The weather outside may be chilly, but that's no reason to stay indoors.
And whether you're shopping for yourself or looking for the perfect gift for an outdoor enthusiast, the Deseret News has compiled a list of some of our favorite new, unique or must-have items this holiday season.
I know what I'm asking Santa to leave me this year — Goode Randonee skis.
It has been years since I was on cross country skis, but last year I gave Goode's Randonee ski a test drive. Wow! If you don't know what Randonee skis are, they combine the climbing of cross country with the fun of downhill. It's an amazing way to see Utah's backcountry. Many ski resorts allow them inside and outside of resort boundaries.
"The Randonee ski is the lightest, yet most powerful ski made in its class," said Dave Goode, founder and president of Goode Ski Technologies. "It is almost 2 pounds lighter than its nearest competitor."
The skis are available for purchase online at www.goode.com/skisbc.htm#rr or at the factory, 2450 Wall Ave., Ogden. The phone number is 801-621-2300.
I'm not much of a map person, nor am I into 3-D. But the University of Utah Press' 3-D atlas of Salt Lake Valley's tri-canyon area is a must-have. It's not only educational, it's amazing.
"It is so clever on their part," said Slater Wayment, operations manager for REI in Salt Lake City. "Anybody that likes to hike … it's just a fun little thing."
The book features aerial photos and maps in 3-D. This one you have to see to believe.
Available at REI for $19.95.
A footbike will take cross-training to a whole new level. What is it? It's part bike and part scooter. It offers a tougher workout than cycling and is easier on the joints than running. It is the perfect complement to any training program because it's easy to use, affordable and an absolute blast.
Footbikes are available in different styles ranging from $158 to $415 from Kick-It Marketing at firstname.lastname@example.org or 801-815-8027.
The folks at Garmin outdid themselves with the new version of their GPS watch. The Garmin 310XT comes with or without a heart-rate monitor and is now completely waterproof. That means swimmers and triathletes can wear this invaluable piece of training equipment. The watch features a lot of bells and whistles in a smaller size. It is now about the size of a regular watch with the capabilities of a high-tech computer.
It is available at Wasatch Running, 8946 S. State, for $350 without the heart-rate monitor or $400 with the monitor.
While we're talking about heart-rate monitors, those of you who have trouble getting one to adhere to your skin may like this next little item. Chestlick is an electrolyte spray that promises to help the monitor stick — and stay — better than water or saliva. (And it's much more sanitary!)
It is available at Wasatch Running for $8.95.
I am not one to worry about how I look when I play or work out, but the Sweaty Bands available at Wasatch Running serve a practical purpose while dressing up the old sweats. They come in two widths and lots of styles that will keep the hair out of your eyes. They're cute enough to wear anytime but tough enough to withstand grueling workouts. They sell for $15 or $18, depending on the width.
Whether you're an avid outdoorsman or just looking for ways to battle the frigid temperatures, the Northface 100 Glacier Fleece may be a perfect fit. It comes in a variety of colors and sizes for men, women and children.
"It's a great weight to wear indoors and then outdoors for aerobic activity," Wayment said.
Available at REI for $50.
Smart Wool isn't just an amazing product. Now it's fashionable, as well.
"They're super comfortable," said Wayment.
Available at REI. Scarf is $50. Hat is $40.
The latest craze in running is less shoe, more you. If you're interested in trying a different technique but are not so sure you want to abandon your running shoes altogether, the Vibram Five Fingers shoe might be the answer. It looks like a watershoe with toes, but it's really a minimalist running shoe. It's available at Wasatch Running for $75 to $85.
There is nothing worse than cold hands.
"Gloves are a huge deal," said Wayment. "They range from super basic to amazing technologically advanced."
The Tahoma glove is "the perfect around town glove," Wayment said. "It's not as bulky as a ski glove. But it's heavy enough to shovel snow … and light enough to wear indoors."
Available at REI for $26.50.
The Marmot Exum Work Glove is for rough work or play outdoors. The gloves feature medium-weight insulation with soft-shell fabric.
"There is even the always desirable nose-wipe thumb feature," said Wayment, pointing out that one thumb has softer, more absorbent material. "They're waterproof and very durable."
Available at REI for $75.
The Outdoor Research glove is one of those advanced technology gloves. It's meant to keep hands warm while winter rock climbing or ice climbing.
"It has a warm, very durable, very dexterous glove," Wayment said.
Available at REI for $169.
Kahtoola Micro Spikes slip over a boot or shoe for walking around the neighborhood or for cold-weather hiking.
Available at REI for $59.
Nothing says winter fun like a snow sled. The Snow Spider Sled is simple but equipped with a handle so riders can hang on for the fun. It's available at REI for $19.95.
The Rock 'n Rip Sled with two handles is sturdier and more durable. It's available at REI for $34.95.
The Northface Tent Mule takes the slipper to a whole new level. In men's and women's styles and sizes, the slippers are made of synthetic material and have nonslip soles. They're good for around the house or huddling in a yurt.
Available at REI for $40.
An Ogden company may make the best stocking stuffer around. The Petzel Tikka 2 Plus headlamp "strikes the perfect balance" in technology and economy. With an LED light that has multiple settings, it is also waterproof. It also tells you when the batteries are low, and there is a red light to read maps at night. It is also waterproof.
Available at REI for $39.95.
Some things are too good to wait for Santa to deliver them. The Saucony running glove is one of them. In various colors, including reflective orange and black, the gloves have a light in a small pocket of the left hand (running against traffic) to let drivers know you're there. They are dry-fit mittens with fingers inside. The outer shell peels back to allow you to use the glove portion, and the tips of the gloves fold back for bare finger access — perfect for dialing a phone or pushing buttons.
Available at Wasatch Running for $30.
Stocking stuffers abound for those who love the outdoors. REI has various bike lights (required in Salt Lake County for night riding), including the Planet Bike light that is both eye-catching and easy to attach. It is available for $25.
Looking for unique treats for stockings? Try Sahale Snacks. They come in almonds with cranberry, honey and sea salt; Sing Buri cashews (with pineapple, peanuts, lemon grass and mild Chinese chili powder); and almond PB&J with peanuts and berries. Available at REI for $6.95.
For meal replacements try Erin Baker's breakfast cookie. The folks at Wasatch Running say if you toast them, you'll enjoy them even more. They come in flavors like banana nut bread, oatmeal raisin and double chocolate chunk and cost $2.
"Snowshoes continue to be super popular," Wayment said. Like gloves and boots, they are available in various styles and prices.
The Yukon Charlie 825 is a women's style snowshow available at REI for $99.
The Yukon Charlie 930 is a men's snowshoe that comes with poles and a bag for $144.
With the onset of cold weather, some might need to get creative about staying in shape. The is the perfect way to continue to cycle, even when the roads are covered with snow.
It's a magnetic trainer that immobilizes your bike.
"It's a great way to lose weight or just stay in shape," Wayment said. "It basically turns your bicycle into a spin bike."
Available at REI for $189.1 comment on this story
Need help easing the aches and pains of too much fun? Try Dr. Hoyt's anti-inflammatory cream, Flex-Power Relief Cream, BodyGlide Anti-Pain Balm or Myomed anti-inflammatory cream. They offer relieve without taking oral medication. Myomed is available online or at Gold's Gym for $20; Dr. Hoyt's, Flex-Power and BodyGlide are available at Wasatch Running for $17, $12 or $9, respectively.
Ski helmets are a must. Not only are they more attractive than ever before, they're stronger and more technologically advanced. One of the most popular is the Giro ski helmet. Its technology is similar to that of cycling helmets — it's lightweight, has foam inserts and vents that can be opened or closed depending on the weather or activity.
It's available at REI for $100.