One more dispatch from Outdoor Retailer. This time covering fuel and other miscellany.
|I had big plans to hyper-mile my way out to Utah from Colorado. Reality was a bit different. Not only did I choose the scenic and hilly route up by Flaming Gorge Reservoir, but got caught by a huge thunderstorm while crossing the Uinta mountains — with associated headwinds. Even so, our Nissan Versa averaged 33 miles per gallon for the complete trip from Carbondale to Parleys Summit on Interstate 80, just west of Park City. That’s good fuel economy for a comfortably sized hatchback such as the Versa.
Key to saving gas is having good feedback. If your vehicle has an MPG display that’s probably all you need. If not, I highly recommend installing a Scan Gauge. For the install pictured above, we mounted the Scan Gauge in a CD storage compartment above the Nissan’s radio panel. To route the cable we took apart the dash, drilled a hole in the back of said compartment, then threaded the cable through the guts of the dash and down to the OBD port, where we wire tied it securely.
|Back to the trade show. I’m not much of a coffee fanatic anymore. But during my days of caffeine and roses, cowboy joe boiled in a cookpot was as much my favorite as anything else. Sadly, my tar-like brew enhanced by a few chewy grounds didn’t go over that well with my bride. Thus, the best way to brew camp coffee is always a Dawson family quest. To that end, check out this self contained “Brewfire” propane powered coffee machine from Brunton.|
|I’m thinking this will look real nice on the tailgate of our Silverado, parked at Sand Flats campground in Moab. Lisa, what say you? Arrow indicates the gas tank. Only downside is I’m not sure that tank is reusable. Also, I’m wondering if this thing could be adapted to using the 10 lb tank we carry for our cooktop and barbecue. Hmm, this may be making an appearance in another blog!|
|Knives are the definition of gear obsession, so a stop at Gerber is always on the list. They showed me a radical prototype of folding hatchet that I wasn’t allowed to photograph, but seemed like a perfect item for your emergency kit in a smaller trailhead approach vehicle. On the opposite end of the scale, Gerber has a couple of new “micro tools” that look perfect for your trimmed down lifestyle. I wouldn’t want to fight off a bear with these, but it looks like they’d gut a trout or cut up some blister bandage.|
|Last winter I had the privilege of climbing a “Via Farrata” cable route in Europe. These things are more fun than a barrel of laughing monkeys, and we need more in North America (a few unofficial ones exist that I’m sworn to secrecy on). Ferratas have become understandably popular so several climbing gear companies are making specialized “lobster claw” rigs you use to protect yourself (Black Diamond’s is pictured above). Back in the day, people just used two biners on slings. Some folks still do so — but at their peril. If you’re on a vertically oriented cable and take a fall, you and your safety biners slide down the steel to the last anchor — sometimes far enough to jerk you with sufficient force on your harness to break your pelvis or back. Hence the need for shock absorbers such as those included on the BD rig. Nice. I’ll skip a broken pelvis any day. Now let’s go string some cable!|
|OR undergarment displays could be much more interesting, but this one caught my attention. Looks like they designed this wearable water bladder more for bicycle riders than anything, but how about super light and fast ski mountaineering? You’d wear this, carry a tiny pack with your shovel and cell phone, and blast.|
What else? I did check out some clothing options and noticed the big fabric companies are still working with potentially awesome wool/synthetic combos. For example, Polartec has a fabric that places their Power Dry weave next to your skin, with wool on the outside. That should be incredibly effective.
Speaking of fabric companies and clothing makers, many keep hammering the recycling buzz as a marketing hook. I’m all for effective recycling but watch out for smoke and mirrors on that one, as the bulk of feedstock used for most “recycled” synthetic fabric is still post industrial rather than post consumer (post consumer is the important side of recycling, while post industrial is frequently stuff that’s always been used as part of the production process and thus a play on words). Rather than obsesses on recycling that still results in manufacturing and associate environmental issues, it’s probably best just to focus on using your clothing a bit longer and buy stuff that lasts, as in “REDUCE reuse recycle.”
Ok, that’s it for OR till this winter’s show, when we’ll focus on the newest ski gear. Till then, we’re prepping for winter!