2013 Holiday Gift Guide For The Outdoors

It’s that time of year again. If you’ve got a Christmas list that still needs a few names checked off, I’m going to try to help you out with some gift ideas for outdoorsy folks.

These are the people who’d rather spend the day after Thanksgiving huddled in a muddy creek patiently waiting to shoot at some geese than hitting up Black Friday sales and nibbling warm pretzels in the food court at the mall.

Some of us really do love being outdoors — whether it’s hunting, fishing, hiking, birdwatching, gardening, or just plain watching the clouds go by.

For most outdoorspeople, it doesn’t much matter what exactly we’re doing outside, just as long as we can feel the breeze on our faces and smell the fresh scent of nature. These gift ideas are for those kinds of people.

For starters, you’ll want to focus your energy shopping in a place like Dick’s Sporting Goods, Tractor Supply Company, Bass Pro Shops, or at one of the smaller, locally owned stores like the Tackle Box in Lexington Park or Fred’s Sports in Waldorf.

The one place I tell my husband he could buy me literally anything in the store and I’d be happy is Wild Birds Unlimited in Lexington Park. Online shopping works, too.

A quality hat makes a nice gift. My personal favorite for wintertime is the trapper style hat. It’s usually lined with synthetic fur or fleece and comes with a chin strap to keep it firmly in place even when you’re chopping firewood or sledding with the kids. The ear flaps can be worn up or down.

L.L. Bean carries the Rolls Royce of trapper hats called the Mad Bomber which retails for $39.99. This particular version is trimmed with real rabbit fur. It’s available in black or olive, but save your hard-earned dollars and skip the Buffalo plaid.

Being outdoors in the winter brings high quality clothing to mind.

Scott Johnson, a fishing guide for Ken Penrod’s Life Outdoors Unlimited on the upper Potomac and Susquehanna rivers, recommends Under Armour brand products to keep folks on the water during cold weather months.

I keep track of a lot of guides, and Johnson is out there nearly every single day no matter the weather, thanks to those layers that keep him warm and protected from the elements. If you want to check out his daily catch yourself, you can follow him on Facebook or Instagram @dcgscottj.

Many Under Armour products are available in both men’s and women’s sizes and a range of styles and colors. The full array of products can be purchased online at www.underarmour.com/en-us.

First off is the base layer, essentially a modern version of long underwear, which comes in different levels, with the lightest layer the 1.0 and the heaviest the 4.0. Johnson calls the base layer a “game changer” that lets him spend the entire day comfortably fishing even in the dead of winter. Someone who spends a lot of time in the field hunting would appreciate a gift like this. It’s more pricey than other brands but worth every dollar.

Johnson also depends on the Storm Armour fleece hoodie pullover for winter fishing. It’s water repellant and coupled with the base layer, that’s all he needs to keep warm most days on the water.

The material is lightweight and flexible which allows for full range of movement for any type of outdoor activity. With these products, he no longer has to wear so many layers that he looks like Ralphie from “A Christmas Story”.

Have you ever spent hours outside in the cold, sun and wind and felt like your face was fried for the next two days? Not only does the Under Armour infrared balaclava keep a person’s face warm in even the coldest temperatures, it also eliminates that wind burnt feeling at the end of the day.

Anyone who fishes, hunts, or works outside in the cold would appreciate this gift. There’s even a scent-controlled version in camo designed specifically for the hunter in mind.

I recently purchased a gift for a friend put out a couple of bird feeders in her yard. Titled “The Backyard Birdsong Guide Eastern and Central North America: A Guide to Listening” and published by the Cornell Lab, this book is designed for beginner birdwatchers, but anyone would enjoy this book.

It plays the common vocalizations of 75 species of birds one might encounter in and around our region. Not only does my friend enjoy listening to the songs and reading about the birds, but her young grandsons love the book as well. It’s available on Amazon for $23.76.

Along the same lines, if you’ve got someone especially deserving on the good list who enjoys watching nature, a pair of Nikon Monarch 5 binoculars would be most welcome under the tree.

These binoculars run about $300 to $350 at various retailers (Cabela’s has them for $329.99), but the image quality is outstanding for the price. A really nice pair of binoculars can run $1,000 or more. And Nikon guarantees the workmanship of their products with a lifetime warranty.

Finally, if you’ve got someone with a good sense of humor on your list, these last two items might get a good laugh when you exchange gifts.

For the hunter in your life, Tractor Supply Company has the perfect decoration for a rustic cabin or anywhere an unrefined sense of style is appreciated. “Jingle Bells Shotgun Shells,” a string of red and green shotgun shell casing lights, is available online and in stores.

And for the family that likes to fish together, Bass Pro Shops carries an inflatable Old St. Nick wearing a trucker cap and holding up a fish in a 10-foot long tracker bass boat. Such a yard ornament would make anyone the envy of their neighbors.

I had the pleasure of seeing it in person at the Bass Pro Shops in Hanover last month and could kick myself for not buying it on the spot. It’s now sold out online, but another version of Santa and his reindeer in a pontoon boat is still available on backorder and will be shipped in time for Christmas. Ho, ho, ho!

Source : http://www.somdnews.com/recorder/sports/outdoors/gift-ideas-for-the-holidays/article_e6ab9401-5681-5ac9-962f-f439996c8581.html

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