Aspen Times Weekly: Five holiday gear gifts under $40
From a mini speaker to a water-filtration “straw,” these gifts will make any gear junkie on your holiday list happy — all without breaking the bank.
Boombotix Boombot Mini: Mega sound from a mini speaker. I connect this palm-size Bluetooth unit wirelessly to my phone for music anywhere. It has a solid clip on back for attaching to a backpack strap. Its max volume is rated at 90 decibels, and the audio is amazingly clear. $39.99, boombotix.com
LighterBro Pro: Convert any common Bic lighter into a multitool with this slip-on case. It contains fold-out tools including a scissors and a tiny, sharp blade. The body is made of stainless steel and slips easily into a pocket when not deployed. $19.95, lighterbro.com
LED Lenser SEO 3: At 90 lumens, this headlamp is bright enough for night hikes or campground tasks. It has white and red light modes and sits comfortably on the forehead at only 3.4 ounces in total weight. $39, http://www.ledlenserusa.com
YETI Rambler Lowball: This do-all 10-ounce cup keeps drinks cold and ice solid for hours. Its double stainless steel walls don’t “sweat,” so no coasters are required even on a varnished wood surface. $24.99, yeticoolers.com
LifeStraw Personal Water Filter: Find a lake or river and grab a drink. This popular filter-straw removes a touted 99.9999% of waterborne bacteria (and 99.9% of protozoan parasites), filtering down to 0.2 microns for potable water almost anywhere. $19.95, lifestraw.com
Stephen Regenold writes about outdoors gear at http://www.gearjunkie.com.
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Many locations on Basalt Mountain were barren as recently as two months ago. However, nutrients unlocked during the Lake Christine Fire and a wet winter have sparked a remarkable recovery. Aspen Center for Environmental Studies is leading fire ecology tours to discuss the changes.