The count down is on! Christmas is less than a week away and if you aren't out there shopping already, you better get going. I like my technology and I really enjoy being outdoors, so when I can combine the two together to have a better experience I always do. If you're buying for someone special in your family that is of the active outdoorsy type person, I am pretty confident that I can help you out with that.
I've made the following suggestions based on my experience as an outdoor gadget enthusiast. But be warned! These are not cheap by any means. However, they are functional, extremely useful pieces of equipment that won't be headed back to the returns line after the holidays and may even save their life. Let's check them out!
Mapping Your Day Outside...
GPS technology has evolved in a big way over the last few years and as such this nifty little unit from Garmin would be the number one gift on my own wish list. For a cool price of about $299 USD, you will be absolutely amazed at what this watch can do. The proper name of this "watch" is the Garmin ForeRunner 305. It does tell you the time and date like the previously reviewed SUUNTO Core Green Light, but does so much more. It gives you all sorts of interesting data, such as your heart rate (if you wear the heart rate belt), elevation gains and decents, mapping overlays of the route your traveled with graphs and charts from the data collected from the onboard GPS reciever and heart rate monitor.
An avid outdoors friend of mine has used his Garmin Forerunner 305 extensively on a number of mountain bike rides, skiing days and hikes and really likes it. The first time he showed me what it could do I was blown away. Every time I am with him I get a bit jealous of the detailed information he can pull at the end of each day.
My friend was nice enough to volunteer this picture of the type of stuff he gets to peruse after each outing. This is a graph showing my friends Heart Rate in Beats Per Minute, Distance in KM, Elevation changes, and Speed in Km/h when he went for a road bike ride in San Jose California earlier this year. Further adding to the super coolness factor, you can then get the Garmin ForeRunner 305 to upload all this GPS route data onto an actual Google map so he can visually see where he went during the ride.
This is an awesome gift for anyone that is active and likes the outdoors. It can used as a great multi-sport training tool for those folks training for a marathon, or triathlon or some Tour de France bike ride. The ability to get such specific information about the training route is key in figuring out what areas need improvement.
Garmin has even come out with a new model for this year, the Garmin Forerunner 405 that looks more like a normal watch and like the iPhone, it has touch screen capabilities and some few extra added features. If there would be one techy gadget I would ask for Christmas, the Garmin ForeRunner 305 or 405 would be it.