Fresh Loot

Apr 1, 2002
Outside Magazine

Although Timex's Helix A_B_T ($130) is late to the category of multitasking outdoor watches, it's sleeker and smarter for the delay. Beneath the Dick Tracy styling lie the usual bells and whistles alpinists demand: a trend-tracking barometer, an altimeter, and a stopwatch that gauges ascent/descent rate. But ease of use is the Helix's great virtue. Simply twisting the old-fashioned crown moves you through settings, and on-screen prompts minimize the "Simon Says" button confusion that curses some other brands. A setting lock and the night mode function let groggy tentmates hit any button to read the Indiglo display without erasing your summit-bid wake-up call. (800-367-8463, —Christopher Solomon

Call me Bubble Boy, but Lyme disease, West Nile virus, dengue fever, and malaria are making even tame outdoor forays something akin to tick- and mosquito-actualized Russian roulette. Up until now, though, the only effective prevention was staying indoors or lathering oneself in deet-based repellents that give some tender folk (like me) a nasty rash—the aroma isn't exactly Chanel No. 5 either. Salvation (no pun) is here: Repel has introduced a fresh-smelling flora-based bug dope derived from the lemon-eucalyptus tree. Originally developed for English explorer types by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, Repel's Lemon Eucalyptus formula isn't another old wives' tale like citronella. I witnessed a potentially gruesome demo involving a bare arm and a cage of vicious vectors—not a single bite. Four ounces goes for $6. (262-677-4121, www.destination—Jackson Lynch
Apparently BMW's designers have way too much free time. As evidence, their $495 skateboard, the StreetCarver. Built with all the precision (and expense) of their vehicles, the 'Carver features a revolutionary steering mechanism that stabilizes the board, and the same cast-aluminum chassis found on BMW's 5 Series cars. Add oversize, grippy rubber wheels and a radically concave wood- and-fiberglass deck, and you've got, well, nothing worth riding anywhere except downhill—fast. The 'Carver's heft, length, and progressive steering create a smooth, tight feel on asphalt. Stephan Augustin, the board's designer, explains: "There is always a balance of the forces on the board so the person's weight is evenly displaced on all four wheels." Ja, whatever—the fact is you don't get the high-speed wobbles you do with traditional skateboard trucks. (Available at —Grant Davis

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