Gear from Tailwind Nurition, Garmin and Yaktrax:  small items that make a big splash.

Big things come in little boxes. We’ve picked  three items from Tailwind Nutrition, Garmin and Yaktrax that we found to make a big difference in how we enjoy our adventures. We think every outdoor enthusiast would like them.

Tailwind Rebuild recovery drink

Tailwind RebuildBrandon Mathis

The good folks at Tailwind Nutrition have worked wonders producing their performance drink mix that has found its way into water bottles and hydration bladders across the country and beyond. Beloved by endurance athletes, their drink-your-calories approach to fueling activity is sworn by many. So it’s no wonder that the drink mix masters have concocted a recovery drink that is so complex it uses a patent pending mathematical model.

Made with a quality rice based protein, the mix is supplemented with amino acids based on that equation that results in  a complete protein, which is known to aide in muscle recovery far more effectively than its non-complete form.

The mix is dairy free, gluten free, contains no soy, but more importantly, tastes delicious.  Simmer down, it’s not available until early 2018. We were lucky enough to test some samples after a 50K in the Sonoran Desert. Our verdict, especially considering our zombified state, was clear: an undieniable restored energy thanks to our consumption of Rebuild in the “golden hour’ immediately following our stumbling back to our car at the finish line, followed by rapid recovery.  Plus, it’s good enough to drink for desert.

Garmin Forerunner Smartwatch

Decades  of activities gone undocumented meant endurance junkies  have a lot of catching up to do. A smartwatch can do a lot for an adventure athlete always on the go, and when you toss in some handy features like push notifications, text messages, a reminder to move when you’ve been sitting too long and weather updates things get handy fast. With blue tooth connectivity for apps like Strava or Garmin Connect, real time tracking and even heart rate monitors on newer models, you have quite a device that follows and records your path.

It all starts with your watch, phone or not-  leave it in the car and sync with your mobile apps later.

Strava-nauts or not, fitness apps coupled with a smart watch like the Garmin Forerunner series means your connected at your wrist and tracking at the beep of a button. Some may mock the constant infatuation with checking pace, cadnce, steps in a day, distance traveled, lap time and more but research shows that smart watch-wearing, fitness tracker types actually do improve their fitness levels with use. So, there’s that.

YakTrax Run traction device

Yaktrax RunBrandon Mathis

Runners: an endorphin addicted habit laced strain of homosapian that will find a way to run no matter what the price.  Even during the frigid cold depths of winter they’re finding ways to hit the trail, road, or track. All too often, all of the above get layered with ice as slick as, well, ice, sending runners gliding over their surface instead of sprinting over it, which can lead to a brutal reality. Ouch.

Yaktrax Run traction devices slip on running shoes with ease and cinch with the pull of a velcro strap. The rubber is good to 4o below, and the steel coils under the heal are tough as nails. Up front under the mid and fore-foot are removable Carbide steel spikes that pierce ice and dig into hardback snow surfaces. Own the winter trails with these easy-to-use, confidence inspiring micro crampons.