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Outdoor Ideas for Last Minute Santas

PresentOk…we have officially entered that final week of frenzied gift buying.  But fret not as we are prepared to help you out.  Last week on our radio show – Nebraska Outdoors – we talked good gifts for $50 or less that will help get the gift-getter outdoors. So here we go with a few of them…

Nebraska Permits & NEland Subscription.  Just as caller Clyde from Lincoln mentioned on the show, these are no-brainers that keep giving for months.  You can find all the options here. These make great stocking-stuffers.

Pie Irons.  This one came from in-studio guest Jim Swenson, Parks Division Administrator.  Pie irons are great for getting everyone involved in outdoor cooking.  Easy to use and wonderful for personalizing the menu on any camp out or backyard bonfire.Pie Iron

Can Cookers.  Sticking with the food theme, can-cookers are another easy way to make some outdoor eats.  The junior sized model can be found for $50 and its difficult to make a bad meal in it.  These things are made right here in Nebraska.

Range Time.  Mark from Lincoln called in to suggest some range time at the new Nebraska Outdoor Education Center (NOEC).  Ok, this might be an indoor gift but whether they are a new shooter or an experienced one indoor range time can be invaluable when the chance to move outdoors for hunting season begins.  NOEC has options for both archery and firearm. Check it out here.

parks BuckCamping Maps & Park Bucks.  For the campers on your list maybe some Park Bucks and a map of their favorite NGPC camping area.  You can also make some reservations for them.  This was suggested by Pleasant Dale’s own Heather H.

Bird Feeder & ID Guide. Jim Swenson suggested a bird feeder and an Bird ID guide.  There have been many ornithologists that can track their first birding experiences to a feeder hanging in the backyard.  From there to Christmas Bird Counts and birding trips.  This could be the start of a lifelong obsession.

Headlamp.  Many of my outdoor hobbies are benefited by pre-dawn arrivals or post sunset departures.  There is no better way to light your way in the dark while keeping your hands-free than a good headlamp.  While lumens may give insight to how bright a headlamp can be, useable light might be better indicated by illumination distance.   I have several favorites for different applications, so don’t worry if they already have one…or two.headlamp

Camp Coffee Pot/French Press.  I like camp coffee. But I am not necessarily a coffee connoisseur.  I like the old percolator-style for the tradition.  With a preference for a tight-fitting basket in a stainless steel model.  However, I know several friends that can make a great cup or two of java using a lightweight French Press style.

A Good Fillet Knife.  In a given year I don’t fillet many fish but I find a fillet knife unbeatable for many meat related tasks.  From cleaning ducks to cutting venison roasts off a hindquarters, there is no better tool than a sharp, flexible fillet knife.  A 6 or 7″ blade is good for what I do, however, for the angler a 8″ can be the ticket.

Wader PantsFleece Wader Pants. For the waterfowler or angler that spends time in chest waders in cold weather this is something they need.  Comfortable and warm these things are hard to beat.  Once used its tough to imagine life without them.  Though camo is stylish, the black ones are found for less than $50 and do the job just as well.

Boot Dryer.  A good pair of boots makes time spent outdoors even better.  However, even the best pair of boots are uncomfortable when they are wet.   Also, the more we ask from our favorite pair the sooner they wear out.  A good boot dryer can help with both issues.  Drying boots after use can help in comfort and longevity.

macheteMachete.  This is a gift that will be remembered.  Besides simply being awesome, once in hand its hard to fight the urge to go outside and whack some saplings.  Need to clear a path to the deer stand or add some vegetation to a duck blind?  The machete can answer the call.  Machetes are also good in case of zombie outbreaks…

Merry Gift Buying…


About Aaron Hershberger

Aaron "hershy" Hershberger is an Outdoor Education Specialist with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. He loves being outdoors. When not outdoors he is day-dreaming about being outdoors and/or whining that he is not outdoors. Hershy has been a Hunter Education Instructor, in two states, for nearly three decades & a Bowhunter Education Instructor for over 20 years.

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