Resolution Solution- Keep Fit

Resolution Solution- Get Fit in 2014

The time has come to issue in a new year again and with that comes the dreaded New Years Resolution. Most people have trouble keeping their resolutions through January and the most common would be how to stay more active in the New Year. One way to stay active is to go hiking. Picking out the right hiking or trail running shoe to enjoy the outdoors is essential to making the most of your outdoor adventure. Most people think they have to pick the most expensive or up to date technology in a shoe to succeed with your resolution. That is not the case. The best advice I can give anyone the wants to enjoy the outdoors is keep it simple when picking a shoe. One feature to consider is to make sure its waterproof. This goes a long way with breath ability and keeps your feet cool and comfortable. Next you should pick a shoe that has a good sole or traction an example of this would be Vibram. It has good traction in wet terrain and won't break down in rough terrain. And lastly, the type of sock you should wear with your new hiking shoe. There are many options to choose from when picking out a sock from lightweight to heavyweight just make sure it can breathe(cotton does not) and make sure it does not make the shoe fit tight through out the time you are wearing it.

These are just a few things to remember in picking out a new hiking shoe along with many more we can help you out with at Bass Pro Shops. Remember if you’re a beginner to advanced hiking the most important thing is to have fun while you’re in the outdoors. My name is Billy. I am a Footwear Specialist in our Las Vegas Bass Pro Store. Come on down to Bass Pro and talk with one of our pros or visit our website.

Redhead Roark Hiker


Lifetime Socks? Really?

Lifetime socks?  What are you talking about?  Never heard of that before.  Well, we do have lifetime socks and they are worth it.  No receipt required when you bring them back.  No,  there is never a hassle what so ever.  Bass Pro Shop has come up with a universal gift that is great for anyone.  Why,  I even got my college girls each a pair to wear for slippers.  Comfortable and warm these socks will not disappoint.  Here are a few of the different kinds of lifetime socks we have:

Redhead Midweight Crew (men) are lighter weight for hiking and casual everyday use.  They are double reinforced in all stress zones.  These socks are made for all day comfort. 11 inches











The Redhead Lightweight Quarter sock for men are just like the crew but only 5 inches for those who prefer not that high of a sock.










Natural Reflections Lifetime Socks for Ladies are perfect for women with all day comfort and a itch free merino wool blend.








The Redhead All Purpose Lifetime Socks are the most popular for men and women.  Why I wear them under my rubber boots for the warmth!


all purpose





























So stop on by today and check out the Lifetime Socks.  Then remember when they have a hole or are wearing out, just bring both of them back to Bass Pro Shops.  You will receive another pair no questions asked.  How can you go wrong?


Robin Piedmonte - Events Coordinator



Outdoors Outreach

Outdoors Outreach

On Tuesday, December 17th, I once again had an amazing day with Arizona Game and Fish. This time we went to Bartlett Lake. It was my first time there and we arrived around 7am as the sun was just coming to the horizon.

Bartlett Lake Map.JPG

Bartlett Lake.jpg

The day began by boating to the north rim of the lake where we started hiking through the riverbeds. They were pretty dry and virtually no wildlife other than invertebrates in the pools and shallow streams.

AZGF stream 1.jpg

But soon to my surprise, I saw my first tarantula (in the wild that is). I had to take a double look at it because it appeared to be a clump of debris from a tree. And this wasn’t the only one. Two more down the river and I stopped looking after that. Too bad it was a little too cool out or we would have seen some snakes and reptiles.


Hiking along about 3 miles in now, we came across old barbed wire and some cow bones. Next to tha was an old trough that had water channeled to it from a spring nearby. Very awesome to see and to imagine what used to roam that mountainside. The terrain of the area around the lake is very pristine and is part of the Tonto National Forest as well as the Mazatzal Wilderness.

AZGF landscape 1.jpg


AZGF stream 2.jpg

We hiked a round trip of 10 miles for a total of 10 hours. We maxed out a little over 3,000 feet. The day ended with scratches all over my body, a bruise from a 10 pound rock rolling and hitting my shin and the need for new hiking boots.

Spending the day with these guys was one for the books. Being able to go out with any group of people with such amazing expertise and knowledge is a remarkable adventure. If you have a passion for the outdoors and are interested in wildlife as your career path, I strongly encourage you to reach out to anyone that can share knowledge and experiences with you.

Happy trails!!



Winter Camping... The New Adventure

If you have never been winter camping, you are missing out on a new adventure! Good planning and packing will make your first winter camping trip safe and comfortable for the entire party.

Planning: Ask yourself a few questions; where would you like to go? How will you get there? What will you do once you get settled? Snowshoeing, skiing and hiking are great activities if you have packed the right equipment. Once you know your location, check out the terrain and weather. Get familiar with the area before you go. It is not hard to get lost in a blanket of snow. Be prepared for things to take twice as long due to the weather.

Caution Alert: Do some research before you go on your trip. Two biggest dangers in winter camping are hypothermia and frostbite. You will need to recognize the symptoms and know what to do.  Remember to pack supplies that will protect you against heat loss. Several changes of clothes (warm, layers and snug fits). Mittens keep your hands warmer then gloves. Protect your head against heat loss too. Wearing a toboggan or balaclava is best. Over half your body heat is lost through your head.  Your boots should be insulated, waterproof and at least a mid height.

Dress Warm: When winter camping, dress warm! Dress in layers so you can easily adjust your clothes to regulate your body temperature. Three types of layers are considered normal: a layer against your skin (longjohns), an insulation layer (fleece) and a water/wind proof outer shell. Polypropylene is a fabric that will wick away moisture and keep you warm. Down, Thinsulate, Microloft and Polarguard are more good choices. Wear polypropylene sock liners underneath your wool socks to add an extra layer of protection.

Shelter: A roomy dome tent is your best choice, only attempt to build an igloo or snow cave with an experienced winter camper. Flatten your surface where your tent will go and pack snow against the bottoms outside to provide extra insulation. Attach 4’ -6’ of cord to each end of your stake out points so you can use rocks or logs if the ground is too frozen. When camping in deep snow you can fill 1 gallon size freezer bags with snow and tie your stake out cords to them for anchors instead of stakes.

Warm at Night: A good sleeping bag will keep you warm at night. Choose a sleeping bag that is rated for a lower temperature than what you will actually be sleeping in. Mummy style bags with hoods are the best. If the bag is too loose or large it will let in cold air. Wear warm clothes even inside the bag. Your body temperature will drop as you sleep. A full length foam or inflatable pad placed underneath your bag will protect you from the snow.

Fuel for the body: When you become cold, your body uses a lot of calories to try to heat you back up again. Eat healthy, hearty meals to keep your energy level up so your body can fight the cold. As a general guideline, your winter camping diet should consist of 50% simple sugars and complex carbs; 20% proteins and 30% fats. Avoid taking fresh foods with you. They freeze easily and are hard to carry. Dried foods, baked goods and freeze dried ingredients are all great choices. Bring enough water for the entire trip, however never ever eat snow.


Winter camping is exciting and rewarding. Plan carefully and have fun!



What is Thinsulate Insulation?

Thinsulate Insulation is not your typical insulation. 3M manufactures products, such as boots, pants, jackets, gloves, and hats with Thinsulate Insulation. The microfibers that Thinsulate is constructed from traps air molecules between you and the cold air outside. Thinsulate traps the cold air molecules inside a smaller space, allowing for better insulation.

Thinsulate is lightweight that many manufacturers utilize in many products including footwear for work, hunting and hiking. The microfibers in the insulation are lightweight. This keeps the insulation from weighing the shoes down but keeps your feet warm at the same time. Thinsulate is available in different weights, depending on the insulation required. The weights start at 200 grams for less insulation and continue up to 1000 grams for extremely cold conditions.

200 to 400 grams: Thinsulate with a rating of 200 grams has a temperature rating of 55 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit and is advised for work boots, hunting boots, hiking boots, snowboarding boots and alpine ski boots in cool weather. Boots with 400 gram Thinsulate have a temperature rating of 35 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit for cold weather.

600-800 grams:  A Thinsulate material having a rating of 600 grams should be worn in very cold conditions at an estimated 15 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit. In extremely cold weather, individuals with light activity should select Thinsulate products of 800 grams, having a temperature rating of approximately 20 below zero degrees Fahrenheit.

1,000 grams: Thinsulate products with a rating of 1,000 grams should also be used in extremely cold weather conditions, at temperatures below zero degrees Fahrenheit. 

Thinsulate is breathable. It is ideal to use in items such as bedding, coats, hats and gloves due to its small fibers. The material keeps you insulated from the cold while keeping the sweat away from your skin at the same time.

Thinsulate is also moisture-resistant, machine washable, and dry cleanable. Due to the fibers absorbing less than 1 percent of their weight when submerged in water, they are ideal to be worn in wet conditions or washable.


The Traveling Bowhunter. Pack Smart and Light.

The other day a guy came into the archery department and showed me a very disturbing photograph.  He had been on a 10 day hunting trip to North Dakota and on his return flight the airline ran over his bow case with the bow in it.  The bow case was destroyed and his bow took a little damage.  Imagine if this would have been on the arriving flight and not the returning home flight?

We hear time and time again about misfortunes that hunter’s experience when traveling to hunt a new area or state.  These hunters sometimes have put in for tags for several years to get the chance for a “Once in a lifetime” hunt.  On their way to the hunting adventure, the airline looses their baggage or bow.  Sometimes the gear shows up destroyed and unusable.  What do you do now?

Plan ahead!  Plan for the worst.

Many of us have driven to hunting locations and load our pickup to the gills with everything we “Might” need.  This unfortunately doesn’t work well when dealing with the airlines or even more so, a fly in trip to Alaska or Canada where you are limited to maybe 50 or so pounds of gear plus yourself and what you are wearing.

Pack Smart!  Determine what you “Need” not what you “Want” on the trip.

Use a scale to weigh what you think you need.  Find out from the airline and the bush pilot what your max weights can be and how many bags you are allowed.  Pack and weigh.


Layering is by far the best way to achieve all of your goals here.  Comfort, and weight reducing.  Today there are many choices of high performance gear.  Start with moisture wicking under clothes.  The are very light, compact and effective in keeping you dry.

Next layer should be a Cold Gear type of clothing.  Clothing that allows moisture to pass from you out away from your body and yet retains heat during those chilly sits.

A wind proof jacket with plenty of pockets.

Full set of high performance pants and jacket, rain gear.  Many of these will fold and stow within their own pockets.  These pieces of gear are light, compact and very effective in keeping out the rain.  Tip… Cut a ¼ sheet of chamois and place in your rain jacket pocket.  This can be used to wipe off your lenses on your binoculars and rangefinders.

Socks are often a shortcut that many hunters take or don’t think much about.  Even if the rest of your body is dry and comfortable, if your feet are damp, you will be miserable.  Purchase yourself moisture wicking liners and wool socks.  Just like you layer your body to stay comfortable, layer your feet too.  They need to breathe and release moisture to be comfortable.  In the event your feet do get wet the wool will keep your feet warm so the rest of you warm too.  Wool also dries very quickly so will be ready the following day or twos days at the most.

Boots should be very comfortable and broke in before the trip.  If you hiking many miles a day, consider a lower gram weight of insulation like Thinsulate.  This will keep your feet from overheating.  I prefer a nice arch support or cork bed to keep my feet comfortable.  Boots with replaceable liners are a good choice as you can dry out one set one day and wear the other the same day.

Gloves and hats now come lightweight and with very effective wicking and warm materials.  Your head is the primary heat loss part of your body.  Keep it warm and dry and most likely the rest of your will be warm too.


Purchase a SKB bow case.  They are extremely tough and take much abuse.  These cases may cost a little more but they also come with a $1500 gear insurance policy, and worth the few extra dollars in the long run.

Pack a dozen arrows with broadheads removed and store in an arrow tube.  Broadheads will pack easier removed from arrows and are less susceptible of damaging your bowstrings or gear in transport.  An extra bowstring and cables are very light and might come in handy if you or your buddy dry fires your bow or you accidentally damage the strings.  With so many different bows on the market now and each having different sizes of strings and cables, you most likely won’t find the proper set at a bow shop in any part of the country.  Carry an extra set of “shot in” strings and you will be good.

With my bow I will mark my cams with a permanent marker so that I can make sure my cams are in time at all times and if I have to change strings and or cables I can get it back in time quickly not wasting valuable hunting time.  I also measure key parts of my bow such as Nock Height, Peep Height, Brace Height, Tiller, Draw Weight and Rest locations.  I write them on a tape on my limbs so not to loose or forget them.

Binoculars, rangefinders, GPS units, SPOT units and cameras should be packed in your carry on.  You will ensure they will make it there and safely.  GPS units are a place you can save a little weight.  Garmin produces units that have GPS and cameras built in one unit.  The Rhino unit even has radio capabilities, check local laws though to see if a radio is allowed when hunting.

Now to pack it all up:

Your carry-on you should use your backpack.  Place all of your heavy items like cameras, binoculars, GPS units and rangefinders.  Pack your rain gear, gloves and caps in the pack as well.

In your bow case pack your bow, arrows and extra set of strings and cables, broadheads, a change of clothes including some socks and a change of camo.  If your other luggage becomes lost at least you still have some clothes to wear for the first few days of the hunt until your bags arrive and it helps protect your gear in the bow case.  Print on- a piece of paper, your name, destination, flight number and your contact number, as well as the hunting location’s address.   Print one of these for both the outbound and return flight and lay it on top of everything before you close your bag. This makes it really easy for airlines to know where the bag needs to go should they get misplaced.

Once you have everything packed up label your bags.  Put hard labels on the outside of your bags identifying who you are and where you live.  Before you leave on your trip print out on full sheets of paper your name, flight numbers, contact numbers and final destination.  This is true for your trip home too.  Just before you leave place the sheets that have your destination info in the bag so that if it gets lost the airline can open it and see where it needs to go.  Then do the same thing on your flight home.

The best practice is to plan for the worse.  Once you find a system that works for you record it down so that the next trip will be easier to pack.

Good luck and Shoot Straight.


Sock Thermometers

RedHead SocksThere's a chill in the air. The perennial debate has begun and rages on in many homes regarding the firing up of the furnace - what temp, at what times, and for how long. I don't care that much about what the temperature is or how cold it is's Iowa. It gets cold. That's a given. 

I don't obsess over what the thermometer says. My RedHead Lifetime Guarantee socks tell me. If I pull them out of the drawer, cold weather has arrived. I pull them out of the drawer and they bring my feet up to the right temperature. I wear them with my boots in the snow, but most importantly, I wear them in the house. These are my house "slipper socks," so to speak. I wear the men's version, but they come in ladies', too. 

They're soft and double-stitched in all the stressed areas. A new pair will be in my future this year, I suspect, but that's okay. With the lifetime guarantee, I can return them and get a new pair. It doesn't matter what Bass Pro Shop I take them to; I can return them and get a free pair. No questions asked. 

What's new this year with the RedHead socks is that they now come in men's lightweight quarter socks and men's RedHead Lifetime Guarantee Socksmidweight crew!  Not as heavy, shorter, and easier for casual and hiking wear. I'm looking forward to purchasing some soon to wear to day, my low cut RedHead athletic socks will tell me it's time to make the switch!

RedHead Lifetime Guarantee Socks






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Michigans Fall Colors; Perfect Time for Hiking

fall colors

No season shows off Michigan’s true beauty better than fall. It’s the time of year when the weather gets cooler and the trees become inflamed with color. If you truly want to see awe inspiring picturesque scenery then you need to take advantage of the hiking trails in our Michigan parks. There are some do’s and don’ts when going hiking though, even if you’re only going for an afternoon. Below are a few of those do’s and don’ts.

Don’t Wear Cotton:

When we go hiking wearing cotton is not a good choice. This means no cotton t-shirts, cotton socks, blue jeans or denim jackets. Cotton will retain water and once it gets wet it takes a long time to dry, which is never a good thing. It doesn’t matter if its sweat or rain, moisture is something we want to avoid. When your body gets wet you will start to lose body heat. If you lose too much body heat you could face hypothermia.

Do Wear Clothing made of Wool or Polyester Fabrics:

These materials will wick the moisture away from your body keeping you dry and warm. So when you go out for that fall hike, remember that cotton kills and you need to dress appropriately in order to enjoy being out on your hike.

Wicking ShirtHiking Socks





Don’t Wear Boots Fresh from the Box:

Wearing untested brand new boots of hiking shoes is never a good thing. When wearing new footwear they are generally going to be stiffer and have not conformed to your foot yet. In some instances you can face hotspots or blisters on your feet making your hike a little less memorable and a little more painful.

Do Test and Break in Your Footwear:

You want to test out and break in your footwear before you go hiking. Try wearing them around the house, while walking your dog, mowing the lawn, or even to work. Sometimes you may have some sore spots and by Choosing the Right Hiking Socks it can make all the difference. Remember that rigid boots will require a longer period of break in time. When considering what boots to buy there are always things to consider. Hiking Boot Essentials is a good blog to read when considering what kind of hiking boots you want.

Don’t Start Too Late in the Day:

If you plan on hiking on longer trails don’t start too late. If you’re going on a trail that’s rated as a 5 hour hike don’t start too late in the day. We all fall behind schedule once in a while but if we start late on our hike we find ourselves in the woods when it’s dark out and not know how to find our way back.

Do Start on Time:

We want to always make sure we start our hike on time. If we do start late check and see if there is any way you can take a shorter route to make up for the time that you have lost. Remember, it is always better to be safe than sorry.

Other things to remember: having plenty of fluids, an appropriate trail map, a first aid kit, and always plan your hike.

If you just don’t have time to take that trip up north, go on that all day hike or if you just getting into hiking and want to try shorter hikes, there are plenty of places in South East Michigan you can go. Some really good places to try that have great trails and plenty of fall colors are listed below.

Willcott Mill Metro Park:

This park is located of 27 mile rd just east of Romeo Plank. It has plenty of old hardwood trees that produce brilliant colors in an array of reds, oranges and yellow’s.

Highland Recreation Area:

Located at 5200 Highland rd in White Lake, this park has plenty to offer. Inside the main park is the location of the old Edsel Ford retreat manor. It contains every tree that grows in Michigan. Amazing colors and beautiful walks will keep you in awe.

Ortonville Recreation Area:

This park is located at 5779 Hadley rd in Ortonville and has considerable segments of old hardwood forests. The forests are set ablaze with amazing shades of reds, oranges, and yellows.

Metro Beach Metro Park:

Located off Metro parkway (16 mile) just past I-94 this park does have some extremely old hardwood growth and will surprise you with some amazing colors. One spot to stop and check is out on the point that jets out into Lake St. Clair. The sight from here provides a unique on of a kind experience.




Good Luck and Happy Hiking

Patrick M. Stringfield


Bass Pro Shops

Auburn Hills, MI


Hiking in the Finger Lakes

There are not many people who would disagree with the statement that Fall is absolutely beautiful in the Finger Lakes.  Instead of feeling low thinking about the snow, why not get outside and enjoy the beauty that this time of year has to offer.  There are great hiking paths around the Finger Lakes region and up north.


Harvest time in the Finger Lakes usually starts in mid August, and can continue into November thru January for the ice wines.  For the people who live here, we consider Fall one of the most exciting times to hike.  If you are not into hiking, consider going apple picking or walk through pumpkin patches.  Many areas offer easy walking roads.  Anything that gets you outside is worth it.


If you are interested in doing some hiking, you will need a comfortable pair of hiking boots.  The Ecco Kiruna GTX is a great shoe.  Waterproof, lightweight, and comfortable, this boot gives you great quality and a good price.  Perfect for hiking in the Adirondack region or any trail around the Finger Lakes.  








A day hike is great to see all the beautiful bright orange, reds, golds, and russet colors of Fall.  Make sure you bring a jacket.  The Bass Pro Shop Lightweight Packable Rainsuit is perfect for this time of year.   100% waterproof, breathable, large pockets with a attached hood.  The word for this jacket is comfortable and packable.  No extra weight, it is a "just in case" item.







The Finger Lakes region is at about 40 percent of its peak so now is the time to think about a nice fall hike.  Whether you walk through the woods or drive down the road, bring along a few treats.  Perhaps some jerky and a water bottle.  You can always buy a day pack to carry everything in.  The Redhead Stream Hydration Pack has a large main compartment.  Very comfortable and roomy,  this pack even has a binocular attachment. 








New York State has a longer window of opportunity to see the fall foliage than up north.  October is a great month to smell grapes in the air.  With all the wineries pressing you just can't help it.  A great time to hike, camp, kayak or take a plane for a overall view of everything.  This is a picture perfect time of year.  So get out there and enjoy what New York State has to offer.


Robin Piedmonte - Events Coordinator











Is That a Snake in the Next Stall?

Earlier this month there was a snake found in a bathroom of a Starbucks in San Antonio.  It is a reminder that the continuation of the warm weather that we have a big snake issue in Texas this year. 

Seven species of venomous snakes occur in the Dallas Fort Worth area. However, it should be noted that the national average for fatal snake bites in the United States is only 2 per year. Also, a vast majority of bite victims are white males ages 18-25 who are capturing, handling or molesting a venomous snake. Oftentimes alcohol or other drugs are involved. While legitimate bites occur on occasion it should be noted that most snake bites are avoidable and are the fault of the bite victim. To help place the reality of a fatal snake bite into perspective, it is interesting to note that more people in the United States die from vending machines falling over on them (after being shaken), being struck by lightning, or due to an allergic reaction from an insect sting.

Most people living in the Dallas Fort Worth area rarely encounter venomous snakes. Also, vast amounts of habitat are being converted from a natural state to one suited for human use. Unfortunately, habitat loss is not only detrimental to populations of venomous snakes, but other wildlife as well.

Given such, it is important to recognize these reptiles should they be encountered. Traditional means of identifying snakes (based upon shape of the head, temperament, etc) are mostly inaccurate and unreliable.

The seven venomous snakes in the area.  The first three are the most common of the venomous snakes in the area.

Copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix)

Cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorous)

Western Diamondback Rattlesnake (Crotalus atrox)

*Timber Rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus)

*Massasagua (Sisturus catenatus)

*Pigmy Rattlesnake (Sisturus miliarius)

*Texas Coral Snake (Micrurus tener)


Safety tips for avoiding venomous snake bite

1. Do not attempt to capture or kill a venomous snake.

2. Do not attempt to capture or handle venomous snakes or any snake whose identity you are uncertain.

3. Wear shoes and appropriate clothing when walking through habitats in which snakes occur.

4. When hiking always pay attention to the ground and visually check logs, rocks, and other objects before stepping over them.

5. Watch where you place your hands and avoid placing your hands into rocky crevices, hollow logs, holes in the ground or any such location.

6. When lifting objects in places where venomous snakes occur, boards, logs or rocks should be moved with caution to avoid receiving a bite.

7. If you encounter a venomous snake in the wild leave it alone and move away.

Rattlesnake Avoidance Classes for you and your dog

Tips for the First Aid of a venomous snake bite

The survival rate for snake bite victims in the United States is high. Nevertheless, medical attention from a qualified physician should be sought immediately. Depending upon the the species of snake involved and severity of bite treatments can range from the administering of a pain killer and release from the hospital to several days of hospitalization and anti-venom therapy.

1. Do not try to kill or bring the venomous snake that bit the victim. This can sometimes result in another bite!

2. Remain calm. This is important as it allows for clearer thinking and lower blood pressure.

3. If bitten on the arm, hand, or fingers remove all jewelry, watches or long sleeved shirts.






9. Keep the victim calm and seek immediate medical attention from a qualified physician.

The bite from a venomous snake occurring in North Central Texas is an excruciating and painful experience. However, it is important to remember that there is a high survival rate for venomous snake bites in the United States.


How to Insulate Properly: Hunting Boots



               When most people go hiking they grab their lucky boots and hit the trail for a long trek. Most people don’t take into account their personal needs in boots. Yes a lot of people need arch support so they buy the proper insole to keep them comfortable. Or the person needs a lot of support for their ankles so they buy a higher boot to keep their ankle from rolling, but many people neglect their foot’s ultimate comfort by not considering the proper insulation for their boots.

               There are a lot more differences between hunting boots with insulation and without insulation than people actually know. For example, insulation can come in grams of Thinsulate, PrimaLoft or millimeters of neoprene. GORE-TEX often gets mistaken for an insulation material, although it is not; it is a waterproofing material. So whenever you see GORE-TEX on a product, it does not always mean it is insulated.  Another factor between using Thinsulate, PrimaLoft or neoprene is that all have different advantages over the others, which suit certain tasks better.  So let me delve into some of the advantages of Thinsulate, PrimaLoft and neoprene.

                Let's start off with some of the specs of a non-insulated hunting boot.  As non-insulated already infers it has no Thinsulate, PrimaLoft or neoprene insulation in its construction.  This usually makes non-insulated hunting boots fairly light weight and breathable, which makes them a great boot for warmer weather and higher level activities.  Now, you have to keep in mind that just because a boot may say it is waterproof does not necessarily mean that it is insulated or warmer. Waterproofing and insulation usually is a completely separate thing.

                Moving on to Thinsulate insulation, Thinsulate is a light weight synthetic material with fibers that absorb less than 1 percent of their weight in water; making it an optimal material to keep a boot warm but still fairly light weight.  Thinsulate is measured in grams per square meter, but is usually referred to as just grams.  The low Thinsulate boots we carry usually start at 200 grams.  200 grams of Thinsulate is optimal for mild weather and high activity levels.  400 grams of Thinsulate is usually for cooler conditions and moderate activity levels. Between 600 to 800 grams usually is recommended for cold conditions with light activity levels. If you are getting into 1000 grams and above, that is usually intended for extremely cold conditions or a minimal activity level, like tree stand hunting.

RH Uplander

                PrimaLoft is another great insulation material we offer. PrimaLoft is not used as often in our boots since it is more frequently used in cold weather apparel. However, since PrimaLoft excels in cold and wet conditions, it is mainly used in Pac Boots or cold weather Snow Boots. PrimaLoft also is not really measurable in grams or millimeters like Thinsulate or neoprene. They use their own performance levels like PrimaLoft Sport for Mid to high performance or PrimaLoft One for ultimate performance.

                Neoprene is a slightly different insulation material that is often used in waders. It is measured in millimeters of thickness and is naturally waterproof. Neoprene a very great insulation material, however; it is not a very breathable material.  Neoprene thickness is what constitutes its insulation levels. Usually a 3 mm neoprene will be optimal for mild to cool conditions or a moderate to high activity level. 5 mm neoprene of course will be a little warmer and is great for cold weather conditions with very moderate activity levels. Then you have 8 mm neoprene which is for extremely cold weather conditions or very little activity levels. 

                So next time you are out, remember the proper insole keeps your foot from aching. The correct boot height keeps your ankle from rolling. The right material keeps your feet dry. While at the same time the correct insulation can keep your feet not only warm but able to breathe. Shop now and check out what  Bass Pro Shops offers!



State Sales Tax Holiday

2013 Iowa State Sales Tax HolidayOur Iowa State Sales Tax Holiday on select clothing and footwear is this coming Friday, August 2, and Saturday, August 3!  This is the 14th year for what has turned into a very popular two days of shopping.

Most people wouldn't think of Bass Pro Shops as having some of those select items that qualify for the sales tax holiday. But, there are actually MANY items that fit the bill.

From head to toe there is something for everyone and all ages: Scarves to socks, bibs for babies and bibs for adults, coats, hats, coveralls, bandanas, bathing suits, belts with buckles, hooded shirts and sweatshirts, ponchos and pants, and rainwear and running shoes, flip-flops and hiking boots, and so much more!
The sales tax holiday (including no local option sales tax) applies to sales of an article of clothing or footwear having a selling price less than $100.
From our own well known brands such as RedHead, Natural Reflections, and Bob Timberlake, to Columbia, The North Face, Under Armour, Sperry, Reef, Rocky, Merrell, and other popular brands...make sure to include Bass Pro Shops in your sales tax holiday shopping sprees!
If you don't, you'll never know what you might miss.
For detailed information on the Iowa state sales tax holiday, and a list of other states with similar events, visit



Gear Up With Garmin

“Where are you going?”

So many possible answers…. That question could range from an extremely internal-life changing moment in life where a dear friend is concerned about you or as simple if the same friend is questioning if you really know where the Fry’s is. Deep stuff.

This question can be of great importance when outdoors. If you are planning a five-day hike you will probably want to let some people know where you are headed. Or let’s say you want to try your luck fishing somewhere else and decide to head upstream, this is stuff you should let others know.

Technology really has changed almost every aspect of life. This includes how we get around in the wilderness. No longer are we bound to maps and compasses, but have handheld GPS systems. These things have revolutionized how we navigate in this awesome world of ours. People love using their GPS systems so much that they have even spawned their very own sport, geocaching.

Garmin has been a leading brand in GPS units for a number of years now. Garmin has become a name that people trust. They have a wide variety of products that range all over. Their holiday commercial is still one of my favorites. They have also just revamped their popular Oregon 600 Series.

Once again, Brett let me know the down-low on these bad boys. (Brett is the man-of-the-hour in our Marine department and let me know all about our pontoon boats a while back.) He showed me three models, the: 600, 600T and 650T.

Now all three models are touch screen. Garmin added an extra ½” of screen to this series compared to the last. They use the transitioning screens and are activated by pressure. Back in the day, most of these worked off of heat for touch capabilities, but with these using pressure they are smooth. The image on screen glides effortlessly and faster than older models.  This also means you can wear gloves when using them. They do accept AA batteries, regular or rechargeable. Regular AA batteries should last for around 18 hours, which is pretty impressive.

The 600 is their base model. It is a great first GPS unit or upgrade for the seasoned user. The 600T comes with everything the 600 has and more! It comes loaded with topographic maps for the entire United States! The 650T comes loaded with all features mentioned so far, but with a little secret gem as well. An 8 megapixel camera! So while you are out exploring you can snap a few pictures and know exactly where you were when you took it.

Relative: “Oh what a cool picture! Where were you when you took it?”

You: “I was at 33.4369°N, 111.8671°W”

Relative: “Umm… what?”

Now Brett, the super star he is, pointed out a couple more things while I was there. For those with ATVs and UTVs, he had the Ram Mounts for this unit in-store. These things are heavy duty and great. The last thing you want to do while out riding is lose your new favorite toy!

He also noted that with hunting season coming up that boundaries are so important. If you are not sure of where you or the animal you just took is exactly, you can be in big trouble. has your solution! This site has some awesome choices for hunting maps. Their maps will let you know about public land, private land ownership and much more.

No matter what purpose you use your GPS for, just remember to be safe and take extra batteries! If you have a cool GPS story or tip, feel free to leave it below in a comment. Until next time Bass Proers… same Bass Pro Blog Website, same Bass Pro Blogger. Tacklin’ Trails and Dirtying Boots! Giddy Up Now!


Last Minute Father's Day Gift Ideas

Dad can sometimes be a little hard to shop for. Not to fear, Bass Pro is here! We went around to every department asking for their tips and best gift ideas, so here's what the pros said.


If your dad needs a new pole but you're not sure which one, our associate suggests Bass Pro Shops Megacast baitcast combo. It's pretty basic, but is a nice combo with bait caster. If he prefers a spinning reel, we have plenty of those in our store too. This combo is on sale for $49.99.




Our associate's favorite best seller right now is the Ascend Mid Hiker which he says if paired with the Ascend wool socks, makes for an amazing hiking experience. The boots have Vibram outsoles, the number one sole in the business, and is perfect for a hiking dad. It has bone-dry waterproof technology and moisture-wicking Cambrelle linings. They are also on sale for 69.97.




A popular item in the hunting department is the Kershaw volt II, an assisted opening, straight edge stainless steel pocket knife. It's on sale right now for $24.97 and going fast.

A trail cam would also be a great Father's Day gift since it's about that time to start putting them out. Along with the trail cam, you could get your dad attractant. Our associate gave us a tip though to go for the Trophy Rock Four65 package. Although it's a bit more expensive, they're broken up so it's more for your money.




A lot of people come in looking for 5.11 Tacticle Taclite vests and your dad is sure to love it too. It's lightweight with a ton of pockets and work for shooters, emergency personnel and authorities. It's pockets are of various sizes as well as conealed carry compartments.

If your dad is more in to hunting, our associate really likes the ever-popular Redhead camo hoodie that satarts at $44.99. He also suggests the True Fit Essentials t-shirts that are tagless and super soft that come in long or short sleeves starting at $12.99 for short and $14.99 for long




A great gift for dad would be a GPS. If he'd like a handheld, our associate suggests the Garmin GPSMAP62s for $349.99. If he likes to fish, the Huminbird Fish Finder 597ci HD DI Combo  would be a great idea as well for $599.99.

If he's a more adventureous father, the GoPro camera is an extremely hot item right now. It shoots video or photo with wifi capability. It can be mounted on a bike, helmet, vehicle and more for hands free footage. Very, very cool.




The Browning two burner stove is on sale for $99.99 and our associate has one and absolutely loves it. He told me I needed to tell you that. He also said dads would like the Bass Pro Shops fish fryer also on sale for $29.97. It has a 10.5qt strainer basket and is really great if your dad likes to fry.

Our associate also suggested the antigravity lounger on sale for $89.97as well, describing it as a "big man's chair." So while your dad is waiting for his food  to be done cooking, he can lay back in this nicely padded, recliner chair with adjustable pillow.




The men's RedHead Ringer pcoket tees have been flying off the shelves. They're on sale right now for two for $15 and are very soft and comfortable. To go with the shirts, you could get dad some RedHead Macks Creek Shorts too, on sale for $14.97




Our gifts associate had a ton of great ideas for dad. If he likes to cook, she suggested one of our many BBQ or grilling books with some of our BBQ sauces to go with it. These would also pair really well with that Browning two burner stove. If he's a hunter, we have many hunting DVDs and books as well as Timex or Casio watchse that have special features geared for outdoors. She also said that anything on our Duck Dynasty display would make great gifts for Father's Day because they are so popular.



If you have any questions about these items or need help with other gift ideas, don't hesitate to ask one of our associates in our store. They're here to help and they all have some pretty great ideas.








Turn Some Pages for Children's Book Week

Do you remember your favorite book as a child?  Ferdinand the Bull? The Bobbsey Twins? Horton Hears a Who?

What child DOESN'T like to be read to? When it comes to quality time, there is no time more well spent than reading to, and WITH, a child. Research shows that children who are read to interactively (with the reader making sure the child understands what is being read) become better readers and achieve better in school. I vividly remember my mom and dad both reading to me; during the summer I made MANY bicycle trips to the library each week to check out books.  I loved to read...and I have no doubt my language skills and love of writing are a direct result.

Even at the age of nine, my mom and I read The Little Prince together - a heavy-duty book for a nine-year-old -and she explained the philosophical aspects of the book. To this day it remains one of my favorites.

May 13-19 is Children's Book Week. Fortunately, there are now so many books to choose from for kids. Of course, at Bass Pro Shops we feature books that focus on the outdoors. Though you, or your child, may have an iPad or a Kindle, etc., why not pick up a good old-fashioned, hold-it-in-your hand, turn the pages, book?Unlikely Friendships

Here are some of my top picks!

Unlikely Friendships

  • 47 incredible stories of unexpected animal friendships
  • Includes Koko the gorilla and All Ball the kitten
  • Written by “National Geographic” writer Jennifer HollandAdventures with Jonny
  • Full-color photographs

Adventures with Jonny - Let's Go Fishing

  • Pique your child's interest in the sport of fishing!
  • Parents' "How-to" Fishing Guide to start parents off on the right foot as they walk into the world of fishing
  • Name That Fish! Family Game that educates your child on how to identify the most common species of fish

Do Princesses Wear Hiking Boots?Do Princesses Wear Hiking Boots

  • Fun book with positive message
  • Engaging rhyme scheme
  • Whimsical illustrations

The Old Farmer's Almanac for Kids

  • Honored with five International Book AwardsOld Farmer's Almanace for Kids
  • Filled with facts, stories, and activities
  • Full-color pages
  • Calendar with Halloween ideas and more
  • Wacky ways to predict the weather
  • Gardening advice
  • 12 fun and easy projects
  • Ages 8 and up

For more information on reading with your kids and literacy, in general, visit Reading is Fundamental at



Spring Cleaning - Get Ready for Camping!


The nearing of spring means some outdoors lovers' thoughts turn to camping adventures!  However, spring cleaning chores come first - for the camper that means organizing, cleaning and making sure your equipment, from the biggest tent to the smallest stake, is ready to go!

Bass Pro Shops Altoona Camping expert Peter Maley suggests taking time each day to work on sorting and evaluating. He divides everything out into groups and then attacks each one. He offers up these tips for getting your equipment gear ready for camping season 2013.

Divide and Conquer!

Personal Gear - Clothing, boots, personal care items, etc.

Boots, socks, footwear: Make sure your boots and other camping-related footwear are in good condition...down to the laces!

Personal toiletries – It helps to have a personal care kit that is solely for camping. Then you never have to remember, "Did I bring deodorant?" Contact lens cleaner, razor, toothbrush, bug repellent, shampoo, extra sunglasses, sunscreen...have personal care items dedicated to camping.

First Aid Kit - Make sure your first aid kit is fully stocked - more sunscreen, adhesive bandages of various sizes, adhesive tape, non-stick and gauze pads, elastic bandages, antibiotic ointments, etc.  Bass Pro Shops has first aid kits designed for different levels of care need,, from basic, to backpacker, to family care kit...designed to give you what you need and not what you DON'T need!


Tent – Closely examine your tent for tears and wear. Check the seams and repair, if possible. This is where you really have to evaluate if it's worth it to make a good repair or just buy a new tent. 

Poles and stakes– Check for splitting or fraying of fiberglass poles. Figure the number of stakes you need, count what you have, and replenish - plus add in a couple of extras!

Awning - Just like the tent, check your awning or canopy for wear and tear.

Chairs - Again, make sure your chairs are sturdy and give them a cleaning.

Your camping equipment and tool kit should include sturdy rope, and plenty of it, for use with the tent, canopy and awnings. Don't forget a knife in a sheath, and an ax or hatchet (good for chopping or for pounding in stakes!). Some tent camper also use a tarp under their tent, to protect it from puncturing and moisture.

Backpacks - If you're a backpacker, check your pack for rips, bad seams, broken zippers, bad frames, etc.  Evaluate if it's time to get a new one...remember, you're going to be using it again and hiking through the mountains is not a time to have it break!

Sleeping bag – Wash and dry your sleeping bag, if you didn't do it after its last use. You'll want to use a front-loading machine, as the agitator could easily damage a bag.

Headlamps, flashlights - Replace batteries and keep extras in your equipment tote or box.

Stoves and lanterns - Make sure they work and that you have enough fuel.

Cooking Gear

Clean your pots, pans, utensils, etc.

Put everything in a plastic tote for easy storage and transport.

Make sure you have the basics such as tongs, cutting knife, spatula, stirring spoons, aluminum foil, salt/pepper and other seasonings, and enough utensils for everyone. 

Re-season your cast iron.


Some products that Maley recommends from Bass Pro which might help you with your camping gear maintenance and repair are:

McNett Tenacious Tape - Real tent fabric and a long-lasting, high strength adhesive that provides nearly invisible, permanent repairs for tents, mosquito netting, backpacks, rain gear, sleeping bags, tarps, sleeping pads, and more.

Sawyer Permethrin Insect Repellent Spray  - Comes in aerosol or non-aerosol. Can be use on clothes, sleeping bags, tents, and gear bags. Lasts up to six washes!

Pole Repair Kits

Camp Dry and ReviveX Air Dry Waterproofing - Camp Dry is a silicone-based waterproofing spray. ReviveX is non-silicone.


Whether small or big tent, pop-up camper, or RV, the key is to be organized, make sure everything is in good repair, and to ENJOY THE GREAT OUTDOORS!


Questions for our camping experts? Ask them here or find us on Facebook at or on Twitter @bpsaltoona.



One Boot, Two Boots

One Boot, Two Boots

Recently I have been looking for different items to go hunting with in the line to clothing. This of course also includes boots. Since I have an interest in hiking and in need of hiking boots I decided to look into boots that I could use for both.

I decided that I should educate myself on the difference in the two types of boots. After doing my research I have decided that it is best to purchase two pair of boots as they are built with each activity in mind. Here is why.

Hiking boots are made to be porous so that air can get to your feet as most hiking is done in warmer months. They are also made with lighter weight material so as to not tire you out walking with unnecessary weight. The sole is designed in a way that allows you to walk more comfortable on loose rocks and will grip the surface more readily on inclines.

Hunting boots are heavier as most generally hunting is done in cooler months. They are designed to completely insulate against cold or freezing temperatures.  They are also made to be water resistant to keep the feet dry. The sole of the hunting boot is made flatter and tend to be stiffer; this is to keep noise down as the hunter walks across leaves and twigs.

Regardless of what boot you are purchasing make sure your boot fits comfortably. It is important that they are the correct size. If they are tight you will find the walk painful. If too loose you will quickly develop blisters and your walk will also be painful.

While you are shopping for boots remember that the correct sock is also very important. Ask one of our very knowledgeable associates for help in purchasing what is right for your need. 


Best National Parks in Winter: Bryce Canyon National Park

bryceA giant rock city draped in snow.

Natural erosion helped create Bryce Canyon National Park, one of the most spectacular national parks in the country. Giant sandstone creations, known as hoodoos, attract more than one million visitors annually. But if these visitors aren't seeing them covered with snow, they are missing something truly beautiful.

The hoodoos stand like giant skyscrapers in a large rock city. These amber and pink-colored formations make you feel as though you've traveled back in time when prehistoric creatures roamed the lands. And their colors are only enhanced when layers of puffy, white snow sparkle atop them.

Simply hiking around Bryce Canyon is incredible in the winter. With less visitors, one can feel the peace of nature while on the trails. In fact, sometimes the only noise heard is the snow crunching beneath your boots. The park's most popular attraction, Bryce Amphitheater, offers a full day's worth of hiking and it's landmarks - like Thor's Hammer and Silent City - are more colorful than in any other season.

Besides strolling around trails, the park offers areas for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Skiers of all skill-levels can slip through meadows, forests of ponderosa pine, and along the Bryce Canyon rim. No matter how you choose to tour the park, it's beauty will leave you speechless.

Why You Should Go: Earth Science was your favorite class in high school.



Layer, Layer, Layer

Layer, Layer, Layer

By Mark Campagnola

Any time you hunt from October through March there is always a high possibility for bad weather. Even towards the end of September you are running the chance of dealing with some really nasty elements. The last time I hunted elk with a gun (1976) we had above normal temperatures the first few days of the hunt and then a snow storm came in overnight dumping almost 2 feet of snow followed by some very frigid temperatures. The storm was bad enough that my brother Gene and I had to walk the horses out instead of riding them because the danger of one slipping and going down with you on top was very high. With that said, what type of clothing do you need for a late season hunt?

It wasn't too long ago that wearing big, bulky clothing was the norm.  However, the days of walking around like the Michelin Man are over. The technology of today’s clothing allows you to layer like many years ago but with less bulk, less weight, and less sweat. When you hike you sweat,  the more you perspire the wetter your clothes become and the colder you will be when you stop for any length of time. Plus your chances for getting hyperthermia are heightened. This is where the layering effect comes in handy.

 The most important piece is choosing the correct base layer.  Base layers are the first piece of clothing you put on.  The are supposed to be light weight, breathable, and moisture wicking for your comfort. Base layers come in a multitude of choices, from cool early fall weather down to very cold extreme 20 below zero weather. Bass Pro/Red Head has two different types of base layers, first is their Endura Skin and second is the Red Head XPS Premium Base Layers.

The Red Head Endura Skin has two types of All Season Performance Base Layers. Relaxed Fit and Compression Fit, both have Anti-Odor Technology (AXE) and 4-way stretch fabric that is form fitting, comfortable, and wicks moisture away as you sweat.

The Red Head XPS Premium Base Layers have the whole gamut of base layers you would ever need for any type of hunting you could come up with. From those cool crisp fall mornings to the middle of winter when it could be 30 below, Red Head XPS Premium Base Layers have you covered with four different styles? From the Base Layer 1.0, Midweight 2.0, Expedition Weight 3.0, and the High –Loft XTREAM 4.0 All four have the new X-Odor for anti-odor protection.

Everyone is different when it comes to what type of base layer that works the best for different situations. If my son and I were on a goose hunt and were sitting in a pit blind I may use the Expedition Weight 3.0 and my son might use the Mid-weight 2.0 because he has a higher metabolism and doesn’t need that little extra added warmth.  If you do a lot of cold weather hunting, try these base layers out. You might find out what you have been missing out on for so long.

Now that I have the right base layer on for the weather conditions I’ll put my HECS Stealthsceen top and bottom on over my base layer and then a True Fit T-Shirt and then my Silent-Hide pants and Silent-Hide button up shirt. From here I wear a fleece vest under my Silent-Hide hooded sweatshirt jacket. With this layering and a good pair of boots and gloves I can hunt in below freezing weather all day.

So this is all well and good you say, but what about while your out and the weather starts getting worse, the wind starts blowing harder, the temperature starts dropping, then what? This is why I always carry a day pack when I’m out. When I’m in this possible situation I always have one of two sets of rain gear with me. The first set I carry all the time is the Red Head Stretch Rainwear. This rain gear, pants and coat, packs down to a size that’s a little bit bigger than a softball each and takes up very little room in my pack. Stretch Rainwear is not insulated to help with the colder temps but it is wind proof so it will keep the wind chill factor down. My other set of rain gear is the Squaltex bibs and coat which is insulated, water proof, and wind proof, but it doesn’t pack down as small as my Stretch Rainwear does. With the right base layer and the rest of my layering system on plus adding my Squaltex rain gear I can stay out in some pretty nasty weather for a long time.

The above is how I layer for most hunts, but, when I know the weather will be below zero with the wind and/or snow or just flat out cold I break out my Red Head 200 gram Thermolite insulated parka and my 150 gram Thermolite insulated bibs, both are wind and water proof. I still keep my Stretch Rainwear in my pack along with an extra pair of gloves, hat for my ears and a full face mask to cover my whole head and face down past my neck line.

I’ve been out where the ambient temperature was 5 degrees with a steady wind of 8 mph and wind gusts over 35 mph giving us wind chills between 20 and 25 degrees below zero. I was able to record all this with my Brunton ADC Summit, and with the way I layered, I was able to stay out about six hours and not get cold, plus I had the mobility to move around without any problem. On this trip I wore all the above plus my Red Head 16”Ultra Hunter side-zip boots with 1200 grams of Thinsulate. The gloves I wore were the Red Head Insulated Hunter Glove with 70 grams of Thinsulate. Without any of the above there was no way I could have stayed out any longer then maybe a half hour.


Mark Campagnola

Hunt Hard & Shoot Straight


Memories and traditions

     I want to take time to reflect on holiday traditions, memories and legacies. I see many of the same guests coming in to BassPro with their children and grandchildren to enjoy what we have to offer. They make memories when they visit the aquariums, Great pumpkin patch, fishing pond, kayak demos or Santas Wonderland. I have been lucky enough over the years to build great memories of visiting BassPro in Springfield as my children were growing up. We would always sit in the auditorium and enjoy the fish feeding. Just this week I brought my grand daughter to the store to celebrate her first birthday with a ride on the Carousel in Santas Wonderland. We spent a lot of time sitting in front of the aquarium watching the fish. I am happy that my children grew up with the joy of visiting BassPro and were always full of wonder as we walked around the store on our visits. I retired the year before the Olathe Kansas store opened and waited anxiously as the store was built and was happy to apply for a job when BassPro opened. In the years since BassPro opened I have been privileged to interact with many guests and their children and grandchildren. I enjoy watching the happiness in the kids as they explore and are exposed to all the wonders at the store.

   I started a new memory on Thanksgiving when I was married in front of the fireplace in the banquet room at Uncle Bucks restaraunt in the Olathe store. My wife and I took our honeymoon in Hawaii and we were sort of surprised at how many things we took on our honeymoon which were purchased at BassPro. We spent a lot of time hiking on the lava beds and some hiking inside lava tubes. We both wore RedHead lightweight hiking boots and Ascend merino wool hiking socks. My bride asked why we needed to take gear like this. When hiking the rough uneven lava, she was happy that we had taken the time to pack these boots which gave her ankle support as well as foot protection from the sharp lava. She was glad one day when we were hiking on the lava fields that I packed Bass Pro Shops® XPS® 2 Liter Hydration Packs so we could have snacks, room to carry cameras and plenty of water to drink. When we wanted to view wildlife close up it was nice to have Bass Pro Shops® 8x22 Compact Binoculars in our packs.

    I am lucky to have so many memories at this holiday time of all the great trips I made to BassPro with my children over the years. I am pleased to see so many guests and their families making memories at our store. I look at my granddaughter and hope to leave the legacy of friendship, fun and learning at BassPro.

Happy Holidays from our family ar BassPro Olathe

to your family


Dennis Wise

Camping associate