A site best known as a source for high-end hiking and camping gear turns out to be a great place to find useful travel gadgets — or help you set up adventure travel events. At Bellvue, Wash. — based www.altrec.com, you'll find such goodies as a European telephone adapter plug kit and wristbands for preventing motion sickness. There is also a choice of currency converters, electric current converters, and a surprisingly numerous variety of locks.

Launched in March 1999, this Internet retailer seems likely to be here for the duration. Why? Because it has some really terrific features. The best is the availability of a live person (a live, knowledgeable person!), 12 hours a day, who can be contacted through an instant chat function on the Web site or by the good ol' telephone.

Yet another neat service: adventure group tours. Altrec.com will, for example, lead you to five companies that can help you organize a trip to Mount Kilimanjaro. A final reason to use altrec.com is the sheer quality of the content. There's a short online presentation called “Crown of Africa” that has won a slew of Web design awards. While you're at the site, check it out. It will teach you about what it means to organize an African trek, and watching it will most likely raise your standards for what constitutes a good online presentation.