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Gifts from the Heartland: Items made in Mid-America shine this Christmas

Updated: 2013-12-15T01:57:08Z


The Kansas City Star

Looking for the perfect gift for the outdoorsman or woman who has everything? Here are some ideas. And better yet, they’re made by companies in Mid-America.

•  PORTABLE POWER SOURCE: The Bushnell Co. of Overland Park has come up with the PowerSync SolarWrap Mini, which is ideal for hikers, backpackers and campers who want a power source in remote places. The ultrathin wrap uses solar power to charge a lithium battery. Then, the wrap is rolled up and has an outlet where USB cords for everything from cell phones to GPS units can be plugged in. With the battery, it weighs only 3 ounces. Sells for $59.99. Go to

•  TOUGH WADERS: Looking for waders that won’t spring a leak when you bump into a branch or a rock? Try the new Toughman Waders designed by Rogers Sporting Goods of Liberty. They feature a super-seal seam system, Therma Bond neoprene, double-layered knee pads, and Thinsulate boots to make them super strong. A fleece interior makes them comfortable, too. They sell for $149.99 at the Rogers store.

•  A DVD ON THE WILD SIDE: Now you can enjoy the beauty and the awe of the Kansas outdoors without leaving your den. Veteran wildlife videographer Mike Blair has come out with a 90-minute DVD, “Wild Edge Volume 1,” that provides an awesome view of Kansas and its wildlife. Sells for $29.95 plus tax and shipping. Go to

•  SPYING ON THE FISH: The Garmin Co. of Olathe has come up with its version of sonar units to help fishermen locate fish. The DownVU provides a detailed, almost photographic look at the fish that lurk below. The SideVu allows fishermen to see what lies on both sides of the boat. Prices vary. Go to

•  READ UP ON BASS: Looking for some secrets from the pros on how to catch bass? Try reading “101 Bass Fishing Tips.” Written by John Neporadny, who lives at Lake of the Ozarks, this book reveals the secrets of the top pros on the Bassmaster and FLW tours. Sells for $19.95 at

•  NEW WAYS TO LURE THEM: Tightlines UV is an example of a small lure company that has made good. Developed by Brett Ware of Maryville, Mo., the lures feature an ultraviolet enhancer that makes them more visible to bass. The company offers two git backs to lure bass fishermen: the UV Chap Attack Kit, full of the lures that bass pro Brent Chapman uses to catch bass on the pro tour, and the 40-piece Bass Kit. Each sells for $19.99. Go to

•  A FLOOD OF MEMORIES: Kenneth L. Kieser, a freelance writer from Olathe, has vivid memories of the year when it wouldn’t stop raining. Now he’s put them into a book, “Missouri’s Great Flood of ‘93,” filled with photos, interviews and personal accounts of the year that the water kept rising. Sells for $24.95. Available at book stores.

•  CARBON-X FISHING RODS: David Gray of Lee’s Summit has developed a new fishing rod known for its sensitivity and toughness. The Carbon-X fishing rods use the latest technology to combine the carbon materials that make the rods lightweight yet strong enough to handle long fights and powerful hook sets. Sells for $149.99 to $189.99. Go to

•  A MIGHTY MITE: The Bass Pro Shops Johnny Morris Signature Carbon Lite Baitcast Reel is one of the lightest baitcasting reels you’ll find. It weighs less than 6 ounces. But it still has the power and durability to tussle with big bass. Sells for $129.99. Go to Bass Pro Shops or

•  MARK IT ON THE CALENDAR: The Missouri Department of Conservation’s Natural Events Calendar is filled with breathtaking photographs of the Missouri outdoors. It also includes daily entries of what should be taking place in the natural world. Sells for $7. Go to

To reach outdoors editor Brent Frazee, call 816-234-4319 or send email to

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