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|December 11-17, 2008
• See Electronics
• See Holiday Reads
• See Holiday Calendar
• Dreaming of a green holiday
• Great gift ideas for outdoor enthusiasts
• Gifts to make your camper happy
Dreaming of a green holiday
With a little thought, you can give gifts that make the world a better place
by Boulder Weekly Staff
The last thing any of us needs is a planet with more trash, more toxins and more depleted resources. If we truly want to make our Christmas merry or our Hanukkah happy, we ought to give gifts that support a cleaner, richer, more just world.
Fortunately, there are lots of options here in Boulder for doing just that. Here’s an overview of some places to look if giving green is your priority this holiday season.
2030 17th St. / 303 442-6228
Planetary Solutions is the place to shop for the home-improvement minded. It offers a range of recycled and natural floor coverings, as well as stains and paints that are free of the toxins that can turn your home, sweet home into a home, sick home. These include high-quality carpeting and rugs made from recycled fiber, natural wool carpeting with jute backing, and floor, counter and wall tiles made from recycled granite, windshields, glass bottles and feldspar. They also have old-fashioned linoleum made from cork, linseed oil, wood powder and natural resins, as well as bamboo hardwood flooring and formaldehyde-free, low-odor paints and finishes.
Ellie’s Eco-Products Home Store
2525 Arapahoe Ave. / 303-952-1004
Located in the Village Shopping Center, Ellie’s Eco-Products Home Store carries everything from green building supplies to items for the kitchen, bed and bath to toys for kids and pets. Help someone go green by giving them a gift packet of ecologically sound household cleaners. Gift the college student or newlyweds in your life with bamboo dishcloths and dishtowels. Be sure to check out their women’s apparel, yoga supplies and environmentally related books and movies, as well.
www.gaiam.com / 877-989-6321
Boulder County-based Gaiam is a one-stop online catalogue that works as a fair-trade, spiritually focused and environmentally friendly department store. From kitchen supplies to yoga and Pilates DVDs to organic baby gifts and fair-trade apparel, Gaiam has something for everyone in your family. Organic cotton bath towels, bathrobes and blankets will keep your loved ones warm, while solar Christmas lights, homespun stockings and a wide range of Christmas ornaments will help you deck the halls. Don’t forget to check out their health and wellness supplies from personal care products and books on alternative therapies to ergonomic chairs and tai chi DVDs.
1625 Pearl St. / 303-440-7744
Locals Jenny and Kevin Natapow launched Momentum to put ideals about environmentalism and social justice into practice. Momentum exists as a business to create and inspire social change by providing socially responsible choices to everyday purchases. The store offers unique gift options like handbags, bath and body products, cards and stationery, children’s toys, jewelry and home accents crafted by artisans in places like Sri Lanka, Togo and Kenya. Momentum sells only fair-trade products, taking care to make sure that the craftsmen and woman who make their products work for fair wages and in good conditions. There are no sweatshop products here!
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Great gift ideas for outdoor enthusiasts
by Mark Yuasa
Only a few weeks remain before Christmas, and for those who have an outdoor lover on their gift list, here are some gifts worth putting under the tree or getting as a stocking stuffer:
The Jet Boil Personal Cooking System ($79.90-$99.95) is an innovative and backpack-friendly cooking system. Unlike the heavy vacuum bottles and clunky stoves, Jetboil’s key lies in coupling heat transfer technology with a design that’s easy to use. Plus, it boils two cups of water in a couple minutes.
The compact design (15-ounce weight with 32-ounce capacity) makes for easy storage. Each Jetpower Fuel canister provides ample energy to boil 12 liters or 100 cups of water.
A cozy book to read near the fireplace on the cold winter nights ahead is Trout Fishing In The Pacific Northwest ($19.99). The book offers anglers more than 300 step-by-step photos that teach important skills and in-depth chapters on trout biology and behavior. The 400-page book is published by Quayside Publishing Group. The book is available at bookstores and online booksellers.
The Tie Boss Brand Instant Lock-And-Release Rope System makes raising or tying down loads quick, simple and safe. The design easily allows campers to keep food and other items up and away from critters on the ground; hunters can easily hang their big game from a tree; and bikers can raise their bicycles from the clutter of the garage.
The bolt-through design increases strength and prevents the unit from failing during heavy lifting. Other list of uses include tarp and vehicle tie-downs, hauling, boating and sailing.
The 1⁄4-inch Tie Boss costs $14.99; the 3/8-inch unit is $19.99; and for the 3/8-inch tie down with the block and tackle assembly goes for $49.99. Details: 877-900-2677 or www.tieboss.com.
SCUBA divers can increase their kick with the Aqua Lung’s Slingshot Fins ($219). Unlike any other fin on the market, these offer increased power and propulsion, as well as comfort and custom-fit settings. These fins help propel submerged divers with little effort, saving energy and lengthening your time spent underwater. Details: www.aqualung.com.
Caught a big fish and want to know how much it weighs? The Berkley Digital Fish Scale ($17.96) can get the job done. The extremely accurate, water-resistant functions include a 10-weight memory, average and combined weight feature. An auto-off switch maximizes battery life. It weighs fish up to 50 pounds.
The easy-to-carry Thermarest Trail Lite ($49.95) insulation pad is the perfect creature comfort to put under the sleeping bag for a restful night in the woods. The compact size (weighs 1 pound, 15 ounces; 20x60 inches) makes it easy to bring along on a campout.
Part of the 10 essentials to take on a backpacking adventure is a signal mirror, and Coghlan’s Sight-Grid Signal Mirror ($12.99) is great for backpacking light, traveling to remote locations, SOS and signaling rescue planes. The shatter-resistant mirror can signal up to 25 miles on a clear day. Plus, it floats in the water. To locate a retailer in your area, go to www.coghlans.com/search/index.php.
Chatting around a campfire is a timeless tradition on camping trips, and Funky Colored Flames ($5.88) by Winlow Products adds a new twist that puts on an impressive colorful light show. The easy-to-use packet of crystals are environmentally friendly and are poured over the top of a campfire. They then start to burn, creating a show of colors that will continue for about 30 minutes. The small packet is also easier than carrying a Duraflame log on a campout.
The Sitka Nimbus Jacket and Pants ($249 pants and $349 jacket) was the Field & Stream 2008 Best of Best Award winner. The outfit was built for toughness in the outdoors and is made to keep you dry in the wettest of environments. It is designed to keep the water and snow out and your perspiration under control. Details: www.sitkagear.com.
The Gerber Big Rock Camp Knife ($48) is the ultimate hunting and all-purpose knife, and is a Bill Harsey design. The full blade comes in a fine edge or serrated, and the ergonomically shaped glass-filled nylon handle uses a Softgrip over mold with textured grip points for maximum comfort and control. The blade length is 4.5 inches. Details: www.gerbergear.com.
Here are three ways to light up the night on your next campout or night hike.
—The Brunton Lamplight LED Flashlight and Lantern ($29.40) is a small but powerful flashlight that can be converted into a lantern by pulling out the telescoping head. The light is redirected 360 degrees, perfect for lighting the tent. One set of AAA batteries gets you 200 hours of light in this compact duo lighting system. Details: www.brunton.com.
—Black & Decker has introduced a new product to make the outdoors more enjoyable. The Bright Bar ($32.96) LED light outshines the competition and provides your campsite with plenty of brightness while using very little power. The LEDs are durable, lasting more than 10,000-hours. Details: www.blackanddecker.com.
—The next time you go camping, backpacking or for late-night walk, don’t forget to bring along the Coghlan’s LED Micro Lantern
($6.99). The lantern stands two-inches high and weighs 1 ounce. The lantern is powered with two Lithium batteries, and can provide light for 25 hours. Details: www.campingsurvival.com.
A great way to get some stuff out of the backpack and onto the back of a human’s best friend is the REI Adventure Dog Pack ($45). The design moves with dog’s body, easing navigation through dense woods and brush. The pack is sculpted, breathable mesh harness holds securely to a dog and the three-point design adapts to various dog shapes. Details: www.rei.com.
The REI Comet Pack For Kids ($85) is perfect to introduce your youngsters to the outdoors with their first real backpack. With a “rip-and-stick” torso adjustment, the shoulder-strap system easily slides on the pack’s frame to fit torsos of varying lengths. It is sized to fit kids ages 6 to 10. Details: www.rei.com.
The REI Taku Jacket ($199) offers the ultimate in versatility, and is lightweight, windproof, waterproof, breathable and most of all comfortable. The top of the hood, shoulders and cuffs are made from a three-layer REI Elements nylon/laminate fabric, offering waterproof, breathable protection. The jacket is windproof to 60 mph. Details: www.rei.com.
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Gifts to make your camper happy
by Pete Zimowsky and Roger Phillips
Primus Etapower Stove
This is a stove that bridges the gap between car camping and backpacking. The stove nests into the pot, and the lid works as a frying pan. It comes with a case to keep it all together and to separate cooking items from other gear. It runs on isobutane/propane canisters. Cost: $75
Therm-a-Rest’s Fast and Light Series Women’s Prolite sleeping pad is the perfect gift for a backpacker or for regular camping.
Cost: From $74 to $84
Lightweight Cooking Gear
Duralite’s hard-anodized, nonstick cookware is 20.6 ounces and made for backpacking. It includes 1.5- and 2-liter pots, a pot holder, a dish towel and a stuff sack. Cost: $79.99
Sea-to-Summit Kitchen Sink
Now you can have it all on your camping trip, including the kitchen sink, but this one weighs only a few ounces and takes up a lot less space. This fabric sink folds into a carrying case about 7 inches in diameter, but holds 20 liters and works for washing dishes, a wash basin, dog bowl or whatever else you need. Cost: $19.95
Yamaha 1,000-Watt Generator
Generators are great for charging the batteries on your RV or for other times you need juice outdoors, but they have a reputation for being heavy and loud. Not this one. It weighs 27 pounds, runs as quiet as a purr, and charges an RV battery in about an hour. It runs for 12 hours on one tank of gas.
Coleman’s Fold ’N Go two-burner propane camp stove is compact, but offers an extra-large cooking area. Cost: $99
Wiggle Your Toes
Vibram’s Five Fingers shoes are lightweight and make an ideal camp shoe, especially for backpacking. They are being worn by river runners and trail runners.
Cost: From $70 to $90, depending on the style
Seattle Sport Solar Radio
This small, lightweight AM/FM radio powers up as soon as the sun hits it. It also has a hand-crank charger for evenings or days when the sun’s rays aren’t powerful enough to run it. What’s really cool is a USB auxiliary outlet that lets you use the hand crank to charge your iPod. Cost: $36
Handy Camp Light
The Black Diamond Orbit one-watt LED lantern can be used in full-light mode or reading mode for camping. It operates on four AAA batteries. Cost: $29.95
Coleman Portable Oven
Camping ovens have been around a long time, but most of them are aluminum boxes with a burner. Leave it Coleman to come up with one that is usable. It takes a standard green propane bottle and has an instant-start switch. It heats up to 500 degrees and is large enough to accommodate a 13-by-9-inch pan. In simpler terms, it can toast six slices of bread at one time. It is bulky and can’t be used inside an RV, but otherwise it works like a real oven. Cost: $99.99
Steripen Classicwater Purifier
This purifier kills viruses, bacteria and protozoa with ultraviolet light. It disrupts the DNA in the bad stuff so it can’t reproduce and make you sick. Lightweight and portable. Cost: $59.95 (sale)
The Mammut TX1 headlamp is super bright and has super focus. It is great for backpacking, camping or even biking. Cost: $79.95
Therm-a-Rest’s compressible pillow will make it easy to get a good night’s sleep while camping. It only weighs 12 ounces. Perfect for backpacking.
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Where to shop for great gear
Neptune Mountaineering has been a Boulder staple since 1973. Their South Broadway location in the Table Mesa Shopping Center offers friendly surroundings and helpful customer service for any level of camper or climber. In addition, their website has an in-depth inventory search service, so you can double-check on availability and price before heading into the store.
Changes in Latitude
Changes in Latitude is a traveler’s dream. Whether you’re going on a multi-day hiking excursion or globetrotting to the end’s of the earth, CIL provides the most efficient travel gear at reasonable prices. They also have a great selection of travel books and guides.
Bota of Boulder
Bota of Boulder is the local purveyor of fine outdoor gear, specializing in water gear, filtration systems, bottle socks and fleece liners and blankets. All of their products are manufactured in the United States, with an emphasis on reused materials and an eco-friendly process.
Absolutely need an outdoor product, and can’t find it anywhere else? Chances are the REI on 28th Street will have it. Check out their website at www.rei.com to view inventory and prices.
Outdoor Divas is dedicated to providing the outdoor gear designed exclusively for active women. The store offers the best in clothing and equipment for women who ski, snowboard, mountain bike, climb, raft and more.
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