Here’s my preface: I am a snotty outdoors person who fancies old, dirty, well-loved ’80s-era LL Bean and North Face products over the ultra-light titanium, wick-away polyester or Isotherm fleece gear on the market these days. My beautiful, beat-up garb—along with my many-a-mile-traveled equipment and the totally un-water-resistant and super-gnarled boots that I’ve had since the 7th grade (hint: shop for me!)—leave me feeling like an old pro (read: holier than thou).
But, anyway, though I pride myself on being a true mountain man, I sneakily love to lurk around outdoor stores as I pine after all of the brilliant, bright modern accessories—goggles with a built-in camera ($399)! Goggles with GPS ($645)! Think of all the sneaky spying and self-locating possibilities; I’d wear them all day, every day.
Oh, to be a true, decked-out weekend warrior. I dream of the apocalypse, where I am the only person left alive and thus, finally free to raid the abandoned homes of wealthy Colorado-mountain types for their lightweight, water-resistant, solar-powered, magical gear: heated and chargeable gloves ($250); fluffy down scarves of every color ($65); Suunto watches ($400-$500), complete with a compass, altimeter, barometer and other things ending in -eter.
Oh Alpine Sports (121 Sandoval St., 983-5155), if only you were my oyster, and your products the pearls. I’d happily go traipsing off wearing a cashmere dress ($325), a fur hat ($34), long silky SmartWool underwear ($95-$115), Moon Boots ($120) and, of course, those super-fly, anti-fog, sneaky spying goggles. Old, used gear be damned—I’m waiting for the apocalypse.
Until then, there are the more reasonably priced, practical gifts—most of which are also available at Santa Fe Mountain Sports (1221 Flagman Way, 988-3337) or the nonlocal, but conveniently located REI (500 Market St., Ste. 10, 982-3557): The Sierra Club’s Day Hikes in Santa Fe ($16.95), toe and finger warmers, compasses that are not built into watches or goggles ($16.95), SmartWool socks ($19.95-$20.95), Swiss Army knives ($21-$54.95) and gloves designed especially for compulsive iPhone touchers ($32): a little something even for those whose stockings are not so Smart[Wool].