Gifts for the Holidays
By Karen Berger
Photographs By John R. Fulton Jr.
We've scoured outdoor stores, catalogs, and browsed the Internet to find the coolest, most practical, and just plain fun outdoor gift ideas for the Scout or Scouter on your holiday list.
Professor Noggin’s National Parks Card Game.
Do you know which Native American people built homes in Chaco Culture National Historical Park? Or whether bighorn sheep live in Great Smoky Mountains National Park? This card game combines trivia, true-or-false questions, and multiple-choice questions about national parks in a multilevel game for two to eight. www.professornoggin.com. Approximately $10.
These multicolored bowls and cups are made of flexible, bendable, food-grade silicone. As their name promises, they squish into practically no space, which makes them easier to pack than traditional hard metal or plastic bowls. Ranging from 1.7 ounces for a 6-ounce cup to 3.3 ounces for a 16-ounce bowl, they’re ultralight, as well. www.guyotdesigns.com. $10.95 to $15.95.
See Bag from SealLine.
Keeping your gear dry is important -- but so is being able to organize and find it. These transparent vinyl, lightweight bags are watertight and let you see what’s inside without having to open them. Sizes range from 4.5 liters ($13.95) to 32 liters ($23.95). Smaller dry bags and cases are available for your electronics and other valuables. www.seallinegear.com.
Who knew a yo-yo could be so highly engineered? High-performance ball bearings and adjustable responsiveness can be calibrated for different levels of yo-yo expertise. Billed as “the world’s most advanced yo-yo,” this all-around trick yo-yo, accompanied by a 36-page manual, will amuse Scouts in camp for hours. www.aerobie.com. Approximately $17.
Journeys of a Lifetime: 500 of the World’s Greatest Trips.
This wish-list travelogue will rev up your wanderlust with seven continents’ worth of adventure. Each journey is presented with National Geographic’s captivating text, spectacular photographs, and detailed maps. Also included is useful information regarding travel seasons, transportation, and Web site resources. www.nationalgeographic.com. $40.
Byer of Maine’s Parachute Traveller Hammock.
This lightweight hammock is made of parachute nylon; packs small, and holds up to 240 pounds. It is a convenient choice for car camping and base camping, and at only 11 ounces, you might even find room for it inside a backpack or a kayak’s dry sack. www.ByerofMaine.com. About $20.
Victorinox: Vertical Deluxe Travel Companion.
This multipurpose bag can be worn as a miniature daypack, a fanny pack, or carried as a shoulder bag. It’s big enough to hold all of a traveler’s necessities and comes with convenient compartments to help keep you organized. www.swissarmy.com/travelgear. $60.
The Dangerous Book for Boys.
In a world saturated with sit-down electronic media and lawsuit-proof playgrounds, The Dangerous Book for Boys advocates a return to activities that cultivate curiosity and engage the attention of boys -- a lot like Scouting.
A wide range of activities is described, from tying knots to folding paper airplanes. And, on a more educational note, there’s plenty about history, battles, outdoor living skills, plants, and animals -- as well as activities for boys and their dads to do together. By Conn Iggulden and Hal Iggulden; from HarperCollins (2007); hardcover; $24.95.
Platypus Collapsible Water Bottles.
These one- and two-liter lightweight bottles fold up to practically nothing when not in use. You can even stash one in your pocket or in a fanny pack. www.scoutstuff.org. 1-liter, BSA No. 1003, $8.99; 2-liter, BSA No. 01698, $11.99.
Light My Fire Outdoor Meal Kit.
Here’s something for anyone who thinks outdoor cuisine should be more ambitious than boiling water and pouring it into a foil pouch. This packable kit contains a cutting board that doubles as a colander, two plates, a waterproof box, a cup, and a “spork.” Unlike traditional plastic spoon and fork combinations, this
ergonomic version includes a serrated fork. www.lightmyfireusa.com. About $20.
BSA Deck of Knots Cards.
Knots are a staple of Scouting skills, and this deck of cards handily illustrates tying a wide variety. Each card has step-by-step directions and a
series of photographs that lead the user through tying even the most complicated knots. www.scoutstuff.org. No. 32663, $9.99.
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November - December 2007 Table of Contents
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