People expect you to be tough if you are an outdoorsman like me, who camps out nearly 200 nights a year. When it comes to steep hiking trails, slippery trout streams and inclement weather in the back of beyond, I can hold my own. However, there are a couple of things of which I’m deathly afraid — traffic and malls. But since this is the Christmas season, I left the woods and fished through Mahoney’s Outfitters in Johnson City for some Christmas gifts you may consider for the deserving outdoor enthusiast.
Got turkeys roaming through your backyard? Have you ever seen a game trail and wondered what animals travel it? Do you have a remote cabin or lake house and have wondered if anyone was driving up when you weren’t around? Has something been getting into your barn? Try installing a wild game camera. These cameras take a picture when a sensor indicates motion, say a deer or bear going by, or a human. At night the camera uses an infrared flash, when the photos will most often be taken. Made by Wild Game Innovations, these cameras come in all manner of size and megapixels, and range in price from $70-140.
Want to record your outdoor adventures as they happen? Try a high definition, waterproof video camera. Strap it on a chest harness, kayak helmet or bike handlebars, then log that run down the ski slope, or radical whitewater ride, or bone-jarring mountain bike trek. Or put into perpetuity a hike over Roan Mountain. Surfboarders use them too, but I am not sure where the camera gets attached. … Made by Go Pro, the compact recorder runs for $199. There are plenty of accessories to enhance your recording capabilities.
Wool is making a huge comeback. Forget the itchy stuff of old. Nowadays, soft Merino wool is used as a base layer, replacing polypropylene and other oil-based clothing, which get odiferous after just a little sweating. The wool shirts, underwear, hats and more come in thicknesses for all seasons. I’ve been using wool again for over a year and testify to its positive properties of moisture wicking, comfort and sweet smellingness. Prices for the brand Icebreaker long sleeve base layer run around $85.
Looking for a stocking stuffer? Try an emergency gear repair kit. Made by Gear Aid, it runs $12, and is small enough to fit in your pocket or backpack. Think of it as a first aid kit for gear, not the person using the gear. Seal a leak in an air mattress, repair a split seam in your pack or fix a tear in your tent. It is endorsed by James Bond and MacGyver.
Want to buy a gift and do a little good on the other side of the world? Get some Toms shoes. These simple, yet popular canvas shoes are made for comfort. And when you buy a pair of Toms shoes, the company donates a pair of shoes to a poor person on the other side of the globe. Neat, huh? A pair runs around $60, and they come in an assortment of colors and prints for both men and women.
It is rewarding to see smiles on loved ones’ faces when they receive wonderful Christmas gifts. Just remember that Jesus is what Christmas is all about. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Johnny Molloy is the author of several outdoors guidebooks. Visit www.johnnymolloy.com.