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The Outdoors Wish List

December 4, 2014

By Chris Erwin

I hope you had a happy Thanksgiving. It doesn’t seem possible but we are heading into the winter holiday season. It just seems like a few weeks ago we were slapping on sunscreen and chasing bass in the middle of the summer sun.

As I get older, the days feel like they are moving at breakneck speed. Time seems to slide by like pages in a book I’m flipping through. Before I can relish in the now, tomorrow is pushing its way into our lives.

While I had the last few days to give thanks, as God has graciously anointed my path with friends and family, I want to thank you all too for reading my words each week and for all the people that help make it possible. I write this column because I am passionate about the outdoors, but it’s you and your stories that make it special.

Anyone can write stories about what sponsors want you to buy, however, my goal is not to sell products. This newspaper is about our community, I write about the lakes we all fish and the woods we all know. I’m here to tell your stories and to share what we all have learned together. In this coming season, I hope you will continue to help me tell those stories as we move forward.

Every year about this time, I try to highlight a few new products that will be great Christmas presents. However, one will not be on the shelves until 2015, but it was worth adding because it is new technology that should make the wish list of anyone who spends time in the outdoors.

I also want to say I am not connected with any of these products. Any companies that have sent me products to review are not listed in this wish list but will be reviewed at some later time. These products simply caught my interest, and I thought you might want to know about them.

The Lifesstraw personal water filter is the perfect gift for the backpacker or outdoorsman. (Submitted)

The Lifesstraw personal water filter is the perfect gift for the backpacker or outdoorsman. (Submitted)

SolePower insole: Generate power by walking! That is the claim of a new type of footwear including boots, running shoes, and sandals, all with electrical-charging capabilities. These are among the innovations you’ll see in the footwear sections at running and outdoor shops next year. SolePower insole claims you can generate power while you’re walking. It fits in almost any shoe and has a small generator mechanism that is actuated by every heel strike, creating electricity. You store your earned energy in a power pack that can be plugged into a phone or gadget to give it juice. Walk a few miles, charge up your dead phone. Pricing TBD.

The Solo Stove is another great gift for the backpacker or camper in your family photo. (Submitted)

The Solo Stove is another great gift for the backpacker or camper in your family photo. (Submitted)

LifeStraw: This product is not new, but it has been one of the most popular products of 2014. Filtering your drinking water could not be simpler. With LifeStraw you can drink directly from puddles or streams, or you may find it easier to scoop water with your wide-mouthed water bottle and drink from it using the LifeStraw. A Time Magazine “Invention of the Year” winner, LifeStraw is the most advanced, compact, ultra light personal water filter available. LifeStraw contains no chemicals or iodinated resin, no batteries and no moving parts to break or wear out. It features a high-flow rate and weighs only 2oz. LifeStraw is perfect for the ultra light backpacker, traveler, boy scout, hunter, and especially for emergency preparedness. Suggested retail is $25.00 but can be purchased for about $18.00.

Solo Stove Wood Burning Backpacking Stove: The No. 1 wood-burning backpacking stove recommended by Backpacker Magazine and serious survivalists, including Discovery Channel’s Matt Graham. Its patented design features a unique double wall that creates ultra-clean gasification and a secondary combustion. This allows fuel to burn more completely and with less smoke. It uses twigs, leaves, pinecones and wood as fuel. It eliminates the need to carry heavy, polluting and expensive canister fuels and its compact design nests inside the companion Solo Stove Pot 900 leaving you with more room in your backpack. Boils water in 8-10 minutes (34 fl oz. water). 4.25″ Diameter, 3.8″/5.7″ tall (packed/assembled). It weighs only 9 oz. and is made of premium stainless steel and nichrome wire. The nylon stuff sack is included. Suggested retail is $99.00 but can be purchased for about $60.00.

If you run across a product you think should be on our wish list send me the info and I will check it out!

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