As I rode the Super Condor Express chairlift, at Canyons resort this weekend, my cell phone rang and I launched into a ritual many of us Utahns perform every weekend during the winter. I unzipped my pocket, tugged my phone out and frantically removed one of my gloves so that I could answer the call. Too late. By the time I got my glove off, I missed the call. Sound familiar?
As I stuffed my phone back into my jacket, and replaced the glove over my now frozen hand, I was reminded of one of the many really cool products I discovered at the 2013 Winter Outdoor Retailer show this past week in Salt Lake City.
Here's a few most Utahns will find handy during the winter months:
This turns any glove into a touch-screen compatible glove, perfect for operating your iPhone, Droid or other smart phone. Apply several drops of this hi-tech liquid to the fingertip of your favorite glove—and presto— no more pulling your gloves when you need to answer your phone. One bottle of AnyGlove comes with 550 drops. Reapplication is necessary, depending on the porosity and fabric type of your glove, but the manufacturer assures me that one bottle will last for many years. $20, anyglove.com
This gel product comes in small handy pouches. Squeeze onto a safe surface and light. Flameless, odorless and non-toxic, Utility Flame was developed for the U.S. military to allow soldiers to heat a cup of hot coffee in the field. Now available to the public, one 1-1/4 oz pouch will burn for 14-15 minutes—long enough to boil water, cook and make a hot cup of joe. Great for backpacking or for your emergency survival kit. Two-pack, $6, utilityflame.com
This device is a great tool for folks who like to cook over an open flame. Hammer the 2-foot stake into the ground next to your campfire, and you have an adjustable grilling surface that can be raised and lowered. The grilling surface rotates out of the way, so you can add and remove food safely. Add the optional Fire Pan tray and the Adjust-A-Grill can be set up on table or at a tailgate. Available online or at retailers like Cabelas, Sportsman's Warehouse and Bass Pro Shops. $60, adjustagrill.com
Guide 10 Plus Adventure Kit
This portable solar panel charger, manufactured by Utah-based Goal Zero, allows you to use your electronic devices off-the-grid in the great Utah wilderness. At under one pound, the 6-inch-by-9-inch panels can be slung from your backpack while you hike or placed anywhere the sun is shining. USB compatible, the panels and accompanying battery packs will plug your smart phone, MP3 player, camera or tablet, providing plenty of power to keep you in touch with the world. Larger kits are available to charge laptops and other larger devices. $160, goalzero.com