’Tis the season to curse the name of that family member who spends all of their time in the woods, that anti-material girl, that outdoorsman who lives in flannel and never asks for anything. Although the holidays aren’t just about presents, there is pressure and desire to give those you love something they want, need and will enjoy. Sometimes it can be tough to figure out what to buy for that special outdoorsy person, so here are a few gift ideas to get you started.
Wool socks ($8-20): Wool socks are a must for people who are active in the outdoors and can be found at most footwear stores, sports stores and outfitters. Unlike cotton, wool wicks away sweat and keeps your feet dry. Wool socks are a great stocking stuffer or small gift for any outdoor enthusiast.
Guyot Designs Squishy Bowls ($14.95): Guyot Designs, based in Deer Isle, has won the 2007 Backpackers Editor’s Choice Award for their Squishy Bowl and Cup Set. The design is simple. The space saving collapsible bowls are temperature resistant up to 400 degree Fahrenheit, can be easily cleaned with soap and water and pop right back into shape when its time to use them. Though the product is sold out on Guyot Design’s website, they are available several Maine outfitters. For information, visit guyotdesigns.com.
Bheestie Bag ($20): This innovation gadget dries out small electronic devices (like cellphones and cameras) and keeps them working great. It’s the perfect product for people planning to spend time outdoors in Maine during the snowy winter and rainy spring. All you do is drop an electronic device in the Bheestie Bag, zip and seal. It can be daily for preventative measures or immediately after an accident. The powerful water-absorbing beads bond with and remove water. For information, visit bheestie.com.
Sorel replacement boot liners ($20-$40): If you know someone who owns the classic winter boot with removable felt liners, then you probably also know someone who needs to replace those liners. Sorel offers an wide variety of replacement liners for men and women at sorel.com. Sometimes these are tough to find in stores, though many retail stores in the area would special order them for their customers.
L.L. Bean 18-oz. stainless steel vacuum bottle ($19.95): This bottle received great reviews from L.L. Bean customers. If you know someone who engages in cold-weather outdoor activities, this bottle will be much appreciated. It has an unbreakable double-wall of stainless steel that insulates internal temperatures — keeping beverages hot or cold for longer. If this doesn’t fit your list, L.L.Bean also has an online holiday gift shop to help you find the ideal gifts at llbean.com.
Trekker T-200 Blind (on sale at Cabela’s for $49.99, original price, $89.99): Think turkey season. Hunting gear is on sale. This transportable camouflage blind conceals the hunter from game and acts as a great shield for inclement weather. The shell is UV treated, has windows on each side and has shoot-through screens. A black interior helps hide inside movement. Weight: 14 pounds. If looking for a smaller blind, try the Trekker T-100 Blind (on sale at Cabela’s for $39.99, original price, $69.99).
Wicked Good slippers and moccasins ($59 for adults, $26.95 for children): An L.L. Bean customer favorite, the Wicked Good slippers and moccasins come in multiple styles for men, women and children. Unlike most imitation suede slippers, these are made of sheepskin. And the interior of soft shearling, which wicks away moisture, is ideal for keeping feet warm and dry.
SteriPEN water purifier ($59.95-99.95): SteriPEN, a company based in Blue Hill, harnesses the power of ultraviolet light to make water safe to drink. Their water purifiers, which are slightly bigger than a pen, destroys 99.9 percent of bacteria, viruses and protozoan cysts such as giardia and cryptosporidium, which often ail outdoor enthusiasts. Since SteriPEN’s first patent in 1999, they have developed several different models of water purifiers with features such as a digital screen, solar charger and USB port plug-in. For frequent travelers, campers and hikers, this is a practical gadget to invest in.
Icebreaker Hopper T ($75): It’s expensive for a reason. This is the only T-shirt you will ever need on the trail. Winner of the Backpacker Editors’ Choice 2011 Gold Award, this merino T-shirt wicks away sweat and keeps you smelling fresh. It will also last you a long time. Backpacker Assistant Editor Casey Lyons wore the shirt for five days straight without showering while hiking Capitol Reef National Park and he said that the shirt smelled like he’d just taken out of the bag. For information, visit icebreaker.com.
Tubbs FLEX TRK Snowshoe ($139): These snowshoes are ideal for people who are either new to snowshoeing looking for a more comfortable snowshoe. This Tubbs series is especially good for trail jogging. At an affordable price, the Tubbs FLEX TRK features a heel lift and flexible tail and deck, facilitating a smooth gait. This snowshoe comes in one size, so you don’t have to guess which size will fit the person you’re buying for. It is appropriate for all weights on packed snow, but in deep powder snow, the women’s models are best up to 165 pounds, and the men’s models are best up to 190 pounds. Other options in the Tubbs FLEX series is the FLEX ESC ($119.95), FLEZ NRG ($179.95) and FLEX ALP ($219.95), which won an Outside Gear of the Year award in 2010.
Soto Muka Stove ($148): This gas stove has reliable, powerful output and it’s easy to take care of. Soto calls it “the next generation of stove.” It includes hose, pump, maintenance tool and a carrying case. It works on unleaded gasoline and white gasoline, so think about buying a fuel canister as a stocking stuffer. For information, visit sotooutdoors.com.
Columbia Peak 2 Peak Jacket ($350): This lightweight shell — constructed out of an innovative three-layer fabric that is completely waterproof, windproof and breathable — is an Outside Gear of the Year 2011 winner. Among its many features are vented underarm zips, an adjustable storm hood, fully taped seams and numerous pockets. This is a special gift for anyone who enjoys top quality outdoor apparel.
HMH SX vise ($130) or Cabela’s Fly Tying Station ($79.99): For the fly tier on your list, visit Annika Rod and Fly in Holden, which is owned by BDN employee Don Corey. The store offers lots of supplies and tools, including the HMH SX vise, which is guaranteed for life and is available with either a pedestal base or c-clamp. And if you’re looking for something for the beginning fly tier, Cabela’s in Scarborough has a Fly Tying Station with receptacles for up to 12 tools and a socket to hold your vise securely for tying stability.