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  • Patrick Durkin

Great Books, Clothes and Other Gear Fulfill Holiday Wishes

Updated: Dec 17, 2022

Whether you know a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle or good neighbor who wants to get kids outdoors, give them the book “Outdoor Kids In An Indoor World” by Steven Rinella.


Rinella, a New York Times bestselling author and host of the “MeatEater” TV show on Netflix, helps adults teach children to become participants in nature, not mere spectators. That goal isn’t hard if you engage with nature regularly in your everyday life, and simply explain to kids what they’re seeing and hearing as they encounter it.


Whether it’s identifying backyard birds, trees or plants; or teaching skills to navigate the outdoors in city parks or nearby woods, you can share insights and demonstrate tips through everyday activities. Rinella packed this book with fun stories, wise tips and relatable memories that help you introduce kids to a lifetime of nature appreciation and interaction.


To get a copy of “Outdoor Kids In An Outside World,” while considering other gifts like binoculars, coasters, game calls, rangefinders, hearing protection or clothing, check out MeatEater’s lineup at https://store.themeateater.com/collections/shop-all-meateater/?lang=en_US.


But don’t stop there. Here are my other 2022 holiday gift suggestions, which cost $10 to $400.


Speaking of outdoor kids, check out this young-adult adventure book, “Stranded on Thin Ice” by Sharon CassanoLochman (www.sharoncassanolochman.com). This Amazon best-seller describes how two 12-year-old friends survive mental and physical challenges after finding themselves alone on a forbidding lake during an icefishing derby. CassanoLochman expertly wraps mystery, foreboding, family woes, and the struggles of early adolescence around in-depth details about lures, lines, gear, and icefishing subtleties in her page-turning survival story.


Waterfowl hunters will love author Paul Wait’s coffee-table book, “Delta Waterfowl: How the Duck Hunters Organization Shaped Waterfowl Conservation in North America.” Wait — a veteran writer, editor and waterfowler from New London, Wisconsin — showcases Delta Waterfowl’s (www.deltawaterfowl.org) conservation history with insightful details and over 250 beautiful photographs.


Irish Setter’s 2715 Terrain hunting boots (https://www.irishsetterboots.com/press-releases/2022-Jan22-terrain-pr.html) ensure you conquer the backcountry in stable comfort. These boots feature extra traction, EnerG midsole for underfoot cushioning, Polyurethane-impregnated waterproof leather and fabric panels, and ScentBan scent control. The Terrain comes uninsulated or with 400g, 800g and 1200g insulation.


I’ve worn Gamehide’s Elimitick clothing (gamehide.com) from facemask to socks since discovering this “tick armor” over 10 years ago. It hasn’t failed me once, whether I’m hunting turkeys or making firewood. Its active, odorless ingredient so tightly bonds to the fabric that it retains repellency through 70 washes. It also repels chiggers, mosquitoes and midges (no-see-ums).


Ice-anglers who need pre-built or custom-built fishing rods for panfish or walleyes can find everything at Gold Standard Outdoors (https://goldstandardoutdoors.com). Ben and Joe Swanson of Wisconsin have built custom rods for friends and family since they were 11-year-old middle-schoolers. Their lineup features custom rods for icefishing or open water across the Great Lakes region.


The versatile RazorGuide Pak from Outdoor Edge (www.outdooredge.com) handles the largest big-game animals from the field to the table. The Pak includes the rugged RazorBone and RazorCape knives, and the equally strong Flip N Zip folding aluminum saw for cutting bone or wood. Both knives feature replaceable blades in several profiles, such as the 3-inch caping blade, 3½-inch gutting blade, 3½-inch drop-point blades, and 5-inch boning/fillet blades. The lightweight Pak also fits easily into your daypack.


Smith’s Consumer Products introduces the RegalRiver Ice Fishing Tool Kit (https://smithsproducts.com/51390). It includes a 9-inch jaw spreader for removing hooks without injuring angler or fish, as well as a 6.5-inch stainless steel pliers and line scissors combo. The kit also has a 4-inch folding fillet knife, and a marine-grade mesh tool bag for stowing on a bucket, sled, shelter or snow machine.


To keep your lures handy by keeping their treble hooks safe and tangle-free, try Al’s hook bonnets from the Goldfish Lure Co. These snap-on hook covers (www.alsgoldfish.com) keep your tackle box tidy and your lures safe.


If you’re tired of fussing with or busting your knuckles on cheap hitch pins and “R” clips, try the Pinultimate Quick-Release Hitch Pin (https://pinultimate.com/). This handy, durable pin secures your hitch easily by just pushing its button. It’s available in stainless steel or titanium, and treated with Cerakote to prevent rust.


Check out the Tonneau Buddy (https://tonneaubuddy.com/), a soft-sided “storganizer” that mounts behind your truck cab or in front of its tailgate. This handy, 18-pocket carrier holds all gear that otherwise gets lost inside your truck. The Tonneau Buddy also keeps gear dry even if the truck bed gets wet. Its SUV version, the Cargo Buddy, is also available.


If you need a safe, handy way to take your office afield or to the gun range, try the Tactical Bugout Computer Backpack (https://www.goutdoorsproducts.com) from GPS Bags and GSM Outdoors. This backpack carries most laptop computers up to 15 inches in a padded sleeve, and includes a lockable handgun retention system, magazine storage pouches, and room for other range gear.


The WiseEye Data Cam (https://wiseeyetech.com/) takes clear images and lets you identify individual deer while providing data about moon phases, temperatures, wind direction, wind speed and barometric pressure. You can also analyze those data with WiseEye's “PredictaBuck” patterning software, and sort buck images by pushing a button. An antenna system ensures the camera gets cell signals in remote locations.


The Spark 2.0 from Wildgame Innovations (WildgameInnovations.com) is an affordable trail camera that comes with eight AA batteries, compatible SD card, and adjustable tree straps. It has a quick trigger, records 720 HD video, and has an 18-megapixel image sensor for photos in a 16:9 format.


Pladra Signature Flannel Shirts (https://pladra.com/) for men and women are premium garments that last. Their signature feature is an artist’s wildlife scene on the underside of the cuffs, collar and inner yoke. To show off the artwork, just flip up your collar or turn up your cuffs. Awarded “Best Flannel” two years running by Gear Junkie.


ROKMAN backpacks (https://rokmangear.com/) are 100% waterproof, adjust to fit anyone, and feature T-Zips that open the pack lengthwise so you can reach gear wherever it’s stowed. The ROKMAN system is adaptable and stackable, letting you connect the frame and/or pack(s) simultaneously to its base Core-Flex harness that moves with you.


Scent Killer’s heavy-duty 8-by-8-inch washcloths from Wildlife Research Center (www.wildlife.com) feature anti-odor, back-country cleaning and durability. They’re also over 2½ times thicker than standard Scent Killer Field Wipes. These stocking-stuffers are great for cleaning, deodorizing and scrubbing when baths, showers or running water aren’t available.


The Hitch N'Drag (https://hitchndrag.com) makes retrieving deer and other large game effortless by hooking the unit’s 300- or 600-foot rope to your truck or ATV/UTV, and driving forward. The longer rope quickly rewinds with a cordless drill, but both are easily rewound manually with a crank.

These books by Steven Rinella, Paul Wait and Sharon CassanoLochman make great gifts for a range of outdoors-folks. — Patrick Durkin photo

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