Opinion

Steeves/Trail Mix: Gift suggestions for outdoors lovers

There's no more denying it, with this week's snow flurries, it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

Which means, in the next week or so, I really must get busy and give some thought to picking up a few gifts.

Trouble is, I hate shopping, and I'm sure I'm not alone.

So, in this column, my last before Christmas, I'm going to make some suggestions of gifts for the outdoors lover on your list, to help you avoid doing too much shopping.

Of course, my solution to the problem of an allergy to shopping, is to go to shops you love, like outdoors shops, and we have a good number of them around here now, from A&C Sports and AG Superstore to Grouse River Outfitters and Outdoor Adventure Gear & Travel Outfitters and Trout Water Fly & Tackle, as well as the new kid in town, over in West Kelowna, Antler Creek Outfitters.

Book stores are right up there on my list too, and kayakers might be interested in John Kimantas' new book West Coast Explorer and Marine Trail Guide. I think the new book Making Headlines, 100 years of the Vancouver Sun by Shelley Fralic would be fascinating too. For more local history, try Edmond Rivere's newly-translated book on Father Pandosy: Pioneer of Faith in the Northwest. Rivere is a French professor at UBCO who first wrote this in French. He researched this Kelowna pioneer's life by digging up some 200 letters written in the late 1800s between he and his family, friends and superiors in France, from here.

Then there's Barrie Sanford's latest book called Train Master, the railway art of Max Jacquiard. He wrote McCulloch's Wonder about the KVR.

In response to my offer in last week's column to pass on suggestions for gifts for the outdoors person, Linda Jones-Evans of Outdoor Adventure Gear wrote with ideas for stocking stuffers such as fanny packs, gaiters, hand and foot warmers, traction devices to go over your boots, gloves and mitts, hats and "buff multi-functional headwear."

She's also got a temperature gauge that attaches to your zipper pull, a great idea for either jacket or pack, as well a fun and practical (you never know!) Survival Bandana.

At this time of year, good thermal underwear is vital, and headlamps are important if you aren't prepared to let the short days curtail your outdoors activities.

She's also got a carry bag that stuffs into its own stuff sack with a clip, called a Chico bag, and first aid kids are always practical, along with waterproofing spray for outdoor clothing and footwear, and water bottles.

Linda also stocks both clothing and equipment for snowshoeing, and she both sells and rents MSR snowshoes, as well as all sorts of day packs with or without a hydration bladder—or think compass or a step counter.

Larry Wilkins is the new guy in town, with a range of supplies for hunting, fishing, camping and archery, as well as restricted and non-restricted firearms and ammo, at Antler Creek Outfitters on Ross Road in West Kelowna.

He suggests Atlas snowshoes, which are 10 per cent off until Jan. 1, a must for back country snowmobilers for emergencies!

Also consider binoculars, gun cases, gun slings and other hunting accessories, including Buck, Sog and Kershaw hunting knives.

All Antler Creek clothing is also 10 per cent off this month, Larry says.

I'm not a big fan of gift cards, but they are available at most of these shops as well.

The other thought for gifts is an outing, such as one of Selah Outdoor Explorations' snowshoe tours, perhaps to go with the new snowshoes…

Jordie and Laurie Bowen offer a two-hour tour called Discover Snowshoeing, which is a great introduction to the sport and it includes snowshoe rentals.

Then, there's ladies' days on Thursdays beginning Jan. 10; a winter woods snowshoe hike, sunset hike and cookout and a starlight snowshoe hike and fondue, all in the hills around Crystal Mountain Resort. For details, go to: sites.google.com/site/selahoutdoorexplorations

You may have noticed that the Telemark Cross-Country Ski Club has changed its name to simply Telemark Nordic Club to reflect the fact that more than skiing goes on there.

Whether you enjoy the coming weeks out in the snow or inside, in front of the fire, have a great Christmas and enjoy the company of family and friends.

Judie Steeves writes about outdoors issues for the Capital News.

 

jsteeves@kelownacapnews.com

 

 

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