more likely to choose the sugar free wild cherry over some of the others.

The last time I had a cold and went to my local Rite Aid to get throat drops, I was thrilled to find Pine Bros. I had looked for them at other places I shop and had never seen them. I also checked their website and am happy to see Walmart carries them as well. The only complaint I have is that my local retailers don't carry every flavor of the Pine Bros.

Looking to purchase Pine Bros. new flavors?

The Sugar Free Cherry can be found at the following retailers:
Harris Teeter, Harmon and ShopRite.

The Vitamin C Orange can be found at Kinney Drug.

For those like me who don't have any of these retailers in their area, visit to purchase online.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Get Ready for Cold Weather with C2 Apparel: Product Review

FTC Disclosure: I received the Women's Elite Half Zip and Performance Tights for free from C2 for consideration of a gear review via Deep Creek PR. My honest opinions based upon actual experience.

One of the things I love about living in Northern Utah is the chance to experience all four seasons. This means I need a variety of workout clothing to adapt to the weather and the different outdoor sports I love. It won't be long before the snow starts falling and the ski resorts open. I'm ready for skiing and snowshoeing on the greatest snow on earth. C2 Apparel definitely makes it easy for me to stay warm during the fall and winter months.

I received the Elite Half Zip Top and the Performace Tights in size medium. They both fit perfect and are true to size. 

The Elite Half Zip is made from Polartec power wool and is lightweight. It has amazing wicking benefits and keeps me dry on hikes and runs. The breathability is what I like most and has replaced my other long sleeve running shirts as my favorite. The caribbean blue color with the black stitching gives it a nice touch and looks great with the tights. I'm not embarrassed to run my errands after working out with the pairing. I also like that it is long and doesn't creep up even when wearing my hiking pack.

The Performance Tights are also made with Polartec Technology which wicks away moisture. The tights are soft and warm. They are lined with a soft material which makes them warmer than regular running tights. In fact, during the fall days I tried them, they were too warm. I plan on using them when the downhill ski season starts as a base layer under my ski pants and expect that I will stay plenty warm in them. I will also be using them snowshoeing and winter hiking. They are perfect pants for warm weather activities. They move well with me.

The biggest reason I wouldn't mind paying a little more for the C2 Apparel is that it is Made in the U.S.A. in Massachusetts. I love finding products made in the USA and it's rare to find outdoor apparel still made in my home country. The clothes are well made with an attention to detail. I'm impressed that the company has made it their mission to get their customers outside. Thanks for making it easier for me to enjoy the cooler weather.

While I try to point out to my readers what I don't like about a product or something I think could be improved on, there really is nothing about the C2 products I don't like. Even though the pants are too warm for me for valley runs, they are perfect for the times in spend in the mountains on trail runs or winter sports.