Last-Minute Gifts

December 19, 2011 by staff 

Last-Minute GiftsLast-Minute Gifts, Is there an outdoors enthusiast on your holiday gift list? If so, we have 15 ideas for you – a variety of fun, practical, and mostly under $50 gifts available in the mid-valley.

For suggestions, we turned to some of the people we have featured and who have written columns since Oregon Outdoors’ inception last February.

Prices for the items listed will vary. We’ve listed prices at the locations where we took the photographs.

So check them out:

1) Licenses and permits. These include national forest passes, Sno-Park permits and hunting and fishing licenses, available at sporting goods and outdoors stores and online. Prices vary. A one-year state park parking permit? is available for $5 off – $25 instead of $30 – through Dec. 31.? Two-year permits (such as the one shown above) are available for $50. Permits are sold at the Albany Visitors Association and at state parks.

2) Wool running socks. Karen Swanger, director of KidsSpirit and Girls on the Run at Oregon State University who was featured in “The Joy of Running” in March, touts the warmth and versatility of wool socks. She uses them year round and says they’re the best socks for running in the rain. ($11)

3) Headlamps. Why hold a flashlight in your hand when you can mount one on your head. Runner Karen Swanger recommends this. When you’re running or walking in the early morning or in the evening, you can see the obstacles in front of you,” she says. ($9.97-$22.99)

4) Field guides for birders. Tom Phillips of Albany, a birder quoted in this month’s “A day for the birds,” recommends for veteran birders the “Kaufman Field Guide to Advanced Birding” ($21). There’s also the Kaufmann Field Guide to Birds of North America ($18.95). Many other notable field guides are available locally, including the popular”Birds of the Willamette Valley Region,” by Harry Nehls, Tom Aversa and Hal Opperman ($18.95)

5) Hydration fanny pack. Great for runners and hikers. The model shown in the photo has a water bottle and a smaller container for energy gel. This was another good suggestion from runner Karen Swanger ($35).

6) Disposable hand warmers. The person who invented this product should be considered for a Nobel Prize for bringing instant warmth, comfort and peace to fingers (hand warmers cost $1.25) and toes (toe warmers cost $1.99).

7) Energy snacks. They’re compact and light and give you the boost you need for any kind of vigorous outdoors pursuit. This suggestion came from Jim Dagata, who was featured in “Stoked for the slopes” in November. ($1.30 to $2.99.)

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