Gear Reviews

Dilemma:  All water shoes are ugly ugly ulgy and often fugly!  Seriously, I do not get it.  I do not get Crocs or Birkenstocks or Tevas either so maybe it’s me.  BUT a miracle has happened, I sware!  I finally found a pair of water shoes that I’m not cringing to wear on the way to the dock, launch site, beach etc.

Zhik ( makes a shoe that looks like a cute skate sneak but is made from neoprene.  Originally designed for grip and performance on deck, this type of shoe now has street cred.  For the newest in cool amphibious footwear go for a pair of ZKG’s.  You’re connected when it’s wet and you dry fast when out of the water.  Along with cushion, support and a barefoot feel my prayers have been answered.  I love them for my new SUP (stand up paddle board classes)!



Water alone is not enough.  Water alone cannot replace the valuable electrolytes needed to maintain proper brain and muscle function.  NUUN contains the perfect balance of electrolytes and water without sugar to keep you properly hydrated for all of life’s pursuits.  Nuun offers a product for when you are being adventurous/active and an all day product as well.  I personally love the handy tubes these tabs come in and appreciate the idea that I have these wherever I go to drop into a bottle when I need or want to.  A similar product has been available in Europe for a long time, so happy to have an option now here in the states that is comparable.  My personal favorite flavor is the All Day Grape-Raspberry.

Life factory has a new product out that is the better for you and better for the world alternative to plastic reusable water bottles!

Glass Water Bottles
On The Go Bottles, glass instead of plastic!


These glass water bottles are designed in a slim style with a rainbow of colors that can be mixed and matched for the plastic grippy outer protective sleeve.  It’s purity meeting performance here – a reusable and safe glass product paired with the simple flip top cap for mobility and use on your adventures.

The products are BPA-free & Phthalate-free, dishwasher safe and made in the US and Europe.  So for a miniscule amount of extra weight you don’t have to be drinking from the harmful plastic here, yet you are still re-using!

I really like these for day hikes and for use while driving to your destination since they fit in the cup holders better than a Nalgene.  And it is true that the icky plastic we all drink from is getting more and more bad press.  Try the new alternative here.


The SPOT Personal Tracker raises the safety factor for millions who take to the outdoors each year. SPOT notifies friends, family or an international rescue coordination center with your GPS location and status based on situation and need – all with the push of a button.  This is an amazing device that works through a satellite and on batteries.  So when your cell phone has no charge or no service the SPOT Tracker

device can get you out of big trouble.  I watch enough “I Shouldn’t Have Survived” on Nat Geo to know how this does and could have helped so many.  It you are not in trouble you may not find it useful but your loved ones will like knowing your last known longitude and latitude and for the one time when you really do need it that yearly fee for the membership service will have been more than worth it – no lonely nights fighting hypothermia on the side of a mountain for you, hello heli!

Acli-Mate® is a unique and energizing mountain sport drink designed to aid in the prevention of altitude sickness AND assist mountain recreationalists and athletes in maximizing performance at elevation. The specific combination of natural ingredients including vitamins, minerals, herbs and electrolytes makes Acli-Mate® ideal for mountain visitors and athletes alike.

I found that this product is natural and gives the lift you need for energy and endurance when replacing the fluids and vitamins your body is burning.  Plus it tastes good – grape is offered which I think is really hard to find in these mixes – and it mixes easy!  For an alternative to the usuals you find out there in this arena give it a try, plus it is specialized for altitude and all natural making it hard to find something comparable out there.  Although I found this at an expo, so I am not sure how easy it will be to find yet at mainstream so check it online for now: