Outdoors: Some last-minute outdoor gift ideas

If you haven’t purchased that gift for the outdoors person on your list, there are still a few hours left to do so.Perhaps one of the following suggestions will solve your dilemma.

SLO Camp & Pack, Store hours 10-6 daily

Women’s Pea coats red or blue, $109.95; men’s Pea coats blue, $110.95; Ontario knives 12 series from $59.95-$159.95; two person 72-hour survival kits including food, water tablets, fire starter, rope and medical kit, $112; ponchos and top and pants rain gear, $4.95-$37.95; Condor Products — ammo pouches, multi camo packs, assault packs, $14.95-$99.95.

Tackle Warehouse, Retail hours 9-5

Visit online at www.tacklewarehouse.com Products include casting rods and reels, spinning rods and reels, fishing line, soft baits, hard baits, swimbaits, jigs, frogs, spinnerbaits, buzzbaits, terminal tackle, apparel, eyewear, books and DVDs. Mailed gift cards are available in $25, $50 and $100 denominations.

E-mailed gift card purchases have a minimum of $10. Check out sale items and numerous other categories online. While it is too late to receive the next item in time for Christmas, it is something that has or will interest both outdoor folk as well as those not so inclined.

A dispatch from the Walker Agency based in Phoenix brought this item to my attention. It is ZipVac, the portable vacuum packaging system, which was awarded “Best New Fishing Accessory” at the 2008 International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades sports trade show in Las Vegas.

The ZipVac Portable Food Storage System is a new, unique and portable vacuum-packaging appliance for food or other items that need protection. It consists of reusable, freezable, microwavable, boilable, patented ZipVac bags, a portable, rechargeable electric vacuum pump and a small, manual hand-held pump which fit the patented valve system.

“Currently, more and more dedicated outdoors people are including the portable ZipVac system among the equipment they take on extended hunting and fishing adventures,” says John Schwan, chairman of CTI, parent company of the ZipVac brand.

“It’s simple to use. You just load it, zip, then remove as much air as you like with either the rechargeable electric pump, or small manual unit.”

Vacuum packaging does not replace refrigeration or freezing. Perishable foods should still be stored properly. “However, when vacuum packaged, food will last up to five times longer.”

Outdoor enthusiasts know the best way to preserve the delicious flavor of the outdoors in their fish and game is to vacuum package the meat for freezing. Until CTI created ZipVac Portable Food Storage System, these enthusiasts were limited to expensive, bulky home appliances that need electricity to vacuum and seal bags.

ZipVac’s re-sealable bags with their patented puncture-resistant, triple-layer protection, patented valve and patented airtight zipper are ideal for sportsmen who load the freezer every year with fish, venison or waterfowl.

Visit www.zipvac.net for more information and to locate the nearest retailer. A portable starter kit is $29.95. Bags come in quart, gallon, fillet and jumbo sizes. Prices range from $8.95 to $17.95.

The current lull in outdoor activities prompts me to ask readers for suggestions. I can be contacted at a new e-mail address: wshaw@ccountry.net.

I’d like to hear about experiences of newcomers to albacore fishing, white seabass catches or outdoor experiences in general. Leave a contact number enabling me to do follow up interviews. Aside from bass tournaments resuming in January, there won’t be a lot happening until May 1 when saltwater fishing resumes.

Thank you and Merry Christmas.