10 Gifts that anyone on your list will love!

Still shopping or need an emergency gift in case the friend you did not buy for shows up with a gift for you?

Here are a few ideas that will work for almost anyone.

1. A Bushtukah gift card- Not only do they get to buy something awesome, they get an excuse to come visit us at Bushtukah!

A stylish Bushtukah Gift Card.

2.  A Fleece- To keep them warm and toasty all year round.

Covert-Hoody-W-Azulene

 

3.   Merino wool socks- We keep suggesting these but trust us…try them once and you will never go back!

WFW15NHSKIMEDIUMOTCNoModel1012810011

4.   A baselayer for their bottom half- Long underwear has changed, no more bulky stuff that makes you look like you ate way too many Christmas cookies!  It’s thin, it’s warm, it’s breathable and only they will know they have it on.m_fw13_bfbl200_oasis_leggings_black_gnm_100481001_SS_f

5.       A headlamp- Sure they will look silly when they put it on but everyone needs hands free lighting once in a while!

6.       A Buff- stylish and yet oh so versatile. Wear it seven different ways and for advanced users wear it as a pirate hat!118

7.       A baselayer for their top half-  Warm, thin and some of the new styles look so good they will want to wear it as the top layer!

8.       Mittens- Everyone needs them and everyone loses one of a pair over the summer, you can never have too many.

Delta-Mitten-W-Black

9.       A Bushtukah water bottle- So they can take it on their many adventures and take pictures with it for our Facebook page. (Hint, Hint!)Fredericton 087

10.   A toque- because it’s Canadian eh!

Molly-and-Moe-Toque-Agate

 

Happy Holidays from everyone at Bushtukah!

Snowshoe Buying Tips

Snowshoes have changed a lot over the years. If you are over 40 you may remember using these:

snowshoes

Walking in them was like strapping tennis rackets to your feet. It was hard not to step on your own toes, and when you did, the bindings let go and the snowshoes fell off. If you hit any kind of slope you had to walk sideways to avoid sliding down it. You can still buy snowshoes like that but most people don’t!

Modern snowshoes are lighter, narrower, have better binding systems and they have crampons so you don’t slide around. If you are looking to buy some here are some basics to help you find what you are looking for.

Snowshoes come in all kinds of shapes and sizes. In order to make things easier we are going to put them into three general classifications: recreational/walking , back country/hiking, and fitness/ running. What kind of snowshoes you need to buy will be determined by what you plan to do with them.

 

Recreational/ Walking Snowshoes

atlas_1516_m_rendezvous_td
Atlas Rendezvous

 

If you plan to chase the kids around the yard, walk the dog in the Greenbelt or just putter around the cottage these will work for you. They have crampons for traction so you don’t slide around.

Back Country /Hiking Snowshoes

MSR Lightning Ascent.
MSR Lightning Ascent.

 

If you are looking to do some distance in the back end of Gatineau Park or climb a few peaks in the Adirondacks this is what you need. The crampons are bigger and more aggressive and the snowshoes have additional traction provided by saw teeth along the sides of the snowshoe.

Both of these types of snowshoes are sold in different sizes. The size you need is determined by your weight (keep in mind that your “weight” is not just you it includes your winter weight clothing and your pack if you are going to carry one). The weight ranges for snowshoes are quite broad. If you will be using your snowshoes on hard packed snow go with the smaller snowshoes. If you are going to be on light fluffy snow go with the bigger ones.

mrevel_iii_magnettawny_olive_p

Most winter or hiking boots can be worn with snowshoes. Some even have a lip on the heel designed specifically for snowshoe bindings and a gaiter clip on the front for securing your gaiters to your boots. Avoid really soft flexible boots, the bindings may rub which can damage the boots and hurt your feet.

What do you get when you spend more money on a walking or hiking snowshoe?

Gender specific snowshoes– Women’s snowshoes are generally narrower and designed for a women’s gait. Men with a narrow gait may also prefer these.

Better quality/ more durable materials- Snowshoes are constantly rubbing against ice and snow when you walk on them. Eventually it wears them out. A better snowshoe will last longer.

A heel lift- That’s the bar you see in the picture of the MSR snowshoe above. You use it to change the angle of your feet on the snowshoes when you are going up hill. If you are only going to use your snowshoes in relatively flat areas you will never use it BUT if you ever plan to do any longer climbs you will be very glad you have this feature. It’s not something that can be added later.

Better crampons- For better grip.

A better binding systems- In general more expensive snowshoes will have binding systems that are easier to walk in and to get on and off.

The final type of snowshoe is a little different:

Running/ Fitness Snowshoes

Atlas Run Snowshoes.
Atlas Run Snowshoes.

If you are looking to take up snowshoe running these are what you need. They are smaller and lighter than other snowshoes and they have a different binding system which makes it easier to twist and turn as you run through the snow.

These only come in one size and the more expensive versions are generally lighter weight. Most people wear trail runners when they use them.

Other things you may want:

Gaiters – All snowshoes will throw snow up onto your legs as you walk (although some kick much less snow than others). Gaiters will help to keep the snow out of your boots.

Poles– Great for balance and a must for serious mountain hiking. However, poles are NOT used in snowshoe running.

A Bag– Great for keeping the snow out of your car. Just make sure you dry your snowshoes and the bag properly before you put them away at home.

Indoor Bike Trainer Basics

Looking to move your training indoors this winter?

Here is some basic information about the different types of indoor trainers.

Magnetic Trainers

t2650-blue-matic-1

 How do they work?

  • The resistance (how hard you have to work to pedal) is provided by magnets passing each other on two rotating discs.
  • You can change the resistance (make it easier or harder to pedal) with a lever on the handlebars or the resistance unit, which moves the magnets closer together or further apart. You can also use the gears on your bike.
  • The Fly wheel helps to even out your pedal strokes and create a smoother ride. The bigger the flywheel the smoother the ride.

What do you get when you spend more money?

  • More sophisticated magnetic units and larger flywheels which give you a smoother ride.
  • Noise and vibration reducing features and sturdier frames.
  • Higher power thresholds (how hard you can work – a bit of a simplified answer). The larger the flywheel, the higher the power threshold.

Pros and cons.

  • Magnetic trainers are very reliable and tend to be less expensive.
  • Generally speaking they are louder than fluid trainers.

Fluid Trainers

kurt-kinetic-trainers-road-machine-2_0-trainer-198932-1

How do they work?

  • The resistance is provided by an impeller spinning in a fluid filled chamber.
  • The faster you pedal the more viscous the fluid becomes and that increases the resistance, just like riding on the road. You can also change the resistance by using the gears on your bike.

What do you get when you spend more money?

  • More sophisticated fluid cooling which keeps the fluid at the same viscosity for longer. This gives you a more consistent feel during longer workouts.
  • More sophisticated frames to help replicate the natural motion of a bike.
  • Smart inride technology. A sensor built into the trainer that can be used with an app on an iPhone to get data about your ride including power. An android version of the app is currently in development.

Pros and cons.

  • Fluid trainers are generally quieter than magnetic trainers and have a more realistic road feel.
  • They are easy to use.
  • They have an infinite power curve. Meaning they can’t be overpowered.
  • They are great for cadence based workouts.
  • In general they are more expensive than magnetic trainers.

Virtual Reality / Computer Trainers

kickr_snap_pedaling_600_401

What are they and how do they work?

  • They are magnetic trainers which can be connected to a computer or  your smartphone for a virtual reality experience.
  • When connected via Bluetooth or ANT+ (depending on the trainer) the trainer’s resistance is controlled by your computer or smartphone. Ride metrics such as speed, cadence and power can also be recorded and captured.
  • Trainers can be used with various third party apps.
  • Features include: customizing your workout on a computer and downloading it to the trainer, downloading rides you have done  from your GPS to the trainer so you can replicate them indoors and racing with other riders online.

Pros and cons.

  • These trainers offer the next level of sophistication and fun to indoor training. You can do some really cool things!
  • They are more expensive.

Rollers

image_40061_40009_5637175086

What are they and how do they work?

  • A set of rollers incased in a metal frame. The bike is unsupported so you have to focus on balance.
  • Resistance is changed using the gears on your bike.
  • Some models have rollers with the same diameter all the way along while others have varying diameters to help keep the wheels centered.

Pros and cons.

  • Great for improving balance and riding style.
  • There is definitely a learning curve
  • Riding requires focus on what you are doing.