The Outside Blog

Dispatches : Tools

The Rock Climber's Ultimate Multitool

16377-EvoWood Nail Clipper 580Wenger Evowood Nail Clipper: Swiss Army Knives and Leathermans are handy, but any committed climber will tell you that the tool they're most often pining for at the crag is a nail clipper. Ever tried to jam your feet into climbing shoes having forgotten to cut your toe nails? Crimpping, gripping or jamming without a fingernail trim is just as ugly, and can turn a redpoint into a bleeding fingernail hang on the rope at the last hold.

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A New App That Directs You To The Deepest Powder

Screen shot 2012-02-08 at 12.21.47 PM
Snow is finally falling in the Rockies and on the West Coast, and snow-starved skiers and snowboarder are chasing untracked lines like hunters searching for deer.

Now, a new free app makes the hunt easier.

Freshy Map, in beta, tells you which resorts and backcountry areas are likely to have fresh tracks now. Designed by two skiing-obsessed software engineers/meteorologists/data analysts, the Web site goes beyond the usual resort snow report. Rather than documenting the snow that fell last night and/or providing a weather map that tells you how much snow there will be tomorrow, Freshy Map provides hourly updates by analyzing resort snowfall reports, avy center data, weather mapping, Snowtel readings (giant pillow-like snow sensors scattered throughout the Rockies), roads and highways data, and webcams feeds. You can browse the map for the biggest dump, or indicate the resorts or backcountry areas you're most interested in, and ask the system to notify you when you need to buckle your boots and go.

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Outdoor Retailer Wrap Up Part 2: Survival Gear

Let's cut to the chase. Here are a few of the most eye-catching new survival tools we saw at the Outdoor Retailer Show in Salt Lake City.

RidgeWenger Hypex Jewelry: Having a multitool on hand at all times is ideal. But with airline restrictions and general paranoia about people carrying a knife, it’s not always practical. Plus a multitool can feel like a rock in your pocket, and look geeky on your belt. Now, you can always have your most used tools on hard with Wenger’s Hypex Jewelry. Wenger, bast know for its Swiss Army Knife, now makes practical pendants for mountain men that look like art. One is a screwdriver, anther a metric wrench, and yet another a corkscrew. (Wenger’s take on what tools you need in an emergency is broad).

“Rather than offering jewelry with a novelty use or survival gear that looked pretty, we bridged the two,” said Alex Reed, CEO of Axel Productions, official Licensee of Wenger.

When you turn your next hike into a summit date, bust out a picnic and open the wine with your necklace. She'll be somewhere between impressed and in love. Available June 2012, $50-$100,


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A Bike Computer that Knows Your Goals


Velocomp, creator of the iBike Dash CC Cycling Computer, has just announced the first “smart” cycling computeriBike POWERHOUSE.

iBike POWERHOUSE works with your iPhone or iPod touch to help you reach specific fitness goals in the least amount of time possible. The computer comes with one exercise goal/program, iSlim. Other programs—Weekend Warrior, Zero to 50 Miles in 3 Weeks, Kid Fit, Healthy Heart, and Brazilian Butt—can be purchased separately for $9.99.

Let's just say for fun you bought Brazilian Butt, here's how the company says the computer will help you firm your posterior. 

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The Best Gifts for Under $50

Your mom is right: Everybody actually does need more wool socks. So get your favorite outdoorsy type a pair or two of those, but also consider the stuff below—they're some of our favorite gifts under $50.

Leatherman Style PS (smaller)

For the world traveler: A TSA compliant multitool? It’s true—such a thing exists. Leatherman’s Style PS has spring action pliers, needle nose pliers and wire cutters, scissors, flat and Phillips screwdrivers, tweezers and nail file, a carabiner and bottle opener all hidden in a stainless steel body with a glass filled nylon handle. It’s 2.9 inches closed, and it weighs less than two ounces. Best of all, because there’s no blade, it won’t put you on the no-fly list. $25,




For the hairy: Rapha's Shaving Cream blends natural ingredients and essential oils to soothe the skin and leave it feeling supple and hydrated, wherever you're combating stubble. It smells great, like you're riding through Provence, and works just as well on normal dudes' faces as it does on serious roadie's legs. $20,

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