This holiday season, give a gift to your loved ones and your local economy at the same time. Dozens of outdoor gear companies, large and small, call the Northeast home. Many of them manufacture at least some of their products in the region, while others produce their entire collections locally. If you’ve got an outdoor enthusiast on your list, consider shopping local this holiday season.
It’s the rare product that exists, almost unchanged, for more than a decade. 32North of Biddeford, Maine, produces one of them: the iconic, hyper-durable STABILicers Maxx($51.95). With 34 steel cleats under each foot, these grippers lash securely to almost any footwear and provide maximum traction for folks who spend a lot of time on ice and snow. A range of other options are available including the Hike XP for serious trail conditions ($49.95) and the Walk for more casual, around-town use ($21.95). All of the company’s products are made in Maine.
Hyperlite Mountain Gear
Is there an ultralight hiker on your shopping list? For a serious—and seriously lightweight—gift, consider the featherweight packs and shelters from Hyperlite Mountain Gear, which operates out of a renovated textile mill in Biddeford, Maine. Whether it’s the sub-2-pound 2400 Windrider Pack ($285) or a cuben fiber tarp or shelter ($280 and up), you’re sure to buoy the spirits of your ultralight fanatic. For stocking stuffers, check out the company’s selection of affordable sub-ounce stuff sacks ($14 and up) made from space-age cuben fiber.
Peterboro Basket Company
Yep, there’s a basket for that. Peterboro Basket Company, located in Peterborough, N.H., offers a vast array of containers designed to meet nearly every need you can imagine—and then some—made from white ash harvested in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont. If you’re shopping for a cyclist, consider the line of bicycle baskets ($30 to $50). Or browse the entire range of offerings, many in the $25 to $75 range, including everything from classic picnic baskets to laundry baskets, kitchen baskets to storage baskets, pie baskets towalker/wheelchair baskets, and the list goes on.
New England Ropes and Sterling Rope
Or maybe you’re in need of gift ideas for climbers. Two rope companies manufacture their wares in the Northeast. New England Ropesproduces its Maxim line of recreational climbing ropes at its substantial factory in Fall River, Mass. (They also make a wide range of ropes for industrial and commercial use, in case you need any crane or mining ropes.) From its headquarters in Biddeford, Maine,Sterling Rope manufactures climbing and rescue ropes, plus a colorful array of always-useful accessory cords.
Peter Limmer and Sons
There is perhaps no hiking footwear as legendary as a pair of custom-made Limmer boots. Produced by hand in Intervale, N.H., each all-leather boot is built to precisely fit the wearer’s foot shape and to last for many years, if not decades, of hard-core use and abuse. It can be the gift of a lifetime for the serious hiker on your list, though patience and a significant investment are required—there is a one- to two-year waiting period for custom boots ($50 deposit required to get on the list) and each pair runs roughly $650 to $750 depending on the materials used. Consider it the ultimate hiking gift of delayed gratification.
And that’s just the beginning. Other notable manufacturers based in the Northeast include:
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