13 Pieces of Maine-Made Gear for Your Outdoor Summer

Backpacks to bug spray to . . . buoy bats?

Venturing into great outdoor spaces, Leon Leonwood Bean wrote in his 1942 guide, Hunting, Fishing and Camping, “teaches us to forget the mean and petty things of life.” Boy, do we ever need that lesson now. Some of the best moments of our lives take place outdoors in Maine, and in the midst of a pandemic and a torrent of grim news, venturing outdoors is crucial to our physical and emotional wellbeing. Lucky for us, Maine entrepreneurs haven’t missed a beat. In the tradition of L.L.Bean, they’re making gear, clothing, and toys to enhance our outdoor fun. Come out and play.

Shaw & Tenney wooden canoe paddles
Photographed by Emma Garcelon

Wooden Canoe Paddles

The Penobscot, shown here in walnut, and the Algonquin, in ash, are each hewn from a single piece of rough-sawn wood by an iconic 162-year-old Maine outdoor brand. From $115. Shaw & Tenney, 20 Water St., Orono. 207-424-1554. shawandtenney.com

Trail Model 4 Hiking Boots from L.L. Bean
Courtesy of L.L. Bean

Trail Model 4 Hiking Boots

We like our hiking boots to feel as comfy as our favorite pair of sneakers but supportive too. This waterproof shoe for men and women does, plus the rubber outsoles are perfect for traversing Maine’s rocky peaks. From $109. L.L.Bean, 95 Main St., Freeport. 800-441-5713. llbean.com

Rugged Seas waterproof base backpack
Photographed by Mark Fleming

Bib Pack 

This backpack’s waterproof base is made from lobstermen’s hauling pants. Designed by commercial fisherman Taylor Strout and his wife, Nikki. $70. Rugged Seas, Cape Elizabeth. ruggedseas.com

No Fly Zone Tick-Repelling gaiters from Dog Not Gone
Courtesy of Dog Not Gone

Tick-Repelling Gaiters

No Fly Zone gaiters are treated with the insect-repellent permethrin. Worn over shoes, they stop grass-dwelling (and disease-carrying) ticks right where they latch on. $30. Dog Not Gone, 40 Dane Ave., Skowhegan. 207-479-5500. dognotgone.com

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Dyneema tent from Hyperlite Mountain Gear
Courtesy of Hyperlite Mountain Gear

Ultamid 2 Tent

You can adapt this 1.17-pound tent to whatever wild place you’re hiking with a system of inserts, like the bug-mesh sleeping cocoon. Sloping walls of waterproof Dyneema give rain no chance to pool or penetrate. $735. Hyperlite Mountain Gear, Biddeford. 800-464-9208. hyperlitemountaingear.com

Good to Go backpacking meals
Photographed by Mark Fleming

Chefy Backpacking Meals

Iron Chef winner Jennifer Scism adds to the adventure of the hiking trail with exotic dehydrated dinners, like bibimbap and Thai curry. $13.50. Good to Go, Kittery. 844-484-8646. goodto-go.com

JP Nickerson Maine bicentennial knife from Maine Knife Company
Photographed by Mark Fleming

Dirigo Woodsman Hunting & Fishing Knife

Lifelong outdoorsman JP Nickerson designed this knife for Maine’s bicentennial, and only 200 will be sold. A portion of sales is donated to the Maine Game Warden Foundation. $229. Maine Knife Company, Bangor. 207-852-5296. maineknifecompany.com

Flick the Tick bug spray
Photographed by Mark Fleming

Flick the Tick

Heather Peel and Crystal Hamlin, outdoors-loving sisters with outdoors-loving kids, concocted this all-natural blend of cedarwood, citronella, and essential oils to keep ticks at bay. $10.95. Flick the Tick, Fayette. 207-500-2040. flickthetick.com

camp oven Maine Guide Charles Gill, available at Campfire Cookware
Courtesy of Charles Gill

Sproul Baker

This simple oven bakes biscuits, pies, cakes, cookies, and more with reflected heat from a campfire. Built by Maine Guide Charles Gill. $149.50. Campfire Cookware, 50 Pork Point Rd., Bowdoinham. 207-666-3116. campfirecookware.com

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Hunter’s Delight Campfire Ring
Photographed by Mark Fleming

Hunter’s Delight Campfire Ring

Cutouts of deer, moose, and spruce trees glow when a fire burns inside this heavy-duty steel ring. From $175.  TPC’n-Smore, 142 Elm St., Brewer. 207-989-3473. tpcnsmore.com

maple croquet set from North Meadow Croquet
Photographed by Mark Fleming

Maple Croquet Set

With maple mallets and regulation-weight resin balls, this nine-wicket croquet set is designed for serious backyard players, but even dabblers will enjoy making the heavy, colored balls go thock! From $185. North Meadow Croquet, 31 Green St., Norway. 207-743-7799. northmeadowcroquet.com

Maine Lobster Cornhole Board from Laid Back Lumber
Photographed by Mark Fleming

Maine Lobster Cornhole Board

Sumner Averill builds these boards with birch plywood, then hands them off to friend Bruce Taylor to print the Maine-y designs. Find them at Wiscasset’s Ames True Value Hardware (447 Bath Rd.) or online. $279/set of two boards and eight beanbags. Laid Back Lumber, Alna. 207-380-7761. wickedcornhole.com

 Buoy Bat and Ball from The Buoy Guy
Photographed by Mark Fleming

Buoy Bat and Ball

It’s hard to swing and miss when your bat is a fat, colorfully painted foam lobster buoy. That’s why the Buoy Bat is fun for little kids, not to mention adults who can send that ball flying. $42. The Buoy Guy, 119 Wild Rose Ln., South Berwick. 207-704-0260. thebuoyguy.com