Valentine’s Day for the masses means a ton of money spent on throw-away gifts like cut-flowers and mass-produced chocolate.
Outdoor enthusiasts, though, know that true love includes great gear!
To show the depth of your feelings for your soulmate, consider sharing gifts that keep on giving when exploring outdoors. We’ve found some great new gear items that make excellent gifts from the heart.
LaCrosse Aero Timber Top Shearling Boots
Originally offered in 1910, these boots perfectly fit the needs of anyone living the outdoor lifestyle. The Aero’s feature leather and polyurethane uppers for durability and weather protection. A shearling fleece lining provides great warmth behind that waterproofness. Underfoot, a tough rubber outsole grips mud and wet surfaces, while easily shedding clingy snow and slush when necessary. A side zipper gives easy access so you can get in and out of the boots, even when wearing gloves. We found the Aero Timber Tops ideal for working around our wet Pacific Northwest orchard and rangeland, as well as traveling to and from ski adventures in the Cascades. The boots are warm, dry, and comfortable. Available in men’s and women’s sizing. $150. Buy now
Orvis Softshell Convertible Mitts
The need for hand warmth and finger dexterity presents a dilemma for winter fly fishers. Fortunately, the folks at Orvis have a great new solution: The Softshell Convertible Mitts. These fingerless gloves afford anglers perfect bare-finger dexterity when needed. When warmth is key though, the Softshell Convertibles also have you covered – literally. A form-fitting mitten cover flips up over your exposed fingers to provide insulation and weather protection. When not in use the cover’s slip into a slim pocket on the back of the mitts to keep them out of the way when casting or stripping line. The mitts feature a softshell materiel with a grid fleece inner lining, making the gloves water resistant and warm. A synthetic leather palm gives the gloves good grip even when wet. The Softshell Convertibles cover all the varied needs of the winter angler. $55. Buy now
Solight SolarPuff LS Solar Lantern
The natural light of candles represents the old standard of romantic illumination. But even more natural and romantic is the glow generated by harnessing the power of sunlight. The SolarPuff lantern provides a soft but ample light powered by a solar-charged battery. That’s what the “solar”. The “puff” part of the name comes from the self-inflating cube of the lantern. The lantern body is made from PET sailcloth that is durable and, even if punctured, the cubic lantern keeps its shape thanks to its origami-like construction.
But the SolarPuff does more than glow brightly in a soft, portable package. The SolarPuff include a light-sensor that accurately controls the lantern’s operation for dusk-to-dawn lighting. The integrated solar panel provides a night’s worth of light after a day’s worth of charging.
Though any camper will love the SolarPuff, the lantern is waterproof (IP68) and it floats, making a great option for river campers. $30. Buy now
CRKT Cottidae w/Field Strip Gen II
Shops today offer seemingly endless options when it comes to what we used to call pocketknives, but now call everyday carry (EDC) knives. Some aren’t worth the cost of the cheap steel they’re stamped from. Many are good basic tools. A few very good. And then there are the truly unique prizes. The CRKT Cottidae is both unique and exceptional well crafted. The small EDC flipper-style knife features a durable 2.6-inch drop-point D2 steel blade and aluminum handle scales. Our female testers love the size of the Cottidae, noting its small body (3.78 inches) fit comfortably in their hands, though our larger guys called it a “three-finger grip.”
But the really unique nature of the knife comes from the CRKT new Field Strip Gen II technology. This feature lets users quickly and efficient break down the knife for field cleaning and maintenance. So, any blood, mud, or fish slime that might get into the creases and crevices of the knife can be easily washed away. A flip and slide of a flush-mount lever drops the scales and releases the blade so they can be cleaned and dried. Restack the components and reverse the lever action and knife is securely restored to its functional state. $90. Buy now
Benchmade Steep Country
A hunting knife as a Valentine’s Day gift? It may not be the best choice for everyone, but backcountry hunters will love the gift of a new Steep Country. This stout, compact blade is ideal for the do-it-all hunter. It’s great for dressing out upland birds in the field, but also works when pressed into service as a skinning tool by deer hunters. The 3.54 drop-point blade utilizes a S30V carbon steel that features very fine grain for excellent edge retention and toughness. The Steep Country sports bright hunter-orange Santoprene handle scales that are lightweight but durable. A hard plastic sheath can be belt mounted or laced onto a lanyard. The Steep Country weighs just 3 ounces making a great addition to any lightweight pack or hunting rig. $130. Buy now