Christmas Gift

3:55 p.m. on December 14, 2005 (EST)
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82 forum posts

I'm trying to assemble a Christmas Gift for my Newphew that will get him outdoors. His family is going through some troubling times and I thought a gift that could spark some interest in the outdoors (they live in the Ozarks of North-West Arkansas, so there's _lots_ of outdoors for a 15 year old), would be good.

I started spending nights outside with a faithful dog, an old bag, blanket and some matches when I was 13, but I thought I'd give him a little better headstart. I don't want to pamper him, so down sleeping bags, pads and the rest are out; I was thinking an outdoor skills/survival book (any recommendations?), a compass, my "woobie" (an insulated poncho liner we infantryman would die without), an old pack, and a magnesium fire starter (he's a very responsible boy, as I was at his age, so being irresponsible with fire in the wilderness won't be an issue). Any other, low cost items I could add to the gift?

Happy Holidays.

8:32 p.m. on December 14, 2005 (EST)
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1,902 forum posts

A good book is "The Complete Walker" by Colin Fletcher. There is a 4th edition out with updated info in it. It is not just about walking, if you're not familiar with it. Amazon will have it, if your local bookstore doesn't.
How about a small canister stove and cook kit? Both can be had for not too much from Campmor, REI or similar places on the web. The aluminum cook kits are the best for the money. The canister stoves are easy to use and safe as well. A small Swiss Army style pocketknife is also a good choice-I'd stay away from the ones with too many things on them-too bulky and pricey. A lightweight flashlight or headlamp is also a must-something like a Princeton Aurora headlamp works really well and is reasonably priced. You could also get a small first aid kit, or make one up yourself and put it in a small, lightweight bag. I'm sure there will be other suggestions, but I think any of these would be a nice gift for a kid who is just starting hiking and camping.

9:09 p.m. on December 14, 2005 (EST)
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982 forum posts

I'm not sure how far into The Complete Walker a 15-year-old would get. It's a little dense even for me! But if he's a reader, maybe a magazine subscription would do the trick -- Hooked on the Outdoors, Climbing, or Rock and Ice may have enough of that "cool factor" to get picked up and read. Or a guidebook with nearby hikes could provide some motivation to get out and start exploring.

As far as gadgets go, a headlamp is always a good bet. I like the map and compass idea too, maybe with the added angle that you'll take him out and show him how to use it.

6:46 p.m. on December 15, 2005 (EST)

Survival books

You can do an author search on "Tom Brown" at
"Tom Brown's Field Guide to Wilderness Survival" is a good start.

Peterson's Guide on "Edible and Medicinal Plants" or "Animal Tracks".

If he likes primitive survival skills, these two books are among the best but can be hard to find: "Wilderness Living & Survival Skills" by John & Geri McPherson, and "Northern Bush Craft" by Mors Kochanski.

Merry Christmas and HNY! :_))

2:55 p.m. on December 17, 2005 (EST)
153 reviewer rep
460 forum posts
What about a backpack amnd perhaps some gear?

I think that would get him somewhat interested. I would me.

Wow you mentioned he lives in the Ozarks. He is blessed!!!!

Good book I can recommend: Trails and Treks of Missouri and Northern Arkansas by Kelly Frey and Steve Baron. Covers ALOT of hikes in the Ozarks in both States.

Merry Christmas to you all and God Bless!

April 19, 2018
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