This Week in Gear: What You Missed (June 19, 20015)

This Week in Gear: What You Missed (June 19, 20015)


Every week, we bring you five gear-related stories, from all over, that you won’t want to miss. Here are this week’s highlights:

What Mountain Climbing Can Teach You About Business
In this week’s New York Times, personal finance columnist Carl Richards gives readers a brief introduction to alpine-style climbing and gear choices—then draws an analogy between its essentialist aesthetic and the joy that can come from simplifying in other parts of life, too.

“Learning about alpine-style climbing helped me see that what we think we need, and what we really need, are usually two very different things,” writes Richards. “Getting clear about the difference allows us to drop the obsession for more stuff and instead focus on enjoying the experience.”

Read on …


Fitness Trackers are Hot, But Do They Really Help?
An Associated Press piece this week takes a look at the fitness-tracker phenomenon and asks whether these devices can really help people lead healthier lives.
While setting goals and being reminded regularly of them (as wearable devices do) no doubt helps people in many ways—evidence favoring fitness trackers is also limited to small, short-term studies.

With that said, a whopping 11 million devices have already been sold in the first quarter of this year: “Human nature indicates that for a lot of us, we just need a gentle nudge in the right direction,” says Dr. Daniel Neides of the Cleveland Clinic. “I look at it like a report card. I have a goal. I want to get an A. For me, getting an A is hitting 10,000 steps every single day.”

Read on …


Should You Believe the Running-Shoe Tech Hype?
In other skeptical headlines this week Kiernan Alger, a self-proclaimed “borderline-obsessive runner and technophile,” looks into the high-tech jargon and performance promises so prevalent in the running-shoe industry. Can an innovative pair of running shoes really revolutionize the way we move across the ground?

“The brands, big and small, use a bewitching concoction of technology-sports-science wrapped up in marketing speak, to appeal to people like me who will try anything to go faster, farther or to just stay injury-free,” writes the author in a piece for

Read on …


Camp Champ Portable Camp Kitchen Review
If you’ve ever grown frustrated with a disorganized camping bin of pots, pans, utensils, spices and Ziploc bags of staples, get ready to geek out on this beautifully designed camp kitchen to go. Reviewed this week on Gizmag, the Camp Champ is a high-end “all-in-one camping kitchen with all the tools and serving ware you need to prepare and serve a meal for up to six people.”

It comes with a four-burner gas stove, knife block, set of pots and pans, spice rack, coffee percolator, grater, stainless-steel strainer, and dishes and utensils for six people. Wallet beware: the Camp Champ retails for $6,120.

Read on …


Hiking with a Cellphone and Pizza
This week on, reporter Steve Grant explores the increasingly common phenomenon of long-distance hikers on the Appalachian Trail using their smartphones to order pizzas or other fast food delivered to them on the trail. It’s indicative of a greater shift toward tech on the trails—with 95 percent of distance hikers carrying a cell phone (and a mere 6 percent saying they could have done it without a phone).

What are the pros and cons of tech invading the thru-hiking trail experience?

Read on …