When you want to know where to shop for the best selection and prices, you ask someone you trust, right? This year, we asked some of our favorite sources for you—then we sprinkled our own advice in, too. With our 2022 holiday shopping guide, you can make everyone on your list happy right here in town.
Outfit your favorite outdoorsfolk right here in town with these recommendations from locals.
For the skier or camper
“Cross-country skiers have been buying their skis, bindings, and boots at Pathfinder for decades. It’s also the only shop in town for downhill gear—they have staff trained in boot-fitting and ski techs who can install bindings and tune skis. For accessories, sunglasses or goggles are important for protection from wind and sun. Cross-country skiing poles of adjustable length can be optimized for a variety of snow conditions. A $5 ski scraper for less-than-stellar snow conditions is good in the stocking.
“When it comes to camping gear, Dunham’s is the bargain basement in town. Tents there under $200 are amazing compared to a generation ago. It’s also your first stop for sleeping bags. With a great headlamp, you can hike and finish up after dark with no problem, and Pathfinder ranks high in that department. For cold weather camping, mid-weight synthetic long underwear is a difference-maker—start your search for that at Dick’s Sporting Goods.
“Gift ideas for both: Nothing is better than a great pair of mittens! Hand warmer packets make excellent stocking stuffers. Softshell pants revolutionized winter, and wool hats lined with fleece are the ticket. I love 100% wool socks by Darn Tough—you can find these at Sportsman’s Warehouse.”
— Adam Polinski, loves to camp and ski, longtime active member of Coopers Rock Foundation
For the paddler
“We’re lucky to have lots of places to get paddling gear in town. Pathfinder is a great locally owned shop with a nice selection, and Dunham’s is a regional chain with a good-sized inventory. For fishing kayaks and canoes, Sportsman’s Emporium is local and knowledgeable. Each of the bigger chains—Bass Pro Shops, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and Sportsman’s Warehouse—carries a selection, too.
“Nice gifts for paddlers: A small or medium-size dry bag for keeping your things together and protected is a perfect gift. A whistle is a great stocking stuffer—that’s required when you’re on West Virginia waters. I always carry a small light, like a Maglite. And something that’s really useful is a portable phone charger—you want to be sure you can communicate if you need advice or directions or you’re having trouble, or you just want to send photos. That’s a fine gift for anybody who does outdoor stuff.”
— Mary Wimmer, avid kayaker and coordinator of the Morgantown Area Paddlers
For the cyclist
“My bike was squeaking on the rail-trail so my friend and I stopped at Wamsley Cycles, and they fixed it and didn’t charge me anything—they said just come back another time for a full service. I definitely will! I plan on buying another bike, too, and I’ll buy it there. For gifts, they have all the accessories, from small gifts like a water bottle cage or gloves, and cycling helmets, of course, all the way up to all kinds of bikes. For someone who doesn’t have pant straps, those are useful—you don’t want your pants getting stuck in your chain. A bike light is also useful.”
— A. Iyengar, a recreational cyclist in Morgantown
For the bowhunter
“I live in Tucker County now, but I started going to Sportsman’s Emporium when I was a student at WVU. It has a great family atmosphere—you feel welcome there whether you’re just looking or they’re fitting you for a bow or you need accessories. I like to go to the independent shops, there or Sportsman’s Refuge at Cheat Lake—the small shops really know the gear, because they handle it every day. An inexpensive gift for a bowhunter is arrow wraps. A sight or a release is also a good gift. And a dozen arrows—you can never have too many arrows. My favorite brand is Gold Tip.”
— Daniel Clower, bowhunter and competitive archer
READ MORE ARTICLES FROM MORGANTOWN LOWDOWN
READ MORE STORIES FROM THE MORGANTOWN WINTER 2022 ISSUE
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