2012 gift guide and staff picks – Karen’s picks

By the Dirt Rag staff

This is our first attempt at a holiday gift guide, and, in typical Dirt Rag fashion, we had to do it our way. We’ll share a dirty little secret with you: most magazines’ gift/buyer’s guides are not created based on the recommendations of riders, but by the wants and desires of advertisers.

That’s not how we roll. Instead, we asked each staffer to select two items that they had experience with and would wholeheartedly recommend to fellow a mountain biker. Real riders, honest recommendations, realistic prices—the way it should be.

Each day for the next two weeks we’ll be sharing a different staffer’s choices for their favorite gear of the year. Today’s picks are from editor Karen Brooks. 

Platypus GravityWorks Water Filter – $110

A few staffers and I made the trek to Washington, D.C. this past spring via the Great Allegheny Passage and C&O Canal rail-trails. We were traveling in the off-season, and thus the water wasn’t turned on yet at the camping spots, so we had to either buy or filter. We opted to save our money for beer and filter water with the GravityWorks. The filter was a good choice: lightweight and compact, simple to use (even after too many miles and in the dark), and trouble-free. I’d opt to carry one even on some one-day excursions in the backcountry, just in case. 


Emergen-C Electro Mix – $11 for a box of 30 packets

From the makers of the ubiquitous Emergen-C immune-boosting vitamins in fizzy drink form, this electrolyte supplement has been my cramp-preventing elixir for more than ten years. One packet gives a liter of water a pleasantly refreshing slight lime flavor. It can mask the taste of water from sketchy public sources, and the makers even claim that it turns chlorine residue into a more body-friendly compound (although I’m not clear on how the chemistry works). Hint for holiday parties: it’s also excellent hangover prevention—drink a full liter before crashing and you won’t be suffering so much the next morning. 



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