Pole-Climbing Bike Storage, Kindle Snowshoe Guide, and More on Waterproof-Breathable Fabrics

Happy December everybody! Today's post is a triple hit of gear nuggets for your edification and amusement. Let's start with the "Are you serious?" part of the line-up.

Pole-Climbing Bike StorageWith this system, would-be bike snatchers need to be 20 feet tall to swipe your precious wheels. All you need is a lot of heavy equipment, including three 12V gear motors and a set of Rollerblade Wheels, to lift your bike up the nearest tall pole. A wireless keychain fob operates the system. Not the most practical, but certainly innovative—it was designed mostly as a promotion for Conrad, a German design company. Check out the design and function of it on the company's Conrad site and accompanying YouTube Video.

Snowshoeing in Vermont: A Guide to the Best Winter Hikes
Green Mountain Club, 2nd editionThis just-released updated guide is remarkable not for its subject matter—though it is certainly useful for winter enthusiasts in Vermont—but rather for the fact that it is one of the first Northeast guidebooks I've seen that is also available as a Kindle version. The print version runs $14.95, Kindle version is $9.99.

Carrying your Kindle into the field isn't really practical, of course, especially in the cold, but you can print out your desired trip using the Kindle screen capture function. Not being a Kindle owner myself, I wonder how good the maps are in the electronic version, which I understand to be the biggest limitation for guidebook conversions to the Kindle format. Regardless, expect to see an increasing number of guidebooks available in electronic format in the future.

More on Waterproof-Breathable MaterialsI recently covered the release of the new NeoShell fabric from Polartec. The post touched briefly on the science of WP/B materials—and the difficulty of measuring it in a meaningful and scientific way. If you're interested in learning more, here's an excellent WP/B post from Spadout.com, a pricing and review site for outdoor gear, about the science of measuring breathability.

“Equipped” is an AMC Outdoors blog, written by Matt Heid.

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