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Michigan Made Gift Guide: Gifts From The Upper Peninsula

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    Need to buy a gift for someone in your life? These Upper Peninsula made items are perfect for any gift giving occasion!

    Original Wool Stormy Kromer Cap

    Upper Peninsula Gift Guide - The Awesome Mitten
    WeThe original wool Stormy Kromer cap

    Born in 1876, George “Stormy” Kromer was a railroad engineer who often had to stick his head out the window (and into the wind) to see where he was headed. Mother Nature stole his cap more than once, so in 1903 he asked his wife Ida to modify an old baseball cap to help keep it on his noggin during windy weather, and an Upper Peninsula icon was born.

    Manufactured in Ironwood, the Stormy Kromer is quite possibly the U.P.’s most famous product. Now offered in dozens of variety’s, from wool to waxed cotton, I think the classic Kromer is still tough to beat. Available at www.stormykromer.com.

    U.P. Bottle Opener and Pint Glass Set

    Upper Peninsula Gift Guide - The Awesome Mitten
    U.P. Pint Glass Set

    I thought it’d be cool to offer sets of pint glasses from Upper Peninsula breweries through my Things to do in the U.P. website. Other people did, too. Lots of other people.

    So, I had an Upper Peninsula bottle opener made to go along with the set and my first product was born! The current set includes a pint glass from KBC, Blackrocks, Ore Dock and Brickside. Available through the Things to do in the U.P. Store.

    Yooper Fire Starter Crate

    Upper Peninsula Gift Guide - The Awesome Mitten
    The Yooper Fire Starter Crate

    I can’t overstate how wonderful these fire starters are. Escanaba based Lake State Industries’ most popular product is so good, I’ve used them to start roaring fires from crappy wet wood scavenged from the forest floor. No longer will you need newspaper or kindling to start a fire. Just light one of these babies, plop a couple big chunks of wood on top of it and relax.

    Did I mentioned that these fire starters are made by mentally and physically disabled Upper Peninsula residents, and your purchase helps keep them employed? How about that they’re made from upcycled toilet paper rolls and newspaper? Or that they’re extremely affordable? Yep, I’ll say it…. this one is a win-win-win. You can get the fire starters on their own or in one of Lake State’s awesome crates. Available at shop.lakestateindustries.org.

    Tri-Blue Zip-UP Hoodie

    Upper Peninsula Gift Guide - The Awesome Mitten
    The Tri-Blue Zip-UP Hoodie

    Wetmore based  adventure lifestyle brand Roam, Inc.’s clothing is made in America and screen printed right here in the U.P. They offer a great variety of other gear, too, but I had to pick something to feature. So I’m going with their Tri-Blue Zip-UP Hoodie.

    I walked through my son’s school the other day and was surprised to see that hoodies and sweat pants have taken over the wardrobe of our youth. I like to wear them on weekends. My wife wears them whenever she can. It seems that you just can’t go wrong with a hoodie. Available at roamwherever.com.

    Keweenaw Coffee Works Coffee

     

    Upper Peninsula Gift Guide - The Awesome Mitten
    Keweenaw Coffee Works – “Da North Woods” Roast

    Iron Mountain native Valerie Baciak and her husband Nate run the recently opened, Calumet based Keweenaw Coffee Works. They offer six different high quality roasts on their website, and my favorite so far (I haven’t tried them all) is “Da North Woods roast.” Good stuff. Find it at keweenawcoffeeworks.com.

    U.P. Swoosh T-shirt

     

    Upper Peninsula Gift Guide - The Awesome Mitten
    “U.P. Swoosh” T-Shirt

    Last plug for my own products, I promise. The U.P. Swoosh shirt sports the “U.P. Swoosh” part of my Things to do in the U.P. logo on an extremely soft, slightly heathered cotton blend shirt that will feel like an old favorite the moment you slip it on. Printed in the U.P. by Ishpeming Based Yooper Shirts and available in several colors, I’m sure you’ll love this shirt has much as I do. Available at the Things to do in the U.P. Store.

    Donkers’ Signature Box

    Upper Peninsula Gift Guide - The Awesome Mitten
    Donkers’ Signature Box

    Get all of Donckes’ signature handmade confections conveniently packaged in one box. I’m not a huge candy lover, and even I would love to get one of these. Put together by Marquette based Donkers, this and their many other candy filled gift baskets would make a wonderful addition to any gift opening ceremony. Available at donkersonline.com.

    Call of the Yooper Campfire Grill

    Upper Peninsula Gift Guide - The Awesome Mitten
    Call of the Yooper Campfire Grill

    This made in Michigan campfire grill was created by Manistique native James Studinger, publisher of the Call of the Yooper website. The grill is designed for both function and ease of use. After watching the demo video, I’m definitely looking forward to getting my hands on one of these. This grill takes up much less trunk space than one of those mini Weber grills, yet gets you about sixty percent more cooking area. I’m sold. Available at calloftheyooper.com.

    Iverson Snowshoes

    Upper Peninsula Gift Guide - The Awesome Mitten
    Iverson’s “Cross Country” snowshoes

    Shingleton based Iverson Snowshoes has been making these awesome classics for over 50 years. It started back in 1954 when Clarence Iverson began building snowshoes for the State of Michigan. His designs provided maximum weight distribution for optimum flotation. News of the Iverson Snowshoe spread and demand brought Iverson’s products into the consumer market.

    Given that current snowshoes are all aluminum and neoprene, I love that you can still buy these wood and rawhide classics, and that they’re as beautiful as ever. Hang them on your wall when you’re not using them. These winter walkers double as art. Available at shop.miupperhand.com.

     

    I hope this list helps you with your holiday shopping! We all know there are many more great Upper Peninsula products available, though, (I only have so much space!) so tell us about your favorite U.P. product in the comments!

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