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Gear

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Holiday Gift Idea No. 2—Lather’s Road Warrior

I’m not sure where I first came across Lather’s soaps and shampoos, probably a boutique hotel on the West Coast. But I’ve been recommending the olive oil based soaps (especially the therapeutic lemongrass), creamy moisturizers, mint thyme hair wash, and almond shaving cream to friends for years. Lather is owned by Pasadena-based Emilie Davidson Hoyt, who grew up ultra-sensitive to synthetic fragrances found in most cosmetics. She started using natural ingredients and now she’s celebrating her 15th year in business. The trial sized shaving cream and face lotion are always with me when I hit the road; the sea kelp body wash and shampoo are with me when I hit the gym. Now you can get all these products and more in a nifty dopp kit in a package called the Road Warrior. Priced at $48, it’s perfect for that special man in your life. 

 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 12/03/14 at 06:00 AM
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Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Holiday Gift Idea No. 1—The Wojo Wallet

When the temperature hit 60 degrees on Sunday, I decided to go for one last bike ride in 2014. I always bring my license on any of my adventures, just in case I slip down the crevice of a mountain on a hike or a text-sending teenager on a bike ride flattens me. I hate taking a thick wallet, so when I found out about the Wojo Wallet, I quickly snagged one. The thin neoprene sleeve is sweat and waterproof, so it actually floats on water. No wonder, it’s already a big hit with surfers, fishermen, and people hanging on the beach who want to go for a swim and don’t trust leaving their wallet behind. I love it because it’s thin enough to hold my credit cards, license, key, and cash when I’m out for a ride. Cost is $12.95. Add $2 if you want to add your college colors. 

 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 12/02/14 at 06:00 AM
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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Photography Apps & Tools to Enhance Your Travel Photos

Guest Post by Lisa Leavitt

I still lug around my heavy 35 mm Canon camera, just like I still tend toward actual books and dirty bulky newspapers. However, you can't be but amazed at what your iPhone camera is capable of doing. Here are some excellent apps and tools that will give you a hand toward creating those memorable pictures you've yearned to be able to take:

 
Ollo Clip
Ollo Clip is a four-in-one lens that can be easily attached to your iPhone or iPad. The four lenses include a wide angle, fish-eye (think strange distortions), 10x macro lens gets you 10x closer and the 15x lens gets you 15x closer (yep, peach fuzz). Pocket sized and very handy, these are extra cool. Remember, the one downside is you have to attach the lenses to the naked iPhone, so cases need to be removed before use. They did invent a special Quick-Flip case for it so you may want to check those out. The four-in-one for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus should be ready to ship by late November, just in time for the holidays. Made for iPhone 4, 4S, 5, 5S, and 6 is to come shortly. Also works on Samsung Galaxy. Only $79.
 
Galileo
You likely have a dock for your iPod that amplifies the sound of your music. The Galileo is a dock for your iPhone that gives it a robotic spin rotating in every direction, expanding your photographic possibilities to the extreme. Features include time lapse video that can capture the transformations of the sky during sunrises and sunsets and passing cloud formations, face tracking technology allowing for hand free selfies, object tracking for hand free videography, and spherical photos featuring a composite picture taken from 360 degrees of angles.  $99.95-$149.95
 
GroupShot
This app merges a series of photos into one that everyone loves. Ever take a fantastic family photo but one person manages to blink so it's just not perfect? Here's your solution. Load all the pictures you have of that latest family photo, and replace the less than optimal face with one from another take. Problem solved. GroupShot costs .99 in the App Store.

 
ProHDR X 
Incredible definition for smart phone photos, called High Dynamic Range, combines several different exposures into one so you can create a single well-exposed image. You can easily turn on the HDR setting on your iPhone camera by tapping on the options button and turning on the HDR switch. It may take a bit longer to take an HDR photo, but it's usually worth it. If you want even better HDR quality, try ProHDR X, which was just introduced last month. This app allows your iPhone camera to simultaneously get details on the object in focus, get the lush, saturated color you desire, show shadows with depth and produce a final image that looks almost surreal it's so focused and highly contrasted. $1.99 from the App store.
 
TouchRetouch
This app will remove unwanted people and content from your photos. Use your finger to change your photos at will. The photos look very convincing and the app is a cinch to use. TouchRetouch is .99 in App Store.
 
 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 11/12/14 at 06:00 AM
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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

What Sports Gear is Worth the Baggage Check Price?

With the cost of luggage on airlines forever on the upswing, it’s a good time to reconsider whether you want to bring those cherished clubs on your next family vacation unless you know for sure you'll get some time on the links. American Airlines and United now charge up to $200 per golf bag if the weight scale happens to tip over 70 pounds. Skis, surfboards, and bikes are priced less, averaging $50 per leg per item. But is it worth the hassle and the price? To see my recommendations, check out my latest travel column for Men’s Journal

 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 10/28/14 at 06:00 AM
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Thursday, May 10, 2012

Free National Park App

This one comes from my wife, Lisa Leavitt, from her Tuesday Travel Tidbits column. If you’re not receiving the Tuesday Travel Tidbits or our monthly newsletters, send us your email and we’ll put you on the list. Until May 12, Chimani, a Yarmouth, Maine based company, will be offering free apps for Apple and Android users, who want guidance in the National Parks. Usually $4.99 to $9.99, the apps provide trail maps, ranger-led events, biking guides, and even the ever-important directions to find the restrooms in the parks! We have been very busy booking many of our clients on trips to the National Parks this summer, so this will come in handy. Some of the parks that Chimani covers are: Acadia National Park, Cape Cod National Seashore, Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Yosemite and Zion National Parks. 

 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 05/10/12 at 12:00 PM
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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Carve That Perfect Turn and Then Watch It on YouTube

“What’s on that guy’s helmet?” my daughter Melanie asked as we made our way outdoors this past weekend at Jay Peak. It was a video camera or helmet cam, the latest fad to hit the ski slopes. GoPro’s new model, the HD HERO2, has been selling like hot cakes since it made its debut last year. Retailing for $300, you can mount the video camera on your helmet, poles, or jacket and start filming those runs, easily uploaded to your YouTube page later in the day. The HERO2 also has models that work well with surfers and mountain bikers, so expect to see more action on the water and singletrack trails this summer. You think you’re worthy of being watched by millions? Prove it!

 
I’m off to San Diego, Cabo San Lucas, and Puerto Vallarta, back on February 28th. Have a great two weeks and keep active!
 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 02/15/12 at 03:37 PM
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Friday, January 20, 2012

L.L. Bean Celebrating its 100th Anniversary in 2012

If you live in New York City and noticed that big Bootmobile in Times Square on Wednesday, the vehicle came direct from Freeport, Maine, to celebrate L.L. Bean’s 100th anniversary. Feeling nostalgic? Then order a special-edition boot this year that’s similar to the first pair of boots designed by Leon Leonwood Bean. Better yet, blog, tweet, or simply tell a story about using L.L. Bean gear and the company will donate up to $1 million to the National Park Foundation in a yearlong promotion called “The Million Moment Mission.” The company also hopes to get more folks outdoors this year by promoting its Outdoor Discovery Schools. Go Bean!

 


Posted by Steve Jermanok on 01/20/12 at 02:00 PM
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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Stormproof Waterproof Matches are Ideal for Camping

We’ve all been there before. You pack your matches in a nice dry plastic Ziploc bag, only to tip the canoe or spill the canteen and realize that even plastic bags can get damp. You reach for those matches that night to start a fire and the wet stick falls to pieces in your hand. That’s why I was excited to try Stormproof Matches, which the company states work when wet. So I bought a kit, kept the matches outdoors all last week in Boston where it pretty much rained every day. Then took out one of the long matchsticks and lit it easily. The flame also lasts a good ten seconds, about the time it takes me to light my 20-year-old Coleman Burner. The kit comes with a waterproof case and three strikers and can be purchased on Amazon for about $6.
 


Posted by Steve Jermanok on 05/26/11 at 01:00 PM
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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Where to Put Your Keys or Camera? Spibelt!

Drive somewhere to go for a run or bike ride and you are quickly aware of the problem of what to do with your keys. Do you really want them jiggling in your pocket, worried about the keys falling out somewhere along the way? That’s exactly the dilemma facing Kim Overton when she went for a jog one day. But instead of just dealing with it, she invented the SPIbelt, a belt that wraps easily around your waist that contains a small pocket. I love it and have quickly used it on many of my outdoor excursions. It’s so light and non-invasive that I quickly forget it’s there. The fabric of the pocket is thin enough that I can also throw in an iPod and change the songs easily. I’ve also used the pocket to carry my Flip camera when traveling instead of having to hold it all day.
 


Posted by Steve Jermanok on 05/19/10 at 01:00 PM
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Thursday, March 04, 2010

Swim With Your Ipod

I like my tunes, especially when working out. Throw on my favorite R&B and electronica and I’m ripping through those 40 minutes on the elliptical or my free weight curls. That’s probably the main reason why I stopped doing laps in the pool. I hated listening to the sound of my breath wheezing for air. Well, now I can listen to my Ipod and still crank out the music thanks to H20 Audio’s waterproof cases and headphones that keeps all sizes of Ipods dry. Not surprisingly, Olympic swimming stars Michael Phelps and Natalie Coughlin are partnering with the company to help get the word out and fill up those lanes once again.
 


Posted by Steve Jermanok on 03/04/10 at 02:00 PM
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photo of Steve Jermanok
Longtime Boston Globe travel writer, Steve Jermanok, dishes out his favorite travel locales and provides topical travel information that comes across his desk.

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