As space producer for Discovery News, and space blogger of seven years, I happily work from home. Therefore, not wearing pants - let alone walking boots - to the office isn't a problem (or a lawsuit in waiting).
But when not typing about black holes, playing "Call of Duty" on the PlayStation 3 or being entertained by my pet hamster, the Bear Grylls inside me gets itchy feet and wants to ramble, climb and experience some of the more extreme environments our planet has to offer.
Yes, I used to live in the Arctic. (Take that Grylls! Pack up your parachute and Leatherman, it was never a fair fight.)
So, as "that" time of year approaches once again, apart from hoping Mrs. O'Neill remembers to pick me up a copy of "Modern Warfare 3," I like to keep a casual eye on outdoors equipment, just in case there's a stocking filler or two for family and friends to support my growing Geocaching habit.
As luck would have it, my colleagues over at Discovery.com have done the hard work and collected some rather cool items for this year's festivities in "Holiday Gift Guide 2011: For the Outdoors Survivalist."