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BEST NEW WATCHES FOR HIKING

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1-_mtm_silencer_445x2601#1 MTM Special Ops Silencer Never-Fail Watch
Tired of sending drugstore watches to the landfill? The case of this tank-like, limited edition timepiece is made from a solid block of stainless steel, with scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, that handled plenty of backcountry bashing in Arizona canyon country. It’s heavy and pricey, but you get essential functions that will last a lifetime. Key features: LED emergency lights, digital chronograph, four daily alarms, and a cable-free “electromagnetic induction” charger that juices the lithium-ion battery for up to four months at a time. $750-$895

Gear Guide 2012: Highgear Axio HR Altimeter Watch
_highgear_axiomini_altimeter-watchTrack elevation, weather, and workout intensity with this powerful watch, which is also svelte enough for everyday wear. On trail, the Axio HR logs vertical speed and predicts weather changes; the built-in barometer accurately forecast increasing
clouds in Chile’s central Andes. Three altimeter presets speed calibration at your most-used trailheads. For serious training, pair it with the included chest strap, and it monitors your heart rate and stores up to 10 workouts (so you can compare performance and track fitness gains). Caveat: The sensitive side buttons get pushed inadvertently when scrambling or skiing, so testers attached the watch to a pack strap instead of a wrist. $190;

Freestyle Shark

freestyle_sharkthresherWhen all you need is a timepiece—one that stands up to abuse—get the Freestyle Shark. Designed for surfers and built for the oceans’ beatings, the Shark is waterproof to 100 meters. Models vary in size; our tester wore the mid, which felt sleek, and its polyurethane strap kept it locked on her arm. You get two alarms, a chronograph, a night light—and a housing that withstood Utah rock scrapes. $55

Highgear Axio Mini Altimeter Watch
(hey,this one’s for yer sweetheart gal…maybe a cool gift??)2-high-axio-altimeter-watch
Altimeter watches are great, but are often are so big they look and feel like hockey pucks on a wrist strap.. With dual altitude alarms she won’t miss her turn-off in a whiteout, and the watch even includes a small weather forecast to know if she should pack a rain shell or fleece. Testers in both Virginia and Colorado praised the easy-access functions and agreed that its modest appearance was “understated and cute.” The altimeter is Swiss-made. $100