These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

Mountain Light Hikers on autumn adventures

Smoked salmon cooked on my Campfire Grill

Benchmade Grizzly cutting through strings

These are a few of my favorite things...

I know, not quite as poetic as Julie Andrews. But if you are going on an adventure, whiskers on kittens and brown paper packages won't do you much good. Nope, you'll need stuff that's been tested and you can depend on. I hiked from Superior to Michigan through the Hiawatha National Forest in my Danner Mountain Light Hikers through swamps, over hills, beaver dams... not a blister. They only got more comfortable with each step. 

If it's on my Favorite List then it means it's good - really good, but probably not cheap. I'm highlighting quality above all else. So if you see a smoking deal this Thanksgiving weekend, be sure to gobble it up.

We'll start with clothes. I like wool, especially if you can wash it. Wool is odor resistant, stays strangely dry when wet, and makes you feel warm and cozy. 

Darn Tough Socks - Made in Vermont USA. They have a lifetime guarantee. Do you believe that? For socks! I've never had socks last long. I do Ironman's, marathon and ultra runs. Besides the actual events, it's the miles of training that puts wear and tear on your gear. I've yet to have these socks wear out. Even crazier than that, I haven't had a blister while wearing them. I did have one pair of hiking socks get a small hole. But that was a manufacturing defect on the top of my toe. I sent them to Darn Tough and they replaced immediately. 

Stormy Kromer Tough Mitts - Made in USA. These will keep you warm on a cold winter day. They aren't too bulky, and are functional with grip and good feel thanks to the leather palm. They are quiet, which I like for outdoor hunting activities. But the downside to that is they aren't waterproof. It's not generally a problem unless it's sloppy snow. They are my go to hand protection when it's cold outside. For an added Stormy Kromer bonus - check out the Kromer Kozy.

Icebreaker Running Gear - Fantastic base layer and outdoor recreation clothes. Great material, comfortable with an athletic fit. The long sleeve shirts, quantum long sleeve zip hood, wool hat, underwear... it's all good.

Call of the Yooper Outdoor Apparel - I'm not going to lie. These are my favorite all around outdoor clothes. Maybe I'm partial. Even still - when you are wearing fine wool material, custom fit with the features and pockets you need to get the job done - what's not to like? We carry three main themes - the Hunter jacket and pant, a streamlined jacket and pant and button shirt.

The Hunter is designed to satisfy all your needs having smart pockets and communicating with your inner layers. There's pit zips and thigh zips so you don't overheat on your way to stand. 

The Superior, Michigan and Hiawatha Jacket and Pant all follow the same perfected pattern. Each uses different materials to satisfy the task at hand. As you can imagine, the Superior is designed for frigid temperatures. Michigan for the cold, and Hiawatha is more for the moderate temperature to active adventures. All have pit zips and thigh zips.

The button shirt is tough yet stylish. 

We make custom fit clothes for women, men and children.

You're covered head to toe, now here's some of gear to take with you.

Benchmade Folding Knife - Made in USA. They have an assist and axis lock that is top notch. No longer do you rip a fingernail out trying to open your knife, or risk cutting your finger while you close it. The blade is sharp, and stays sharp. My boys whittled with my Grizzly all summer long and it was still sharp enough to shave with. When the season is over, you can mail it back to Benchmade for a complete cleaning. 

Rapid River Custom Drop Point - Made in the Upper Peninsula of USA. I saved a banister rail my grandfather made and brought a chunk up to Rapid River Knifeworks one summer, asking them if they could use it for a knife handle. They made me and my family numerous knives with Grandpa's banister and even engraved his actual signature on the blade. Whenever I'm in town and want a factory edge, I stop by for a visit. The drop point is precision perfect for a fixed blade.

Scott Fly Rods -  Made in the USA. I didn't think I knew the difference between a good rod and a great rod until I fished with Scott. Having tried many of the big name rods on the market, I thought most rods were similar. That changed when I tried Scott. It became part of my arm. The fly went exactly where it should and the salmon was hooked as quickly as I was. 

Call of the Yooper Campfire Grills - Made in Michigan USA. I know, I'm touting one of our own products again. But hey, we wouldn't make it if we didn't love it. These are the best campfire grills you will find. Stainless steel, 1/2 inch lip, wood handle, and portable (the Mega and Mini fold into a small bag). Everyone who sees the grill remarks at the genius of it's simplicity. What can we say? They get the job done and look good doing it.

Sport Ear Hearing Protection - Made in USA. Whether shooting at the range, sighting in your gun, or sneak hunting with the "Go ahead, make my day" .44 Smith & Wesson - these are what you want in your ear. I'd spend the extra money and buy the custom formed model.

Reconyx Trail Cameras - Made in USA. The HC600 has taken over 20,000 pictures for me on one set of batteries and the HR6 UltraFire takes 1060 high quality video. The manufacturing is built to last and the company stands by their products. I had an issue with one camera and they fixed it no questions asked. 

Native Eyewear Kodiak Interchangeable - I realize the reason there are unlimited glasses frames out there is because we all have so many different size and shape faces. The Kodiak's fit me well. Mostly what I like though is the Native function and lens options. The polarized variety cut the glare and the low light lens works in most outdoor conditions. For you hunters out there, it actually helps pick out the color red. 

Danner Mountain Light Hiking Boot - Still made in the USA. I've taken these boots everywhere with me. Including a four day arduous hike through the raw woods of the UP going from Lake Superior to Lake Michigan. They performed perfectly and only felt better with each step. I originally ordered them directly from Danner. I remember talking with the friendly sales lady on the phone, she was so excited when I bought them. She said they were going to be my favorite hiking boots I ever had. I thought her enthusiasm was funny - but she wasn't lying. I normally wear size 11, my Mountain Light's are 10.5.

Under Armour Fat Tire Hiker - These are not hunting boots, and I'm not even sure if I'd use them for hiking. They'd probably do great (for hiking), but I couldn't choose them in front of my Danner's. And they squeak  - making them impossible for hunting. But I LOVE them for camp shoes. I've been looking for the perfect pair of camp shoes for years now, and found these this fall. No hands slip on a necessity for getting out from the sleeping bag into the cold night. They are ankle height, which keeps the mud and wet off my socks. And when I need support, a simple twist of the knob makes them snug. I normally buy 11, but these are 11.5.

FLIR Thermal Imaging - Definitely not a necessity, but really cool. At a glance you can peak into the darkness and see what goes bump in the night. 

So there you go. Want to set up your loved ones with the best money can buy - just go down the list. And don't forget yourself! In the words of Eddie - "If it wouldn't be too much, I'd like to get something for you Clark, something real nice!"