It’s that time of year again, the holidays are upon us, and in case you are wondering what to get your favorite hunter or angler, here are a few ideas that may make your shopping easier this holiday season.

This time of year, staying warm is foremost on most people’s minds. How about hand warmers? Reusable handwarmers manufactured by Jon-E or Zippo are durable, last for 12 hours, and provide instant comfort. Cold feet while on the ice? SmartWool socks are a good start, but remote control Thermacell heated footsoles are warmer. Stick them in your boot, and turn them on and off as the conditions warrant.

Of course, nothing takes the chill out of a blind or ice shack like a portable propane heater. Mr. Heater makes several models. You can purchase one that doubles as a stove, or one that cranks out enough heat to warm a small cabin.

Hand-held electronic devices are becoming an essential part of our outdoor gear. The one problem with relying on your cellphone or GPS? Batteries die. Solution? Get a hand-held charger. Mini-solar panels from Goal Zero or a hand-held USB crank by Eton will recharge your device. Or purchase a BioLite stove that actually generates power from a small fire while you cook.

Smart phones, while they may be recharged, are a bit finicky after spending time submerged in a trout stream or pond. Believe me, I know. Forget cell phone insurance, put your money into a waterproof cell phone case. What works? A Lifeproof Fre case. I saw an iPhone spend the night 10-15 feet under water. We went back the next morning with a snorkel and mask to retrieve it, quickly located the phone, and it still worked. Well worth the $80 dollar investment.

And not all outdoor electronics have to break the bank. Bushnell makes a very popular GPS unit called the Backtrack that can store up to three locations and costs under $50. Mark where you park as you head out hunting, and you will always get back. It’s an ideal accompaniment to an orienteering compass. The Garmin E-trex 10 costs little more than $100, has a base map, stores over 1,000 waypoints and even is waterproof.

Of course, if you want true piece of mind, take a look at the DeLorme Earthmate PN-60W and couple it with DeLorme’s InReach satellite communicator. Use it to send text messages via satellite from locations where your cellphone just won’t work. To communicate locally, a pair of Motorola Talkabouts range up to 35 miles and some models are even waterproof.

And if you are stuck in the woods or looking to add to your survival pack, here are a few ideas. Building a fire in any weather is key, and the Zippo Fire Starter uses a flint wheel and water resistant waxed tinder sticks in a sealed, pocket-size container. Zippo also makes the ultimate campsite multitool with a 4-in-1 camp axe that includes a saw blade, a hammer and a tent-stake puller. Make sure you add a LifeStraw to your pack as well. This straw purifies as you sip, creating potable water almost anywhere.

Hunting and fishing licenses are thoughtful gifts that will always be used, and if you know someone under 15 or over 65, look into purchasing a lifetime license. The license is valid even if you move out of state.

There are many other gifts ideas, but I am running out of column space so I will simply wish you the best this holiday season.

Mark Latti is a Registered Maine Guide, and the Landowner Relations/Recreational Access Coordinator for the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

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