While it is difficult to decide what to give many people on your Christmas gift list, men, women and kids who thrive on the outdoor life are different. It seems the procession of gadgets and gear that makes outings easier or more enjoyable is nearly endless, with new products coming out every year. Then there are also items of gear that come under the tried-and-true category that have always been appreciated. Here are a few Christmas gift ideas to jump-start the creative shopping juices when you check off the outdoors folk on your list. I just wish a Zodi water heater and ThermaCELL heated insoles would fit in my stocking. (Did you get that, Santa?)
Daisy Red Ryder Carbine
This little lever gun is not a toy, but a precision spring piston air gun that holds 650 BBs. Adult and teenage shooters can also enjoy shooting other Daisy air guns, including several Avanti series competition-quality rifles. The CO2-powered 887 Gold Medalist and 888 Medalist, as well as the single-pump cocking lever, straight pull bolt 753 Elite and 853 Legend all come with adjustable triggers and target sights. (Red Ryder Carbine, $39.99, Dick's Sporting Goods, Brier Creek Commons, Triangle Creek Commons and other locations at Apex, Durham, Cary, Garner and Knightdale, www.dickssportinggoods.com. For information on other Daisy air guns, visit www.daisy.com or call 800-643-3458).
Shakespeare Combos and Fishing Kits
Shakespeare makes a wide variety of fishing rods and combo kits for young and old. For adults, a Shakespeare Tiger spinning outfit with rod, reel and line will catch just about anything that swims. But if you have kids that you want to teach to fish, buy them a Shakespeare Mickey Mouse, Barbie or Spiderman fishing kit. (Tiger combo, $19.86; kids fishing kits, $12 to $22, Walmart, 8000 Town Drive, Raleigh, 919-424-6235, www.walmart.com).
Wenger Evolution 81 Swiss Army Knife
Speaking of Swiss Army Knives, the Wenger Evolution 81 Swiss Army Knife is one of the smaller models in the cabinet. It has a scissor, nail file, small blade, toothpick, and a keychain. Other Swiss Army Knife models have more tools, with prices up to $60. (Evolution 81 Swiss Army Knife, $21.99, Dicks Sporting Goods).
Ballistol Lubricant, Protectant and Preservative
Ballistol comes in aerosol and pre-packaged wipes. This amazing do-anything lubricant, cleaner and preservative prevents rust and lubricates metal parts, maintains and preserves wood and leather. Other similar products are less expensive, but this may be the best in its class. An outdoors person might not buy this product for himself, but would be hooked on it forever if received as a gift. Ballistol was invented for military use in Europe more than 100 years ago and is perfect for wiping down a shotgun or rifle that suffered a downpour. It also cleans black powder residue is biodegradable. (For information and ordering, try www.ballistaol.com, 800-253-2460. Sold at Perry's Gun Shop, Wendell, 919-365-4200; Boyette's Automotive and Marine, Raleigh 919-828-9383. Comes in various sizes and applicators, costs about $15 for 16-ounce aerosol).
Mojo Wipes Microfiber Fishing Towel
Not just another rag to wipe your hands, but a special microfiber fishing towel that does not absorb fishing odors like cotton cloth. This towel can be printed with logos for promotions and spawned an entirely new industry in the Triangle when it was introduced in 2003. ($7.95, for information, visit Mojo Companies, Apex, NC, www.mojocompanies.com. Also sold at Great Outdoor Provision Company, 2017 Cameron St. Raleigh, NC 27605, www.greatoutdoorprovision.com, 919-83-1741).
Leatherman Bear Grylls Compact Multi-tool
No outdoors person should be without a multi-tool, which range in price from $20 to $200 depending upon the quality and features. This one features needle nose pliers, wire cutters, fine edge knife, serrated knife, Phillips screwdriver, small and medium flat screwdrivers, lanyard ring, bottle opener and tweezers. Think of it as a bigger version of the old standby Swiss Army Knife. ($19.95, Dicks Sporting Goods).
The Coleman Single Burner, Dual Fuel Camp Stove uses either camp fuel or unleaded gasoline. It is extremely portable and can boil a quart of water in four minutes. Perfect for making coffee or heating up a can of soup in a duck blind or deer camp. It can even warm a person quickly in an emergency, yet takes up little space. ($48.86, Walmart).
Wild Game Innovations 8.0 MP IR Game Camera
Game cameras are all the rage for scouting as well as for taking candid images of non-game animals at bird feeders and other secluded locations. Prices can exceed $200, but this inexpensive 8.0 megapixel camera has infrared flash capabilities out to 55 feet, time lapse and anti-blur features and is an inexpensive camera kit that will get the job done. ($99.99, Dicks Sporting Goods).
Zodi Hot Tap Single Burner Shower With Hard Case.
This neat gizmo heats up an unlimited amount of hot water for showers and other hunting or fishing camp uses and comes inside a hard case that can be used as a four-gallon reservoir. It has an electric pump powered by four D-cell batteries to produce high water pressure and a propane burner no bigger than a boot that uses a small propane tank. ($169.95, www.campingshowerworld.com, 888-300-9989).
Angler's Fish N Mate.
Angler's Fish N Mate aluminum framed fishing carts come in several sizes for different applications. They do double duty as yard and garden carts, especially for hauling mulch and potted flowers. The large version even has an optional electric power kit for the mobility-impaired (or lazy) fishermen, power port and kayak carrier. (Lil' Mate, $129.95; Fish N Mate with front wheel, $239.99; Power Cart, $499.99, www.rodrack.com, 888-763-7225).
ThermCELL Insect Repellant and Heated Insoles
ThermaCELL has made insect repellent devices that all hunters are familiar with for more than a decade. While a ThermaCELL kit, including butane cartridge and three insect repellant wafers costs about $26 at Walmart, the newest ThermaCELL product is the company's Heated Insole. The Heated Insole has high-tech wireless technology with rechargeable lithium ion polymer batteries, similar to cell phone batteries. Temperature settings are controlled by a wireless remote that allows easy temperature adjustment. Settings are 111 degrees (High) 101 (Medium). They come in several sizes that can be trimmed to fit boots from women's size 4.5 to men's size 13. ($129.99, www.thermacell.com, or www.cabelas.com).