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Sunday, December 08, 2013
High Gear: Gear Junkie looks at gift ideas for the outdoor enthusiast
A self-adjusting headlamp, heated gloves, and an “action camera” that records video and tracks via GPS — these are among the trending gadgets to put on your holiday list this year.
A sensor built on the face of the Petzl TIKKA R+ headlamp measures ambient light in a scene and auto-adjusts its beam. Look down a pitch-black trail and the LED light pumps its max brightness. Now, glance at a close-up object and the lamp dims in an instant, saving battery power and offering the optimal light for the situation. $74.95, www.petzl.com
Heated Leather Gloves
They don’t come cheap. But if your special someone wants hot hands no matter the temp this winter look to Chaval and its primo leather gloves. The company uses a paper-thin “nanotech polymer” film to sense skin temperature and regulate heat output from the embedded battery pack. $389.97, www.chavalusa.com
Mount the yellow ICEdot Crash Sensor on any helmet and it serves as a safety beacon if you get in a crash. Accelerometers in the unit measure and assess impact and velocity. Low-energy Bluetooth syncs a smartphone app with the sensor, and if an impact occurs it sends a signal to the phone. From there, a countdown screen appears on the phone, allowing you to manually disable the app. If not disabled, the phone will alert your family or up to 10 emergency contacts with your GPS location via SMS. $149, www.icedot.org
Affordable Satellite Phone
For the same price as an iPhone you can now buy a satellite phone and call home from almost anywhere in the world. The Global Phone from Spot LLC retails at $499, similar to an iPhone or other high-end smartphone. Calling plans start at 25 cents a minute, making remote satellite-reliant communication more affordable than ever. www.findmespot.com
Full-Feature Action Camera
HD video recording, GPS, an accelerometer, altimeter and even heart-rate functions are built into the VIRB Elite camera from Garmin. The result is 1080p “point-of-view” video along with location and physical stats recorded for a synthesized data dump of an experience that you can later view on a screen. $399.99, www.garmin.com
Stephen Regenold is the founder of GearJunkie.com.