George’s Outdoor Picks – Bukrap Vest

George’s Outdoor Picks

Blog posts labeled “George’s Outdoor Picks” will tell you about my favorite things from books to bullets to binoculars, fly rods to flashlights, focusing on what’s new. I do get a lot of products to try, some great, some good, some not so good. In these posts, I’ll only be telling you about the best.

Maine-made vest carries it all

After speaking at the annual convention of Maine’s retired teachers last spring, I met, by a lucky chance, Marsha Auster and Joan Tankey, who excitedly told me about their Maine-made Bukrap vest. Always on the lookout for outdoor products to tell you about, I quickly ordered one. And boy, am I glad I did.

This vest is all I need to hike, birdwatch, cross country ski, and enjoy my other favorite outdoor adventures. I’ve even started wearing it while fishing from my kayak or canoe. It is easier to access my tackle, stored in the side mesh pockets, than it is from a tackle box.

The vest has many mesh pockets of various sizes that can hold binoculars, camera, bird books, journals, snacks, water bottles, and more. I was amazed at how much I could carry in the vest, while it remained light on the shoulders and back. It’s durable, too, with bar tacking reinforcement and sturdy polypro webbing on the edges.

I find it much more comfortable than a backpack, with padded shoulders, and it seems a lot lighter too – even when I’ve got something many of the pockets. The BukRap is also reversible, so you can turn it inside out if a shower comes up, and the water-resistant nylon keeps your stuff dry.

And I plan to wear it while turkey hunting in October, instead of my camo backpack. While the vest comes in many colors, I (of course) chose camo. I can get binoculars and all my turkey calls in the front vest pockets, and put extra shells, a thermos of coffee, and muffins, in a super-large pocket in the back.

Now, I’ve got my eye on a vest in Fluorescent orange, for those warm deer hunting days in November!

Bukrap,, 207-650-7663, 207-576-6590,

George Smith

About George Smith

George stepped down at the end of 2010 after 18 years as the executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine to write full time. He writes a weekly editorial page column in the Kennebec Journal and Waterville Morning Sentinel, a weekly travel column in those same newspapers (with his wife Linda), monthly columns in The Maine Sportsman magazine, two outdoor news blogs (one on his website,, and one on the website of the Bangor Daily News), and special columns for many publications and newsletters. Islandport Press published a book of George's favorite columns, "A Life Lived Outdoors" in 2014. In 2014, George also won a Maine Press Association award for writing the state's bet sports blog. In 2016, Down East Books published George's book, Maine Sporting Camps, and Islandport Press published George and his wife Linda's travel book, Take It From ME, about their favorite Maine inns and restaurants.