If you’re like me, you probably still have some holes (ahem, a lot of holes?) to fill on your holiday shopping list. Have no fear: There’s still time to score the season’s most coveted loot for little rippers, naughty or nice.
Icebreaker Bodyfit Base Layers
This retro set of woolies will take you back to the bad old days when your mom would bundle you in itchy long underwear and a snowsuit and shoo you out to build igloos in the backyard. With one HUGE difference: Icebreaker’s machine-washable, 100% pure merino base layers are buttery soft, never scratchy—right down to the no-chafe waistband—and light enough to be worn through spring. Bonus: Trace the journey sustainable wool from New Zealand sheep farm to long underwear shirt using the “Baacode” sewn onto the label. Kids’ Bodyfit200 leggings, $45; matching Oasis Crewe, $45. www.icebreaker.com.
Mountain Boy Bambino Classico Sled
A few years ago, on a ski trip to St. Anton, Austria, we sprung for a sweet, old-fashioned kids’ sled with a wooden runners and a woven seat—standard transportation for snow-bound Alpine babies. We’ve been a sucker for them ever since, and were happy to discover that you don’t have to fly to Europe to get the goods. Mountain Boy’s handmade Classico pull-sled, designed in Crested Butte, Colorado, has birch planks and a willow backrest with steel runners for easy towing on hard packed snow; with a carrying limit of 100 pounds, even bigger kids can score a ride. Reversible sled pad and hand engraving are must-have accessories. $139.99. http://mountainboysleds.com.
Nutcase Little Nutty Snow & Bike Helmet
Simplify your kid’s lid collection with the Little Nutty Snow & Bike Helmet, tricked out with fleece lining and detachable ear pads for snow riding, nine air vents and 360-degree reflectivity for warm-weather biking, and nutty designs for year-round cred. Rear spin dial ensures a custom fit every time, and the clever magnetic buckle means no more pinched chins. $79.99. www.nutcasehelmets.com.
Struggling to find a gift for the guy who has everything? Or perhaps you've been an exceptionally good boy this year, and you'd like to reward yourself. Either way, we rounded up a few of our favorite things, price be damned. A word of caution: while the list starts out on a (somewhat) practical note (vacuum sealer, custom-fit ski boots), it gets more absurd and starry-eyed the farther down you get (handmade wooden canoe, personal landing pad, Airstream, private plane). But what can we say—we love gear, and we've got big dreams.
JanSport Skip Yowell Collection Fort Hayes: Made for road trips and big living, this waxed cotton and leather bag holds gear in a hinge-top main compartment with two interior organizer pockets, including one just for shoes. Stash smaller items in front, quick-access zippered pockets or in dual roll-top side compartments. Throw it over your shoulder with an adjustable seat belt webbing strap. $300, jansport.com.
Olisio Pro VS97A Vacuum Sealer: Along with the bag above, this is the only, truly practical gift on this list. When you’ve reeled in your own Alaskan salmon or felled your own deer, you don’t want your steaks to taste like freezer burn when you pull them out in six months. Olisio supersucks the air from its reusable zip top bags to keep food as fresh as the day you stored it. $200, oliso.com
Wagner Custom Skis: Hand-built in Telluride, Colorado, Wagner skis take a scientific approach to creating a ski to perfectly meet your preferences. Owner Pete Wagner has cataloged the properties of every pair of boards on the market for the past ten years. He completes a full survey of your skis style and habits, as well as what you liked and didn't like about past planks, to build you a set of boards that will be your new best friend. $1750, wagnerskis.com.
Last week we flew to northern California for Thanksgiving. We go to Sonoma periodically to visit family, and every few trips or so we make a point of driving out to the coast to eat oysters. We haven’t made the pilgrimage in a few years, since our three-year-old daughter was a placid infant zonked out in her fleece sling, so this time we needed an outing that would satisfy rascally toddlers, and not just their bivalve-obsessed parents and grandparents. On days like these, you can either plan the details or wing it, and—being lazy and on vacation—we just winged it. Happily, what unfolded was a practically perfect, serendipitous day on the Sonoma coast.
Further putting to the test whether there's no such thing as too many pictures, photographer Brian DeFrees strapped a Canon 60D camera to his windshield and used an intervalometer to take a photo once every five minutes as he circled the United States on a 55-day, 32-state, 12,225-mile road trip. That's not all. If the above timelapse video of his travels aren't enough for you, he also has collections of Daily Instagrams and iPhoneography on his web site.
And if that's not enough, he also set up his camera to record timelapse footage at the places he stopped. The slow unfolding in that timelapse video (below) offers a nice contrast to the hurried pace of the road trip video.
On the heels of a speed record on the Pacific Crest Trail, I thought it'd be interesting to get out the old history book and have a little class time. There are a lot of trails in our great country (although few like the PCT) and, as it seems, just as many categories for them. There are Scenic, Recreation, Historic, Connecting and Side Trails, and, as of 2009, Geological trails. Let's break em down.