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|| News Item: Posted 2002-01-23

Road Warrior: Cold Weather Gear for Salt Lake City
Ice Age: Survival Guide at the Winter Olympics

By Mongo

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Sixteen days to go and if you haven't stated preparing for the Winter Apocalypse, don't sweat it! There are several good sporting goods stores in SLC and by the time you get here, they'll all be having sales.

3285 East & 3300 South

It's on your way to Park City, just SW of the 80 / 215 beltway. This store is the "real deal" Gear for the weekend warrior, to the serious adventurer addicted. If you're not a member, you can use this membership number to buy stuff. 012392*&% (editor's note, this number has been changed to protect the secret identity of MONGO, just pay the money and join the co-op)

Patagonia Outlet
3267 Highland Dr.

Just down the street from REI. Killer - stomper deals on outdoor clothing that normal mortals could never afford. Their stock rotates weekly, so it's a good idea to stop by every Wednesday to check out the new weekly specials.

41 South Rio Grande

An anchor store in the new Gateway shopping center, just one block west of the Delta center. It's kind of like a cross between a WalMart and EMS. Worth checking out just to see the babes in spandex scaling the 4 story high indoor climbing wall.

Don't forget your print out all the past issues of MONGO's ICE AGE series, and good shopping.

Hats, gloves, and other stuff you'll need

There's an old saying "if your feet are cold, put on a hat" As it turns out, it's pretty good advice. Remember that heat rises and about the only thing we haven't insulated so far is your noggin.

Now we're not talking about baseball caps, cowboy hats, or yamaka's, I'm talking polar fleece, wind stopper fleece, and shelled fleece headgear.

In each of these categories there are several different styles to choose from.

Gee how do I know which one to buy?

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Well if you're a Wally (wuss) and you dread the cold you should check out shelled fleece bomber style hats. Think of a baseball cap with long earflaps or envision Elmer Fudd and you've got the picture.

The short brim is good for keeping falling snow out of your eyes and off the top of your camera, the shell material (nylon, polyester, or Gore-Tex) over the fleece blocks the wind.

MONGO's pick:

Outdoor Research B-29 cap, $35.00
Also available at REI

Eddie Bauer, Cabela's, and Colombia, have similar "poser" models

Ok, ok, so you don't want to look like Gomer Pyle? Maybe something a little more stylish?

Well you can rock the Casba, without looking like a Shriner in the Outdoor Research Alpine Fez, $33.00 at

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Made with GORE WINDSTOPPER fleece, this hat excels at keeping your skull warm and toasty. When the weather's fine, you can tuck the earflaps up into the hat and look like an Afghani ski merchant.

For those desiring spiritual enlightenment (you can look like the Dali Lama) or a more traditional look, check out the Seirus Quickdraw hat $14.97 at

Made with just plain old fleece, this baby really breaths and has the awesome advantage of a built in facemask that can be tucked away inside the hat during Olympic security sweeps. (it's also certified by the Taliban as an emergency burka)

Gloves or Mitts?

Well Gloves give you more dexterity, BUT if you paid attention in Physics class, you will remember that insulating an item with a diameter of less than 1.5 inches is problematic because the increased surface area of the insulation will actually cause you to loose heat faster via radiated heat loss.

Mittens are warmer, BUT it's a bitch to handle your cameras.

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Not to worry, MONGO and the swell folks at Outdoor Research have a solution. A modular solution to be precise. Starting with:

Guillotine Gloves $39.00

Made with GORE WINDSTOPPER fleece, the exposed fingertips give you the dexterity you need for chimping or trying to get the damned CF door open on the EOS 1D (what a dipwad design)

If you've got poor circulation or are just an old fart like Eppridge, consider going with:

Magic Mitts $39.00

Also made from GORE WINDSTOPPER, the end of the mitt and thumb can be folded back and snapped into place. Think of these like a base layer, then add the:

Mt Baker Modular Mitt shells, $67.00

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Bombproof Cordura Gore-Tex, with ladder lock buckles and a gauntlet that cinches tight with a simple pull. They also feature a removable idiot cord (a string that attaches to your jacket sleeves so you don't loose the shells)

When the wind is howling and flakes are falling, your hands will be snug as bug. When the action starts, just pull off the shells and shoot away.

Balaclava or facemask?

First off, you're probably asking yourself "what the hell is a balaclava?" (no Amy, it's not a dessert) Remember that awful Chuck Norris movie "Delta Force" or maybe it was one of those Ninja slayer flicks, anyhow the hoods they wear are balaclavas. They cover the entire head and neck.

Facemasks are, well, facemasks and cover the face and ears.

If you have a good hat, there's no reason to get a balaclava. Even in a worst-case scenario, like a course hold at the downhill, with the ambient air temp at 10 degrees with the wind gusting to 20 knots, a good facemask will keep you comfortable.

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MONGO's choice

Outdoor Research Face Mask $22.00 at REI

GORE WINDSTOPPER fleece makes this mask more comfortable than neoprene (which will get damp and clammy)

Where the hell should I eat?

Taqueria Autentica
2711 South Redwood Rd. (just around the corner from the E center)
West Valley City, UT. 84119
$5.00 - $10.00 per person

This is the da bomb! A Mexican taqueria that's been transplanted from East L.A. Handmade tamales, tacos, tortas, burritos, Sopas and Caldos. After a long day of freezing your ass off, nothing hits the spot like a nice hot steaming bowl of pozole soup. The place is small, maybe seats (30) in a spotless Formica wonderland. 10:00am to 9:00pm

Blue Iguana
165 S. West Temple (east side of the MPC)
Salt Lake City, UT. 84101
$5.00 - $10.00 per person

Open 24 hours a day! This place will be packed with media scum from around the world during the Olympics. Killer green chili burritos, an absolute must have.

Café Trang
818 S. Main St
Salt Lake City, UT. 84101
$10.00 - $20.00 per person

Just like taking a trip to little Saigon in Los Angeles. A high-end kind of establishment, you just can't go wrong here. Endorsed by the "chief" Expect many Sports Shooter editorial meetings to take place over a plate of black bean halibut.

Com Tam Bolsa (just down the street from the E center)
1839 W. 3500 St
West Valley, UT.
$5.00 - $10.00 per person

Yummy soups, egg noodle, rice noodle, beef, pork, and chicken. Good spring rolls, but the way to go is the roll your own plates.

Ginza Japanese Cuisine & Sushi Bar (across the street from NIKON)
209 West 200 South
Salt Lake City, UT 84101
Phone: (801) 322-2224
$10.00 - $15.00 per person

Pretty close to what you'd find in J-town Los Angeles. Good bento box lunches and domestic sushi rolls. Owner/chef Tetsuro Abe from Tokyo, Japan.

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Market Street Grill
48 Market Street
Salt Lake City, UT 84101-2103
Phone: (801) 322-4668
$40.00 - $50.00 per person

Salt Lake's finest seafood restaurant, (thank god for FEDX) offering fresh fish, prime rib, steaks, chops, and chicken. Sit front and center at the seafood bar, order the chipino and prepare for a visual and dining feast. Open 7 days a week serving breakfast, lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch.

Rodizio Grill
212 Trolley Square
Salt Lake City, UT 84102
Phone: (801) 220-0500
$25.00 per person

ALL YOU CAN EAT! Authentic Brazilian style steakhouse. Try to envision waiters attacking you with giant sabers covered with meat and you get the general idea. For the veg heads they also have a gourmet salad bar.

(Mongo Johnson, a former child actor whose credits include "Forbidden Planet," "Night of the Living Dead" and "Godzilla Verses Mothera," works as a travel consultant using his cellphone and Palm Pilot from his boat docked in New Iberia, LA.)

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