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|May 1-7, 2008
• No excuses
by Sam Mcmanis
• Upcoming Events
Tall people need to sleep, too
by Emilie LeBeau
Traveling can be extra difficult for people with extra long legs. First, getting there is half the problem — airplane seats are a squeeze and compact rental cars are cramped. Then, overnight accommodations aren’t always comfortable especially since many sleeping bags aren’t made for tall adults.
Sticking out of a sleeping bag can be a cold experience, but there is gear that can accommodate even the tallest camper. The Jeep Extra Long Adult Sleeping Bag is 90 long inches and can accommodate an adult as tall as 7 feet 5 inches tall. The sleeping bag also has a roomy 33 inches of width for campers who prefer extra room.
The sleeping bag has a hooded feature that provides a temperature rating up to 25 degrees. The interior is made with 100 percent cotton flannel, while the exterior has a poly-cotton outer shell. It is filled with four pounds of non-allergenic Insul-Therm insulation.
There’s also a MP3 pocket with access for ear buds. Suggested retail price is $49.99, available at stores such as Wal-Mart.
Three ways to quench your thirst without BPA worries
by Bob Ehlert
As the weather heats up, you’ll likely dig out and make use of your recreational water bottle. If over the winter you happened to miss the news on the potential health hazards of some hard-plastic reusable bottles, here’s the problem presented again — followed by examples of three possible product solutions.
A plastic known as polycarbonate — which is used in the manufacture of some popular water bottles, including Nalgene — can contain a compound called BPA, or bisphenol A. Recently, a report by the National Toxicology Program, an office of the National Institutes of Health, expressed concerns about BPA in baby bottles. Some fear the compound could leach into the liquids we drink from certain plastic containers.
You can follow some of the scientific debate at such websites as this one from the National Institutes of Health: www.niehs.nih.gov/news/media/questions/sya-bpa.cfm#2.
Does your bottle contain BPA? Turn it upside down. If the letters PC (polycarbonate) appear, chances are your bottle was made with BPA. The triangular sign on the bottom of the bottle (usually with a number from 1 to 7 in the middle of it) refers to a recycling code.
Should you be worried? While scientists continue studying BPA, the water-bottle marketplace (including Nalgene) has begun to market containers sans the polycarbonate. Here are some that have come our way:
Since it’s made from stainless steel, this product doesn’t have a BPA issue. It’ll certainly take a beating, though it is slightly heavier (6 ounces) than the plastic competition. This 18-ounce-capacity model retails for $14.98 at gofastandlight.com. Shipping is extra. This water bottle comes in several sizes and can be founded at rei.com in the larger sizes.
Bota is back
Actually, it never left. Bota, based here in Boulder, has been making them since 1972, when it was common to put things other than water in them. This 32-ounce capacity model has a bladder made of a more pliable but less rugged polyethylen HDPE plastic. It comes with a machine-washable fleece outer covering that zips open and has a strap. It costs $9.89 at gofastandlight.com. The manufacturer: Bota of Boulder, P.O. Box 3374 Boulder, CO 80307, 303-494-8489 or their website at www.botaofboulder.com.
The maker of hydration systems and whose U.S. headquarters is in Petaluma, Calif., has a new line of hard-plastic water bottles the company says are “BPA/Phthalate-free.” We couldn’t tell much difference in the hardness or clarity (two things polycarbonate plastics provide) of the plastic used in this bottle versus the market-standard Nalgenes we own. This 24-ounce-capacity model sells for $9 and comes in several colors and styles.
We like the standard lid because it allows you to hang it from your pack or hook it on your finger. CamelBak says all its bottles will be BPA-free by summer. The newer bottles are just making their way into retail stores (such as REI). And though the manufacturer says rei.com is carrying them, we found only the versions containing BPA on sale at the site. But we’re sure they’ll show up eventually.
First rule of the outdoors: survival
by Sally Dadisman
You’ve been bitten by a spider, and you have no idea what to do. Who you gonna call?
SurviveOutdoors.com! (OK, it doesn’t quite have the same ring as “Ghostbusters”). If something has happened to you in the outdoors, SurviveOutdoors.com can tell you what it is and what you should do about it. The site can help you identify snake and spider bites and even give you information in case you happen upon the Bubonic Plague or Yellow Fever. The list is (almost) endless.
Dan Williams, the president of the website is board-certified in primary care so the information is reliable. The site also offers pictures of common ailments, but be warned, the pictures can be graphic.
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