Outdoors

TrackingPoint Releases Precision Guided Firearm iOS Simulator App

We first broke news of TrackingPoint and their Precision Guided Firearm system during this year’s CES. The system is a custom-built rifle and scope combination that makes long-range shooting much more accurate. Using the XactSystem, shooters tag, track and hit their target with pinpoint accuracy. TrackingPoint has just released Precision Hunter Lite which allows iOS users to experience their revolutionary technology. The free application is basically a first person shooter that replicates the Precision Guided Firearm experience. Using the head’s up display, users practice utilizing the XactSystem to successfully make ethical shots at extreme distances. Users choose their quarry then…


Hypothermia Warning Signs – The Monday Mile

Over the last week I have heard a few stories about runners getting into a bit of trouble with the elements, and reflecting on how hard it is to interpret hypothermia warning signs … when you are the one who has gotten into trouble. One veteran runner had a ‘stomach emergency’ mid-run which led to too much exposure, and the inability to get warm. Fortunately there was a nearby gym where he stopped and called his wife to collect him. He noticed that he had a hard time operating his phone, and while driving home she remarked that the scary…


Smartphone Cameras Change Everything: Winter Storm Nemo vs Blizzard of ’78

This week marked the 35th anniversary of the Blizzard of ’78, and as a result we have seen some of the iconic images from that storm on web sites and social media. I have a few pictures that I’ll share here. The other day it was snowing – pretty snow floating to the ground and coating everything. I snapped a picture with my smartphone camera that went to our photo stream, and my wife saw it and remarked that it was a pretty shot … and that is likely the only attention it will ever get. And as snow started…


Dorcy LED Headlamp Review

I’ll admit that the first time Kev slipped his headlamp on to go do something outside in the dark, I smirked. Why not just carry a flashlight? Why go out of your way to look like a coal miner or a caver? I’m being facetious, of course. I totally understood why he would want to be able to do things outside handsfree, but there’s no getting around the fact that wearing a headlamp makes you look a little silly. Only, you are the one getting the last laugh. If you have a headlamp on, it’s like you’ve grown an extra…


Beer Hunter and Drinkmaster Will Keep You Warm and Your Beer Cold

It’s time for slightly embarrassing admissions here at Gear Diary: I can personally vouch that when I was in college (hmmpty-hmmph) years ago, I learned that it is possible to smuggle an entire eight-pack of 8 oz. Little Kings Cream Ales into a movie theater stashed within the various pockets of a denim jacket. I mean, have you seen the price of concessions at the movies lately?! Unfortunately, I can also verify that when you drape said blue jean jacket around the back of a theater seat, there is a very high probability that at least one of those little…


The Monday Mile – Too Sick to Exercise?

One of the keys to a fitness routine is … making it a routine. That means doing it on a regular basis, and for most people it means setting up a time pretty much every day when you can make it happen. For me it is 4AM runs, for others it is a post-work stop at the gym, and others have their own way of getting it done. But what if you are not feeling great? Should you still work out, or are you better taking a day off? Here are five quick thoughts: 1. If you have a fever,…


Minimal-ish Shoes Trickle Down to Target

One of the big knocks on minimal running shoes is that the prices are anything but minimal. Most of the big brand name shoes cost around $100 a pair, which can feel steep for a slab of rubber and some cloth for the upper. But like all trends in fashion, designs do eventually trickle down to cheaper names. Target’s C9 by Champion offers all sorts of great athletic wear at low prices, and they’ve expanded that to shoes that look suspiciously like the Reebok Realflex, a popular transitional/minimal shoe! Target is calling it the “Champion Premier” line, but the shoes…


TrackingPoint Presents the World’s First Precision Guided Rifle Technology

As many of you know, I am an avid hunter and outdoorsman. I hunt not only for the sport of it, but also because it is a way to feed my family. I hunt with a compound bow as well as a rifle, both with different goals. With my bow, the goal is to get the game as close as possible enabling a 20-30 yard shot. Conversely, I prefer to shoot at longer ranges with my rifle. Usually 200 yards and up, and to facilitate this I use a scope with a ballistic drop reticle. Basically, there are dots under…


yurbuds Focus Limited Edition Earbuds Look Great, Sound Great and Stay in Place

We’ve been fans of yurbuds earbuds since first seeing them at CES 2011. The earbuds have a special design that lets you wear them comfortably for extended periods and, thanks to their unusual design, the earbuds stay in place even when you are doing flips off the wall. Case in point… The company has once again upped their game. The Focus Limited Edition ($99.99) and Inspire Limited Edition ($99.99) step up the fashion aspect of the earbuds by switching to a sharp black/red color. The result is a line that looks sleeker than ever. Yes, sport earphones can now be…


Caching in on Fun

Has anyone ever told you to go take a hike?  Have you considered actually doing it?  Do you enjoy scavenger hunts?  If you answered yes to these questions, then geocaching is for you! Geocaching is a scavenger hunt appropriate for adults or anyone who can follow a GPS.  The basic premise is that somewhere out in the woods, someone hid a treasure chest (or geocache), and in that chest is a collection of random goods including anything ranging from a heart necklace to a plastic stegosaurus.  The GPS coordinates will help you get to the area, and then it’s your…


New Grilling Developments from Saffire and Grate Chef

The unseasonably warm weather in my hometown of Nashville assured that my holiday turkey would just have to be cooked outdoors. I’ve outgrown the fad of deep-frying turkeys, both because it’s really pretty unhealthy and the fact that I really don’t want to burn my house down just to save a little cooking time. Plus, I really like the flavor of a smoked turkey because, let’s face it turkey doesn’t really taste like much unless you add something to the meat. After a two-day brine in a simple solution of water, salt, sugar and a few favorite spices and an…


My Bag: Ham Radio Edition

Hurricane Sandy, the derecho and the upcoming winter season has had me thinking about what I carry on a daily basis. It also prompted me to consider what I might add to it to be better prepared.  In HAM lingo, we refer to this as our GO bag– the bag that serves in an emergency preparedness capacity. Here’s a look at my Go bag. The Bag Itself My bag is a Swiss Gear Cobalt laptop bag. In fact, this is the same one I use as my daily driver laptop bag; it is available from Amazon for around $60 bucks. I…


My Hurricane Sandy Survival Gear

I started this post prior to losing power Monday night. In the middle of writing it, the power went out … and it stayed out until late Thursday night. We had no heat or electric; because we are on a well and septic system, we had no water. We had no internet and no phones either, since I had insisted we get rid of our landline a few years ago (Oops!). We, however, were among the lucky ones. We had no property damage, and the two trees that came down fell as perfectly as if I had actually planned the…


Chaval Outdoor Introduces Response-XRT Tech-Based Luxury Ski Gloves

We have now had three sub-30F mornings in the last two weeks … so I am thinking about my cold weather gear for running. Also, next month my younger son starts his annual ski team weekend jaunts, so again I am thinking gear. I have found that through the years maintaining finger warmth has become increasingly critical to my overall sense of comfort. By the coldest days I am often double-gloving in order to keep warm. But that was before; I am now running FOUR TIMES the distance and staying out twice as long. So I anticipate this year being…


iBike POWERHOUSE Complete Cycling Fitness Plan

Through the years, I’ve reviewed several devices for iPhones and iPods that purport to be sturdy protective mounts for bicycle usage. Keeping in mind that there are inherent dangers in listening to music while you’re cycling, especially if you have to worry about dangling headphone wires, it’s important to make sure that safety is your first concern. The iBike POWERHOUSE ensures both the safety of your iPhone and your body with its well-designed mount for the 3 and 4 series iPhones. (No luck for you early iPhone 5 adopters yet.) Add in a software solution for exercise and cycling technique…


Magellan Kicks Off Hunting Season with New Products

One of my favorite times of the year officially started last weekend! The beginning of hunting season is always exciting and gives us outdoorsmen an excuse to spend too much time in nature. While the first weekend of bow hunting season was not fruitful for me due to the moon cycle, I did thoroughly enjoy the opportunity to spend some time out in the wild clearing my head and being one with nature. One thing that is important while hunting is safety and location. Not only do you need to find your way back to civilization, but you never want to lose…


The New Garmin ForeRunner 10 Prepares for the Wineglass Marathon!

I had posted about the Garmin ForeRunner 10 announcement previously, and we were expecting a review sample but had been notified that they were still waiting for stock before shipping. While acknowledging the message and thanking them for the update, I mentioned that it was too bad it wouldn’t arrive in time for the Wineglass Marathon I am running this weekend, but since I would be running a half-marathon in a month it was no big deal. Justin at Garmin got back to me quickly, saying that he would have one in my hands by Friday (yesterday) … just in time…


D-Star Breathes New Life into Amateur Radio

D-Star is the newest mode I have recently added to my Amateur Radio arsenal.  I bought an Icom ID-31A D-star, radio which I will be reviewing here soon, but I wanted to share a little about D-star and why it’s a cool mode before I did the review. The History of D-Star D-star is a mode that was created by the Japanese Amateur Radio League in 2001 after doing three years of research.  JARL designed it as an open standard so that manufacturers could build the radios.  Icom is the first company to make radios for D-star, however they aren’t…


Emergency Cell-Phone Lasts 10 Hours On A Single ‘AA’ Battery

Picture yourself stranded alone during a hurricane. The rain pelts the windows with oppressive vigor. A howling wind lifts lawn chairs off the patio. You reach into your pocket and grab your smart-phone. You’ve never been more desperate to check your twitter feed, but the battery’s already down to 5%. Four minutes later, that one tough level of Angry Birds: Space finally kills the phone. Out of nowhere, an enormous tree branch crashes through the living room window. You try to call for help, but you left your charger in the hotel room back in Atlanta. What’s the solution? XPAL…


Esoterism Presents the Moat-4 Aroused Comrade Urban Camo iPhone 4S Case

Most of our readers know I am an avid outdoorsman and hunter, but you all should also know I am a huge fan of our military. As a history teacher and patriot, anything that shows support for our troops is OK by me. I have many ex-students/athletes that have defended our nation bravely. One of my athletes gave the ultimate price, and my best friend took multiple rounds during the Battle of Fallujah and lived to tell about it. I also have a recent graduate who has become an Army Ranger. With all of that said, I naturally like all…


Thermacell Adds Light To Their Mosquito Control, All-Purpose Swivel Light Review

A must have for all hunters, especially in the south is a ThermaCELL Mosquito repellent appliance. In fact, I actually cannot even hunt without one during the spring turkey season or the early bow only deer season here in Texas. Our mosquitos can practically carry a man during those months. Read my review on the ThermaCELL appliance here I wrote during turkey season. On top of dealing with mosquitos during hunting season, there is also the issue of darkness. I prefer early morning hunts and always get to the farm well before the sun rises. Hiking with all of my…