Northern Wilds Magazine
These three items are bound to satisfy any outdoor lover. | Gord Ellis
Northern Trails

All I Want for Christmas


These three items are bound to satisfy any outdoor lover. | Gord Ellis
These three items are bound to satisfy any outdoor lover. | Gord Ellis

Ah, Christmas. The family, the friends, the tree, and oh yes, the gifts. That is part of the deal at Christmas, giving things to people. Most folks are pretty happy to get the typical presents: socks, bath soaps and gift cards. However, the outdoors-minded person creates a different set of challenges for the Christmas buyer.

What do you get the person who already has everything? It’s a difficult question. So, if I was that person you were buying for, here is a few of the things that are on my “wish list.”

You really can’t go hunting without a knife. You need a solid blade for so many tasks, up to and including the dressing of the animal in question. There are many, many choices out there and great names to choose from, including Buck.

I like a fixed handle and chunky, but not huge, knife when I hunt. Something that can cut ropes, peel bark off a tree and skin out a deer with no problem. Last fall, I acquired a really fine blade made by a company called Camillus. The Camillus Cutlery Company is one of the oldest knife manufacturers in the United States as its roots date back to 1876. The Company produces blades of all shapes and sizes. They recently brought some of their products to Canada and it was love at first sight.

The Camillus blade I picked up has a 9 inch, carbonitred titanium fixed blade with a bamboo handle and nylon sheath. The bamboo handle is both warm and easy to grip and I love the dark blade. Titanium doesn’t flake, chip or peel, and is up to 10 times harder than untreated steel. It’s a serious blade for serious work. I can’t imagine any hunter not being thrilled with getting one.

Ok, so I played a little rock ‘n’ roll in my day. And yes, I did sight in and shoot many, many guns. Never mind the thousands of hours sitting with my head a foot from an outboard motor. Maybe my hearing isn’t as good as it could be. Perhaps I want to save what is left.

This is familiar ground for many people, but there are answers. The Walker’s Game Ear® Alpha Power Muff 360 Quad offers sound enhancement—so you can hear an animal walk in—as well as sound-activated compression hearing protection. This means when you pull the trigger, the sound is squelched. The Alpha 360 Quad features four wind resistant, high frequency, stereo microphones with 9x hearing enhancement and 50dB power. The sparrow 50 yards away will sound like it’s on your lap.

There are two independent volume controls, allowing you to set the volume for each ear. Sound-activated compression (SAC) gives you 24dB noise reduction to protect your ears while shooting or from hearing other loud noises. Yes, they look a little goofy at first and make your ears sweat a bit, but once you get used to wearing them there will be no going back. A great gift for the hearing deprived angler, hunter, shooter or bird watcher.

Nothing kills outdoor fun quicker than cold feet. You can be insulated like a Yeti from the ankles up, but turn those tootsies into popsicles and going home becomes a desirable option. Wool socks are great, as are insulated boots. But to really fend off the winter foot chill, how about some high tech heat via heated insoles?

The ProFlex Heated Insoles made by ThermaCELL allow you to control the level of warmth in your feet with a one touch remote. You can go for two different levels of heat or shut it off entirely. The batteries in the insoles are rechargeable and can be changed without taking the insoles out of the boots. Each battery is good for about five hours and you can recharge them about 500 times. It may all sound like a bit much, but they work and are worth their weight in gold if you suffer from cold feet outdoors. I can’t imagine an ice fisherman, football game watcher or tree stand sitter not being thrilled to get a pair.

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