Santa’s not the only one making lists and checking them twice this time of year. We know plenty of you are compiling wish lists in your tally books, guessing what your loved ones are pining for. This is where we come in. Last week we brought you 2015 Holiday Gift Guide and gCaptain readers responded by purchasing over $10,000 dollars worth of our recommended gifts! But we also received many emails from sailors who are working on deck in harsh conditions this winter. The type of guys who don’t want fancy gadgets but do want to stay warm while getting tossed about in the Winter North Atlantic. This guide is for you!
P.S. Here’s a link to all our gift guides, go check them out: gCaptain’s Holiday Gift Guides
Darn Tough Socks
Built to keep comfortable and remain durable through strenuous activities, Darn Tough Work Socks provides high performance socks that don’t fall apart in rough conditions. They’re made with a blend of Merino wool, nylon, and Lycra spandex—keeping your feet cool in the summer, warm in the winter, and remaining stretchy all year round. Breathable so you won’t sweat out of your shoes and anti-microbial (anti-fungal too!) to reduce odor and wetness in rainy conditions. Best of all they come with a Lifetime Warranty!
Forget that merino wool feels so smooth and comfortable, forget that it’s breathable and natural… regardless of location working on deck all day makes you sweat and sweaty boxers stink. Literally! That is unless they are made out of wool which is naturally antimicrobial, antifungal and naturally anti-odorous like these Wooly Boxers. While they aren’t as tough as the Darn Tough socks mentioned above they are stronger than basic cotton and darn comfortable to boot.
P.S. They are available in a Boxer-Brief version too!
Sou’wester To Keep Your Noggin Dry
There is nothing worse than getting wet and cold on watch, especially when the rain starts dripping down the back of your neck which is why a Southwester style hat like the Grundens Sandhamn 21 Sou’wester with its traditional scooped back awning is the only choice for harsh conditions. Inferior foul weather gear leaks at the seams but not Grundens which is the gear trusted by hardy Alaska Fisherman. Sure you’re going to look like a dork wearing this hat (especially if you choose high visibility orange or green colors!) but you won’t care what you look like when the barometer drops and the rain starts falling sideways!
All sailors know that tools and equipment aren’t made equal. Even more, there aren’t floating hardware stores out at sea that we can use to replace broken equipment. So for me, the most important thing about the tools I use is reliability, and this is where Spyderco’s Atlantic Salt delivers most. Another important consideration is safety. With unavoidable uncertainty of sea life, having a knife that won’t injure you or your fellow sailors is essential. The Atlantic Salt’s sheepfoot blade will keep you from cutting yourself open while working in pitching seas, the big hole will allow you open the knife one-handed with work gloves and the serrations will help you cut that rope loose quickly.
P.S. Don’t forget to pick up a blade sharpening system that can handle Spyderco’s serrated edge.
Atlas Fleece Insulated Gloves
These gloves are going to be overkill for 90% of the sailors reading this but for those 10% that plan to sail the Southern Ocean or Bering Sea you’ll want a work glove that’s tough, waterproof, extends past the wrist and is lined with cozy fleece. Not many have all these features along with positive reviews from Alaska Fishermen but Atlas Glove’s Triple Dipped PVC Gloves with Insulating Acrylic Fleece Liner certainly fit the bill. And they are inexpensive to boot!
Stronger Lighter PCord
Paracord has a thousands uses from replacing worn out shoelaces to lashing down your suitcase when the zipper explodes at Charles De Gaulle Airport (true story!). It also makes a great tether for your expensive Spyderco knife. But paracord is made of nylon which isn’t the strongest or lightest material available not to mention that it stretches like bungy cord under load. Well this is 2015, not 1945, and new technology provides us with stronger, less stretchy, (albeit more expensive) options like Dyneema. Our favorite PCord replacement is Lashit Cord by Samson
One Badass BackPack
Want to the toughest most durable backpack to bring your expensive laptop to work? Want that back to open wide for airport security inspections? Want a bag that you are 100% certain will not fall apart when you climb up a Jacobs ladder? Want the bag I use to carry my stuff to gCaptain HQ? Then look no further than the GoRuck GR1 a backpack built for harsh conditions but office friendly to boot.
P.S. Here’s a review from one of my favorite sites Tools&Toys: goRuck GR1 InDepth Review
“100 Mile per hour” tape, takes its name from being so strong that it could keep a Jeep together while driving at 100 MPH. As a result, every good soldier doesn’t leave home without a roll of this MilSpect tape. In fact, 100 MPH tape is commonly documented for use in several Navy operating manuals and Polyken’s 231 Premium Military Grade Duct Tape is often suggested due to it’s durability and waterproof adhesive backing. I don’t believe we have to list the many uses for duct tape but we will give you one tip; In order to protect your gear properly, use 3 layers of duct tape to wrap bricks with reinforced corners.
P.S. Pick up a roll of Polyken’s premium Gaffers Tape while your at it.
A Simple Dry Bag
Sometimes you need to bring gear through wet environments and you want it to stay dry. Simple dry bags are like fowl weather gear for you stuff and, because your a working sailor, you want something that’s tough and durable. Adventure Lion’s premium dry bags are durable but also light and versatile because they are constructed with state of the art, Pure Grade Y7 .5mm thick 500D (Denier Density) WATERPROOF Polymer. Adventure Lion Dry Sacks WILL last a lifetime and if they don’t the company will replace them. This material is designed to be tough enough to help prevent abrasions, punctures, tears, and whatever else Mother Nature can throw at it. The beauty of this material is how soft and flexible it remains, while being this strong. Even on deck in the Bering Sea this bag should stay pliable and easy to manipulate.