By Kevin Tate
From the smallest box of ammo to the largest high-quality cooler, a thoughtful gear improvement for any hunting or fishing fanatic can be found with a little looking. Beyond the largest elements of outdoor kit, the items outdoors enthusiasts use are the ones that get the most wear and, most often, wear out. A replacement for these or a quality upgrade on a model they already love can be just the ticket, and there’s something to fit any budget.
It’s been said there’s no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing, and this year’s list begins with two lines to serve that end. Hunting clothing under the Drake label is a current hot seller and with good reason. It’s warm, waterproof and durable.
“It’s probably the hottest thing going right now,” George Partlow, of Hunter’s Haven in Tupelo, said. “Next to that would be the electric foot warmers by ThermaCELL.”
The foot warming insoles are offered in a variety of sizes and are designed to fit into any boot, or to be moved among boots. They’re rechargeable and they’re operated by way of wireless remote control, so they can be turned on or off, up or down without moving around or removing boots to get to them, an essential quality for such things worn in waders where getting to something at one’s feet could be a hunt-ending option.
Let there be light
Anyone on the woods or water at night or close to it should have a quality flashlight, and the Browning High Noon LED spotlight is a great solution. It has a tremendous output but, with batteries, weighs just over a pound and is small enough to fit into any backpack. Because it uses LED technology, it’s three C batteries last a very long time. It’s also waterproof and it floats.
Small arms ammunition has frequently been in short supply in recent years, so if you happen upon .22 long rifle ammo in particular, any quantity you can acquire will be much appreciated.
On the opposite end of the thermometer, keeping things cool is another common outdoor chore. Once upon a time, all ice chests were made to last. They were built with pride from parts that were tough, lasted for years and replaceable when they wore out.
Keep it cool
Sadly, the standard quality of ice chests has fallen drastically since then. New companies specializing in the high-end market now offer coolers of the quality we once knew. If you can get past the rather aggressive price tag, ice chests made by companies like Yeti, K2 and others leave absolutely nothing to want in the way of functionality and durability.