The Gifts

Gift Ideas for Your Outdoor Lover

Imagine this scenario if you will: it’s Valentine’s Day, you planned to surprise your lover at work with chocolates and flowers all in the spirit of the day. You’ll proceed to tell her that you’ve made dinner reservations for The Melting Pot way in advance (impressive move) and she’ll be excited, but not quite as excited as she would be if this next scenario unfolded.

Here we are again on Valentine’s Day, you’ve made some online purchases for your sweetheart that you are rather proud of. You get past the receptionist, up the elevator, and finally it’s just you, your lover, and the Malibu Tandem Kayak, sunset color (with accessories included). She’s stunned, she’s beaming, and she’s forgotten all about dinner. It seems like, between the two of you, everyone has won.

This Valentine’s Day, surprise the one you love with a gift that says, “you are the spark to my campfire”… just not as cheesy.

platypus-platy-preserve-wine-container1Platypus PlatyPreserve Wine Transport and Storage (4 Pack)

Whether it’s Valentines Day, vacation, weekend camping, or festival season, it’s hard to argue with wine, especially highly transportable wine. Wherever you would typically see “no glass allowed”, you can now reimagine new destinations and new opportunities for wine appreciation. The PlatyPreserve is simple to transport and pour from yet does not compromise leakage-protection, or taste. Once you are finished enjoying your wine, the PlatyPreserve collapses and folds to your liking. Made by a company that specializes in backcountry hydration and filtration packs, you know that you are in good hands with Platypus when it comes to liquid storage.


The North Face Dolomite 20 Double Sleeping Bag

This incredible double sleeping bag is perfect for any camping excursion with your favorite hiking partner. The “Heatseeker” eco synthetic insulation makes this bag a comfortable option for overnighting on a cool 20 degree night. Fully unzipped, the bag turns into a camp blanket and can be used as a tent floor insulation replacing your typical camp sleeping pad. Despite its comfortability, this bag adds only six extra pounds to your camp-load making it one of the lightest double sleeping bags on the market.

ENO_double_nest_hammockEagles Nest Outfitters Hammock Package

This is the perfect package when it comes to lightweight “tentless” camping for two. The double hammock looks and weighs about the size of a softball, but this specific package also includes the ENO Fast Fly Rain Tarp, the Atlas Hammock Suspension System, and the Guardian BugNet for protection against one of natures most inevitable elements. Because of the simple connection system, setup generally takes only a few minutes and can hold up to 400 lbs. With the adjustment system, there are thirty points available for you to attach to, making it easy to hammock in places you once though were impossible. You don’t need to be a hiker, kayaker, or an outdoor aficionado to appreciate setting up a hammock in the backyard and taking the day off. This luxurious gift for two is the perfect Valentines Day gift for anyone!728

Kelty Low Love Folding Chair

Why carry two chairs when you can carry the perfect one? The Kelty Low Love Folding Chair is perfect for sport events, concerts, beach days, camp nights, and everything in-between. The main features include: adjustable arms, two adjustable beverage holders, bottle openers, and a slight recline ensuring maximum comfort. The carry sack included also comes with a storage stash pocket perfect for small books and maps. An immediate attention grabber and show stopper, after this outdoor love-seat you will never again consider the single life.


Ocean Kayak Malibu 2XL Tandem Package

This kayak package is perfect for recreational kayakers of all ages. The Sport Package includes Bending Branches Whisper Dream paddles, paddle leashes, NRS pfd’s (life jackets), adjustable Ocean Kayak comfort seats, and comes in a variety of different colors for all styles and palette’s. The Malibu is a stable sit on top kayak wide enough for standing and fishing or simple paddling with a companion. This performance tandem has plenty of legroom and storage for lengthier outings. This kayak is affordable, comfortable, and makes a much better Valentine’s Day gift than flowers and chocolate.


The Meal

Romantic Camp-Style Dinner / Desert

Here at ACK we love our Lodge Cast Iron Cookware and, with it, it’s not hard to make any regular breakfast, lunch, dinner, or desert into a cast iron delicacy. Here are a couple recipes that will ensure fullness on your Valentine’s Day and beyond.


Crispy Rosemary Lemon Chicken Thighs


1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 lemon, zested and juiced

1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary

6 to 8 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs

1 tablespoon vegetable oil


Preheat the oven to 425°F.

Combine the salt, pepper, garlic powder, lemon zest (reserve the juice), and rosemary in a small bowl.

Sprinkle mixture evenly over both sides of the chicken thighs.

Heat the oil in a large cast-iron skillet over high heat until hot but not smoking.

Place the chicken thighs, skin side down, and cook for 2 minutes.

Reduce the heat to medium-high and continue cooking with the skin side down until the fat renders and it is golden brown, about 5 minutes.

Transfer the skillet to the oven and cook for another 6 minutes.

Transfer the chicken to a plate and let rest for 5 minutes.

Squeeze the lemon juice over the chicken before serving.


Indoors Smores


1 cup dark chocolate chips

8 large marshmallows

graham crackers for serving

645449598ffff6d1b49801c9a8f01b36 (1)Directions:

Preheat the oven to 450°F.

In a 6″ mini cast iron skillet, add the chocolate chips.

Snip the large marshmallows in half and top the chocolate chips with them.

(You could also use a scoop of mini marshmallows alternatively.)

Once the oven is up to temperature, add the skillet to the oven.

Bake for 7-9 minutes, or until the marshmallows turn golden brown.

Serve with graham crackers for scooping.

-Genna Tardi @ ACK