STOCKING STUFFERS: Wondering what to get for the outdoors man or woman on your holiday gift list? Here are some last-minute, moderately priced suggestions, all available in catalogs or at outdoors supply stores:
* For hikers, a pair of L.L. Bean's SmartWool hiking socks, which are warm, comfortable and durable.
* For duck hunters, a pair of Hodgman neoprene decoy gloves that extend to the elbows.
* For bird hunters, Filson canvas chaps, which last forever.
* For saltwater fishermen, eyeglass and camera lens cloths from Scientific Anglers, made by 3M. They clear salt spray from glasses, sunglasses and cameras, alleviating a constant annoyance.
* For freshwater fishermen, pocket hook sharpeners by EZE Lap.
* For all hunters and fishermen, how-to videos, which have dropped in price down to $12 to $14 apiece.
* For birders, the new Audubon Life List Journal (available at the Audubon Naturalist Society, 301-652-9188).
* For campers, propane-powered lanterns by Coleman.
* For everyone, Ragg wool, fingerless gloves; Pendleton wool shirts; fleece pullovers; Swiss Army knives (get the Spartan model, small enough for pocket comfort but adequate for most jobs); a cell phone, the biggest advance in outdoors safety this century; Leatherman all-purpose tools.
BIRD COUNT: The Audubon Society's annual Christmas bird count is in high gear this weekend with counts under way today at Seneca Breaks on the Potomac, Jug Bay, Catoctin and Port Tobacco, Md.
Volunteers are welcome next Sunday as the action resumes with counts at Bombay Hook, Del. (call Andy Ednie, 302-752-9591); Bowie (call Fred Fallon, 301-249-1518); Loudoun County (call Joe Coleman, 540-554-2542); and Manassas-Bull Run (call Jack Dent, 703-256-6895).
ATE TOO MUCH?: The Sierra Club has an easy 10-mile hike slated the day after Christmas along the Potomac's Virginia shore from Difficult Run to Riverbend Park and back, with views of the 180-million-year-old Mather Gorge along the way. Leader is Dirck Harris, 703-787-3330 (evenings only).