Love, Hugs & Outdoor Gear

I logged onto Facebook this past Sunday in anticipation of reading post-Super Bowl game comments and was surprised to see how many people posted they were glad that football season was over. Why? Well, not necessarily because they didn’t like football but because and I quote, they were “happy to have their husbands” back. Sad but so true and the good news for those who “lose” their loved ones for a few months is that Valentine’s Day is just around the corner  — time for redemption?

While Valentine’s day is synonymous with love, hugs, flowers and chocolate, I like to look at it as more of an opportunity to bring the romance of the great outdoors to the one I love. For example there was one year we experienced such mild weather that I surprised her with a late night float along the banks of the Colorado river (Lady Bird Lake) here in downtown Austin, Texas. I brought all the goodies one would expect on Valentine’s date such as a couple of glasses of wine, cheese, crackers and chocolate. I even brought her a blanket to stay warm while we enjoyed the sweet sounds of our favorite music.

I do realize that weather can be a problem this time of the year but with a bit of creativity and gear made to keep you warm or dry, there is no reason not to give it a try. Can’t paddle? Go camping. Too cold? Make a fire and warm up some tea or coffee! Or, you can always keep it indoors and make a feast with our complete line of Lodge cookware…nice plug huh?

Sure, this article in fact is about gear but more importantly, they are gifts they’ll cherish through the experience and memories you both make using them.

Think outside of the box this year!

Roland @ACK

The Holiday Madness Begins @ACK

Ya know, it’s never been easy for me to get into the holiday shopping spirit. In fact, for at least the last 20 years, I’ve always waited until the weekend before Christmas to do all my shopping. Well, now that I am an employee of an outdoor retailer, times have changed and so have my holiday shopping habits — I’m on it before Halloween! I owe it to my duty of working with our team on creating and launching our annual Holiday Buyer’s Guide, which through the process, gives me countless ideas on gifts to buy for my friends and family. It may be easy to assume that all we sell is paddling gear but take a closer look, you’ll find a wide array of products for men, women, children and even pets who enjoy the outdoors in every price change.

Here are some great stocking stuffers, all under $25:

Light My Fire Swedish FireSteel
For anyone that enjoys hiking, camping, hunting or any other activity where they may need a fire in an emergency situation or simply need a spark to cook up their favorite camp meal.

GoGirl Female Urination Device
Need a stocking stuffer for your lady friends and family? How about a device that…well, as they put it “allows you to urinate while standing up”? Don’t laugh, it has a customer rating of 5 of 5!

Kelty Camp Pillow
Not just for camping, it’s also a great gift for those who travel often or choose to take a catnap during their lunch breaks at the office.

Hobie Fish Grip
For the angler in your life, the list can go on for miles but here is a tool that every man, woman or child that fishes should have, a fish grip. Made to help anglers land fish safely without harming the fish or their very own hands.

Zing Z-Curve Bow
We’ve got one of these lying around the office and it brings out the best in us. Great for younger ones and based on our experience here, adults too!

Katie’ Bumpers Bottle Tracker Dog Training and Fetch Toy
Give a dog a bone people…show them some love too this holiday season. How about a new toy for our furry friends?

See what I mean, there is no need to shop anywhere else…avoid the lines, grab a cup of coffee or hot chocolate, light your fireplace, play some holiday cheer and shop at!

Roland @ACK