Category Archives: Equipment

The Best Strapless Heart Rate Monitor Watches

Have you ever noticed how some people in the gym are constantly checking their heart rate monitor watch for data about their exercise routines but never seem to have to fiddle around with the monitoring chest strap that goes hand in hand with them? Well there is a secret. There is no chest strap!

Strapless HRMs are not only getting more and more accurate, they are getting more and more popular. Amongst the best strapless heart rate monitor watch brands are MIO and Impact Sports Technologies. So remove the strap, breathe easily and gear up with the best strapless heart rate monitor watch for your budget and needs.

MIO has been in the strapless heart rate monitoring industry for over a decade and are known for their cute watches that get the job done. Great choices in the MIO range include the MIO Motiva with its built-in calorie counter, the MIO Motion FIT with its built-in pedometer, or the no-nonsense MIO Drive+ which will have you up, running and working within the training zone within minutes.

The ‘ePulse2’ on the other hand from Impact Sports Technologies stands out as being one of the few, if not only, continuous strapless heart rate monitor watches. Because it continuously monitors your heart, it precisely calculates your average heart rate over time. Most other strapless heart rate monitors are not continuous, meaning that they only give you an on-demand heart rate reading for a given moment in time. Other great choices include the Bowflex ‘Fit Trainer’, the Omron ‘HR-210’ and the ‘SOLO’ range of strapless heart rate monitor watches from Sportline.

Women often are sensitive to chest straps and many won’t use heart rate monitors due to this physical requirement. One great alternative however are sports bras that have the chest strap integrated into them. In this case women can kill two birds with one stone enjoying the benefits of chest support and continuous heart rate monitoring in one device!

So consider a strapless heart rate monitor watch next time you hit the trail, track or gym. A lightweight tool to stay in touch with just how hard you are pushing your body.

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The Ten Essentials of Outdoor Survival

The Ten Essentials list was first created in the 1930s, in an article that appeared in the newsletter for the Mountaineers. Its goal was to put together a list of the 10 most important items an outdoors person should have on them at all times. It came up with a definitive list that, while not covering everything (no list of 10 items can), lays the foundation for preparedness in the outdoors.

The items are:

1. Strike anywhere matches- important because with most matches, if your striker gets ruined your matches are basically useless. Strike anywhere matches offer you a lot more flexibility. Place them in a waterproof case, with a piece of emery board for a striker.

2. Fire starter- put some of this in your fire proof case. In some conditions, it will be impossible to get a fire started without it.

3. A map- seems self-explanatory, but many a bad situation could have been avoided if people just thought to have a map on hand.

4. A first aid kit- Always essential for treating wounds and injuries. There are many for sale, but for information on how to build your own (and learn how everything works in the process) check out the related article here.

5. A compass- For navigation. Make sure you know how to use it.

6. A flashlight- Another essential item. Have extra batteries and an extra bulb.

7. A pocket knife- a multi-use, Swiss army style knife.

8. Sunglasses- useful in both sunny and snowy environments.

9. Extra food- gives you energy, keeps your head clear, and helps ward off hypothermia.

10. Extra clothing- a rain coat and wool hat at the bare minimum. A rain coat will help you dry, and can be used to build a shelter. A wool hat keeps your head warm, where a large amount of body heat is lost. You cant go wrong with some extra socks, either. And that is the Ten Essentials list.

Good luck and stay prepared!

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Rock Climbing and What You Need To Get Started

Like many people, you started rock climbing for fun at a local indoor rock climbing facility.  As you got better you’ve decided try your hand at the real deal. Great! You probably know that rock climbing is great exercise and a wonderful way to experience the outdoors, while testing the limits of your body, but you may not know what you need to get started. Like many people, you may have gotten an REI coupon in the mail and, upon entering the outlet store, find yourself completely overwhelmed by the range of rock climbing products on the market. Don’t worry! Getting started rock climbing is really quite easy.. Here is what you need to get started!

1. Rope- A good length of rope is your most important piece of equipment! It is best not to skimp and buy a cheap rope, or you may find yourself in a tight spot with an unreliable safety net. Instead, buy the best you can afford. A 10.5 to 11 millimeter cord style rope will serve you best. You do not need dry rope unless you are planning on climbing in snow and ice, and should get approximately 200 feet (60 meters) of rope. You may also be interested in purchasing a rope bag to keep your rope clean while you climb.

2. Quickdraws- Quickdraws are a pair of oval or d-shaped clip hooks connected with a strong piece of webbing. Though they may seem small and insignificant, quickdraws are absolutely necessary to your safety, second only to rope! One end of the quickdraw attaches to a bolt, nut, or cam in the climbing course, and your rope threads through the other end. You will need approximately twenty of these.3. Belay Device- A good belay device is very important. Belay devices are used to secure your rope, or to rappel back down the rock face. You won’t get your feet on the ground without one! Belay devices come in several shapes and sizes. It is recommended, especially for beginner rock climbers, that you purchase one that locks automatically.

4. Harness- Even the most experienced climbers rely heavily on a harness. A lightweight harness is cheaper and is perfectly fine for most sport climbing. When purchasing a harness, try to get one with four or more gear loops. Each loop is capable of holding seven quickdraws.

5. Climbing Shoes- A good pair of climbing shoes is going to be one of the best investments you ever made if you wish to continue climbing. Many sport climbers like a slipper-shoe, which fits your foot like a glove. Whatever you choose, be sure you have good foot-movement and flexibility!

6. Chalk- While it’s not absolutely necessary, most sport climbers like to have a bag of chalk. When you climb, your hands become sweaty, and chalk dries them out and helps to re-tighten your grip.

Got all your gear? Great! Now you’re ready to start climbing!

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Getaway To A Great Adventure, Outdoors!

Who wouldn’t love a great adventure outdoors? Almost every child loves the time they get to spend outdoors, roaming, exploring and being free. This fades a little as we age, but only because we become accustomed to the structure of school and work. Think back to how much you looked forward to summer vacation, and why you still love vacation time and you can see how true it is.  Everyone yearns to spend time outside, away from stress and enjoying nature. Many people also want to enjoy a fun adventure outdoors, rather than to simply be outside.

In today’s world where we often worry about money and the cost of a great vacation, you might find yourself wondering what kind of adventure you can afford. Perhaps you would like to stay close to home, maybe to save on time or money. At you can read about places throughout Utah where you can have a great weekend adventure. Pick a hiking trail, a camping spot, a backpacking route, or a mountain biking trail where you can enjoy nature and relax and recharge. Even if you live in the middle of a city, the mountains and wilderness are not far away.

While it is true that some of these outdoor adventures, such as camping or rock climbing require a bit of an investment in equipment, Climbing Outdoors can suggest the best gear for your chosen adventure. If you think you won’t have the time to dedicate to enjoying this outdoor sport, hiking is a great place to start. All you really need is a map, a buddy, some water, and a cell phone would be smart. There are countless trails all across Utah, and the website highlights some great ones. Spend a Saturday hiking a trail any time you can, and once you feel more dedicated, spend the money on gear and camp for a week!

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How To Make Your Car Camping Check List

Are you the type of person that likes to make check lists out for everything that you do including car camping?  Are you looking for a general car camping check list before you make your next adventure camping trip? I like to use a checklist before I leave on a trip so I do not forget critical items such as flashlights, sleeping bags, air mattresses, and a tent. The beautiful thing about car camping is that you can always purchase a forgotten item on the road.  Using a camping checklist will prevent any of this.

I like to divide my camping check-list into multiple categories to make it easy for me and my wife to use.  For example,  I use a clothing checklist; frequently used staple foods checklist; first aid kit checklist; sleeping gear checklist; automobile checklist; gadgets checklist; etc. I don’t suggest getting to obsessed with your checklist as it will evolve as you gain experience with each camping trip. On the other hand, if you have never gone on a car camping trip, then it will be wise to use a general camping checklist and modify it to your needs before your departure.

After completing your camping checklist, you may notice that it includes items that are not on other campers list.   This is normal as you are unique.  If you cannot live without an item, make sure that it goes on your checklist.

Your final checklist can be used and modified to fit any camping or travel situation that you go on. Even if you go on ski trips during the winter and stay in hotels, you can copy and paste essential items from this checklist.

Basic Essential Outdoor Camping Checklist

Family camping trip ideas.

Water Storage Solutions

5 gallon stainless steel water jugs.
Small portable BPA free 1 liter water bottles.

Camp Cooking Kit & Accessories

Large stock pot for making soups and sauces.
Round caste iron skillet or griddle.
Strainers washing vegetables and straining pasta.
Stainless steel drinking cups.
Coffee filters
Melitta Single cup drip coffee brewer.
Assortment of stainless steel or plastic flatware.
Stainless steel measuring cup.
Measuring spoons.

Car Camping Tent & Equipment

Camping tent.
Goose down or synthetic sleeping bags
Light weight camping air mattresses
Air mattress repair kit
Ground cloth to keep ground moisture out of tent
Camp towel for wiping down tent
Camp ax/hammer to pound in tent stakes
Spare tent stakes
Light weight rope

Automobile Checklist

Assortment of car campground maps
Local city and country maps
Campground atlas
Flash lights.  Pack a lot of them as most flashlights are small and cheap
Multiple outlet power inverter
Large cooler
Small water bottles
Emergency first aid kit
Healthy snacks
Music CDs
Car emergency kit

As you can see, this list is not exhaustive.  It’s a good starting point.  Your camping checklist should be as unique as your own home.  It will contain the basics camping essentials and the items that are unique to you and your family.

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