Filed under: Family Camping, Outdoor Recreation & Hiking, Technology & Camping, Traveling Tips
Stocking Stuffers for the Camping Family
It’s that time of year again! In the northeast corner of Wisconsin, and many other areas of this country, St. Nicholas visits on the evening of December 5th, a sort of pre-curser to the Big Day as it were. Children hang stockings over the fireplace or on a banister before heading to bed that night. Then, in the morning, they are filled with small trinkets and goodies. My stockings always held a book of some kind, a small toy and a variety of Christmas candies.
Every year I like to write a blog about St. Nick ideas for campers, hikers and outdoors lovers to help stimulate the imagination of our readers. A couple of traditional favorites include a new calendar to help plan trips in the New Year and the newest edition of Woodall’s Guide for the same reason. But every year I also like to add a few new ideas that may simply not have occurred to the typical “St. Nick”. Here are my ideas for this year:
1) A Water Filtration System—especially for people like our son Ryan, who took a fall break mountain biking, hiking and camping trip to Moab, UT and encountered some areas where there was limited potable water. St. Nick thinks that this year Ryan (and others like him) needs to be able to filter his own water, wherever he may find it.
2) Hiking Poles—Terry and I use hiking poles on all our hikes and swear by them. Choose your poles by their weight and any other unique features. Terry has a Black Diamond model that he prefers; I have a model that is much lighter as I like to limit the weight that I am carrying with me when I hike.
3) Swiss Army Knife—Ryan is also getting one of these from St. Nick. It is the one handy tool that can get you easily out of almost anything you can get into. The trail he hiked on fall break was the same one on which Aron Ralston, portrayed in the movie “127 Hours,” was trapped. Aron was hiking when he fell into a canyon causing the lower part of his arm to be pinned by a rock. He only survived because he was able to sever the lower part of his arm with a cheap multitool with 2 (dull) blades. Had he brought his Swiss Army Knife with him that day, the task would have been considerably easier and less painful. While we certainly hope Ryan never encounters anything like this, having the knife along is definitely preferable to the alternative.
4) A New Compass—If you’re like our family, you can never have too many compasses. It is a good practice to keep one in the camper, one in the Durango and one on your key chain. This model snaps onto a parka zipper, keys, pack or water bottle and also gives you weather information. Another handy tool!
5) Finally, another item Ryan is receiving from St. Nick is a safety bracelet. Containing over 25 feet of rope, if you are ever in a situation where you need to rig up emergency shelter, cross a raging river or rescue a companion, this is your tool. Find them for $24-$27 at www.survivalstraps.com.
Now, not everyone is as adventurous as Ryan, but most of these ideas would come in just as handy for the average camper, traveler, hiker or RVer. Shouldn’t we all benefit from some of these great ideas as well? I think so! St. Nick agrees!
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