As a wannabe climber, I know it’s easier to get into bouldering than to buy a harness, ropes, biners, cams, nuts, and everything else. So to help build a stronger core during the summer that will help me survive big ski days in winter, I opt for a $23 Metolius Access Fund Chalk Pod (a portion of the sales goes to the Access Fund), a $250 Mammut Soho Crash Pad, and a pair of $80 La Sportiva TarantuLace.
After seeing an email that read, “You gotta get these balls in your mouth! Tasty and full of energy.” I was a bit turned off. But the email was right. Lets face it. It’s hard to tell whether energy food actually gives you energy—maybe I’m still buzzing from the coffee I had this morning—so flavor is crucial. And these two-bite (or one big bite) balls are tasty enough to throw in my pack for a long tour. $3 for two balls or $21 for a sack of 20; www.kepsballs.com
Kahuna Creations Land Paddle kit
If you think it’s for transportation, go get a cheap longboard instead. Kahuna Creations Bombora Longboard—the widest board in its fleet—gives you the closest feel to SUPing on land as possible. Use the Adjustable Big Stick to push yourself along and feel the core and upper-body burn. And if you buy the kit, you get the weird looks from passers-by for free. Adjustable Big Stick—Moko, $100; Bombora Longboard, $250; www.KahunaCreations.com
Sierra Designs Lightning HT2
Summer camping is about getting outside and scoping lines that I want to ski the following winter. Enter the Sierra Designs Lightning HT2. It’s freestanding, so you don’t need to use guylines, it’s easy to setup solo, has two doors, two vestibules, and it’s decently big for two adults. And, like my touring gear, it’s fairly lightweight (about 4 pounds). $280; www.SierraDesigns.com
Gibbon Slacklines Red Classic
If it’s good enough for Lindsey Vonn and countless other skiers, it’s good enough for me. And unless you’re a throwback traditionalist who will only use carabiners and 1-inch webbing to make a slackline, Gibbon’s got your back. A ratchet lets you get it tight and the 2-inch wide webbing makes you look a little less inept. $75; www.GibbonSlacklines.com