4 Gifts Ideas From Camp, Hike The Southeast

Mike Rhodes | December 15, 2019

Christmas is all but here. Have you done your shopping yet? What do the kids want this year? What about you? Got any ideas for me?

I picked out a few things that I like when I’m roaming around and researching for my blog Camp, Hike The Southeast.

I fancy myself as a decent home cook. I like kitchen gadgets. I probably get that from my Mom who owns about every gadget ever made. I can’t tell you the last time I saw her take out that garlic press and get to mashing fresh garlic, but she has one if she needs it. Food Network host and fellow Georgian Alton Brown has a vendetta against single-use kitchen gadgets. I try to carry that philosophy over into my outdoor gear, so my list includes gifts with multiple uses.


REI Co-op 4 Base Camp 4 Tent: This tent sets up quickly and easily at a deer camp as well as along a trout stream in the national forest. Rule #1 for me is the tent needs a full coverage rain fly. Water dripping into your tent during bad weather makes life miserable. The Base Camp 4 rain fly not only gives full coverage but it also provides two vestibules, one for each door. I can leave my boots, backpack and other gear outside the tent doors but out of the elements. Another rule is minimal tent poles. There are five in play here. I can have this tent up in under 10 minutes. Inside you’ll find multiple pockets and hang loops to store flashlights, keys and cell phones. It will sleep four folks in bags on the ground, but I’m old and prefer more comfort. I use a full-size air mattress and there is still ample room on the tent floor for my dog and her blanket. We love this tent. Whether it’s just me or me, my bride and our dog we have plenty of room. You can find it for $389 at REI members earn about $38.90 back as part of their dividend, too.


Streamlight Pro Tac 2AA Flashlight: I always carry a light with me in the woods. This one is compact, so it stores easily and still delivers maximum light output of 250 lumens. It has high, low and strobe features, it is impact-resistant, and it operates on just two AA batteries. This light is another success for Streamlight, in my opinion. Makes a great gift for you or a friend at under $50. I grabbed mine from Cabela’s online.


Merrell Moab 2 Prime Hiking Shoes: I am not a shoe/boot aficionado. I don’t claim to be an expert. But I will tell you that these boots make my feet happy. Bought a pair last year for Christmas as part of my New Year’s resolution prep. Yep. My resolution was long hikes to lose some weight. I’d rather be walking a trail in the mountains than peddling a stationary bike in front of a video screen. I have more than 400 miles into my pair this year. They have held up well. I wore them last weekend when I did the 6.1 mile Blood Mountain/Freeman Tail Loop. While my legs were about to give out when I got back to the truck, my feet were feeling just fine. Again, I’m not an expert on boots, but these have thick outsoles, removable inner soles that contour to my feet and some mesh linings to let my feet breath a bit. The rubber toe caps came in handy last week when I was tripping over rocks on my climb. Got mine at Cabela’s and will get my next pair there, too.


Coleman PerfectFlow InstaStart EvenTemp 3-Burner Propane Stove:  We don’t have a kitchen where I hunt, but this camp stove allows me to have some decent hot food. I’ve been using Coleman stoves for 30 years. I was reluctant to go with propane since my dual fuel stove treated me so well in the past. I don’t regret my choice of propane at all. The third burner makes all the difference. Most camp stoves have two burners, so you get only two really hot spots for cooking. This one includes a long horizontal burner between the traditional two eye burners, allowing a better distribution of heat. Cooking a full package of bacon at camp has never been easier! As always, this Coleman is easy to clean, it’s durable and dependable. The InstaStart Electronic ignition makes lighting it a breeze. I didn’t mind paying $150 for it since I know it will last years and deliver plenty of hot meals. You can grab one online from Bass Pro for $149.99.

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