The Outpost of Holland outfits for winter fun

By David Hoekman

photo of Jim Misiewicz and a DrinkTank
Photo: David Hoekman
Jim Misiewicz and a DrinkTank

Winter’s snow and cold is no match for the clothing, boots and equipment carried by The Outpost of Holland, 25 E. Eighth St.

The outdoor specialty retailer offers everything from top quality clothing to standup paddleboards, said manager Linda Parker.

Whether you want to be warm while walking on the snow melt system in downtown Holland or venture outside of town on snow shoes, the store’s knowledgeable staff helps customers select the right clothes and equipment.

Jim Misiewicz, from The Outpost’s hard goods department, said snowshoeing is a very popular winter activity in the Holland area.

“During the summer, we have hundreds and hundreds of people who hike and walk,” he said. “Snowshoeing is just an avenue to continue that exercise and enjoy the outdoors. It gives you the means of being out there and exploring. Snowshoeing is not an exotic sport. It’s walking.”

Snow shoes sold at The Outpost are teardrop-shaped and made of lightweight metal — not the huge wrap-around rawhide and wooden show shoes of the past.

Today’s snow shoes are an extension of the wearer’s regular shoes but with a cleat on the bottom, Misiewicz said.

Snowshoeing is a full winter sport because the trails are snow-covered even when the snow has started to disappear from lawns.

photo of Jim Misiewicz and snow shoes
Photo: David Hoekman
Jim Misiewicz and snow shoe gear

“Snowshoeing is a way of continuing your walk throughout the winter,” Misiewicz said.

Parker said regular walking in the winter is also popular.

“In Saugatuck-Douglas, there is quite a strong walking group,” she said. “Every day they are out there walking. People come in and say, I want to walk on the beach every day and I want to stay warm.”

So The Outpost’s experienced staff goes to work.

“You don’t want to start with a cotton base layer or longjohns,” Parker said. “You have to move that moisture away from your body. We teach people how to dress from the inside out.”

Misiewicz said DrinkTanks are one of the hot gifts for the holiday season.

The growler-size container (it also comes in a gallon size) features double-wall vacuum insulation and is carbonation friendly. Although perfect for craft beer, DrinkTanks can also be used for soup, hot chocolate and coffee.

Hammocks, he said, are beyond popular and a huge gift item, especially for college students.

Hammocks are also widely used in camping and in winter camping — thanks to sleeping bags and a quilt-like piece hung under the hammock for insulation.