A Top 10 List of Gifts for Any Outdoor Enthusiast This Holiday Season

By Kimberly Mason / For The Chronicle

If you have an fan of the outdoors on your list — whether bird watcher, hunter, fisherman, forager, skier, hiker or mountaineer — whatever the person on your Christmas shopping list is into, you can be sure that there is a new piece of equipment, gear, accessories or books about equipment, gear or accessories that they’d love to have and will appreciate.

This week The Chronicle went out on a little scouting trip, in search of both big game and small. Here is my short list of gift ideas that will bring Christmas shouts of joy from your outdoors enthusiasts.

1. Books are always a great choice. This one, “The Creaky Knees Guide Washington: The 100 Best Easy Hikes in the State,” would be especially enjoyed by those who love to walk — but don’t want to break into too much of a sweat doing it. Families with small children would enjoy this one too.

This day-hiking guide is filled with kinder, gentler trails throughout Washington State. There are 100 trails mapped out and described, divided into 11 regions, including the Olympic Peninsula, Mount Rainier National Park, and Southeastern Washington. ($16.95)

2. For the more active outdoors enthusiast, give a trip to White Pass Ski Resort this year in the form of a White Pass Gift Card, available online in pre-loaded amounts of either $50 or $100 dollars. Gift cards may be used at the ticket booth and at all Day Lodge registers.

The White Pass Gift Card is valid for purchases of lift tickets, rental and retail items as well as food and beverage items on the mountain. Go to the website for more information, http://www.skiwhitepass.com/.

3. Mark Hoffmann, White Pass Sports Hut in Packwood, said the Turtle Fur neck gaiter is a skiers favorite this year. They sell for $15.95

4. Hoffman also recommends Underarmour’s baselayers, specifically designed for skiers and snowboarders.  At $49.95, it’s costly, but well worth the price.

“It’s a high end garment,” Hoffman said, “I’d call it an investment in gear. It keeps you dry, wicks the moisture away from your body.”

5. For the hunter or fisherman on your list, Charles McElroy, sporting goods clerk at Sunbird Shopping Center has a long list of recommendations, starting with BB guns or Airsoft pistols for the young hunter-to-be — though you might want to sit down and watch the classic Christmas movie “A Christmas Story” and educate the youngsters on the danger of putting an eye out when mishandling a weapon.

6. Buy as little as a box or as much as a season’s supply of ammunition for the active hunter. McElroy said ammo will be on sale at Sunbirds until Christmas.

7. A top of the line rod McElroy said any angler would be thrilled to see under the tree is from the new Lamiglas salmon and steelhead series of rods, the Stealth Si.

“At $400 it’s a pretty pricey gift,” McElroy said, “but it’s an awesome rod.”

8. If it’s time to get a young fisherman started or upgrade a youngster’s fishing gear from their Barbie or Spiderman fishing pole combo, there is a huge variety to choose from at area outdoor gear shops.

9. And finally, McElroy suggests stuffing stockings with miscellaneous fishing tackle.

10. Never despair, bird lover’s, Patty Kaija of Kaija’s Garden and Pet, has a few ideas for you too. Patty has the BirdCam 2.0 in stock for just under $200. “Russ (Mohney) was always fascinated with these things,” said Kaija, “They’ll take a still photo or a short movie. You can set it out and see just what exactly is eating all the fish out of your pond.”

If the BirdCam is beyond your budget, Patty Kaija suggests that a bag of sunflower seed or suet would be a welcome gift for any bird lover. A suet cake can cost as little as 99 cents and will provide hours of entertainment for the recipient and the essential nutrients wild birds need to keep warm during long winter cold spells.

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Kimberly Mason is a freelance writer and Outdoors enthusiast who lives in Cinebar.  Visit her photography blog, The (Almost) Daily Bird (blogs.chronline.com/dailybird), follow her on Twitter (ChronKim) or on facebook (Kimberly Mason – The Chronicle). Contact her at kz@tds.net, text or call 269-5017.