Gear & Equipment

Bold, Whimsical Femininity Found on Rossignol Skis and Snowboard by Artist Caia Koopman

Caia Koopman created the art on these skis and snowboard from Rossignol. She's a lowbrow artist contracted by Oakley, Rossignol and a few gear makers to create signature designs, and as you can see her work is bold, assured, and whimsical. Much like the 4-year-old girl I raise, if I may inject that. You try getting her bathed, brushed, chilled out with a book and finally to bed and you'll see for yourself. I need a drink just thinking about it.

The line of Rossignol boards and skis is significant not just because of the fanciful feminine artwork . . .

Cool Find: Handmade Fleece Ponchos for Chilly Desert Camping

Down in the ol' grungy southwest U.S., you'd think we'd be more tuned into the upsides of the poncho for our winter kit. Especially for the kids. Ponchos are the warm garment of choice for native Andean folk and other pre-Hispanic cultures of Central and South America. But the poor things get misrepresented and misconstrued from the bad guys with straps of bullets around their chests in old Clint Eastwood flicks, to the late night infomercials extolling the virtues of the blanket with sleeves called the snuggie. Add to that, outdoors folk tend to hear the word poncho and think, "That's a plastic thing inside the pocket of my emergency kit I got for 99 cents in case it rains." It's no wonder we just don't see classier version of ponchos at all.

That's about to change . . .

Cool Find: Cozy Up with Hand Made Vintage Map Pillows

Home is where the head is . . . oh, wait, that's not saying. But it could be the truth. If you're the sort of person, or if you know the sort of person, who can whittle hours away pouring over maps, these handmade Australian pillows might call out to you . . .

Cool Find: GoGirl Allows Outdoorsy Ladies to "Go" While Standing Up

You can safely assume that this is a product I've never tried.

Because a large percentage of our readers are in fact lovely ladies, and even though I'm not a woman, I think this very much belongs in our Mom's Blog column. And because I live with two women, one of whom is 4 years old and doesn't quite understand why it's a problem to pee all over her shoes and socks when we're away from a real potty, I have enough experience to know the GoGirl likely has a future home in our own gear stash . . .

Joy in a Cozy Warm Hat

Yesterday, I took my 4-year old daughter to the gear shop to buy some new warm gloves and hat. Kids being kids, we can only find one left glove out of a total of three pairs she owns. We have some adventures planned this fall and winter so we had resupply this department.

When we arrived, we found a whole 16' row packed full of gloves and hats just for kids. She couldn't contain herself.

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