The winter is a special season in the outdoors, a time of snowcapped peaks, wicked slopes, and that holy and joyous annual celebration of our material wealth: the holidays. Whether or not you’re a god-fearing adventurer, the time is nigh for your loved ones to reap a holiday bounty of the outdoor industry’s latest innovations, and we’re here to point you in the right direction. Check out this winter tech to keep you safe and warm, wherever your friends or family are going.
The Garmin inReach Explorer is an all-in-one satellite communicator for your adventurers who like to wander far from home. Garmin has combined a rugged design and Iridium satellite network connectivity with Bluetooth pairing for your mobile device to create a field-operative device to right a sinking ship (so to speak) and help the folks at home track your progress. Beyond global text communications and a 24/7 SOS function, the inReach packs a punch: update the weather report, tether it with your mobile device to download maps and satellite imagery, and connect your social media accounts to keep your followers updated on your whereabouts in real time.
Headlamp offerings these days offer more options than the days of old—you know, back in the 1980s, when you essentially strapped a flashlight to your head that burned through AAs like a package of Tang. The Petzl ACTIK CORE lets you recharge via USB, a nice, environmentally friendly battery option, but the headlamp is still compatible with conventional batteries. You truly can have it both ways. Its bright, 350-lumen beam comes with a red option for low-light conditions—which makes it great for an outdoor photographer.
If you’re a sinner because you like air conditioning, then Outdoor Research’s Lucent line of heated gloves will basically make you the devil. Gone are the days when you crush a package of air-activated iron for a tepid hour of disappointment. Plug these suckers in and you get fully electronic heat right where you need it most, wherever the air is too cold to bear. For those genetically predisposed to Renaud’s disease, that’s pretty much everywhere. For the rest of us, it’s seduction at its finest.
It doesn't matter if you're heading out for a day on the slopes, taking to the local hill for a sledding outing, or even just tackling that shovel job waiting for you in your driveway. The Lenz's Heated Socks will keep your feet warm for hours so that your adventures and daily winter chores can weather any storm thrown their way. With different temperature settings, rechargeable lithium batteries, and a barely-there heating element design, these socks are a no-brainer for any winter lover with a history of chilly digits.
Amid rampant speculation that humans may actually evolve into bolts of electricity, our thirst for energy remains insatiable. Thankfully there are charging kits to help you bounce between electrified oases, and mophie’s travel kit gives you a versatile wireless charger. Gone are the days of sitting safely inside of a Tesla coil while thousands of harmless volts renew you for your contact with the outside world. If you have a Qi-enabled device, just place it on the charge stream pad to recharge your battery. The travel kit includes conventional wiring for older devices, too.
GoPro is the photography standard in the action and adventure world, and the latest iteration of the Hero line, the GoPro Hero7 takes its standard of excellence to a height that your favorite adventurer will love. To accompany its rock-solid toughness, GoPro has added a kit of useful in-camera tools, including gimbal-less stabilization, voice commands, and photo processing that will automatically improve photo quality, live. GoPro continues to outperform its own standard, and you should buy in. Make sure you pair it with the right accessories—including helmet mounts, chest mounts, grips, and more.