Monday, November 11, 2013

Gift Guide for the Manly Man.

Manly-Man Gift Guide
I know that Christmas technically is still more than a month away & some of you may think it is way to soon to be on the hunt for the perfect gifts. I totally understand. I was just like you a few years ago, pre-husband, pre-kids, pre- being 50% responsible for holiday cheer for my family. Now I enjoy the holidays so much more if I plan ahead & gather all of my gifts well before the wrapping needs to go down. Justin's birthday also happens to be this month, I usually make a list of what I would like to get him & then choose a couple for his birthday & a couple for Christmas. 
Justin is a total mans-man, through & through he is a strong, wonderful man & I love picking out gifts for him that combine function with a coolness factor that I know he appreciates. I'm going to start off with a couple of things that I've gotten for Justin in the past & then move onto the things that I'm considering as this years gifts.

These are Justin's favorite gloves of all time as they are waterproof, breathable, & have top-grade deerskin leather on the palms. They are extremely durable & well made, not to mention super warm due to the 150-gram Thinsulate Supreme Insulation. Justin wears these at work on the North Slope in the winter time & for everything from shoveling the driveway to weekend snow machine trips. They are quite spendy at $75 a pair, but you can't enjoy all of the fun things winter has to offer if your hands are cold. Cabela's has a new version this year, the GORE-TEX PrimaLoft Pinnacle Gloves, they are made with 270-gram PrimaLoft One insulation & have double-needle Kevlar stitching, a quick release cord-lock system, knuckle padding & pre-curved fingers for a better fit. They are on sale for $89.99($99.99 regularly). I didn't think I would be getting Justin any more gloves this year as he has 2 pairs the GORE-TEX Pinnacle style that have never been worn. Last year around Black Friday-Cyber Monday the gloves went on sale for under $45 a pair & I will be keeping my eye out for the same deal this winter. 

I fully understand that owning a gun is a quite the controversial issue at this point & to some the idea of owning a single gun, let alone 14 to fill this safe is totally terrifying. Justin & myself are both registered, responsible, gun owners, which is something we take very seriously. Justin hunts throughout the year & also enjoys target shooting when moose/bears are not in season. If the man in your life enjoys hunting, shooting targets, this safe is awesome. It is large enough to store 14 guns, but it isn't extremely bulky & it doesn't take up a ton of space. I was able to purchase this safe at our local Sportsman's Wearhouse for under $300 last year. It was the perfect Christmas gift for Justin & he was totally surprised when he opened it. If you are in the market for a gun safe, consider the amount of guns you need to store, your preference for a lock & key style, electronic or combination lock, as well as fire proof vs. non-fire proofing. The reason I selected this gun safe last year is because we are in the process of planning to remodel our house & plan to build a man cave/hunting room for Justin. I didn't want to spend a ton of money on a huge, fire-proof safe until we were sure of the space it was going to go in. This one ended up being perfect for the space & gun collection we have now. 


I surprised Justin with the Go-Pro Hero 3 Silver Edition last year for his birthday. It was actually my favorite gift to give because I knew Justin had wanted one for 2 years & he totally didn't expect to have one waiting for him when he came home for r&r. All of the Go-Pro cameras are amazing & a must have for anyone who likes to get out & experience the great outdoors. We have been able to capture some really spectacular things & places on video that we never would of been able to even take pictures of with standard cameras. If you are going to give the gift of Go-Pro to someone in your life, be sure to also purchase an SD Card, an extra rechargeable-Lithium Ion battery, & check out Amazon for various mounts as well, I recommend the Chest Mount & Helmet Mount.

 These knives are handmade in Eagle River Alaska & are designed to be very durable & reliable. The blades are 1095 high carbon spring steel that has been hardened & tempered for the best performance. The blades are then finished with a satin brushed finished & parkerized to help prevent rust & tarnishing. The photos here show handles that are brown in coloring but go check out all of the handle color options on Eagle River Knives Site. They add a true uniqueness to the knife it self & I know it is something that any hunter or fisherman would appreciate. More specifications on the knives themselves is also available on the site. :) If the man you're shopping for doesn't need another hunting knife but could use a Filet Knife or Skinning Knife, don't worry Eagle River Knives has you covered! Some day we will have one of their amazing Kitchen Knife Collections...someday.

When it comes to finding the most unique, custom & perfect gifts I always turn to Etsy. This flask from the shop DrinkingBuddy would be a great stocking stuffer for any outdoors man. If the guy you're shopping for has ever ventured into the Denali Mountains or dreamed of traveling to Alaska this would be a fantastic gift. If you are wanting to gift a flask but this particular image isn't or thing, check out the other options from DrinkingBuddy or search for others on Etsy.

Wooden Six Pack Beer Carriers (Prices Vary)

These are another Etsy find & I think they would make a super gift, once they are of course filled with your guys brew of choice & topped with a bow. The first version is $50 & made by Diga Designs, it has a chalk board option available for the opposite side, as well as a bottle opener on one end. The second one is made by WoodThumbTies, while it doesn't have a bottle opener it is made from reclaimed Red Wood. Both carriers hold 6 bottles of beer a piece & are a gift any guy would love. I'm totally torn on which one to purchase from Justin, I really like the bottle opener feature from Diga Designs, but I totally appreciate the use of reclaimed Red Wood & the streamlined craftsman ship of the one from WoodThumbTies. If you are planning on ordering one of these, be sure to plan a head as both options are made to order & can take anywhere from 2-3 weeks for shipping. 

Justin & I both have LifeProof Cases on our phones now, but I have considered getting Justin one of these morphie cases for a while. This option gives an iphone 120% more battery life, which would mean Justin wouldn't have to worry about his phone losing power during hunting & fishing trips or when he is working tons of hours on ice roads or other remote projects. While these cases are extremely durable, they are lacking one component that we really love about our LifeProof cases, they are not water proof. Mophie offers two other styles of cases, the juice pack air & the juice helium. There are also options for various tablets, SmartPhones, iPads & iPods, so if you are looking for a super functional, handy, technology gift go check out Mophie! 

We spent a lot of time this fall during hunting season comparing the MSR stoves to the Jet Boil. I had a MSR Whisperlite & a MicroRocket for years & I loved them both. My preference was of course for MSR, Justin on the other hand had been on numerous trips with his brother-in-law & they had used his Jet Boil. Basically what was a debate over which system was ideal & a perfect match for us, turned into hours of research, about 6 cups of coffee, & a late night discussion over what we had found...ended with me doing a little I told you so dance. Our final choice was one of the Reactor Stove Systems from MSR. Hunting season came & went & we still do not have one, so this would be a gift that I know Justin would appreciate & get a ton of use out of. There's that function & coolness factor I was talking about. ;) 

Justin's activity of choice in the winter time is snow machining. I could of made this entire Gift Guide & only included things for riding, seriously the guy loves his sled almost as much as he loves the kids & I. ;) When it comes to the best gear, KLIM can not be beat. Justin has had jackets,hats, gloves & googles from KLIM, I do not think he has had a single complaint about any of his gear. Currently, he has a pair of Arctiva bibs but he has mentioned these KLIM ones too many times to count. They are made with GORE-TEX, KLIM's exclusive seat dry technology, water resistant zippers & about 15 other features that are ideal & needed when riding in Alaska, or anywhere really. If your guy doesn't like bib style riding pants KLIM has pant style options, as well as other bib styles. 

Well guys that is going to wrap up this Manly Man's Gift Guide. I hope that if you have an outdoors-man who appreciates gifts that combine coolness, function & a good beer/whiskey that you've found something to gift him this year, or at least gotten a few ideas. Be sure to shop around for the best prices on all of these items. Pay attention to sales that are coming up during Black Friday, Small Business Saturday & Cyber Monday. I know that there are quite a few locally-owned small business that carry the majority of the things from this gift guide. So, shop locally first & then turn to big box stores & online retailers. :) 
I will be back with another post soon & more gift guides throughout the month!

If you missed my post with gift ideas for kids ages 4-6 you can check it out here.

as always, love from alaska