By Robert Lucke
Havre merchants report that outdoor gear for Christmas presents is selling well this season. Differences from the past are that these days, outdoor gear is bought for very specific purposes rather than for general use. For instance, folks wear very specific clothing for skiing and entirely different clothing for a trek through the woods.
A few years ago, this was not the case. Same is true in things like optics. Not that long ago, binoculars were sold mainly for hunters. These days, just as many bird watchers buy optics as hunters. And lots of folks just like to carry a set of binoculars in the car at all times.
At Master Sports for Christmas, Air Chikamia Mids by Nike are hot. They are hiking shoes and have been selling well for Christmas. Gravis by Burton are men's and ladies' casual or dress shoes. They are very comfortable and are a good Christmas item.
Master Sports personnel say that gloves are good Christmas gifts and sell for skiing or just to keep warm.
At Fleet, insulated footwear are going well for Christmas. Itasca boots with rubber feet and leather and nylon uppers complete with speed laces are popular. Prices are right and they will fit any sizes from three to 13. Those boots are good to 40 below for active wear.
Stromberg's E-Fish-Hunt Sports sells plenty of knife sharpening systems for the holidays. Landsky knife sharpening systems feature a clamp system with stone that holds knives for proper sharpening.
Knife sharpening kits are big for Christmas at Kmart, too, and sleds are moving well with a little snow and colder weather. Hard sided gun cases to carry in pickup beds sell well for Christmas and full gun cabinets sell well this time of year. Plenty of exercise equipment goes out for Christmas. Most popular for Christmas gifts so far this season are treadmills. Luggage is always popular in the outdoor department and even though ice fishing equipment has been soft so far, it is expected to be hot for Christmas giving whether there is ice by then or not.
Bing N Bob's Sport Shop says emphatically that the top gifts year after year for Christmas are their optics. Binoculars and scopes, full size and compact, sell well. It used to be that Bing N Bob's carried three lines of optics. Now it carries five, the demand is so great.
Even though this is an off season for much fishing, fishing tackle and poles are the number two gift item. And in ice fishing, depth finders and locaters are hot.
Reloading equipment is getting bigger and bigger. It is not so much the savings although there is a savings, but accuracy and consistency is so much great in reloaded shells that it has become very popular. Folks who shoot targets are heavy into reloading.
Guns never quit at Christmas at Bing N Bob's. There are lots of .22 calbers going out as first guns for presents this time of year. Christmas is a time for small caliber guns.
At Big R, Christmas means clothing and more clothing. For Christmas, bibs are going out, along with coveralls, flannel shirts, long johns, wool socks and farmer caps.
Christmas gift certificates are big this time of year at Big R, along with heat lamps, floating stock tank deicers and stock tanks themselves.
Outdoor gifts in Havre are really diverse. However, one thing everyone could agree on is that outdoor gifts really sell this time of year.