Posts Tagged travel
It’s the start of winter snow fun, and one of the quickest ways to ruin your day is getting soggy, cold feet when you’re outdoors. So when you’re planning active adventures in cold weather, you don’t have time to experiment. Outfit your feet in Vasque Skadia UltraDry boots, and you can stay outside all day.
To keep your toes warm, the boots have 200 grams of Thinsulate Ultra—a lightweight insulation made by 3M—plus a heat-reflecting liner and a soft, fleece-lined collar. For making sure the snow stays away, the leather upper with a coated finish and an UltraDry membrane provides waterproof protection.
Even your soles will be happy with the Perpetuum last and EVA midsole with TPU shank, providing stability with low-weight performance. The boots also have a snow-specific Venture outsole with ColdHold Compound to keep your soles just as warm as the rest of your feet.
You might think that all this means the boots will be so heavy that you’ll be tired of the extra weightlifting at the end of the day. But they weigh just 2 pounds. Plus, they’re not your typical gigantic snow boots, and won’t take up your entire carry-on.
When I first tried these boots, I didn’t want to take them off, even at the end of the day. They’re my most comfortable winter boots, and when I’m wearing them, I don’t even think about whether what I’m doing will result in getting my feet wet. It just doesn’t happen.
You don’t have to be a skier to appreciate neck gaiters. There’s a simplicity to them that just beats scarves, and you don’t have to rewind and retie them when you’re off on an active adventure. That’s why I’m taking a look at two different types of Icebreaker neck gaiters in this review.
The Icebreaker Apex Chute is the heavier of the two, using 320 grams of 100-percent merino wool. That’s Icebreaker’s heavyweight category, and the Apex will keep your neck warm in some of the coldest conditions.
The Icebreaker Flexi Chute uses 200 grams of 100-percent merino wool, making it the lighter weight and more flexible or the two. That’s pretty much where the difference ends, however.
In using them for outdoor excursions, especially skiing last season, I found that I needed the Apex Chute on colder days, but also when I wasn’t engaged in more extreme aerobic activities. Because I heat up quickly when working out, I generally pick lighter layers. But we’re all different, and the 120-gram difference in the weight of the two neck gaiters is enough of a difference to consider what you want to use yours for.
The thing that keeps me coming back to Icebreaker clothing time after time is the quality of the 100-percent merino wool used. I’ve had other clothing items using 100-percent merino wool that were somewhat itchy, but Icebreaker never does. The wool is also naturally odor-resistant and wicking, so you can use those neck gaiters for a few days of outdoor activities before you have to worry about washing them.
When you do wash them, go ahead and toss them in your washing machine, but air-dry them rather than using the dryer. It won’t take too long (and the lighter weight the wool, the quicker it’ll take), and the neck gaiter will last longer if you don’t tumble dry.
Have you heard of Icebug yet? If not, it may be because you live where the snow doesn’t fly. The Swedish shoe company is best known for their innovative studded shoes and boots for year-round trail running and hiking in wintry conditions. The Icebug Spruce, however, is certainly for the everyman (and woman)…no ice required.
This trail walking shoe is pretty enough to pass muster (and then some) while city touring, walking, and commuting, but also packs enough punch in the traction and weather-proofing department to transition to the trail. The lovely Easter egg colors don’t hurt, either. Bleak winter day, consider yourself cheered.
The Spruce features a low cut construction and comes in two different upper material versions: leather or suede. Both are 100% waterproof, due to the inclusion of OutDry technology (in which a waterproof membrane is bonded directly to the shoe’s outermost layer). At first glance, I could hardly believe the Spruce is waterproof; my suede opal numbers just looked to ‘nice’ to get wet and repel water. I tested them on many a autumn walk, and they stay true to their promise, all while staying breathable and soft.
You get a drop and roll sole construction, but let’s get to what you really want to know: does the Spruce sport Icebug’s signature studded traction? No, that would be overkill in a walking shoe. Instead, Icebug utilizes their traction technology for un-studded shoes. What that means: RB9X. What that means: Rubber 9 Extreme, Icebug’s latest rubber compound development, combined with a saw tooth outsole pattern, which sets a new standard in providing friction. In other words, these guys know traction, and no matter the shoe, they’re going to provide it.
Where my Spruce shoes have been: wooded trails, slick pavement, city streets, airplane cabins, stuffed in carry-on luggage, on wet soccer fields, and propped up on the couch (don’t tell). My point: this is an extremely versatile shoe that will get lots of game time out of your closet.
Frequent travel makes it hard to shop for groceries, and even when you have the time, it is tough to keep things in your refrigerator or pantry that are both healthy and can have a long shelf-life. When I came across an ad for Nature Box, I was intrigued by the concept of a company seeking out healthy snacks on my behalf and sending them to me on a monthly basis. In addition, these would be snacks that I could keep in their sealed packages and travel with or leave at home to remain fresh for my return.
The company does not just scour the same grocery aisle that I do. Rather, Nature Box digs up unique and unusual snacks that I may not have tried before and with an ingredient list of items that I can pronounce. No high fructose corn syrup, no chemical ingredients, no artificial preservatives. Some of the fun goodies that I arrived in my first box were teriyaki twist rice crackers with soy and paprika and my all-time-favorite Santa Fe corn sticks.
Each month, a box arrives at your front desk packed with five packages of all-natural snacks. While you sign up for an ongoing period, you can cancel at any time. I am often traveling for several days or sometimes a week or more at a time. But, the snacks that are mailed are never in need of refrigeration and have a long shelf life. My favorite part of the program is the excitement of waiting to find what was in the next box awaiting me.
The purchase price of $19.95 per month means that each bag is only $4, which is what you would pay in a grocery store. It is often even cheaper than what you would pay in an airport store so these snacks could potentially save me money while also introducing me to new munchies that are better for me. No more downing multiple bags of potato chips from the inflight snack basket. Keeping a new delivery in my briefcase each week brings variety and nutrition to my travel. Sign ups are available at the Nature Box website where more information on the types of snacks mailed is updated.
Discounts for referring a friend are available, and the added bonus of purchasing products from a company that supports hunger-fighting nonprofit organizations makes you feel good.
Ziploc baggies may have a million uses, but they’ll only get you so far. Sometimes, it’s best to have travel containers that protect what’s inside—whether it’s vitamins, jewelry, snacks, or other knick-knacks. That’s where GoTubb containers come in.
The hard plastic containers made by HumanGear snap open and shut with ease, but not by themselves, so you can rely on them staying shut when you travel. Plus, when it’s time to open them, you can even do so with one hand. Just squeeze the sides, and the lip pops open. To close, just press the lid back on. But because the containers are designed to open when squeezed by fingers, pressure on the sides won’t open them accidentally.
The clear lid makes it simple to see what’s inside, so there’s no guessing, or unnecessary opening. And the containers are food-safe (FDA), recyclable (#5 plastic), BPA-free, PC-free and phthalate-free. Packs of three come with three different colors to make identifying the contents easy.
I’ve used mine for vitamins, spare change, jewelry, Cheerios for a kid, ear plugs and surfboard wax. The containers are water-resistant, but submerging them entirely may not protect the contents from water, so use caution.
If you have liquids to carry around, why not check out the company’s GoToob containers, as well?
GoTubb containers are available in two sizes: .9 cubic inches and 5.3 cubic inches. The smaller size lists for $5.99 for a three-pack and the larger size lists for $7.99 (for a three-pack, as well), both on the HumanGear website. They’re also available on Amazon, where both the smaller size and larger size list for the same price.