Christmas is bearing down on us like a Pacific storm, leaving precious little time to stuff the stockings of all those outdoor lovers on your gift list.
To help you through this trying time, the staff at Oregon Outdoors scoured the shelves of local outdoor stores, looking for stocking stuffers under $25. With the wide range of activities people enjoy in our region, and the incredible mix of gadgets available at local stores, the task was tougher than climbing Mount McLoughlin in sandals. But we persevered, confident in the knowledge that our efforts will allow our readers to spend more time outside and less time waiting in holiday lines.
Tigard-based Lifeline offers a complete package for when you run into trouble outdoors. The sturdy 32-ounce plastic bottle holds a plethora of first aid gear, from scissors and tweezers to five different sizes of bandages and two sizes of sterile gauze pads. Other items include a first aid CPR guide, antiseptic towlettes and three sting relief pads, an emergency whistle, a tissue pack and a reusable zipper-lock bag. There is a line of other themed bottles, including Camper in a Bottle, Hunter in a Bottle, Hiker in a Bottle and Ultimate Survivor in a Bottle. Online: www.lifelinefirstaid.com.
This 3-inch, diode-charged light clips to a tackle-box lid, allowing fishermen to illuminate lures, plugs and flies from any angle. Portland-based Coast's crystal reflector tube system casts a bright, white beam for up to 100,000 hours from the LED. Batteries last for up to 70 hours and are included. Online: www.coastcutlery.com.
This is history in your hands. It's modeled after the original Swiss Army knife that Karl Elsener produced in 1897. It features silver alox handles, large and small blades, bottle and can openers, a large and small screwdriver and a reamer. It's a great gift for young and old (think about how many toys you can put together with the screwdriver). Online: www.swissarmy.com.
There's nothing better than fresh ground coffee at the campfire, and the adjustable ceramic hand grinder by GSI makes it possible even miles from the nearest electrical outlet. Made of indestructible Lexan, it features different notches on the bottom that allow it to rest on top of a variety of containers. Just fill it with beans, close the lid and grind away. Online: www.gsioutdoors.com
That's a wrap! Mountain Safety Research makes this lightweight, packable towel for a variety of uses. The fast-drying polyester/nylon microfiber blend is machine washable and comes with a snap loop for hang-drying. Total weight of the 17-by-36-inch towel is 8.5 ounces. MSR also offers hand, face and bath towel sizes. Online: www.msrcorp.com.
Anyone hypnotized by spinning hub caps will cherish this stomp pad, the perfect stocking stuffer to add a touch of "bling for their board," ski shop staff say. Also functional, the Spinner Mat provides traction for the snowboarder's unbound boot, whether in the lift line or on the chair.
Want to tighten your snowboard bindings faster than a NASCAR pit crew? The Mega Blaster is your tool. The 10-piece ratchet driver features three sizes (1-3) of Phillips bits; a No. 3 posi-drive bit; 3/32-inch and 4mm and 5mm hex bits; and 5/32-inch, 1/4-inch and 9/32-inch flat head bits. All the bits snap into hidden compartments on the gun-shaped driver. It's packable at 4 pounds. Online: www.dakine.com
Warmer weather may be a ways off, but instead of stashing away greasy insect repellents to slather on exposed skin, combat the spring insect hatch with this geraniol-treated wrist band. The BugBand's all-natural active ingredient extracted from geranium oil repels mosquitoes, flies, gnats, fleas, ticks and no-see-ums. DEET-free. Online: www.bugband.net
Like snow chains for your shoes, Yaktrax spikeless coils conform to the shape of your boot or shoe, secured by heavy-duty rubber cords. Yaktrax reduces the risk of slipping and injury while you run, work or take a light hike on packed snow and ice. Yaktrax original Walker model ($19.99 at Blackbird) provides greater winter stability in a casual shoe. Online: www.yaktrax.com
Ice crystals may be furring the inside of your water bottle now, but come summer, wouldn't you like a water bottle that can keep your beverage cold? The Polar Bottle's double-wall construction with a thermal barrier of air keeps heat out and cold in. The foil layer also reflects solar rays. In this chilly season, liquids in a Polar Bottle won't freeze as quickly, either. The 20-ounce bottle is $7.99. Online: www.polarbottle.com
These 2-ounce, portable camera pods will get you in the shot without taking up a lot of room in your pack. The handy pods can be set up like tripods or velcroed to a post or branch. Online: www.ultrapod.com
Every fisherman needs a secret weapon in their box, and this is it. Fool-a-Fish is based on research that shows fish see and are attracted to light in the ultra-violet spectrum that is invisible to the human eye. Made in Spokane, Fool-a-Fish is an odorless, colorless compound that causes your bait or lure to shine with reflected ultraviolet light. It works in salt or fresh water, on lures or live bait. Online: www.foolafish.com
Help your outdoorsy friends save their lips and face. Dermatone, an old standby product, was formulated in Sweden to meet the challenge of year-round weather conditions. It forms a barrier on the skin to help retain the body's own natural moisture and effectively protects exposed skin and lips from sun, wind and frostbite. With sunscreen levels from 18 to 30, Dermatone also significantly slows the skin's freeze rate, which retards frostbite. Online: www.dermatone.com
This collapsible 16-ounce bowl and 6-ounce cup set takes up almost no space. Perfect for hot and cold foods, the squishies are made of flexible food-grade silicone. Temperature resistant to 400˚F. Online: www.guyotdesigns.com
This handy little tool, no bigger than a Swiss Army Knife, contains a pealess whistle, luminous, liquid-filled compass, magnifier, emergency signal mirror, spark striker, thermometer, and watertight storage chamber. Weighs 1.1 ounce. Online: www.suncompany.net