Perfect Things: 2014 Editors' Choice Awards

Greek islands and a slope-side bloody mary... Trusty boots and a more comfortable bike seat... Explorers who won't quit and a cabin you can take with you.

These and 49 other things make us stand up and say, "Yes!"
(Inga Hendrickson, Oliberte, Terry richardson/Red Bull Content Pool, Tuck Fauntleroy, Andy Anderson)

This We Like

Greek islands and a slope-side bloody mary... Trusty boots and a more comfortable bike seat... Explorers who won't quit and a cabin you can take with you.

These and 49 other things make us stand up and say, "Yes!"

1. Fleece

It pills up. It melts in the dryer. It often smells like a wet dog. And it remains the quintessential chill-beating layer, which is why Patagonia recently reissued its iconic Synchilla Snap-T in the original 1980s colors. ($119)

(Inga Hendrickson)

2. Climbing Scary-Tall Trees

Best accomplished with folks who know what they're doing, like the guides at Oregon-based Pacific Tree Climbing Institute, who roped-up ascents of 300-foot old-growth Douglas firs and the option to overnight in the canopy in a hammock. From $200.

(Roderick Montgomery/Getty Images)

3. Patches!

(Sam Howzit/Flickr)

4. Rolling a Fatty

Logrolling is hard, both logistically (logs are heavy) and balance-wise (they roll). Key Log's 60-pound synthetic hollow log rolls just like a western red cedar when filled with water and comes with beginner-friendly flippers for added stability. ($2,150)

(Courtesy of Key Log Rollin)

5. Not Sleeping on the Ground

Quality cots like the Big Agnes Helinox ($300) always beat an inflatable pad, and they feel especially luxurious when combined with a flannel sleeping bag like the New Camp from L.L.Bean ($79).

(Ingram Publishing/Getty Images)

6. Professional Knife Sharpeners

In your trucks at the farmers' market, with your stones and wheels and medieval tools, giving us the edge we need. You guys rule.

(Herman Beun/Flickr)

7. Rope Tows

We're also big fans of Pomas, J-bars, and magic carpets.

(Courtesy of New Jersey Ski History Archives)

8. Hyper-Specific Vertical Magazines

Keep it real, Slackline. Rest in peace, Urban Climber.

(Courtesy of Slackline Magazine)

9. Ziploc Bags

It's a map holder, an iPhone case, a cereal bowl, an ice pack, a canteen, a bait bucket, an extra-rugged prophylactic, and a relatively painless way to end it all. Also: a decent place to put a sandwich.

(Fuse/Getty Images)

10. Pole Addicts

Exhibit A: Eric Larsen. In 2006, he completes the first summer expedition to the North Pole. In 2008, he treks to the South Pole. In 2010, he journeys to both poles—and the summit of Everest. In 2012, he attempts to ride a fat bike to the South Pole. And this March, he'll begin a 500-mile unsupported traverse of the Arctic Ocean, from Canada's Ellesmere Island to the geographic North Pole.

iceberg lagoon Jokulsarlon Iceland hiker looking exploration explorer adventure wilderness ice lake blue cold fresh nature natural glacier Vatnajokull glacial freezing floating arctic Nordic Scandinavia landscape sky looking calm tranquil serene water wet melting global warming climate change mountains
(Darren Baker/Getty Images)

11. Coconut Water

As in water from a coconut, not from a can with a picture of a coconut on it. Access via machete.

(LoweStock/Getty Images)


NYPD malfeasance, as documented by the crowd.

(Andrew Hetherington)

13. MSG

It's the EPO of cook-offs. The headache goes away.

(rez-art/Getty Images)

14. Patmos

Or just about any other small Greek island in the Aegean Sea. But only in the off-season (May and June or September and October), when the Euro disco rats have gone home and you can have Psili Amos, a secluded beach accessible only by boat (or a 20-minute hike over a few hills) all to yourself.

2009 Agean Sea Architecture Bay Boat Boats Brown Cannon Building Building Exterior Built Structure Cloud Clouds Day Daylight Daytime Dodecanese Island Elevated View Exterior Greece Grikos Grikos Bay High Angle Shot High Angle View Hill Home Homes House Houses Mode Of Transport Nautical Vessel Nautical Vessels No People Nobody Outdoors Outside Patmos Petra Hotel Sea Sky Transport Transportation Water
(Intersection Photos)

15. Embracing Your Inner Child

BMX trials rider Danny MacAskill's sponsors gave him carte blanche for a video project. What does he do? Spends two years building a park that looks like a Pixar set so he can perform stunts on giant toys.

(Courtesy of Redbull)

16. Ski-Cabin Decor

Bearskin rugs, snowshoes on the walls, antler chandeliers—the more ridiculous it looks in your home, the better it works in the mountains.


17. Vans Slip-Ons

Vans shoes
(wZa HK/Flickr)

18. Coffee By Any Means Necessary

Boiled. Burnt. Filtered through a sock or egg shells. It doesn't matter—just get it in your system.

(Ingram Publishing/Getty Images)

19. The Yukon Territory

Every bit as remote, rugged, and beautiful as Alaska, with a fraction of the people and a much cooler name.

(Pi-Lens/Getty Images)

20. Snorkeling the Fishing Hole

Like many fools, Abe Streep spends a lot of time and too much money trying to feel the pull of fish. But he recently learned that you can have just as much fun on the water without hooks.

(Evgeny Kan/Getty Images)

21. Skull-Rattling Thunderstorms

(Owen Zammit/Flickr)

22. Nautical Charts

For navigation, but also as escapist art. And now more than ever: in April, the government will cease printing the lithographic paper charts, which it has produced since 1807. From $13.


23. Snow Peak

Japanese maker of refined outdoor gear, from folding bamboo tables, to titanium flasks, to a set of stacking mugs handcrafted from cherry birch ($120)

(Inga Hendrickson)

24. Andrew Bird

For his exceptional whistling ability, mad glockenspiel skills, love of biking, and generosity: in the fall of 2013, Bird played a hike-in benefit concert outside Joshua Tree, California, for America's national parks.

(Alex Vanhee/Hollandse Hoogte/Redux)

25. Resilience

Last October, pro surfer Maya Gabeira wiped out on an 80-foot wave off Portugal, the largest ever attempted by a woman. She broke her tibia, blacked out, and had to be dragged to shore by her tow-in partner and given CPR. The next day, Laird Hamilton told CNN that "she didn't have the skills to be in these conditions." She was back surfing again by the end of the year.

(Terry Richardson/Red Bull Content Pool)

26. Drinking Water

Still the optimal way to rehydrate but also as a matter of principle. Fed up with the energy-drink makers that fund so much of the action-sports world, professional snowboarders Austin Smith and Bryan Fox started a public-service campaign—Drink Water—to encourage people to do just that. Bravo.


27. Portable Cabins

Can't decide on the one perfect spot? Wyoming-based Wheelhaus offers six customizable, 400-square-foot models, so you can roam at will. Winter in the Rockies, summer in the Cascades. From $76,000.

(Courtesy of Tuck Fauntleroy)

28. Sincere Apoligies

Dear Bike Owner,

On Saturday, I graduated from University and got straight white girl wasted. After the bar, it was too late to catch a bus and I am too broke to afford a cab, so I borrowed your bike without asking. It was a lusciously smooth ride from what I remember.

Anyways, I am very sorry I did not ask to borrow your bike. So I have returned it with a coupon for a free lava cake at Domino’s as an apology.

Bike Thief

Actual note left on a bike last April.

(bsj/Getty Images)

29. Nice Guys

In 2012, Jeff Kish hiked the Pacific Crest Trail, from Mexico to Canada. Like most PCT through-hikers, he frequently hitched it from trailheads to towns to resupply. Last summer, he decided to pay the favor forward by converting his van into a customized shuttle and driving hikers around Oregon and Washington for two months.

(Courtesy of Jeff Kish)

30. Reverse Technology

Book, a collaboration by Moleskine and digital design firm FiftyThree, lets you turn your iPad screen drawings into a custom 15-page printed notebook from right within the Paper app. ($40)

(Courtesy of FiftyThree)

31. Sian Kennedy's Instagram

It's a different world through the lens of this globe-trotting photographer.

(Sian Kennedy)

32. Women Mountain Guides

Like Kim Havell, 39, who last winter notched the first female descent of the Grand Teton's Otterbody Route, a legendary line that was first skied by Doug Coombs and Mark Newcomb in the mid-nineties.

(Laura Piebinga/iStockphoto)

33. Field Guides

You can wander for hours without leaving the couch.

(John James Audubon/Wikimedia)

34. Wooden Boats

(Andy Anderson)

35. Welcoming Saddles

Brooks's new Cambium line uses vulcanized natural rubber and organic cotton canvas for a seat that's just as classy and durable as its famous leather designs, but without the brutal break-in period. From $196.

(Inga Hendrickson)

36. Ambien*

Especially on international flights, combined with a few swigs of warm ginger ale and any film starring Sandra Bullock.

*Unless it makes you attack people. Then try melatonin.

(Fuse/Getty Images/)

37. Having It All

Cut from stretchy, breathable fabric, Rapha's Gingham shirt was made for bike commuting. No one will even know you rode to work. ($145)

(Inga Hendrickson)

38. Low-Angle Powder

The kind that’s just steep enough for fast, swooping turns. Frequently found at these five stashes:

The perfectly spaced hardwood glades off of Steamboat Springs’ Priest Creek lift.

Practically every run at Powder Mountain, Utah’s largest and most criminally overlooked resort.

Jay Peak’s Milk Run.

The Middle Earth area at Mount Bohemia, far and away the snowiest resort in the Midwest.

The Colorado Drops, best accessed in one of San Juan Untracked’s snowcats ($385)

Ashely Magnuson Snow Message powder
(Jack Affleck/Flickr)

39. Civil Disobedience

The federal government tried to ruin Whitney Dreier's 30th birthday, but she didn't let it.

(Courtesy of Whitney Dreier)

40. Woodstoves

Preferably, one you can make dinner on, like the Italian-made CookinStack.

(Courtesy of La Castellamonte)

41. A Disarming Olympian

With mega-celeb Lindsey Vonn out of Sochi, the Olympic lights will shine bright on her laid-back teammate Julia Mancuso, the perennial underdog who always seems to come home draped with medals.

(Carlos Serrao)

42. A Trusty Pair of Boots

With a crepe rubber outsole and soft leather lining, Oliberté's Tompa boots are as comfy as they are tough. ($175)

(Courtesy of Oliberte)

43. Original Yellow Tint

It remains the best hue for contrast and depth perception in flat light. Try the Dr. Bob Smith edition of Smith's I/O goggles, released this year in honor of the company's founder, the late Dr. Bob, who invented modern double-lens ski goggles in 1965. ($175)

(Joel Sartore)

44. Being First

On the Water. In the lift line. Getting up early has its benefits.

(Darren Baker/iStockphoto)

45. Laser Tag

With kids!

(Jeff Keyzer/Wikimedia)

46. Sporty Undergarments

Whether it's merino-wool boxer briefs or the rather aggressive-looking women's chamois panties from startup Urbanist Cycling (from $50), you hold us right where we need it most.

(Courtesy of Urban Cycling)

47. A Company That Gives a Damn

Like Miir, which sells stainless-steel water bottles and commuter bikes. One dollar from every bottle helps provide clean water in developing countries. And for every bike sold, Miir donates a second one through World Bicycle Relief or the Boise Bicycle Project.

(Courtesy of MiiR)

48. Pancakes!

This Klondike-era recipe adapted from Alaska Sourdough: The Real Stuff By a Real Alaskan is best when made from scratch.

» Get the Recipe

(Yagi Studio/Getty Images)

49. Wolverines

"Picture a weasel… that little demon of destruction, that small atom of insensate courage, that symbol of slaughter, sleeplessness, and tireless, incredible activity—picture that scrap of demoniac fury, multiply that mite some fifty times, and you have the likeness of a Wolverine."

—Ernest Thompson Seton, one of the founders of the Boy Scouts of America, in 1909

(Joel Sartore)

50. Canada's Postal Service

Its Sarah Burke stamp is an impressively cool and classy tribute.

(Courtesy of Canada Post)

51. Not Pulling Out Your Phone When You Need to Know What Time It Is

Watches are one of the only accept-able pieces of man bling, so it's important to get this right. You don't want to under- or overdo it. That's why we like Electric's FW01 SS. It's well made and water-resistant, and it feels modern and classic at the same time. ($200)

(James Cassimus)

52. Goggle Tans

Leanne Smith
(Christian Jansky/Wikimedia)

53. A Company with a Sense of Humor

The D Stock No. 905 "big ass brick of soap" from Duke Cannon Supply Co. is 4.6 inches wide, 2.5 inches tall, and 1.6 inches thick—or roughly "three times the size of most chick soaps." ($18)

(Courtesy of Duke Cannon Supply Co.)

54. A Good View

The penny-farthing is much easier to ride than a unicycle, and it's faster than you'd— Oh, whatever. They look fun, and for some reason people are making them again.

adult bicycle bicyclist biker cyclist full-length male men one one person penny-farthing people portrait sports transportation vehicle
(Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS)

55. The Enduring Style of Smokey the Bear

Jeans, hat, no shirt. Now, there's an animal who knows how to dress like a man.


56. A Proper Cocktail Venue

When the perfect drink coincides with the perfect location, you get better than buzzed.

bloody mary cocktail
(shutterbugger/Getty Images)

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