Guide to nifty gifts for lovers of the outdoorsSanta’s paddling your way with great goods for the outdoors. We asked outdoor shops across the Northland to suggest gear and clothing for holiday giving.
By: Sam Cook, Duluth News Tribune
Santa’s paddling your way with great goods for the outdoors. We asked outdoor shops across the Northland to suggest gear and clothing for holiday giving. Here's what we found:
Fly-fishing starter kit
Scientific Anglers complete fly-fishing kit. Get someone started in fly fishing with this 9-foot, 5-weight fly rod, reel and line, fully rigged and ready to fish. Includes an instructional DVD, too. Suggested retail, $109.95. From Great Lakes Fly Co., 4426 Regent Street, Duluth.
The Echo Ion 8-weight fly reel will handle North Shore steelhead. Carbon construction with large arbor for faster line retrieve. Fully sealed drag. Suggested retail, $99.99. From Great Lakes Fly Co., 4426 Regent St., Duluth.
The Empire Wool and Canvas Works wool blanket shirt is at home on a portage or in the coffee shop. Colonial styling replicates the resolute clothing worn on the frontier. The pre-washed wool fabric is cozy and durable. Suggested retail, $165. From Empire Wool and Canvas Works in Duluth; available at Frost River, 1910 W. Superior St.
The tight weave of the pre-shrunk, 7-ounce organic cotton canvas of the Arctic Anorak from Duluth Wool and Canvas completely defeats the wind that robs warm air from your insulation layers, say those who make it. Suggested retail, $325. Optional coyote fur ruff, $160. From Duluth Wool and Canvas; available at Frost River, 1910 W. Superior St.
The Flyer, made by Granite Gear, is a multi-functional campsite diversion. It’s a foam disk covered with 210 denier Cordura fabric. When you’re finished playing, you can sit on it. Suggested retail, $19.95. From The Canoeist, which is in the process of moving to the former Sonju building at 1100 Seventh Avenue in Two Harbors by April 1. Order online at www.thecanoeist.com or call (218) 834-3523.
Tenkara fly rods are well suited for stream fishing and for anyone looking for a simpler way to fly-fish. Ideal for backpacking. Suggested retail, $139 to $239 depending on model. Suggested by Stone Harbor Wilderness Supply, 20 East 1st Avenue, Grand Marais.
Supper on the Slat
The Slat Grill is designed to replace your bulky box stove with a cooking grill/stove combination that can be used in a variety of ways with multiple fuel sources. Plus, it’s collapsible and light enough to portage. Suggested retail, $109.99. From Stone Harbor Wilderness Supply, 20 East 1st Avenue, Grand Marais.
Now you can get sonar readings and underwater camera video on the same screen. The new MarCum LX-9 Sonar/Camera Combo makes it possible. Suggested retail, $1,199.99. Suggested by Marine General Supply, 1501 London Road.
See the fish
Aqua-Vu, maker of underwater cameras, has a new camera called the Aqua-Vu Micro Plus. It’s an upgraded version of last year’s Aqua-Vu Micro camera with a more-sophisticated camera and a built-in DVR. The unit is about the size of a smart phone. Suggested retail, $399.99. Suggested by Marine General Supply, 1501 London Road.
Light your ride
The Urban 500 commuter combo bicycle light set includes the Urban 500 headlight and the Vis 180 taillight to keep you safe coming and going. The headlight is a 500-lumen LED light with up to a six-hour run time. Lights are USB rechargeable. Suggested retail for the combination, $149.95. Suggested by the Ski Hut, 1032 E. Fourth St. and 5607 Grand Ave.
See the hill
The Scott Sanction goggle features Scott precision options, no-fog lens treatment and 100 percent UV protection, with spherical lens for increased clarity. Suggested retail, $59.95. From the Ski Hut, 1032 E. Fourth St. and 5607 Grand Ave.
Drill silent, drill deep
The new Ion Electric Ice Auger is an electric auger powered by a high-energy 40V lithium ion battery. It can drill up to 40 8-inch holes through 2 feet of ice on a single charge. Weighs just 22 pounds, about 40 percent less than most gas-powered augers. Suggested retail, $499.99. Suggested by Northwest Outlet, 1814 Belknap St., Superior.
Bring the gang
There’s room for the whole gang in the Clam Six Pack 1660 ice-fishing shelter. It’s an industry first, with 94 square feet of fishable area, an 11.5-foot diameter and 90-inch center height. Weighs 46 pounds and comes with an oversized carrying bag for easy re-packing. Suggested retail, $379.99. Suggested by Northwest Outlet, 1814 Belknap St., Superior.
Hot air to boot
The Max Dry XL boot dryer is a forced-air dryer that offers settings for heat or no heat. Timer setting allows automatic shut-off up to three hours. Dries boots, shoes, gloves. Suggested retail, $59.99. Suggested by Gander Mountain, 4275 Haines Road, Duluth.
Set the hook
The Clam Ice Spooler Combo is a combination ice-fishing rod with a fly-fishing-style reel instead of a spinning reel. The reel’s straight-line configuration means less line twist and more direct hook-setting power. Suggested retail, $39.99. Suggested by Gander Mountain, 4275 Haines Road, Duluth.
Light the night
Need to find a duck blind in the dark? Browning has a great LED spotlight that is waterproof, and it floats. A powerful spot beam shines 435 yards. Run time is 27 hours on high beam. This 18-ouncce sport light takes three “C” batteries. Suggested retail, $49.99. Suggested by Superior Shooters Supply, 1705 Winter St., Superior.
Browning has all the gun-cleaning tools you need in one handy compact kit to clean any firearm from .17-caliber rifles to 12-gauge shotguns. The 35-piece kit comes packaged in a fitted aluminum carrying case and includes two sets of solid brass cleaning rods. Suggested retail, $44.99. Suggested by Superior Shooters Supply, 1705 Winter St., Superior.
Bicycle light technology has progressed dramatically over the past few years, resulting in lights that are more compact, brighter and more affordable. The Night Rider Lumina 650 is a product of that technology. Suggested retail, $149.99. Suggested by Twin Ports Cyclery, 2914 W. Third St., Duluth.
If you’re looking for a way to keep your hands warm while biking this winter, consider a pair of Bar Mitts. They attached to your handlebars, providing warmth and comfort while allowing the use of lighter gloves to better operate controls. Mitts fit both drop and flat handlebars. Suggested retail, $64.99. Suggested by Twin Ports Cyclery, 2914 W. Third St., Duluth.
Puukko Cutlery offers two knife options for the hunter or angler on your list. Both are made by Iisakki Jarvenpaa in Finland. The hunting knife is the Ijoy 8224, with a carbon steel blade, a curly birch handle and a vegetable-tanned leather sheath. Overall length, 7¾ inches, with a 3½-inch blade. Suggested retail is $50. The fillet knife is the Ijoy 6229, a 10¾-inch knife with a 6 3/8-inch blade. Suggested retail, $38. Suggested by Puukko Cutlery, 4521 E. Superior St., Duluth.
The simple adaptability of the Arrowhead Rolltop Pack by Frost River is a waxed canvas commuter pack that makes carrying a small bundle, or a large load, a breeze. An inside zippered compartment keeps small items separated, and outside lash squares offer a spot to attach items. Suggested retail, $160. Suggested by Frost River, 1910 W. Superior St., Duluth.
The Frost River Flight Bag is a no-frills piece of luggage. Honest leather handles provide reliability. Double bottom construction provides durability in high-wear areas. Made with waxed canvas, brass hardware and leather. Suggested retail, $125 to $170. Suggested by Frost River, 1910 W. Superior St., Duluth.
Hitch ’em up
Give the gift of a dogsledding experience with Positive Energy Outdoors. A two-hour Dog Sled Bog Tour is $175 per person; 5 to 8 miles of mushing. Other trips of different lengths available. Contact Positive Energy Outdoors at (218) 391-0147 or www.outdooredventures.org.
Fun on hand
Swix Fun Mittens are water-resistant and lined with 100-gram Primaloft. They have extra-long cuffs for comfort and protection, reflective piping and terry wipe thumb. Variety of colors. Suggested retail, $35.99. Suggested by Continental Ski and Bike, 1305 E. First St., Duluth.
FITS Sock Co. makes a women’s casual knee-high sock with fun patterns. Fabric is a wool blend, and they’re made in the USA. Suggested retail, $20.99. Suggested by Continental Ski and Bike, 1305 E. First St., Duluth.
Keep your food insulated on canoe trips with the Kondos Outdoors Cooler Pack. Insulated with ½-inch closed-cell foam. Plenty of room with 5,520 cubic inches. Suggested retail, $156.95. Suggested by Kondos Outdoors, 626 Kawishiwi Trail, Ely.
Kondos Outdoors’ utility bag is a good way to keep track of smaller items on the trail. Measures 13 by 8½ inches. Suggested retail, $12.95. Suggested by Kondos Outdoors, 626 Kawishiwi Trail, Ely.
Helle knives, made in Norway, are designed to be lifelong outdoors companions. Handle is made from curly birch and walnut with layers of leather. The nearly 4-inch blade is made of triple-laminated stainless steel. Comes with an embossed leather sheath. Suggested retail, $134.00. Suggested by Piragis Northwoods Co., 105 N. Central Avenue, Ely.
Protect your iPhone 4 or 4S while you surf, ski, snowboard and more. The LifeProof iPhone case delivers the highest level of waterproof, shock-proof, dirt-proof protection. Weighs less than an ounce. The LifeProof iPhone 5 model ships in January. Suggested retail, $79.99. Suggested by Piragis Northwoods Co., 105 N. Central Avenue, Ely.
Haul all the gear you need into the canoe country in Duluth Pack’s Paul Bunyan pack. This 9,420-cubic-inch pack is made from durable 18-ounce canvas with a double bottom. Rugged leather shoulder straps. Rides low to allow carrying a canoe. Suggested retail, $230. Suggested by Duluth Pack Store, 365 Canal Park Drive, Duluth.
The Bob Dustrude Quick Buck Saw is ideal for canoe trips. Folds down small and fits easily down the side of a pack. Snaps quickly into shape and holds tension on the 24-inch blade. Made in the USA. Suggested retail, $44.99. Suggested by Duluth Pack Store, 365 Canal Park Drive, Duluth.
Finally, a way to practice your fly-fishing at home all winter. It’s the Fly-fishing Game and Practice Rod, from Redington. The rod is 3½ feet long. It includes guides and line, but no reel. Suggested retail, $39.95. Suggested by Superior Fly Angler, 310 Belknap St., Superior.
Walk the dog
Get your best buddy a new outfit. Dogbooties.com makes a nylon webbing dog collar and leash combination. Collar has a 1½-inch O-ring. Leash of matching color is 6 feet long. Lots of colors available. Suggested retail, $10 for the combo. Suggested by Dogbooties.com.
Do Stormy proud
Wear the warm winter cap that Stormy Kromer himself once wore. Made in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Made from 80 percent wool, 20 percent nylon. Several colors to choose from. Suggested retail, $39.95. Suggested by Minnesota Surplus and Outfitters, 218 W. Superior St., Duluth.
The Original Woodman’s Pal is billed as an all-around land-clearing tool. It’s a machete blade with a sharpened hook end. Made in Pennsylvania since 1941, it’s 17 inches long and weighs 23 ounces. Suggested retail, $89.95, including sheath and stone. Suggested by Minnesota Surplus and Outfitters, 218 W. Superior St., Duluth.
Head, hands, heat
A Wintergreen beanie and Wintergreen mittens keep your extremities warm. The beanie is made from 11.8 oz. Polartec Wind Pro for warmth and wind protection. Accented with woven trim. Wintergreen mittens feature a double layer of Polartec Wind Pro fleece with a nylon outer shell. Suggested retail: Beanie, $48; mittens, $66. Suggested by Wintergreen Northern Wear, 205 E. Sheridan St., Ely.
Keep your phone charged on the trail. PowerTraveller makes the SolarMonkey Adventurer, a solar charger with a small built-in battery that charges phones, cameras, iPods and other devices. Suggested retail, $130. Suggested by Trailfitters in the Fitger’s Brewery Complex, 600 E. Superior St., Duluth.
Inside or out
The Keen Trillium slipper has a felted wool upper and an actual sole so that it can be worn outside. The slippers have arch control, too, so they can be worn all day long. Suggested retail, $70. Suggested by Trailfitters in the Fitger’s Brewery Complex, 600 E. Superior St., Duluth.
Designed by hunters and ice anglers, the CamukXtreme is a lightweight, superbly warm mukluk with a rubberized moosehide foot to keep you dry in the slush. Lined with a polypropylene and wool felt liner. With Mossy Oak camouflage uppers. Made in Ely. Suggested retail, $239.95. Suggested by Steger Mukluks, 100 Miners Drive, Ely.