Those who frequent trails in bear country know that you should never be without your trusty bear spray. More successful at preventing a bear attack than guns, bear spray has quickly become another essential everyone needs. Yet, for many outdoor enthusiasts, finding a comfortable, accessible place to hold your bear spray can be a challenge. That is where Scatbelt comes in.

I love crazy colors and any outdoor brand that can deliver on that point will have my attention. Combine that with a long history of mountaineering in the Alps and you’ve got La Sportiva, one of the best gear brands for trail runners. You’ve seen their shoes on granite cliffs on Yosemite and on high altitude glaciers in the Himalayas. This shows La Sportiva’s experience and commitment to serious adventuring. A company born in the Dolomites and still family-run up until this day.

Here it is folks, our glorious The Outdoor Society Gift Guide for 2019. We’re excited to be partnering with several cool gear companies to bring you useful, sustainable, fun, practical and backcountry proven gifts for trail runners, camping enthusiasts and outdoor lovers.

We’re sure there’s something in there you will fall in love with. In fact, we recommend you to just forward this entire page to your family as your holiday wish list. You’re welcome!

For the audio version with a full length discussion on all the products in this guide, and lots of laughter, tune in to episode #83 and #84 of our award winning and losing podcast Singletrack.

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With Apple just launching the Series 5 Apple Watch, they’ve addressed one of the biggest issues I’ve had with it: it now sports an always-on display. Another big complaint I have, however, is battery life when you’re in the backcountry for days at a time. The Coros Apex GPS Multisport watch fulfills my smartwatch needs and my extended isolation needs.

Coros Apex reviewed on

You can’t turn your head in the outdoor space without someone talking about COROS. Sure, it might be influencers on Instagram, I mean pro athletes, but the company is clearly on a roll.

On the heel of an announcement of a new partnership with the American Alpine Club, California-based newcomer to the outdoor premium watch space, COROS, is announcing today a brand new product to their GPS Multisport watch lineup. Building off of their breakout product, the APEX, the new APEX Pro is a step up, taking its place in the lineup between APEX and the recently launched VERTIX. Clocking at $499 the watch has a ton of interesting new features and I can’t wait take it for a spin.

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With all the excitement that comes from a new device maker entering an established market, there’s always a bit of hesitation mixed in. Will the innovation disrupt and add something new to the space? Will the company fizzle out, or get acquired and disappear, leaving consumers hanging.

A few months ago a friend of mine told me about this “new company on the block” Coros. Maker of sports technology products, their website is light on background information and corporate history, but the Coros product line offers solid and feature-rich sports watches with advantages price points. I dismissed the company at first. I was happy with my Suunto watch, didn’t think a new product was necessary in that market space.

Coros Vertix reviewed on

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If a tree falls in the forest does it make a noise?
If you didn’t share your latest brunch on Instagram did you enjoy it? And, if you go out for a run and didn’t track it on running app, did it really count?
This is where we’re at, isn’t it?
All snark aside. I love my activity tracking devices. When I first started out running several years ago I took just my phone with me, listened to podcasts and enjoyed being able to track my activities. I check my performance after my run and enjoyed seeing my progression.

Suunto 9 reviewed on

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Apple’s iPhone and Apple Watch were born in the clean, white, and aluminum-accented labs in Cupertino, California and are assembled in a sterile factory without a speck of dust in the room, and even fingerprints are unseen. Though they start in the security of indoor labs, they’re really great tools for the outdoors. I’ve been taking my iPhone and Apple Watch into the backcountry for a long time now and am continuously surprised and delighted how well they hold up. Each iteration gets better and makes adventuring more fun.

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“There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes”, someone once said. But when temperatures drop and we’re stuck on a ski lift, cold temperatures can easily creep into even our best-insulated clothing. Once you’re cold, it’s no fun to play in the snow. I’ve recently had the chance to test out the Primer Shirt baselayer by Mobile Warming ‘Technology by Fieldsheer’.

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Heading out to your favorite National Park on a backcountry adventure, you realize quickly how fast that cell signal disappears. While this might be welcome to curb the distracting emails and social media notifications, when it comes to safety, we’ve all come to rely on our phones to track our location. We use them to reach out to friends and family, giving them updates on where we are at, to look at maps, and to use GPS to track our progress. All this is more than just vanity, It helps get us home safe.

Product review: BivystickContinue reading on