Inspector Gadget Infiltrates Wildsnow.com

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This post by WildSnow.com blogger  

(Editor’s note: Guest blogger Joe Risi is in DC today surviving the big storm. We wish everyone there the best and that the storm passes quickly. Meanwhile, in honor of our own storm tracker Joe, I thought it would be good to publish one of his blog posts. Perhaps he’ll see it and get a smile out of it in spite of everything.)

I caught this stuff at the Outdoor Retailer trade show last summer. Want a gift for that backcountry skier who seems to have a gear room chock full of everything that should have been on Ebay two years ago? Following items could actually cause him to purge. Shopping links included of course!

A simple device such as the cam strap was one item in my truck that I thought was almost perfect.  That is unless I have it maxed out by weight.  The roller cam addresses this.  Have no fear you can carry more gear!

A simple device such as the cam strap was one item in my truck that I thought was almost perfect. That is unless I have it maxed out and can't get that extra bit of tightness. The roller cam addresses this. Have no fear you can carry more gear! Truly a perfect gift for nearly any outdoors person.

TOUGHSTAKE ROLLERCAM 12 FOOT (Rack Systems)

Bio-lite wood burning power generator. Great concept but further examination and review needs to take place to see if its actually worth its weight in watts to be lugging around in your pack.

Biolite wood burning power generator. Great concept but further examination and review needs to take place to see if its actually worth its weight in watts to lug around in your pack.

As you can imagine, I just had to include the Biolite in this post. I mean, for the outdoorsman who has everything? Charge his iPhone from the campfire? It’s a no brainer. Thing is, we’re not certain about availability. Check here.

Mammut's newest rescue device known as the Rescyou will be available February 1st.  Weighing in at 400grams or 18oz be sure this device will be a game changer in crevasse rescue.  Complete with a 6 to 1 pull ratio and retailing for an astonishing $125.

Mammut's newest rescue device known as the Rescyou will be available February 1st. Weighing in at 400 grams or 18 oz, this device will be a game changer for crevasse rescue. Complete with a 6 to 1 pull ratio and retailing for an astonishing $125.

Ready in seconds and the size of a pack of cigarettes or two iPhones. The Rescyou fully deployed.

Ready in seconds and the size of a pack of cigarettes or two iPhones. The Rescyou fully deployed.

Rescyou truly is amazing. Perfect for all sorts of glacier travel. We’ll stick a shopping link in here just as soon as it’s available.

Light and Motion is already a strong player in the mountain biking scene and with their latest Solite 100 offering they have bridged the gap into the outdoor world.  With 100 lumens of output and 149 grams this blinding light with integrated red filters, so not to blind your ski buddies, will be a big hit in the coming months.

Light & Motion is already a strong player in the mountain biking scene and with their latest offering, Solite 100, they have bridged the gap into the outdoor world. With 100 lumens of output and 149 grams this blinding light with integrated red filters, so not to blind your ski buddies, looks like it'll be a big hit in the coming months.

Shop for the Solite 100.

Although I haven't had one in my pack since my days in the Boy Scouts. Swiss Army rarely disappoints but I have a feeling with this tool you may get a bit weighed down.

Although I haven't had one in my pack since my Boy Scout days, Swiss Army rarely disappoints. I have a feeling this multi-tool may weigh me down a bit, though it would be fun to pull it out when Lou and Lisa ask me to do some work up at WildSnow Field HQ. Lou probably already has one. Specs: 87 tools spanning 112 functions: seven blades, three types of pliers, three golf tools (club face cleaner, shoe spike wrench, and divot repair tool), 25 flat and Phillips head screwdrivers and bits, saws, wrenches, bicycle chain rivet setter, signal whistle, 12/20-gauge shotgun choke tube tool, combination fish scaler, hook disgorger, and line guide tool, cigar-cutting scissors, laser pointer, tire-tread gauge, toothpick, tweezers, and key ring. 2.75 lbs.

Multi-tools make terrific gifts. No person on the planet can have too many. One for the car. One for the boat. One for the pack. One for the kitchen. REI has a beautiful selection that will get you browsing their site forever. Backcountry.com has a good selection as well.

What we’d recommend here at WildSnow? For the backcountry skiing kit as well as our daily go-to knife, we’re partial to the Leatherman Skeletool.

You can go high-end with the Skeletool and opt for the CX model, which incorporates some carbon fiber into the tool’s frame.

The only downside we see with Skeletool is the insert bits are proprietary rather than being standard 1/4 inch hex inserts (they’re flat and pack easier, so that’s the upside). If you get a Skeletool, you need a bit kit if you want full versatility. Weirdly, the Leatherman bit kit doesn’t seem to be available from the usual suspects, so here is a link to it at Amazon: Leatherman 931014 40-Bit Assortment for Leatherman Bit Drivers

Any of you WildSnowers out there have suggestions for good multi-tool setups for backcountry skiing repair kits? Comments appreciated.

Comments

19 Responses to “Inspector Gadget Infiltrates Wildsnow.com”

  1. Joe October 30th, 2012 11:08 am

    Lou et al. , thanks! Wish I had that flashlight and possibly a solar charger.

    I’m headed back to NY today to help friends and family. Our summer house on the east end of Long Island had extreme water damage. We lost our docks, wrap around deck was pulled from the house, and sand is 3 ft high all inside the house. Authorities there say to expect a loss of power for 9 days. Trying times ahead.

  2. Lou Dawson October 30th, 2012 11:55 am

    Wow Joe, sorry to hear that about the Long Island house. I’m sure they’ll be happy to have you up there helping out! Wish we could have predicted and sent you up there with our backcountry solar system…. stay in touch. Lou

  3. Matt October 30th, 2012 12:14 pm

    Those straps are awesome – but you cant seem to purchase off amazon. Any other links of where to actually buy these?

  4. Lou Dawson October 30th, 2012 12:24 pm

    Matt, weird, I’ll check on it. Thanks for the heads up. ‘best, Lou

  5. Lou Dawson October 30th, 2012 12:32 pm

    Wow, I did a Google search and I’ve never seen so much filler spam for a product before (that is, at least since I searched for the little blue pills, grin). Amazing how many people think they can just duplicate an Amazon review and make big bucks — off something that appears to be out of stock!

    At any rate Matt and all, just check the Amazon link above in a few days. I’ll bet it’ll be working again by then. I’d share other shopping sources but can’t find anything but spam. So if anyone wants to suggest, fine. We want you all to lash down your gear well!

  6. Alex October 30th, 2012 1:43 pm

    Does that bit kit for the skeletool include a pozi #3?

  7. john nobil October 30th, 2012 2:08 pm

    just ordered a biolite. availability didn’t seem to be too much of an issue.

  8. Mike October 30th, 2012 2:30 pm

    With the Skeletool it looks like you can get the driver extender and then be compatible with standard hex inserts. I think I need to get one of these to replace my old Wave.

    http://www.leatherman.com/accessories/product/Bit_Driver_Extender

  9. Matt October 30th, 2012 4:43 pm

    Re: the Skeletool bits, which as Lou said are flattened. I used my Skeletool for a bike tour this fall and when it came time to take my bike apart and pack it for my train ride home, I found that the allen wrench bit didn’t quite have enough “bite” on the bolts that hold the handlebar faceplate on. I started to strip the bolts when trying to loosen them. I think this is because the flattened bits don’t have the same amount of contact with the bolt. It may also have been because the lightweight bike bolts are softer than typical steel? Otherwise, I really like the versatility of the tool.

  10. Rob B October 30th, 2012 6:16 pm

    You can find those new roller cams at certain whitewater retailers. I just bought some from Cascade Outfitters, they are sweet!

  11. Terry October 30th, 2012 8:04 pm

    Thanks for the Mammut Rescyou info, Lou. Looks pretty cool! A little heavy, maybe… will have to get out my ropeman, tibloc and prussics to compare.

    I found a video showing it in action: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7m-xT6NJ4k

  12. Mark Worley October 30th, 2012 10:01 pm

    I hope we see more lightweight rechargeable headlamps soon. I use a Cygolite 350 lumen bike light, and it’s way superior to any non-lithium ion rechargeable for sheer brightness. Guess I need to get out and ski with the thing. As to Leatherman bit kits, these should be available all over the place.

  13. P October 31st, 2012 10:32 am

    The Rescyou looks nice – simple to use… quick/foolproof to set up.
    I guess the one problem for some users is that it is a dedicated-use tool that weights 400g. That contrasts with a lighter carabiner/cordelette system where you can use the gear for all kinds of things.

    That is likely not all that big a problem for most backcountry skiers… but it is something to consider for those who are more climbing oriented or who are doing long traverse trips. Still the simplicity is nice…

  14. H October 31st, 2012 1:31 pm

    Thinking more about what the RescYou offers… another plus is that it may be advantageous for self-rescue from the hole. Injured leg? Awkward position to use the foot prussik… you may be able to use this to haul yourself out just with one arm…

  15. David P November 1st, 2012 9:25 am

    I was all set to order that Swiss army knife, until I realized that the chain tool won’t work on Campy 11 speed chains ;) .

  16. john November 1st, 2012 8:51 pm

    Well just got a Skeletool in my hot little hands because of this post and a few others. Now to experiment with grinding down Black and Decker bits so that I don’t have to fork out 20 bucks to get a new Posidrive bit when I drop one in the snow.

  17. Lou Dawson November 2nd, 2012 7:21 am

    John, I’ve tried grinding some bits and they get pretty weak. They still work for lighter applications, but be careful and use water while grinding. A better approach would be to just carry an adapter that makes the Skel work with regular 1/4 insert bits, not sure if Leatherman makes one for the Skeltool but that would be the ticket. Whatever the case, the Skel is a nice tool… Lou

  18. john nobil November 5th, 2012 1:15 pm

    Light it up: I would recommend a look at Niterider Mi-Newt 350 USB or 750 pro (No I’m not sponsored by them but they are a local company I am partial towards). Why not have at 175g, 6hrs at 125 Lumens (instead of the 150g sol-lite’s 2hr at its 100Lu max?) Bonus: you still have the much brighter 200 & 350 settings still at the ready when needed. Am I missing something here?

  19. vera H June 7th, 2013 1:28 pm

    Joe, I regularly use a USB rechargeable flashlight as I bought a awesome USB solar charger off amazon that does dual use for my flashlight and GPS. It is not a headlamp, but if you are interested, the light is this one: Nitecore P25

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Welcome to Louis (Lou) Dawson's backcountry skiing information opinion website and e magazine. Lou's passion for the past 45 years has been alpinism, climbing, mountaineering and skiing -- along with all manner of outdoor recreation. He has authored numerous books and articles about backcountry skiing and is well known as the first person to ski down all 54 of Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks, otherwise known as the Fourteeners! Books and free back country news and information here, and tons of Randonnee rando telemark info.

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