December 4th, 2002 Ted Katauskas | Special Section Stories
 

Outdoors

...For the Tree-Hugging Hedonist

     
Tags:
ClubSport Rock Gym
contents
Intro
Toys
Accessories
Pampering
Gadgets
Pets
Outdoors
Home Furnishings
Comestibles and Kitchen Stuff
Sex
Spirits
Books and Music

Driving an all-terrain vehicle that has yet to leave the pavement, dashing through the parking lot in a waterproof/breathable anorak that was designed for the extremes of Everest, the tree hugger is wild at heart--and chained to a desk. Help liberate your all-weather friend with one or more of the following.

Flatwater 101
The Columbia River, off of Hayden Island, might not be the Puget Sound, but a half-day Quickstart introductory sea kayaking class ($60, Alder Creek Kayak & Canoe, 250 NE Tomahawk Island Drive, 285-0464, www.aldercreek.com) will teach your dry-behind-the ears pal everything he needs to get there. After learning basic strokes, wet exits and re-entries, he'll be officially qualified to rent touring kayaks from the store. Then he can head to the San Juan Islands on his own.

Air Mattress Redefined
Why let your pal curl up on the ground when she could be mowing hay in the crown of a favorite fir? The Treeboat Hammock ($160, New Tribe, Grants Pass, 866-223-3371, www.newtribe.com) is a 78-inch-long, 30-inch-wide aerial bed designed for camping in treetops. Not recommended for sleepwalkers.

Behind Blue Eyes
It's impossible not to look cool in a pair of Oakley A-Frame snowboarding goggles ($85, Exit Real World, 820 NW Glisan St., 226-3948), especially when they're tricked out with an optional Blue Iridium replacement lens ($70). As one shredder observed in an online review of the gogs, the aesthetic is pure fighter-jock, and "the mirrored lens makes it real easy to avoid people you'd rather not speak to."

Trunkcycle
Panniers suck. They're bulky, they can't be locked, and they leak. Solution: the BOB "Coz"-mopolitan ($224, Bike Gallery, 1001 SW Salmon St., 222-3821, and other locations, www.bikegallery.com), a 3,600-cubic-inch tag-along trunk for pedal-powered vehicles. The Coz's patented Action Packer cargo container (by Rubbermaid) is waterproof and lockable. The collapsible, single-wheel trailer it rides on even fits inside.

Point, Click, Hike
There's nothing more irritating than discovering that the topographic map you need for your hike is the only one that's missing from the set in the flat files at the store. No more: With TOPO! Oregon ($99.95, Nature of the Northwest, 800 NE Oregon St., Room 177, 872-2750, www.naturenw.org), every topographical map of the state is stored on a single shiny plastic disk...forever.

Scaling Mount Tigard
With 11,500 square feet of textured climbing surface, walls as high as a four-story building, and a route-setting crew directed by American climbing legend Tony Yaniro, the ClubSport Rock Gym is the largest and finest place to climb indoors in Oregon. Unfortunately, the rock gym is just one small piece of a 170,000-square-foot fitness resort with 4,000 members on its roster, mostly suburban soccer moms with kids. With a day pass ($110 for eight visits, ClubSport Oregon, 18120 SW Lower Boones Ferry Road, 968-4500), stone huggers can bypass the Family Night Buffet and head directly to the manky crux of an overhanging 5.13 lead route.

Dances with Fish
Fly-fishing break-dancers are raving about the Patagonia Wading Shoe ($130, Patagonia Portland, 907 NW Irving St., 525-2552, www.patagonia.com). Quick-drying synthetic leather sides guard against boulders, self-draining mesh uppers filter out sand and gravel, and spongy white felt soles offer both sure footing over slime-coated river rocks and slick moves on cardboard.

Wilder-nest
The skyscraping Douglas firs of Opal Creek are simply too big for one person to hug. Which explains why the newest cabin in Jawbone Flats ($300 per night, Friends of Opal Creek, Mill City, 897-2921, www.opalcreek.org), a hydro-powered eco-camp in the heart of the Opal Creek Scenic Recreation Area, sleeps 16. With a fire burning in Cabin 4's potbelly stove and a case of pinot to go around, your buddy's confining cubicle will be quickly forgotten. Even cell phones won't penetrate the mossy bliss of this remote paradise.

MORE GIFT IDEAS

Aurora Clarity Dome

Kind of like a big plastic cocoon for your hot tub, and very weather-resistant (they're made out of the same material as airline windows).

$4,200 and $6,000, Applied Geodesics, Inc., 1200 West 8th St., Vancouver, Wash., (360) 695-9856.

Eco Explorer Boat

An inflatable, saltwater-resistant boat featuring a clear plastic window on the floor, as well as a 150,000-candlepower submersible light, so you can see the beauty of the ocean.

$279, www.nationalgeographic.com.

Garden Shrines

Made from recycled wood, these shrines contain spaces for photos, wreaths, candles, and other knick-knacks. Create a garden shrine to yourself, Elvis, or even a beloved lost pet.

$180-$250. Hollyhocks, 2707 SE Belmont St., 872-8672.

Mosquito Trap by Lentek

Using carbon dioxide and heat, it tricks little insects into thinking they're biting you...then zap! You probably could live a summer without this acre-covering, all-natural trap--but why would you want to?

$249.95, Sharper Image, 700 SW 5th Ave., 228-4110, and other locations.

Patio Greenhouse

Know someone with a green thumb but no space to flex it? The Sunshine Garden Greenhouse Patio Kit easily fits over almost any patio and is perfect for gardeners with limited space.

$799, Landscape USA, 13126 NE Airport Way, 800-966-1033, www.landscapeusa.com.

 
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