Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Gearing Up.(Last Minute Gift Guide)

Byline: Lisa Abeyta

Searching for winter accessories has never been easier

The cold, crisp air stings with each breath. Snow blankets the mountaintops. And more winter weather is on the way. A perfect time to snuggle up beside a fire with a good book and a cup of steaming coffee? For many, the answer is a resounding "No."

For those who love the outdoors, winter offers the opportunity to get cool new gear for a slew of recreational activities, ranging from cross-country skiing and snowshoeing to mountain climbing and hiking.

If someone on your gift list loves the open air, or if you want to give a friendly nudge to a confirmed couch potato, a virtually limitless selection of outdoor gear awaits you this season.

"Equipment has come a long way from the days of snowshoes made of sinew and wood," says Alex Jarman, retail manager of REI in Albuquerque. "Just in snowshoes alone we offer a huge variety to accommodate everyone from the beginner to the extreme mountain climber and even snowshoes for those who want to try running."

Also offered this season are snowshoes made exclusively for women. "Women tend to have a more narrow gait," explains Jarman, "and men's shoes tend to overlap when they walk. …

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