You’ve shared your love of the outdoors with your kids and now you can’t get ’em out of the boat and off the trail. You’ve started them down the long path of an outdoor enthusiast and if they’ll be spending more time joining you on your adventures, they need their own gear! When they’re more comfortable, the trip will be so much more enjoyable for the whole family. The holidays are a great time to stock up on gear with spring right around the corner.

If you’re sleeping under the stars, the kids need their own sleeping bags and Eureka makes some great options for the little ones: the Lady Bug and Grasshopper 30 Degree Sleeping Bag. Not only are they sized to fit kids but they also have a lot of features to make them just like your fancy adult sleeping bag because kids gear shouldn’t be skimped on! They’ve got a locking zipper so it doesn’t slide open as you sleep, an internal pocket so they can keep essentials close at hand, an insulated side draft tube to prevent cold spots along the side and a stuff sack.  These will certainly help ensure your babies sleep like, well… babies.

If a paddle is made and sized for an adult it probably isn’t something your kids are going to want to use because it will be harder for them to paddle correctly and they’ll fatigue a lot sooner than they should. Bending Branches has a great option for kids with the Splash Kids Paddle. It features a lot of the same bells and whistles as the adult paddles but was fine-tuned with kids in mind. The shaft diameter of the paddle is smaller because kids have smaller hands, which just makes sense. It also features a 0-60 degree left or right ferrule and it wont sieze up in sand or salt water. Sawyer Paddles Kids Tales Canoe Paddle is an awesomely stylish canoe paddle made just for kids. I wrote a blog dedicated entirely to this paddle and its well worth a read if you’re in the market for a quality kids canoe paddle.

We don’t think much about snow here in Texas but we are well aware a lot of our customers are more familiar with that white powdery stuff than we are. If you’re in a colder climate and thinking about venturing out into the snow, snowshoes are something you’ll want to look at. Redfeather makes a snowshoe specifically for kiddos called the SnowPaws Snowshoes. While these aren’t intended for the heavy-duty snow trekking adult snowshoes are made for, they will make for some winter fun. The design creates a monster-shaped print in the snow (or sand!). The snowshoes also feature easy-on, easy-off bindings and are very adjustable so they should fit nicely for kids 3 to 7 years old.

Safety is key when on the water and especially with your precious cargo. There’s no reason why your kids should be wearing adult PFDs when those made for kids exist. The NRS Vista Youth PFD is made for kids sized 50-90 pounds. It has two pockets in the front so your kids can keep the treasures they find while out adventuring and comes in four different colors so there’s bound to be one your kid will love.

Another aspect of safety is hydration and CamelBak has designed a pack specifically for youngins. The Mini MULE Hydration Backpack can hold 50 ounces of water and features pockets to hold all the necessities like sunscreen, snacks or keys. It even features reflective tape on the front and back to ensure the little ones are visible.

Expecting a white Christmas? For those who are lucky enough to experience the joy of a winter wonderland, here is an inexpensive give item that any kiddo (or adult for that matter) will enjoy! With the Sno-Baller Snow Ball Maker, all of your kid’s friends will want to be on his/her snowball team. Parents will also be happy to know that it will limit cold wet hands or soaking gloves.

Aside from all these great products, we have compiled our favorite, expert-picked gift ideas in our 2012 ACK Holiday Outdoor Adventure gear Holiday Buyer’s Guide so you’re sure to find something for that special someone, whether they love fishing, can’t get enough of the trails, or just enjoy spending their free time outdoors.

Trent @ACK