By Jonathan Olivier
Sportsman’s Paradise is a gift unto itself. Louisiana is full of beautiful swamps, forests, and waterways to keep us entertained all year round, and around the holiday season, there are plenty of options to pick from when shopping for the outdoorsman in your life.
Here are three gifts everyone nature-lover will love.
Parachute nylon hammock by Grand Trunk
Find locally: The Backpacker
It’s cold outside, finally, and you should be taking advantage of the short window of Louisiana weather to camp in bearable temperatures. While tents are the reliable shelter pick for most campers and backpackers, hammocks are starting to be seen as a light, comfortable alternative. Parachute nylon hammocks by Grand Trunk, available in single or double sizes, can be set up in minutes – as long as there are trees around.
The entire hammock and accessories – rope kit and carabineers – fit into an attached stuff sack. Both models weigh next to nothing, less than 30 oz, and have a 400-pound weight capacity. Simply tote along a cold-weather sleeping bag and stash it inside the deployed hammock for a good night’s rest. And you’ll probably never chose to stay on the cold, hard ground in a tent again. For rainy nights or muggy ones when mosquitos come out, Grand Trunk offers bug nets and a rain fly for just a few extra bucks.
HERO4 Silver by GoPro
Find locally: Academy
There’s no doubt a GoPro is a cool toy for any outdoor enthusiast. The new models, with upgrades in performance and design, are even better.
The HERO4 Silver contains a GoPro first: a touch screen to make navigating menus and playing back video a cinch – something the older models were lacking. The touch screen also helps the camera to function more like a point-and-shoot. Instead of pointing at an object and hoping to catch it in the frame, now shoot with confidence with the aid of the touch screen.
Of course, the video quality is second-to-none in any action cameras on the market. The HERO4 Silver captures 1080p video with slow motion or bust photograph options shooting 30 frames per second. The designers beefed up the features with night shooting for better quality images in low light conditions, and loads of others like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth® capabilities to connect to the GoPro App.
Heated Insoles by ThermaCELL®
Find locally: Bowie Outfitters
While these don’t seem like the most exciting gear items, your feet will be grateful after sitting a few hours on the deer stand in below freezing temperatures, especially if the blisteringly cold (for Louisiana) month of November is a sign of what’s to come this winter.
The Heated Insoles are incredibly ingenious, really. Each one slips right into your boot, though you may have to take out the existing insole to prevent a tight fit—and the insoles are comfortable, too. A wireless remote control turns the insoles on and off to either medium (100 degrees) or high (110 degrees). While it seems like that’s too hot, the insoles get just warm enough to keep your feet toasty. The medium setting yields around five hours of heat, plenty for a frosty deer hunt in the morning.
Taking them out is a breeze due to tabs located on the heels of the insoles. But after experiencing a morning with the Heated Insoles, they’ll probably stay in your boots all winter.