Stocking Stuffers for the Great Outdoors
by Elizabeth Folwell
When it comes to outdoor gear, the little things can count big. For your favorite camper, angler, hiker, skier, cyclist or paddler here are some stocking stuffers you can find inside the Blue Line.
Bill Sandiford, at Long Lake’s ADK Trading Post suggests some classics under $20 that fit in a day pack: the Silva Sportsman’s Tool has a compass, thermometer, magnifier and safety whistle for $7.99 and the Opinel knife, with its wooden handle, sharp blade and timelessly cool Euro design, is $15.99. To go with the knife, you can pick up a $2.99 plastic spork in neon green, yellow, blue or red. If you plan to eat a hot meal using these implements the trading post has inexpensive waterproof match cases to fill with strike-anywhere matches or flint fire starters at $4.99. When it’s time to smother your campfire or practice leave-no-trace skills, a folding mini shovel weighs less than 1.5 pounds and costs $15.99. It fits in a Christmas stocking—barely—but goes just fine into a pack.
Pine’s Country Store, in Indian Lake, is an old-fashioned emporium with creaky wood floors, rooms full of household essentials and hardware plus all manner of useful tools. Tim Pine recommends survival bracelets ($3.99-5.99), which are woven from nine feet of parachute cord that can be unraveled to use for hanging a bear bag, cut for shoelaces or turned into any lashing you need for fishing, paddling and backpacking. Another handy gizmo is a clip-on LED light that runs on watch batteries and fits on a ball cap, coat lapel or strap for $5.99. A reusable glow stick that works like a flashlight, comes on a lanyard and even has a whistle is “perfect for kids at a campsite,” he says, and at $4.99 these are also good to carry in a handlebar bag or glove compartment since there is an emergency flash function too. The Swiss+Tech mini multi tool has a can opener, wire cutter, needlenose pliers, screwdriver, flashlight, knife blades and more for under ten bucks. Pine also sells bear bells “with silencer, not for the bear but you if you get tired of the jingling” for $3.99.
In Saranac Lake, Jason Smith at Adirondack Lakes and Trails Outfitters points to the fifth edition of the durable and waterproof Adirondack Paddler’s Map from Dave Cilley, of St. Regis Outfitters, as a great asset for backcountry exploring at $19.95. He also thinks the modern outdoorsperson could use waterproof cases for smart phones and digital cameras, about 20 bucks. For a romantic evening in the woods, his store has Lexan wine glasses with removable stems ($7.99) and the classic, collapsible candle lantern at $19.95.
Lisa Bolton, at Old Forge Hardware, offers up paper products for the sporty types, including topo maps of any Adirondack destination. Peterson’s First Guide to Edible Wild Plants fits in your cargo pocket and costs $19. From Lisa Densmore and Falcon Guides Bolton suggests Best Easy Day Hikes Adirondacks at $9.95. For winter fun Ski and Snowshoe Trails in the Adirondacks by Tony Goodwin is a good source of easy to intermediate treks for $12.95.