By Bill Cooper
I admit it. The recent snow that blanketed the Ozarks, turning it into a winter wonderland, prompted a burst of inspiration about the upcoming Christmas holidays. I do hope we have a white Christmas, too.
Running around the countryside photographing the new snowfall kicked my mind into overdrive thinking about all the neat outdoor gear that I could use. My wife just reminded me that I recently sold a ton of outdoor gear at our recent auction. But there is so much new and innovative outdoor gear that hits thew market each year. How can an Avis outdoorsman pass it up? Here is a short list of ideas for that outdoors person in your life.
It’s an established fact that the outdoors is more of a refuge for U.S. citizens than ever before. The COVID-19 epidemic inspired people to go outdoors in record numbers. Participation in a wide variety of outdoor activities soared. It became very difficult to find items like coolers, kayaks, fishing gear, tents and more.
As a bit of insurance against short supplies of outdoor gear once again, I figured it wise to suggest a list of topnotch outdoor gear items before the big Christmas rush hits.
Every outdoorsman needs a knife or two, or maybe more. There are hunting knives, fishing, knives, camping knives, cooking knives and general purpose knives. One of each would be greatly appreciated by any outdoorsman, but be that as it may, it’s impractical for most of us. Determine your outdoorsman’s favorite activities and buy accordingly.
In the last couple of decades outdoorsmen have begun utilizing smaller knives for most outdoor pursuits. Few people need a giant Bowie knife like Crocodile Dundee carried. Even deer hunters now prefer knives with short, stout blades in the 3-to-5-inch range. The major exception, of course, is filet knives for cleaning fish. They tend to sport longer blades. Keep in mind that the bigger the fish to be cleaned, the longer the blade needs to be. Purchasing your outdoor person a filet knife with a 6-inch blade may be adding insult to injury.
There are more brands of knives available than ever. However, you can’t go wrong with someone the old brand names that have been around for decades. Case carries a huge variety of knives. Too, they have an outlet store in nearby Lebanon. It’s a great deal of fun to look around in that huge store.
Buck knives have been round for many decades. Years ago any deer hunter worth his salt had a Buck knife hanging from his belt, usually with a blade going enough to skin an elephant. They now offer scaled down versions, and the quality is still there.
Other great knife brands to consider include Gerber, Kershaw, Bench made, Smith, SOG, and Cold Steel. Choices seem endless. Choose wisely.
Stanley is still the benchmark name among coffee thermoses. Almost everyone enjoys some sort of hot drink while on outdoor excursions, especially during cooler weather. As good as Stanley products have been over the decades, they are better than ever. My thermos keeps come hot all day long. No that it lasts that long in most cases, but occasionally I control my caffeine cravings enough to have an afternoon cup of Joe.
It’s hard to go wrong with the rugged and effective Stanley Classic Perfect-Brew Pour Over Set. Your outdoor enthusiast can make a quick cup of coffee just about anywhere, anytime. All you need is water and coffee grounds. It comes with a stainless steel filter, so paper filters are not needed.
Boots are an absolute necessity for outdoorsmen. They come in all styles, shapes, colors, and sizes. First determine your gif-tees favorite outdoor activity and buy boots for that purpose. Hunters like above the ankle boots for support and fashion. Remember you get what you pay for, especially in boots. You can get a decent pair of hunting boots for around 100 bucks, but the better boots may cost 200 dollars, or more.
Ankle boots have become extremely popular in recent years. They first became popular among deck hands on boats, but believe me, you don’t have to work on a bad to appreciate the utility of these nifty boots. I use my Muck ankle boots to walk the dogs, go get the mail, but they shine in hunting and fishing camps, when I need to shoe-up in a hurry.
Camp chairs have advanced in quality immensely. I remember the days when we all sat on simple fold up stools in camp. Backsides ached terribly, which often resulted in shorter campfire conversations.
Today, however, camp chairs are stylish, comfortable, and durable. Welcome to the space age of camping chairs. The GCI Outdoor Kickback Rocker Chair uses innovative piston engineering to replicate a rocking chair that’s camping ready. You can enjoy the rock and appreciate the fact4 that tit folds up into a packable bag not much bigger than standard camp chairs. You need to buy more than one, however, to avoid fights at camp.
I regularly sleep in my reclining camp chair while camping. Friends often make fun of me on float-camp trips. They pitch their big tents, while I kick back in my chair and toss a tarp over me and my chair. I sleep like a baby in the fresh air.
Coolers are cooler than ever. The YETI Camino 35 Carryall is the “GOAT” (greatest of all time) tote bag. It is super rugged and now features deployable dividers that let you organize the contents. Plus there are inside zippers so you can confidently stare items like car keys and cell phones. It’s a great item for hunters, anglers, and day trippers.
I hope the snow stimulated your outdoor urges as well. Remover you outdoor person with a fine gift that will help them enjoy the outdoors a bit more. Maybe they will do the same for you.