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Archive for 'December 2011'

    Outdoor-Minded Gifts for the Taste Buds

    fileNeed a last-minute gift? Think food. Unless you plan to present the outdoor person in your life with the gift of dehydrated okra (yikes) or liver jerky (Inconceivable!), you can't go wrong with food. MEAT Tanka buffalo/cranberry bars and bites (1 oz. bar, $2.80; 3 oz. bites, $6.50): A nice trail treat for any confessed carnivore who's hungering for a meat-flavored comfort-food rush during a multiday hike. The strips and bites really are a mashup of buffalo meat and dried cranberries, and to me ...

    Posted by T.D. Wood on December 26, 2011 11:47 AM & Tagged food and gifts | permalink | Comments

    Less is More (and Newsworthy): REI Packaging Makeover Gets Recognized

    fileREI's packaging-reduction efforts continue to gather attention and elicit admiration, as this article published today (Dec. 22) in the British national daily The Guardian explains.  Among the article's highlights: •    How recycled plastic hangers helped shrink the environmental impact of REI-brand product hangtags. •    A look at the little things—twist ties, plastic bags, tape and staples—and their roles in packaging reduction. •    More on REI's strategy for slashing the use of paper and ...

    Posted by KellyH on December 22, 2011 8:09 PM & Tagged environmental impact, packaging and sustainability | permalink | Comments

    Have You Noticed Sunset Times Rarely Change Lately? What's Up with Sundown?

    fileHow much daylight will your patch of the planet receive on Thursday, Dec. 22, the date of the 2011 winter solstice? And while no day is shorter than Thursday, why is it that sunset times have hardly budged since early December? First, here's how much time the sun will spend above the horizon on Thursday in 25 randomly selected cities where REI operates stores:  City Daylight on Dec. 22 Houston     10h 14m 02s Austin, Tex.     10h 11m 33s Tucson     10h 02m 16s Chula Vista, Calif.     10h 00m ...

    Posted by T.D. Wood on December 22, 2011 1:25 PM & Tagged Solstice, solar noon, sunrise and sunset | permalink | Comments

    What's the Best Gift to Spur Scientific Curiosity in Kids? Try Some Time Outdoors

    fileWant to turn your kids into future Einsteins? Here's a tip: Take 'em out for a hike. A USA Today article published Tuesday (Dec. 13) discussed ways to spark scientific curiosity and creativity in children. While listing toys that can reinforce that objective, reporter Liz Szabo also quoted parents and educators who stressed the importance of getting children outdoors and acquainting them with the natural world. Susan Niebur, an astrophysicist and mother of 2, says the most important thing ...

    Posted by T.D. Wood on December 21, 2011 12:49 PM & Tagged Hiking, gifts, headlamps, kids and science | permalink | Comments

    Is This Jacket the Most Popular Outdoor Item Ever?

    fileChances are good that you own this jacket or know someone who does. It's The North Face Denali Jacket, which turned 20 years young this year. Twenty years is an eternity in the outdoor gear world, and this warm fleece jacket has been a perennial top seller at REI and other stores. The North Face wouldn't confirm specific sales numbers with me, just saying "millions" have been sold. Recently, however, it appears that some new jacket contenders may be taking over its top spot. More on that below. ...

    Posted by Steve T on December 20, 2011 1:21 PM & Tagged Denali, The North Face, fleece and jacket | permalink | Comments

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