By Joy Hampton
The Norman Transcript
NORMAN — If you want to find the perfect gift, follow what brings your loved one bliss.
While everyone else is fighting through crowds at big-box stores to get the latest X-Box or Play Station, shoppers who think outside the box can avoid the crowds and still bring home high-tech gifts and specialty items. Many local retailers carry that one special thing no one else will think to buy for the people on your Christmas list.
Need help getting started? Think hobbies and activities when shopping for that friend or family member who has everything.
For the outdoors enthusiast in your life — from hikers to hunters and die-hard tailgaters, Backwoods Norman, 1268 N. Interstate Drive, has a plethora of gift choices that include, but go way beyond, the traditional tents and sleeping bags.
What outdoorsman doesn’t need a great knife or multiple function flashlight? Yeti coolers and Zippo hand warmers are popular with sports fans and hunters, as well as backpackers. High-comfort, durable clothing, shoes and boots suitable for many outdoor activities will outlast and outperform less reputable brands.
Don’t know the size or fit to buy?
When is a watch not a watch? When it’s a wrist-top computer. These waterproof gadgets track mileage, altitude and more.
Norman resident Jim Robinson, who completed a 286-mile trek in the High Sierras this past summer, found many items indispensable on the trail. From a simple insulated mug and a microfiber towel to a waterproof wrist-computer that tracked his mileage and altitude, certain key items made his long hike safer and more enjoyable.
“Backpacking literature is replete with lists of ‘essentials,’ usually including, tent, sleeping bag, pad, matches, headlamp, rain gear, camp stove, first-aid kit, compass, knife,” Robinson said. ”I took all those things, of course, but some other items proved to be extremely useful.”
While all of the basic items are always great gifts, especially for a newbie hiker or hunter, Backwoods carries the latest technology, including a two-way satellite communicator and a solar charger great for use on the trail.
Robinson used his solar charger to keep his phone, camera and GPS watch charged during his lengthy hike.
His wife could receive messages, even when he was out of cell phone range through the satellite communicator.
Family and emergency responders also can use the satellite communicator to track a hiker’s location or communicate with a hiker in trouble to ascertain the situation, even before help arrives on the scene. These devices can save lives and make outdoor adventures worry-free for loved ones back at home.
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