Made in China? Made in the USA? What does it matter anyway? As a consumer, when you make the choice to buy American-made products, you help keep local businesses strong and support domestic job growth at the same time. At Orange Screw, we are dedicated to US production and we love learning about other companies which share this core value.
This holiday season, we have created a Made in the USA Holiday Gift Guide to spotlight some these like-minded companies and to bring a greater awareness to the importance of US manufacturing and it’s positive effects on our economy, our communities, and our families.
Our team has selected 12 outdoor products that are manufactured by companies that provide a combined 1073 jobs in the United States. Some are ambitious young companies and some are well established brands. Although we have personal experience with many of these items, none of these companies have paid us or given us free product to be mentioned here. We just really like them.
Thanks for taking the time to learn more about what you purchase and who makes it. I hope that you have a wonderful holiday season.
Founder, Orange Screw
Voile Straps are the ultimate alternative to duct tape, nylon straps, and bungee cords. Made of tough stretchy polyurethane with a durable buckle, they will secure, bundle, and repair almost anything on the go. These handy straps were originally designed to hold skis together, but are equally useful off the ski hill. Voile has been making these straps, along with awesome backcountry skis and snowboards, in their Salt Lake City factory for over 30 years. Voile Straps are available in multiple sizes and colors and I have found that you can never have too many.
We think that there is a place in your backpack for a paper journal in today’s world of electronics, batteries, and planned obsolescence. Made in the USA for 101 years, the Rite in the Rain spiral notebook is no standard notebook with it’s durable waterproof paper and a tough cover to shield your notes. The 42 sheets of archival-grade paper never need batteries and will last much longer than the latest operating system on your device. Whether you are recording your favorite campsites on a river trip, avalanche and weather observations in the backcountry, or just keeping track of your thoughts in the outdoors, this notebook has you covered.
Voke Tabs are chewable energy supplements derived from green tea, Guarana berry, and Acerola cherry with no artificial ingredients. One tab will provide a few hours of smooth, sugar-free energy with the caffeine equivalent to a cup of coffee. Each tin contains seven tabs. The Voke Tab was a simple idea dreamed up over a decade ago on a chairlift at a ski hill in Montana. The founder was looking for a healthy, convenient, and ultra portable energy solution to fuel long days in the mountains. I keep a tin in my Camelbak for long mountain bike rides.
Re-Play’s kid tableware is not specifically designed for outdoor pursuits but their products easily transition from the dining room to the campsite. Re-Play makes easy to clean and colorful plates, bowls, and cups that are built to last. All of their products are made from recycled milk jugs which keeps waste out of the landfill and uses less energy. As of 2017, Re-Play has kept approximately 20 million milk jugs from the landfill! Re-Play was founded by a husband and wife team and the company remains a family-owned and family-focused company.
The ML100 is a mid-sized flashlight with an LED bulb that is comfortable in the camp kit, the glove box, or by the bed. It’s always ready for darkness with a powerful beam that will shine nearly 1000 feet. It is water resistant and can handle being dropped and abused. The MAGLITE flashlight was born in 1979 and basically changed hand-held lighting around the world. This is the flashlight that I keep in my car to deal with unexpected situations.
I know you love your reusable stainless steel water bottle, we all do. Did you know they all are made outside of the United States? Enter Liberty Bottleworks from Yakima, Washington. Liberty was founded with a mission to produce durable and beautiful metal water bottles in the United States using recycled materials. Liberty is the ONLY company in the US making metal water bottles and the only ones crazy enough to do everything from forming the bottles to powder coating to printing all under one roof! Their bottles come in multiple sizes with customizable artwork. With over 100 color, size, and art choices on their website, there is a waterbottle for everyone.
Flowfold’s Vanguard wallet is constructed of water-resistant, high-performance racing sailcloth. This minimalist wallet offers a compact yet practical way to keep your valuables organized. Slim as two credit cards and light as three sheets of 8×11 paper, the Vanguard includes a cash pocket, two hidden card pockets, two ID windows. Flowfold’s products are made in Maine from reclaimed material and have a lifetime warranty.
Kids, ages three to seven, will want to stay in the snow all day as they romp around leaving huge paw prints in the snow. It is unclear if the tracks are Yeti or Saquatch, but either way these lightweight snowshoes are a winner. Redfeather has a full lineup of US-made snowshoes and they have pioneered many of the features we consider standard on snowshoes today. They design and manufacture everything in-house, from injection molding, metal bending, powder coating, and assembly.
Do you have a back country skier on your gift list? Although not designed specifically for skiing, Brunton’s TruArc 15 compass is a must-have navigational tool for safe travel in the back country. It will help you determine slope aspect and slope angle, both of which are critical pieces of information when there is potential avalanche danger. I’ve carried the older version of this compass for years and it has helped me get back to the car long after the battery on my has iPhone died.
Hammocks are a popular accessory these days but Yukon’s super comfy Freedom hammock stands out for two important reasons. First, it’s made in Tennessee where almost every other nylon hammock on the market is made in China or Indonesia. Second, the tree straps are included so you are ready to lounge minutes after opening the stuff sack. In the vast sea of imported textile products, Yukon has been working hard to make more and more of their products here in the US and we applaud them for their efforts.
First the smell wafts through camp, then comes the reveal as the heavy lid is lifted to expose a bubbling hot, freshly baked lasagna. Your cook crew just won the best dinner award. Top off your glasses and dig in. This is the outdoor cooking essential for river trips and gourmet camp meals. Used with charcoal briquettes, a dutch oven will hold a steady temperature that will bake almost anything. The lid even doubles as a griddle for morning hash browns. Lodge includes a free dutch oven cookbook so you will be ready to impress the next time you are on camp cook crew.
The smallest of Watershed’s Zip Dry duffel bags, the 16 inch long Ocoee fits in tight places and is the perfect size for lunch, extra layers, a camera, or a first aid kit. Watershed bags are unique with their bone-dry, easy-to-use Zip Dry closure system. Outfitted with rugged handles, multiple lash points, and compression straps, this is the last dry bag you will ever buy. I purchased my first Watershed drybag over 20 years ago while working as a raft guide in Tennessee. It is still watertight and is a vital part of my river kit.