Jo-Sha Wipes : Keep Your Yoga Mat Clean
It occurred to me at my last yoga retreat that I might benefit from cleaning my mat, but I didn't want to use a cleanser containing harsh chemicals...(more... )

Ultimate Direction Lucia Pack : Leak-Proof Hydration in an Adaptable Pack

Everyone knows that staying hydrated is one of the most important safety precautions a hiker can take. That's why Ultimate Direction makes so many packs with hydration systems--for cyclists, trail runners, day hikers, and backpackers. Now they even have a hydration pack especially designed to fit a woman's smaller frame, the Lucia.

My Lucia pack is a versatile pack that even has removable pockets so I can customize it for each use (from 2500 cu in capacity to 2100 cu in). I've carried it on day hikes around Mount Hood, and was happy that I could keep a light load and still have the benefit of a wide hip belt.

For overnight trip in eastern Oregon (and more recently, for an all-day Ultimate Frisbee tournament), I've added all the pockets for the full 2500 cu in capacity, and had plenty of room for my clothes, toiletries, map, and food. The side and front pockets are ideal for smaller items like my flashlight and sunscreen. Like other Ultimate Design packs, the Lucia comes with a built-in rain cover (my favorite feature since I live in the damp Northwest). The Lucia also has ice axe loops, which come in handy for carrying my trekking poles.

The pack’s reservoir slides easily into its own pocket. An insulated hydration tube helps keep my cold water cold, and the unique Kicker Valve does an excellent job of preventing leaks. In fact, before I read the instructions, I couldn't get a drop of water through the valve!

For most women, the Lucia’s special features are a plus: the shoulder straps can be adjusted to fit a torso length of 14 – 18” inches, they're narrower than straps on the men’s packs, and they have extra padding (so does the hip belt).

As a fairly tall woman (5’9”), the pack is just a little too small for me, but the hip belt is one of the most comfortable I've ever used. Be sure you measure your torso before opting for the women-specific Lucia over a unisex pack.

Bottom LIne: A good all-around pack, the Lucia’s innovative reservoir and adaptable features make it a notch above the rest.--B.B. (Sept '05)

Price: $99.95

Manufacturer's Site: www.ultimatedirection.com

BUY ONLINE : Paragon Sports, The Finest Sports Specialty Store 88x31 REI Logo, Altrec.com

To build a stable, strong core, you have to work both abdominal and back muscles. You'll also have to lose excess weight before you can see your beautiful new muscles.

For complete info on abs training, read: The Little Abs Workout Book.