Give the gift of the outdoors this holiday season
Shoppers seeking the perfect gift for the outdoors enthusiast on their Christmas list have plenty to choose from again this year. From the inexpensive to not-so-inexpensive, here are 20 ideas to get you started.
Stormproof Match kit: Damp matches aren't much good in an outdoors emergency, but Industrial Revolution Co.'s Stormproof Matches are easy to light in even the worst conditions and burn for 15 seconds. Each kit has 25 matches, three strikers and a lightweight waterproof container. Retail price $5.99; industrialrev.com.
Live-Forage Rippin' Shad: Bemidji-based Northland Tackle Co.'s entry into the lipless rattle bait market hits store shelves just in time for Christmas. The lure has a loud internal rattle and darts erratically when jigged, a combination fish often find too good to resist. Available in 1½-, 2- and 2½-inch sizes. Retail price $7.69 to $8.99; northlandtackle.com.
DNR gift card: The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources offers state park gift cards that can be used for camping, entrance permits, equipment rentals and state park store purchases. Available in denominations of $10 and higher; mndnr.gov.
Magnetic Blade Guard Kit: Manufactured by IceHogger Inc. of Bagley, Minn., the Magnetic Blade Guard replaces those annoying rubber holding straps -- anyone who ice fishes knows what a pain they can be -- with a magnetic device that holds the auger blade cover in place. Kit includes assembly instructions, mounting hardware and two high power magnets to keep the blade guard attached. Available for Jiffy and Strikemaster augers. Suggested retail price $10.99; icehogger.com.
"Mark of the Grizzly": This book just showed up in my mailbox, and a glance sent it right to the top of my must-read list. Written by Montana journalist Scott McMillion, editor of Montana Quarterly, "Mark of the Grizzly" updates his original 1997 book with more recent accounts of "bear attacks and the hard lessons learned." Retail price $16.95; www.lyonspress.com.
"Birds In Our Backyard: Say Hello to Minnesota's Feathered Friends": This children's book from author Adele Porter and award-winning photographer Bill Marchel offers a season-by-season look at birds that can be found in Minnesota. Retail price $16.95; adeleporter.com.
SealLine E-Case: Whether it's a cell phone or MP3 player, everyone has some kind of electronic gizmo, and these easy-zip, waterproof cases enclose the gadgets in a clear PVC-free material that offers protection from water, sand and dirt. Available in a variety of sizes and colors. Retail price $19.95 to $49.95; cascadedesigns.com.
Power Paws: Pets need foot protection, too, and Power Paws are stretchable dog socks that offer traction and protection for hardwood floors while also insulating paws from cold and hot surfaces. Available in sizes ranging from XXS to XXXL depending on the dog. Suggested retail price $19.99 for a set of four; woodrowwear.com.
"The Greatest Quotations from Sporting Literature": From the pages of Sporting Classics magazine comes this book featuring passages from some of the best hunting, fishing and conservation stories to appear in the publication. Writers include Theodore Roosevelt, Aldo Leopold, Henry David Thorough, Rudyard Kipling and Robert Frost. Retail price $20 paperback, $25 hardcover and $50 for limited-edition leather-bound copy; sportingclassics.com.
Therma-Rest Neck Pillow: Long known for its camping mattresses, Therm-a-Rest now has a neck pillow that can be used when traveling, reading at camp or just hanging out at home. The soft, microfiber outside shell is washable too. Retail price $29.95; thermarest.com.
Sport-Brella Chair: Part chair, part umbrella, the Sport-Brella Chair provides protection from both sun and wind. The umbrella opens to a width of 46 inches, and the unit has a built-in cup holder, bottle opener and storage pouch. Folds instantly into a compact carry bag. Retail price $39.99; sklz.com.
Berkley pliers: Berkley's aluminum pliers feature a spring-loaded handle for easy one-hand use. And because they're aluminum, they won't rust. About $49.99; berkley-fishing.com.
Coleman Ultra High Power LED Aluminum Flashlight: The name Coleman is synonymous with camping and outdoor gear, and this aluminum LED flashlight provides weather-resistant lighting with six AA batteries. Retail price $79.99; coleman.com.
Video sunglasses: A fishing buddy included the i-Kam Xtreme Video Sunglasses on his Christmas wish list. The sunglasses, which record the world from the viewer's perspective, feature a 3-megapixel pinhole camera in the nose bridge. The glasses have a built-in 4-gig memory card and connect to both PC- and Mac-based computers with a USB cord. An imbedded rechargeable battery provides up to three hours of run time. The glasses also come with interchangeable clear and polarized black glasses. Available in black and Realtree camo frame colors. About $80; hunterspec.com.
Propane coffeemaker: Camping doesn't have to mean skimping on the coffee with Coleman's portable propane coffeemaker. The unit, which comes with a stainless steel carafe, uses a 1-pound propane cylinder and makes 10 cups of coffee in 18 minutes. A removable filter basket eliminates the need for carrying paper filters. Retail price $89.99; coleman.com.
Motorola MS350R Talkabout Radio: Two-way radios are a perennial favorite on the outdoor Christmas list, and Motorola's latest Talkabout radios have a range of up to 35 miles and include a flashlight and weather channels. They're also waterproof and float. Set comes with two radios. Suggested retail price $99.99; www.motorola.com.
Frabill FXE Windproof Fleece Jacket: Wisconsin-based Frabill has become a leader in ice fishing gear and winter apparel in recent years, and this new fleece jacket has garnered good reviews. Fully windproof, the jacket also features a higher collar to keep cold air away from the neck. Use as outerwear or under a heavier jacket for those really cold days. About $100; frabill.com.
SOG PowerLock Multi-Tool: This product from the SOG company rolls 22 tools into a single unit from saws to scissors to files. Retail price $114; sogknives.com.
ThermaCell Heated Insoles: These insoles from a company best known for its bug-repelling units -- which also would make great Christmas gifts -- feature a wireless remote with medium (100-degree), high (111-degree) and no heat settings. Imbedded rechargeable batteries offer continuous warmth for five hours -- longer if used at intervals. The insoles are water resistant and can be used in shoes, boots and waders. Retail price $119.99; available through thermacell.com or basspro.com.
Insect Shield: Bug season seems a long ways off, but rest assured it will return in a few months. Insect Shield's line of protective gear contains the chemical permethrin to repel mosquitoes, ticks, ants, flies and other annoying bugs. Products include a variety of clothing, hiking gaiters, hats, mosquito nets and dog bandanas. Prices vary by product; insectshield.com.
Dokken reports on outdoors. Reach him at (701) 780-1148; (800) 477-6572, ext. 148; or send email to email@example.com.