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Warnell's holiday gift guide

Need some ideas for holiday gifts? Our students have some advice for the outdoors-people in your life. We asked our students to recommend some gear that’s been essential during their time at Warnell, whether it was weathering outdoor labs, mucking around in the woods after hours or helping them get the job done during an internship. Here’s what they had to say!



day packCotopaxi Luzon 18L Day Pack: I won this backpack in a raffle a few years ago and has been a staple for all my outdoor adventures since. It is simple with a drawstring top and front zipper pocket and has held up remarkably for three years. It has been thrown through the snow, dragged through the dirt and hauled up mountains and has never frayed or broken. (, ~$45) — Jack Buban, wildlife sciences

Seal 20L Dry Bag: I got this dry bag last year for my job (I spent 40 hours a week on the water) and it was a life saver. I took comfort in putting things such as my phone, keys and gear in, knowing that it wasn't going to wet. (REI Outlet, $22) — Jack Buban, wildlife sciences

23 Liter Ozark Trail backpack23 Liter Ozark Trail hiking backpack: I have had this for almost 4 years and it’s awesome! I have lots of backpacks but this is always my go-to day hike pack. It’s a perfect size to put in your first-aid kit, snacks, extra socks, Chacos and a Eno hammock. It’s even got a place to put a small water bladder. It’s also relatively cheap and you can get it at Walmart. I didn’t spend more than $20 on it. — Julia Yearout, wildlife sciences



Chippewa Boots: I often find myself in the woods and walking on uneven and dangerous areas. In these situations, I pick boots that will protect my feet and are also comfortable. Personally, I like logger-style boots for my field work. They have a waterproof lining, tough Vibram rubber soles, and have a leather outer. These boots are on the expensive side, but I cannot put a price on the comfort these boots give me in the field. ($209.99) — Jack Derochers, forestry

Rubber boots: When I know I am going somewhere that doesn’t require the rugged quality of my Chippewa boots, I reach for the pair of rubber boots I keep in my truck. These boots are great when I know I am going somewhere wet. They are not the most comfortable to wear all day, but when I am walking through a stream, I like to have the peace of mind these taller rubber boots give me. Plus, cleaning after a day of work is a breeze. I keep them in my truck all the time just in case I need them—something I would never do with a more expensive pair of boots. ($20.00) — Jack Derochers, forestry

Waterproof socks: These are an excellent stocking stuffer for your favorite frequent hiker. While not intended to be a primary source of protection from the elements, they pair well with some waterproof hiking shoes to ensure your feet stay dry and warm. — Jamon Jordan, aquatic sciences

Adidas Terrex Hiking shoes: These are on my personal wish list. What’s not to like? It has a design that can be worn in and out the field, a waterproof upper, and a cushioned BOOST midsole. — Jamon Jordan, aquatic sciences

Vasque bootsVasque hiking boots: I bought them in 2019 and have worn them everywhere! They have been with me through two tech positions, in many caves, in Wyoming, many national parks and TONS of trials! They are super breathable, waterproof AND they come in wide width sizes (which is important for someone like me who has wide feet). They are super comfortable unless I’m hiking over 8 miles—then my feet can get sore. Getting some comfy insoles would solve that issue! They were a little pricy but totally worth it. A great investment for anyone who’s always outdoors! — Julia Yearout, wildlife sciences

Darn Tough Socks: I noticed for a long time that all of my socks would either develop holes in the first month or two of regular use and that they always seemed to slide down my leg. I was searching for a way to correct both of these issues when I found Darn Tough. These are two of the four pairs of OTC (over the calf) socks that I own. I regularly use these hiking, fishing, hunting, and at work. They’re really warm and, because they’re made of wool, they tend to retain that warmth even if they get wet. When someone first sees the price tag on these, they might balk. However, Darn Tough has a lifetime warranty and will repair or replace any socks worn out over time for life. Another benefit is that these socks are manufactured in Vermont, which supports a U.S. business and the U.S. economy. — Clint Weiss, wildlife sciences



Husqvarna 455 Rancher: I recently purchased this Husqvarna 455 Rancher chainsaw to help processing firewood with the Forestry Society. I couldn’t be happier with it! Husqvarna is an awesome company and parts are super available. The Rancher is a larger saw with a 55.5 cc engine and a 20-inch bar, but it really gets the job done. The gas and oil tanks are huge, allowing you to work longer on one tank of gas. Pair the rancher with a sharp chain and there isn’t a tree or log that stands a chance! ($449.99-$499.99) — Jack Derochers, forestry

Splitting Ax: Even if you’re not a forestry major, everyone likes a good campfire or bonfire. In my opinion, splitting firewood is easiest with an axe or maul you can swing repeatedly. Typically, people reach for an 8-pound maul—a sledgehammer with an ax head on one side. However, I find myself exhausted by the end of a day swinging an 8-pound maul. Therefore, I use a splitting ax, typically around 2 or 3 pounds. This way I can swing the ax all day without becoming exhausted. This particular ax used to belong to my father; I cleaned it up and gave it a new handle in April. New splitting axes can be found at most hardware or forestry supply stores, last a long time and are great for splitting firewood. Make sure to keep it sharp and out of the dirt! ($20-$60) — Jack Derochers, forestry

Bug Spray: Whenever I spend a good amount of time in the wilds, I like to have good protection against any sting or biting insects. I have tried many types of bug spray over the years and I have discovered the most effective (and thus my favorite) is any variety with 40% DEET. I have found that I do not have the irritation of being attacked by bugs in the woods whenever I use a spray like this. With a combination of bug spray and proper field clothes, you won’t have to worry about bugs on your next adventure! ($3.94) — Jack Derochers, forestry

ESEE 4 Hunting/Camp Knife: If I need a knife when I am outside, I have to know whatever I reach for will be reliable and sharp. My favorite field knife is my ESEE 4. This knife is made in America and has an unbeatable “If you break it, we’ll replace it, no questions asked” warranty. This knife is tough, sharp, and comes with an excellent molded plastic sheath. If you know someone who needs an awesome hunting or general outdoors knife, get them and ESEE! ($99.69) — Jack Derochers, forestry

Leatherman Signal Multitool: I love multitools, and my favorite multitool for my outdoor lifestyle is definitely the Leatherman Signal. The tools I use the most would be the pliers, wood file, and screwdrivers. I carry this multitool every day and it has never let me down. Leatherman also has a 25-year warranty on all of their products, which certainly gives me some peace of mind. ($119.99) — Jack Derochers, forestry

Multitool: This is the perfect partner to anyone who frequents the outdoors. You never know what tool you’ll need so why not carry a little bit of everything? — Jamon Jordan, aquatic sciences / natural resources management and sustainability

Benchmade Griptillian Pocketknife: I demand excellence from every piece of gear I own. Shouldn’t you? For years, I have searched for what I consider to be the perfect pocketknife. For me, the perfect pocketknife is a Benchmade Griptillian. This knife is tough, the perfect size and extremely dependable. They even come in multiple colors and blade options! Benchmade has a good warranty program. I take this knife with me on all of my adventures, on the town or in the field. All in all, I love this knife and I think you will too. ($123.25) — Jack Derochers, forestry

Time outside: The ultimate gift is time outdoors. Whether it be through a fishing charter or just a short trip to your local reservoir, spending time with your favorite person outdoors is a gift only you can give. — Jamon Jordan, aquatic sciences / natural resources management and sustainability



Black Diamond Headlamp: Having both hands available at night is crucial when working outside in uncertain conditions. It allows me to be mobile and not have to worry about lugging a flashlight around and slowing me down. I got this headlamp five years ago and it still works good as new. Highly recommend it to anyone looking for a headlamp. — Jack Buban, wildlife sciences

Waterhaul sunglasses: Everyone should own some sunglasses, especially fishermen who want an advantage over spawning bass. These glasses in particular are made from recycled ghost nets from the ocean by a company called Waterhaul. — Jamon Jordan, aquatic sciences / natural resources management and sustainability

Buff: Neck gaiter, headband, balaclava, whatever you want it to be to be honest. A merino wool buff is functional accessory for anytime of the year. — Jamon Jordan, aquatic sciences / natural resources management and sustainability

Insulated water bottle: Not only is it a great way to reduce plastic pollution, but it also keeps water cold for 24 hrs on a hot day. Staying hydrated is a top priority and a quality water bottle is a great gift to ensure that is the case. — Jamon Jordan, aquatic sciences / natural resources management and sustainability

Petzl Elios climbing helmet: While it’s markets for climbing, 98% of the time I use it for caving. I’ve had this helmet for almost 5 years and it’s amazing! As someone who caves and wears helmets a lot, I’ve loved this one. The vents on the side allow for air movement and it’s very light overall! It fits very snug to any head shape and I love it! Even though I use it for caving, it’s awesome for climbing because it’s so lightweight! — Julia Yearout, wildlife sciences




SPF-protection shirt: This can be seen being worn by our very own Dr. Shelton and for good reason! Long days, ehhem … hook-and-line sampling … require sufficient protection from the sun’s UV. — Jamon Jordan, aquatic sciences / natural resources management and sustainability

Flint and Tinder Pullover: This pullover has played a versatile part in keeping me warm during the winter. I wear it around my apartment and to run errands. It has been most effective in keeping me warm at work during the winter months. I’ll wear it beneath a rain jacket, and it provides effective insulation against the elements. One reason I chose this particular pullover is because it’s made in the United States. I am more comfortable with the degree of craftsmanship put into it, and it supports the U.S. business and U.S. economy. — Clint Weiss, wildlife sciences

Triple Aught Design Pullover: This pullover is a good base-layer that I bought to replace my old North Face jacket. I’ve found that it has good breathability and functions well on its own in cooler weather and as a layer in cold weather. It has the benefit of being water repellant, so if it needed to stand alone on a fall hiking day during a short rain shower, it could do so. Triple Aught Design makes clothing in small batches that sell out relatively quickly. However, each and every article is incredibly constructed. This pullover is handcrafted in the United States so it has the added benefit of supporting a small U.S. business and the overall U.S. economy. — Clint Weiss, wildlife sciences

Columbia Men’s Silver Ridge Convertible Pants: I needed some comfortable and lightweight field pants for a summer technician job. These are by far one of my most comfortable pair of pants. They are water resistant, lightweight, durable and they can be converted to shorts! Who wouldn’t want that!? — Calvin Ellis, wildlife sciences

Waders: Now if this doesn’t scream Warnell, I don’t know what does. For the people with a fish person in their life, they will very much appreciate an extra pair of waders. Dr. Jackson says, they have short lifespans regardless of the brand. — Jamon Jordan, aquatic sciences / natural resources management and sustainability

Hiking/trail pants: Water resistant trail pants are essential to the wardrobe of any outdoorsy individual. They keep you dry, protect you from thorns and toxic plants and just make you feel ready to dive deep into the woods. — Jamon Jordan, aquatic sciences / natural resources management and sustainability





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