Mr. Herrmann writes:
Here are some inexpensive holiday gift ideas that will enhance your son’s outdoor experience.
Wool/polyester socks (NOT COTTON)- under $10 at Costco, Wal-Mart, Target…
Polyester/nylon sports tee shirt long or short sleeve- worn as the first layer of clothing against the body. It wicks away moisture to help the body stay dry and warm.- $10 at Wal-Mart, $30 at Dicks. Cotton holds moisture, cotton is to be avoided!
Fleece jacket- $12 at Wal-Mart, $22 at Kohl’s, $35 at Dicks. Worn over polyester tee shirt as the second layer of clothing.
Fleece or Wool hat- $8-15 Wal-Mart/Target, $20 Dicks. Significant body heat is lost through the head and cotton looses it effectiveness when wet.
Gloves- three pair for winter camping is best (two to get wet on Saturday and one pair for Sunday)
Poncho- $2 Dicks, Wal-Mart. Staying dry is the key to comfortable winter camping. If you are wet-you will be cold, it’s that simple.
Waterproof rain pants- $18 Dicks. Worn as an outer layer over clothes.
Waterproof / breathable jacket- $50-85 Dicks, Campmor, REI, Sports Authority. Often called a “shell”, this is the first choice for an outer layer.
Water resistant / breathable jacket- $20-60, Wal-Mart, Target, Burlington Coat Factory, Campmor, Sports Authority. This shell is the second choice for an out layer. Spray garment with Scotch Guard to make it waterproof.
Can of Scotch Guard- $10. If waterproof capabilities are in question then spray it!
Boots (waterproof) – $20-80. Payless, Sports Authority, Dicks. Sneakers are NOT appropriate hiking or winter camping gear.
High tech mountaineering brand names- Columbia, Patagonia, North Face, REI, Mountain Hardwear, etc. offer quality products at very expensive price points. The same utility is obtained from significantly less expensive products made from the same materials and purchased at Wal-Mart, Target, etc. Again, avoid cotton.