Forgive me. It seems every blog and website in the known universe is bombarding you with “buy this for Christmas,” and here I come pushing outdoor Christmas gear that works. But this is functional gear I’ve actually used and love and I’m not selling it. I might get a small kick back from one or two manufacturer’s if they notice what inspired the sale, but I’m not doing this to get rich. I’m doing it to alert my friends to gear that works. Some of it might even save your life.
Before we get to my list of outdoor Christmas gear, I suggest you mention RonSpomerOutdoors.com if you order anything direct. Some of these brands in the past have hinted they might give buyers a small discount (no promises) and some might even direct a few $ my way if you mention RSO, which would make my Christmas merrier! But you certainly don’t have to. Mainly I want you to consider whether these items can truly benefit your outdoor adventures.
1. Lightning-Strike Fire Starter (http://lightningstrikefirestarter.com/)
Here’s a 21st century upgrade sparked by the old rock-and-flint idea. An aluminum cylinder holds a ferrocerium rod, a stack of easy-light tinder, and a steel striker secured to the unit with a strong shock cord. A groove in the tube surrounding and protecting the ferro rod fits and directs your strike with the steel. So here’s the routine: pop off the watertight cap. Remove a bit of tinder. Point the open end of the tube at the tinder. Scrape the steel down the ferro rod. The aluminum tube directs virtually all of the 4,000-degrees F. sparks onto the tinder. It ignites and burns hot for some time. This dries and ignites leaves, twigs, etc. Bingo. Fire, warmth, survival. Read Jack London’s “To Start a Fire” short story, then order a Lighting Strike Fire Starter for every outdoors person on your list. There are standard and mini sizes for $60.00. I like the mini for backpacking, the standard for day hunts. http://lightningstrikefirestarter.com/ or do it the easy way and just call 541-439-5155. Tell ‘em RSO sent you and you’ll get a bonus.
2. WeatherWool Hat (weatherwool.com)
My wife insists I feature her favorite, super warm and cozy WeatherWool Mouton Hat that she wears every day in the snowy mountains of Dancing Springs Ranch. Soft, thick, plush Mouton long-fiber wool pelt inside a rugged outer layer of FullWeight WeatherWool Jacquard Merino fabric. Combine this with a WeatherWool merino neck gaiter or scarf and you’re ready to brave the coldest deer blind, ice fishing shack, or High Plains blizzard. At $225 it isn’t cheap, but neither is your head.
3. Bino Dock (https://www.binodock.com/)
Simple, effective, convenient, and could save your expensive binocular from breaking. The Bino Dock is a dual-cup-holder you slide into any vehicle’s standard cup holder. You then stand your binocular in the dual cups and strap it down. Always at hand, never sliding off seats and dash as you drive. Bino Dock can be mounted in boats, ATVs, even box blinds and cabin walls to keep a binocular ready where it’s needed most. Special holiday pricing at $49.99!
4. Stratus Support Systems Belt Gun Carrier (https://www.stratussupportsystems.com/)
This simple unit can really take a load off your mind, but mostly your shoulder. A simple belt clip mates to a small pin on a gun mount you velcro to any rifle or screw onto an AR15. Drop the pin into the belt holder and your rifle is supported. Look Ma! No hands! Combine with a traditional sling and share the weight between hip and shoulder. Prevents sling slipping off shoulder, too. On sale now for just $24.95 at https://www.stratussupportsystems.com/.
5. Hunting Dog. (beirlsetters.com)
Puppy! Hey, as outdoor Christmas gear goes, this one’s sure to win friends and influence people. And if you’re going to put up with a whining, peeing, pooping puppy, you might as well get one that will grow up to earn its keep as a fantastic hunting dog. English setters from beirlsetters.com are strong, gorgeous, healthy, natural pointers and retrievers and impressively smart. At least the one we’ve got is. Covey’s not quite 6 months old and already has a dozen birds to her credit. About $2,000 from www.beirlsettes.com. You won’t get Covey; just one of her cousins.
6. All Around Wool Jacket (weatherwool.com)
Ah shucks, I wasn’t going to list my favorite wool jacket because it’s quite pricey, but this extremely well designed-and-built merino wool All-Around Jacket from WeatherWool should last you decades. It’s everything wool is advertised to be and more. Water resistant, warm, still warm even when wet, fire resistant, extremely durable, not itchy, and classy looking. $850 from weatherwool.com
7. Browning Dirty Bird Gunner Gloves (browning.com)
If you struggle with hunting gloves that are difficult to pull on over coat sleeves and cuffs, try this wide gauntlet hunting glove from Browning. Easy on and off, comfortable fit and flex without the bulk and binding of so many insulated hunting gloves. These don’t have thick insulation, but they keep my hands nicely warm if I’m at all active. They don’t get in the way of gun handling either. Extremely durable and rugged. $49.99 from Amazon.
8. Riton 10×42 HD Binocular (Riton)
A compact, lightweight binocular (Betsy’s holding one in the WeatherWool hat photo) with all the bells and most of the whistles that make roof prism binoculars sharp, bright, and durable. HD lenses minimize color fringing. BaK4 prism glass, phase coated with dielectric mirrors — as good as it gets. Fully multi-coated lenses. Light magnesium alloy chassis. Rubber armored. Twist up rubber eye cups. Water and dustproof from a company run by U.S. military veterans. Add it all up and you have outdoor Christmas gear sure to please any outdoors lover. $499 from Amazon.
9. Mossberg Patriot Revere Rifle (www.mossberg.com)
So if you REALLY want to impress your Christmas boy or girl — regardless their age — let them rip the wrap off a classy, classic, pretty walnut stock hunting rifle. In this age of plastic everything, the Mossberg Revere harks back to the good old days of handsomely figured walnut and blued steel. The classic lines of this hunting rifle dispense with all the frills to provide a comfortable, easy-carry tool that gets on target smoothly and delivers bullets precisely. No promises on accuracy, but the Revere I’ve been shooting puts three consecutive shots inside of an inch with three different brands of ammo. Visit your nearest firearms dealer for this one or try Gallery of Guns online. MSRP $823.
The author isn’t a gear junky, but he does use essential outdoor gear that works.