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Let There Be Light

If you are looking for an idea that isn’t going to break the bank, then here it is. Under $50 USD, this device does not hook up to any computer or upload and download stuff. However, this is a device that will be super handy for absolutely anyone.

Futurelooks Holiday 2008 Guide To Outdoor Gadgets

Petzl is a company that has been manufacturing and developing and climbing equipment and a huge range of headlamps for a very long time. The concept of the head lamp is pretty straight forward: Put the light on your head so it frees up the hands to do other tasks. The Petzl headlamps are a smart and intelligent way to (for a lack of a better description) have a flashlight handy…without the hand.

Speaking from personal experience, for general use the Petzl Tikka Xp headlamp gets the nod. The head strap is super comfortable and adjustable to pretty much anyone’s head. It features a waterproof casing that is handy for those wet outdoor adventures. The unit comes with 3 AAA Duracell batteries (batteries included), and has three different brightness settings. Battery time will depend on what brightness setting you run and is rated for between 60-120 hours.

You can also choose between a wide flood light type mode or a concentrated focuses beam of light. I would highly recommend one of these for anyone that needs their hands free in low light. This could even be handy for gamers that like to dwell in their parents dark basements! You will find that this light has thousands of uses around the house as well.

I loved my Petzl Tikka XP… too bad I lost it somewhere! Stocking stuffer??

Give Your Outdoor Gadget Geek a Fighting Chance

Any outdoor activity comes with risk and with risk comes lots of worry from family members. If you are a spouse of one of these “Outdoor” adventure types, then you know what I am talking about. Depending on what “type” of outdoor activities we are talking about, some people take being in the great outdoors very literally. Remember that “Into the Wild” movie?  We are talking “Outdoors” like that guy.

ACR Electronics manufactures products for those dire “life or death” situations. The type of outdoor activities the ACR MicroFix is suited for is for those folks that go way way way into the wilderness where there is zero cell phone coverage, no electricity, no Starbucks coffee, no cars, no computers…you get the idea. These types of adventurers go for days and weeks at a time to reach those special places in the middle of nowhere. True backcountry skiers, hikers, hunters, kayakers that go way out into the middle of nowhere all know the inherent risks of their activities. Most of these folks have lots of back country experience and common sense to get them to their destination and through their activity, but we all know sometimes accidents just happen.

Futurelooks Holiday 2008 Guide To Outdoor Gadgets

The ACR MicroFix 406 GPS PLB is a device that is strictly based on sending a unique localized signal of your registered details (i.e.. name and special medical history) and your GPS coordinates within a 1mile radius accuracy to the Search and Rescue. Each beacon when purchased by the user is registered to that user’s information, so when the unit is activated, a signal is sent on the 406 Mhz transmission frequency to Search and Rescue via COSPAS-SARSAT satellites so they know who they are looking for. The transmission will run for a period of 24hours once the buttons are pressed and the unit is in operation. This is a device that is to be used as a complete last resort after all self rescue attempts have been exhausted.  This basically is your last call for help.

If your loved one spends lots of time wandering around the outdoors and you worry about them, then $600 is a very small price to pay for some “insurance” and piece of mind. You will hope that your loved one will never have to use the ACR MicroFix, but if they do, at least you know they have one last chance to come home safe for the next holiday.

Get Outside This Holiday Season

From tracking adventures and being able to upload them on a Google map, to staying in touch and knowing the exact location of all your outdoor companions, to capturing all your memories digitally, to having a light source when it gets dark or even one last chance at life, you can buy it. All of my suggestions are all functional gifts that all outdoorsy folks would like to and in some cases, should have in their outdoor gadget arsenal. 

Hopefully these ideas will help for those hard to buy for outdoor techie types. If you’re still stuck, you may want to check out one of our other guides for more ideas before you become one of those late night shoppers on Xmas Eve. Happy Holidays!

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