| Outside magazine, December 1996|
All three of this new rocket fuel's flavors give a quick-hit, easy-down-the-gullet carbo boost, but the strawberry-banana adds extra bang with a blend of caffeine, ginseng, and kola nut extract. $1.29 per 1.4-ounce packet. From PowerBar, 800-587-6937.
Misty Mountain Fashion Chalkbag
Funkily functional at gym or cliff--why restrict these bags to portaging powder? Belt one on and stow shades, a water bottle, or a no-brainer camera inside its drawstring-secured confines. $20. From Misty Mountain Threadworks, 704-963-6688.
Bike Chain Frame
Art meets sport in this quirky expression of bike culture, the Chain Frame. It's made from recycled bicycle chains welded into an industrial border; two-wheel aficionados will covet it for its authenticity, and everyone else will admire it for its aesthetic appeal. $38. From Resource Revival, 800-866-8823.
Princeton Tec Solo Headlamp
The tiny, waterproof Solo isn't just comfortable (thanks to a contoured pad). You get two bulbs (halogen and krypton), a choice of reflectors (wide or narrow beam), a fuzzy stuffsack, and batteries. $32. From Princeton Tec, 800-257-9080.
Not much bigger than a wallet, this little pouch bundles everything a snowboarder needs to keep a plank on key: a precision file with a 90-degree file guide, deburring stone, polishing pad, and fluorinated F-wax. $35. From Burton, 800-881-3138.
With this handline, all you need is a small skiff, a monstrous marlin, and a school of sharks and you too can be the old man and the sea. An update on the original fishing tool, this is the perfect item for the piscine purist or the minimalist packer in your life. $17. From Tideland, 805-237-2313.
It's refreshing to see that Dr. Seuss-inspired headwear hasn't completely supplanted more subtly fashionable hats. Fleece linings stop the itch, wool provides a reassuring weight, and for the harshest of the season's weather, Windstopper-lined hats do exactly what the name implies. $21 to $38. From Patagonia, 800-638-6464, and Wild Roses, 888-889-5900.
Scott Double Header Frame Pump
Quick: Presta or Schrader? The confounding question of what sort of valves are in your bike tires is now moot. With the Double Header's nifty new clamp, you can pump up any tire without the annoyance of having to flip-flop its seals. $40. From Scott USA, 303-473-9609.
Ahi Tuna Strips
Jerky with a conscience: Here's zero-fat trail protein that won't offend your favorite non-beef-eater. $5 for two ounces. From Traveling Light Foods, 800-531-9531.
Buck Knives Buck Tool
How do I love thee? Let me count the blades. The BuckTool slices, dices, cinches, pinches, and all that, but what sets it apart is design appeal that'll tickle anyone's fix-it gene: When dormant, the pliers nest away with a twist of the handles, and all ten implements lock independently. It's the gift to open first. $78. From Buck Knives, 800-326-2825.
Waterproof, windproof, flintless--and virtually flameless (a butane-fueled coil heats intensely to fire up whatever needs lighting)--the Windmill is a trusty foul-weather friend. $50. From Essential Gear, 603-525-4405.
Pondaray 8,000 Meter Peak Notecards
A hectic holiday schedule keep you from climbing the world's highest mountains? At least send a card; each of the 8,000-meter peaks is represented in a box of 14. $15. From Pondaray, 800-440-6445.
Fleece Feet Ultimate Sport Socks
These Polartec 200 recycled-fleece socks will keep toes toasty from Tucson to the Tetons--without shrinking your boots a size like thicker wool socks. $14. From Wyoming Wear, 800-996-9327.
Avid anglers who can't wait for spring will love these curved slit-finger gloves, which let thumb and forefinger peek through. Made of neoprene and lined with sheer fleece, Glacier Gloves keep digits toasty without compromising dexterity. $47. From Glacier Glove, 800-728-8235.