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Holiday gift ideas for the great outdoors enthusiast

Published: Tuesday, Dec. 13 2011 5:13 p.m. MST

6. Sensor Gloves from O.R. (Outdoor Research). There are a few gloves that allow users to interact with a touch screen, and this glove is one of them. Blackburn likes it because they look cool, not odd, while serving their scientific purpose. Retails for $65 at REI.

7. Better than Naked Jacket by Northface. Windproof and water-resistant, it really is like running in nothing. The best feature is that it's technical enough to allow runners to wear it inside or outside — and even both if necessary. It retails at Wasatch Running Center for $129.

8. Apollo LED Lantern has the ability to hang from a tent ceiling or light up a camp site and is energy efficient, as well as highly effective. It retails for $49.95 at REI.

9. Black Diamond Storm Headlamp. There is a lot to love about this little light. It has a battery-life indicator so you never have to lose your light unexpectedly. The light bulbs warm the batteries, which extend the life of the batteries. It's also got a tool on the headband that allows users to open it up quickly and easily in any conditions, and it's waterproof. It retails at REI for $49.95.

"There is nothing else with a dimmer, so it's a pretty unique item," Blackburn said. "That's really beneficial for many reasons."

10. Exped MultiMat Sleeping Mat. This is a mat of many uses.

"This is one of my favorite little extras that I didn't know I needed," Blackburn said after rattling off the many ways he's used the waterproof, very compact mat: winter picnics, breaking down a tent and packing gear in rain or mud, sleeping on it, wrapping up in it, and as a tent footprint. It retails at REI for $45.

11. DoubleNest Hammock. This little gadget helps you find quality sleep, or just a place to take a break, any time, any where. He's used it for napping, resting on a long drive, camping and just a place to sit and read a book.

"This isn't just for camping," he said. "I set this up in my sister's back yard and her kids loved it."

It retails at REI for $65.95.

12. REI's Half Dome Tent. Comes in two- or four-person sizes and there are reasons why it wins awards from campers: It's very fast to pitch, very roomy, lots of pockets, and extremely light and durable.

"It's my favorite tent I've ever had," said Blackburn. "There is nothing like it."

It retails at REI for $179.

13. JetBoil Sol Stove. No more looking for tinder to boil water. Everything you need to boil water contained in one small, compact cup. East to use, easy to pack and Blackburn said there is no substitute for ease when playing in the snow.

"I've scooped snow into the cup, boiled it, added hot chocolate and stood there, in the snow, and drank it," he said, noting that sometimes tables and chairs are hard to find on a mountainside or ski slope. It retails for $119.95 at REI.

14. Goal Zero Guide 10 Plus Adventure Kit Solar Charger. Goal Zero has made using solar power easy and affordable. This kit will charge everything from iPods to iPads even while you continue moving. Retails at REI for $120.

15. Tracker2 Avalanche Transceiver by Backcountry Access. Better sensitivity range and will work on the same frequency as other brands. Necessary and easy to use. Retails at REI for $335.

16. K2's Rescue Shovel Plus. It slices, dices and really will save a life. It has two handle options that allow the user to dig, hoe and even use as a climbing anchor. And it looks cool. Retails at REI for $74.95.

17. Backcountry Access Float 18 Avalanche Airbag Pack. Should a recreator find himself in an avalanche, he would only need to pull a rip cord and the airbag would inflate and push him on top of the snow. It's a technology system that's already saved lives in Europe and has been on sale in the U.S. for two years. It retails at REI for $685.

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