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Filed under: Comfort at Camp, Gadget Reviews, Holidays on the Road

‘Twas the Feast of St. Nick…

December 1, 2011 by · 5 Comments 


I published a post last year about this time, talking about St. Nick ideas for the avid RVer. My focus last year was on items new on the market. As it is that time of year again, I want to, again, focus on St. Nick ideas, but will be addressing a combination of both the old and the new; some items upon which you rely, most likely need to be replaced and this is a good excuse to trade up for a few of them. We always have a need for a new flashlight and those other items that we use everyday but seldom give much thought to. This year, my husband is in sore need of two items, both of which have been improved since we last purchased them, so these will be my first two suggestions:


Our "new addition"

1.  To replace our old generic flashlight from 15 years back, he is getting a new Maglite model that will provide a high intensity light beam. The light has two settings and a krypton bulb and is able to provide either a spot light or a flood light with the flick of a switch.  Also, it comes with a spare krypton bulb and enough candle power to see wild life 50 yards away. It is aluminum and is anodized inside and out for greater rust resistance. This will be a definite improvement!

tape measure2.  Being the kind of guy who often feels the need to measure things, everything from the length of the camper to the size of a log, he is also in desperate of a new tape measure. This was at my insistence, after I caught him measuring a 12 foot board with a 6 foot remnant that broke off his most recent acquisition of five years back. It is time!

His new tape is fluorescent green rather than yellow like his last model, making it much more difficult to misplace, even when in the woods. Further, it has an automatic lock, so rather than having to pull it to the desired length and hold it there while pushing the “lock” button, this new tape automatically locks and you only need to push the button to unlock it. Cool! Even I am impressed!

3.  Delicious and toasty wool socks. Our Fleet Farm store carries the most wonderful brand of wool-blend socks you can imagine. Manufactured by Fox River Mills, these delectable delights are comprised of merino wool, nylon and polyester, making them the lightest most comfortable wool socks available. These are the socks we wear year round for ALL of our athletic endeavors: running, hiking, climbing, skiing, snowshoeing, etc. If we are outdoors, we are wearing these socks.

It has come to the point that these are a staple in St. Nick stockings in our family. Our kids count on receiving them and can’t wait to get them. The first year our son-in-law received them, he went immediately to the store and purchased three more pairs.  They just can’t be beat!

4.  2012 Calendars—A tradition in our family is that each person receives a calendar for the new year from St. Nick. For our actress, it is something art or Broadway-related, for our son-in-law, a Chicago Bears calendar, for our son and us, it is usually a calendar related to the outdoors, beautiful wild places or hiking-related. The past two years, it has been the Fourteeners Calendar, produced by the Colorado Fourteeners Initiative, with beautiful photographs of 12 of the 14,000 foot peaks in the state of Colorado, an inspiration for our summer travels.

5.  We are always in need of a new or updated campground guide and other camping and RV manuals. Woodall’s bookstore has plenty of new editions available if yours are a bit outdated. Additionally, there are new books out everyday to provide a great read, whether traveling cross country or sitting at home in front of a toasty fire.


MY new addition!

6.  Something to keep time—My wristwatch died earlier this year. I am humbled by the amount of difficulty that event caused me as I like to see myself as a somewhat flexible and easy going person. But without my watch I was lost! The strange thing is that I always carry a cellphone with me and nearly every room has a clock. But I needed my watch! It had been deteriorating for some time but it was just easier to keep using the parts of it that worked than seek out a new one. Eventually it just quit working altogether.

Make no mistake, it is an inexpensive time-piece; a women’s model Timex Ironman that you can pick up for about $29.99 in any store or catalogue. But it is a model I have worn for the past 15 years and have come to count on, whether for timing workouts or climbs, or just keeping me generally on track. Part of the reason I do not replace it when it starts to go is that I would really prefer that it had an altimeter, so I can get a better sense of my altitude when on a climb. But the watches that have altimeters generally cost upwards of $300 and I have never been able to justify spending that amount of money on an activity I am only able to engage in several times a year.

But my usual watch presents an ideal St. Nick stocking stuffer. If you knowsomeone who’s timepiece is ailing and who is reluctant to replace it until it ceases to function at all, this might be the perfect time to save him or her from the two weeks of airheaded distraction I suffered while awaiting my recent purchase.

The celebration of the Feast of St. Nick on December 5th  presents us with an opportunity to give a small token to those closest to us that will mean something to them. Use this occasion to choose just the right item to encourage and enhance your love ones’ enjoyment of the outdoors. And, if your loved ones are not the type to join in the celebration, this is also a unique opportunity to choose just the right token for yourself that you may not treat yourself to otherwise. Enjoy!

And check out the latest campground guides at RV and campground directories at Woodall’s online bookstore.


5 Responses to “‘Twas the Feast of St. Nick…”
  1. butterbean carpenter says:

    Howdy Dr. Berry,

    Thank you, for the good ideas.. Joyce has discovered that nobody, BUT NOBODY wears a WATCH
    anymore!!! How gauche’ !!! EVERYONE has a cell phone, on which they depend for the correct time;
    except batteries go dead(bad)!!! Walk up to just about anyone and ask the time nowadays and they’ll
    pull out their cell-phone!!! We haven’t had a cell phone until recently and always wore watches..
    Her daughter, who has a cell-phone ‘implanted’ in her hand, bought it for her birthday.. We were in the
    truck when the phone went off and she didn’t know what it was.. Karen was testing it.. Then she couldn’t remember how to turn it on, so she missed the call.. Karen was so upset with her!! SHE WEARS A WATCH!!!

  2. butterbean carpenter says:

    PAGE 2

    I meant Joyce wears the watch; Karen looks at her palm!! Those Maglites are wonderful and do a great job; I was a security officer and used the 5 D-cell size.. It made an awesome ‘weapon’ when needed
    and didn’t break or bend!!! Just for walking or camping the new ‘cranklites’ are lightweight and never need batteries!!! They have various numbers of LEDs in them and are BRIGHT!!!

  3. Diane Berry says:

    butterbean, you make me laugh! I always wear a watch unless it dies on me because I have a wonderful Smart Phone that always runs out of battery power about 6:00 every evening. As I sit here, it is next to me charging, having shrilly informed me it was about to DIE! Needless to say, I, also, need the watch. Glad you two now have a cell phone as well; another necessity of life these days.
    Thank you, also, for your great idea about the crank lites. We’ve used a few of them but need to find a good quality one as the ones we’ve had have not worked well. I love the idea, however. It just makes sense.
    Happy travels…

  4. Interesting discussion. I do not have a watch anymore (I buy cheap ones and they always break), but somehow I manage to be on time. And I don’t have a cellphone! I see I am totally outdated. LOL
    I learned where to check time-I usually look for flat screen displays in public places and I check my time on the computer.

  5. Diane Berry says:

    Beata–thank you for your tip! I will remember that the next time my inexpensive watch breaks as well! Thanks! Happy travels

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