I don’t know who Big Agnes is or was, but the highest peak around Steamboat Springs, Colorado is named after her, and so is a great outdoor gear company. At my AARP age I still like to camp out in the backcountry, but I must admit, I certainly like all the creature comforts I can muster when bivouacking in a gully in the hills with my only company a Great Grey Owl, watching me with interest, hoping I would shake out a red squirrel out of the bag.
Big Agnes’ Sleeping Giant Memory Foam Pillow allows for two options: Sleeping with or without the inflatable air chamber (not self-inflating) built into the pillow The 16” x 12” pillow fits easily inside the perma pillow pocket. The durable 700 nylon rip-stop top and bottom cover is easy to clean, as is the stuff sack, and the whole shebang only weight 7 ounces. Great Agnes was a respectable money back guarantee policy. Opt for the deluxe model pillow.
As an aging gear head I am always excited about light weight outdoor products such as the unique titanium Slatgrill from SlatGrills (www.slatgrills.com), weighing in at about one pound. I really like the design of the bag too, because with the belt sleeve I can carry the entire forest green cordura pouch and metal assemblage to a backcountry picnic spot near my favorite icy swimming hole without slapping on an entire backpack, and we all know how cumbersome a traditional rectangle grill is.
Smokey the Bear was born the same year I was, as an icon to the U.S. National Forest Service, and under new rules no open fires are allowed in the summer woods except in campgrounds, so now I always use my Optimus Stove in the backcountry, but I can’t explain in decent words how many meals I spilled either by carelessness or in windy conditions.
The original Slatgrill (the Trail) is made of hard-anodized aluminum and stainless steel and works well with multiple fuel sources. The grill weighs just less than 4 lbs. and folds flat, making it ideal for camping, fishing, hiking, or just about anything. The next time I am taking one on a fishing tournament excursion, after checking out FishShootOuts at www.fishshootouts.net
Founder Chris Weyandt, took an MIT-designed digital fabricating class (Fab Lab) at Century College in Minneapolis, Minnesota and he devised the Slatgrill multi-fuel system wherein interlocking notched grill/stove component parts easily disassemble for easy packing and cleaning. Since then Weyandt’s life has changed dramatically. In addition to teaching English classes at Century College, he’s managing a growing business and marketing Slatgrills to buyers worldwide.
In the short time Slatgrills has been around, key industry players have taken notice. Slatgrills won Canoe & Kayak Magazine’s Best In Show at the 2012 Canoecopia show in Madison, Wisconsin, and it was listed on Duluth Pack under “Hot New Product for 2012”, and now I can happily report it wins our own Cabinweb www.cabinweb.com best product of the year award for the titanium version. For pricing visit their site at www.slatgrills.com
My youth hostels stays are long ago in the past, and I will never be a crash-padder, so when I receive a copy of the Global Adventures in Style, from Luxury Backpackers guide books (www.luxurybackpackers.com) I was certainly thrilled.
Back in my days in the Yucatan, there were no cell phones, no ipads, and basically no computers, and we got around the fishing villages on bicycles. So trade in your e-mail for an e-bike from Revolve Electric Vehicles.
As more and more cities are adding bike lanes to streets, commuting and transportation costs continue to increase and there is that never ending goal to “get healthy, Revolve offers the solution; an electric bike! Paris, France has a metro e-bike program where you can pick up an e-bike and then drop it off somewhere else in the city, as a nominal fee. Helsinki, Finland is adding its own e-bike program in 2012.
Revolve was created as a green company with a commitment to provide environmentally safe products and the least amount of negative impact on the environment. The company strives to ensure the highest level of quality at reasonable prices to deliver that “going green” is a cost-effective decision that everyone can enjoy. Offering models for the recreational market, commercial users, and eco-friendly scooter market, Revolves’ electric bikes are similar to those whose use has swelled in the last five years in cities all over the world.
Since 2008 Revolve has domestically helped transform the face of transportation as electric bikes become a new way of life. A Revolve electric bike will allow you to reduce your fuel, parking costs, while simultaneously providing you with the joy of riding a bike. Biking can be tiring when trying to get from one end of the city to the other. And what if there is a hill? Those two thoughts that often deter the average person are the exact reason a Revolve electric bike is the perfect solution. Each is comprised of an everyday bike plus a battery-powered electric motor. Although capable of pushing the riders along without their help, electric bikes perform noticeably better when one pedals. Average inactive people who normally ride at 10 miles per hour can ride at 15 to 20 miles per hour using the same effort or no effort. They can also expect a traveling range of 25 miles, with a recharge time of several hours.
There are two ways to power electric bikes: power on demand, activated by a throttle on the handlebar and requires no pedaling, or pedal assist, which takes energy from pedaling alone. Either source of power provides an immediate, nearly silent push. When riders release the throttle (or stop pedaling), the motor coasts or "freewheels, like stopping pedaling a regular bike. Electric bikes use the same standard hand brakes and gearing for controls. The Revolve Mountain Bike is now offering a trifecta of user’s choice. You can power your bike by the two methods previously mentioned and also manually. Further for those that seek a muscle bike, this same bike comes with a 500 watt motor.
Most people find a 250-watt to 350-watt motor adequate for their needs, although people who ride steep hills may want more power. The bikes offer through-the-gearing power assist—i.e., the force of the motor goes through the bike's gearing system—which provides better hill-climbing and top-end speed than direct drive systems with motors of the same wattage rating.
Revolve bikes range in cost from $900 to $1,400; the cost to recharge them is mere pennies. The bikes are available at the company store located in Elmsford, New York, online at www.ebikesbyrevolve.com, and at bike stores across the country. All bikes come with a warranty. Revolve Electric Vehicles also sells e-vehicles, e-rickshaws, e-trucks, and e-scooters. More information can be found at www.ebikesbyrevolve.com or call 212/897-7771.