GEAR: Great gadgets and gizmos for the backcountry

GEAR: Great gadgets and gizmos for the backcountry

Every kid needs a new toy periodically, and every backcountry enthusiast is really just a kid at heart. It makes sense, then, that hikers and skiers, climbers and kayakers all need a new gadget or gizmo for their pack now and then. One nice little gadget fit for any adventurer's pack is the Highgear Adventure Tool. This pocket gadget features a LED flashlight that's just bright enough to help you move around camp or sort gear in your tent. There's also a digital thermometer and clock. Best of all, there's an assortment of emergency-needs tools, including a whistle (for calling for help), mirror (for signaling for help) and small magnifier (which can be used to start a fire). You'll find better flashlights, better whistles, better timepieces. But not all in one place. The Adventure Tool is the epitome of an ideal camp gadget as the jack of all trades, master of none. It sells for $20. See www.highgear.com. Backcountry anglers who want to bring digital technology into their sport should check out the Origo Fishing Pro watch. The Fishing Pro offers a barometric altimeter and a digital compass to help you find those remote alpine lakes. Once there, the watch uses barometric readings, as well as sunrise-sunset data, to calculate the best fishing times. There's even an alarm function linked to this so your watch will let you know when the fish should be biting! $230. See www.origowatch.com. For ultimate geek-points, you'll want the latest do-it-all wrist-top computer from Suunto. The new Suunto X10 GPS wristwatch weighs just 2.5 ounces yet sports a full-function GPS receiver. While not the easiest GPS to use, it is one of the tiniest you'll find. The X10 can capture your track in the woods, and offers Google-Earth compatibility at home when you want to share your adventures. The GPS signal capture is fast and reliable. We were able to lock on and hold satellite signals even in the deep old-growth forest and narrow glacier valleys of North Cascades National Park as we bushwhacked along the Canadian border. $599. See www.suuntousa.com. – Dan A. Nelson, for The Seattle Times
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