Patrick Durkin: Your holiday buying guide for an outdoors enthusiast

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PATRICK DURKIN For the State Journal Dec 4, 2016

When the new tent arrived two weeks before we left for our annual elk bowhunt to Idaho, I wondered if we had room in our two small boats for its two big carrying bags.

But once we lugged those bags and metal poles up to our campsite and lived a few days in the tent, we were glad we took the trouble. The Crua Loj measures roughly 18 feet long, 13 feet wide and nearly 7 feet tall at its centerline. Never before in our 11 years of elk camp did we enjoy such dry, waterproof and windproof comfort during our two-week stay. It easily accommodates cots, bunks, a stove and gear-laden hunters.

And those dimensions don’t include the Loj’s 5- by 13-foot open vestibule where we ate our meals and kept our coolers, camp chairs and portable table.

The Crua Loj is not meant for backpacking, unless you bring a horse. But if you aren’t setting up your base camp far inland, and you want a sturdy dwelling with room to stretch, dress and breathe, put this tent atop your Christmas list. To learn more, call 914-772 2843.

Hurry up to get the Crua Loj 6 person insulated tent delivered before Christmas!

A special offer is valid for a limited time only. Order now!

And if you don’t need such a tent, keep reading. I’ve compiled a list of great gear, books and other gift ideas for every budget.

Here are my suggestions:

— Just when you think GPS, smartphones and map software can’t get more useful, OnXMaps Hunt offers an app that shows an aerial photo of your location anywhere in the United States, as well as the boundaries and landowner names for every property near you. If you’re trying to reach public lands within a checkerboard of private properties, fire up OnXMaps and you’ll get there without risk of trespass. Visit http://www.huntinggpsmaps.com, or call 406-540-1600.

— If you received the first volume of Steven Rinella’s Complete Guide to Hunting, Butchering, and Cooking Wild Game last year, you probably learned a lot from this comprehensive guide to big-game hunting. To complete this two-book set, ask for Volume 2: Small Game and Fowl. The book is available at most bookstores and online sites like Amazon and Barnes & Noble.


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