Quirky or practical, outdoor gifts abound

Posted Dec. 06, 2013, at 7:35 a.m.
Last modified Dec. 06, 2013, at 8:13 a.m.
The Beardski Prospector bearded facemask
Courtesy of Beardski
The Beardski Prospector bearded facemask
The GoPro Hero3+ Black Edition camera
Courtesy of GoPro
The GoPro Hero3+ Black Edition camera
L.L.Bean Sonic Snow Tube
Courtesy of L.L.Bean
L.L.Bean Sonic Snow Tube
Benchmark knives from the Bone Collector Series
Courtesy of Benchmark
Benchmark knives from the Bone Collector Series
Delorme Maine Atlas & Gazetteer
Courtesy of Delorme
Delorme Maine Atlas & Gazetteer
Planet Dog Orbee-Tuff Coal
Courtesy of Planet Dog
Planet Dog Orbee-Tuff Coal

You’ve got a picky outdoors enthusiast in your family. Christmas is coming. What do you do?

We’re glad you asked. In fact, many of these products are already on our lists for the upcoming holiday. (Hint: BDN Maine Outdoors editor John Holyoke is the one who wants a Beardski or three. Or maybe that was outdoor reporter Aislinn Sarnacki? We’ll let you be the judge of that).

Here, then, are a few shopping ideas:

Beardski face masks

Add a quirky accessory to spice up your outdoor fun with a Beardski face mask. Want to have facial hair like Santa’s? There’s a Beardski for that. Want to look like a Viking? Or a prospector? Or a biker? Or would you rather have a hunter-orange beard? Beardski can help.

Beardskis are cropping up at ski resorts everywhere, and the are made of thermal fleece with a waterproof neoprene lining.

Beardskis are one-size-fits-all, so even the smallest member of your family can sport a big boy beard. They’re available on line at beardski.com and through various other sources for about $30.

Benchmade knife

Benchmade Knife Company, which won the 2014 American Made Outdoor Gear Awards, has produced knives and tools in its Oregon City, Ore., facility since 1988. Their motto: Make it cool. Make it solid. Make it happen. And definitely make it Benchmade.

As you’ll see on the Benchmade website, the line of blades the U.S. company produces is extensive. The Bone Collector line celebrates hunters, while the Black Class and HK lines are designed for military and law enforcement, and the Blue Class is crafted for the everyday person. Benchmark even manufactures kitchen knives, multi-tools and tomahawks.

Other awards the company has received over the years include Field and Stream’s Best of the Best for Hunting in 2011, the 2011 EMS Innovation Award, and 2009 Business of the Year Award, presented by the Oregon City Chamber of Commerce.

To order a knife, visit benchmade.com or check out your local outfitter.

L.L.Bean Sonic Snow Tube

Before kicking your kids outdoors, away from the TV and video games, hand them an L.L. Bean Sonic Snow Tube. This rugged outdoor toy is a customer favorite, and it’ll encourage children (and adults) to play on real snow instead of the virtual variety.

The regular sized snow tube is priced at $99, but for a limited time, it’s 20 percent off ($79.20). The L.L. Bean sale on winter sporting gear ends Monday, Dec. 9.

If you’d prefer sailing down the hill on a larger vehicle, try the extra-large tube, which is $139, temporarily reduced to $111.20. And you can choose from a bunch of different colors and patterns, including blue camo and Paul Bunyan-style plaid.

If the snow tube prices are a bit steep for your budget, go for the Sonic Saucer, priced at $39.95. Both are available at llbean.com and at the L.L. Bean flagship store in Freeport.

GoPro cameras

If you’ve been wowed by the action videos you’ve seen on TV or on the internet recently, chances are good that some of it was captured on GoPro cameras.

The company bills its products as “impossibly small,” and “impressively high performance.” Thousands of customers agree and have been shooting great still photos and videos with their own GoPros.

The sky’s the limit here: You can become a member of the GoPro generation fairly cheaply, for less than $200, or you can go high-end and buy a $399 model. Then, you’ll want to accessorize with optional mounts and the like so that your GoPro does exactly what you want it to do. Wear it on your ski helmet. Strap it to your bike. Mount it to your kayak. The options are endless. Check out gopro.com.

2013 Delorme Maine Atlas & Gazetteer

Let’s face it, electronics sometimes let us down. There’s no better example of this than when a GPS shows you that you’re driving off-road, when in fact, you’re on a perfectly fine road — a Maine backroad. That’s when it’s time to get out the Delorme Atlas & Gazetteer.

Delorme, headquartered in Yarmouth, has been creating detailed maps since 1976, when their first paperback atlas of Maine was released. Since then, they’ve gone global and moved on to digital products, but their paperback Maine Atlas & Gazetteer remains a top seller and a staple item in many a Mainer’s vehicle.

The 2013 edition shows back roads, dirt roads and trails, as well as elevation contours, remote lakes and streams, boat ramps, public lands, trailheads, campgrounds and prime hunting and fishing spots. Cost is $19.95 at shop.delorme.com.

Outdoorsy stocking stuffers

— Tom’s of Maine original unscented deodorant is great for the sportsman of the family. Cost is $4.99 at tomsofmainestore.com.

— Planet Dog Orbee-Tuff Coal durable dog toy is minty, non-toxic, recyclable and made in the U.S. by a Maine-based company. Cost is $9.95 at planetdog.com.

— Maine Munchies trail mix is the ideal outdoor snack and comes in many Maine-themed varieties, including Acadian Sunburst, Black Bear Munch and Moose Berry Mix. Cost is $5.29 for a 4-oz bag at mainemunchies.com.

— Darn Tough socks are made of soft merino wool and synthetic material for the active man, woman or child. Average cost is $18 at darntough.com.

— Rite in the Rain all-weather pens could be useful for any outdoorsy person who needs to write on a regular basis. Cost varies from $5.95 to $20.95 at riteintherain.com.

 

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