By: Tom Claycomb

So you’re sweet on an outdoorsman but don’t know what to buy him/her for Christmas? Don’t panic, Santa’s little helper is here to help you out.

It can be hard to Christmas-shop for a lot of people, especially if you put it off to the last minute! but if they’re outdoorsy folk, it’s a piece of cake. We outdoorsmen love our gear, so there are a million items to choose from.

And if you’re unsure of your standing with the outdoorsperson in your life, don’t worry; items range in price from $1.00 on up to $20,000. If you take your time and shop wisely, you can really impress them and not have to spend very much. And, if you buy something they use every day, they’ll think of you everytime they use it.

BUT…. outdoor lovers do tend to be picky when it comes to their gear. How do you determine which item out of the millions of products out there to buy? Simple: Ask them. They’ll likely need/want tons of things, so have them give you a list. It will still be a surprise as to what you choose to buy.

Or, pick something from the list I’ve compiled below. I got to test a lot of products throughout 2018, and the following are some of the cool items that tested well for me:

-Riton Optics Mod 5 4-16x scope
-Benjamin Steel Eagle pellet gun
-If they want a PCP airgun, check out the Benjamin Marauder
-Camp Chef backpacking stove
-Smith’s 6” fine diamond stone or 8” Diamond Tri-hone
-Maps. Find out where they like to hunt/fish/hike/mushroom hunt and order them a MyTopoMaps
-Lodge Dutch ovens. Check out their new Cook-It-All model
-Brownell’s Magna-Tip Adjustable Torque Wrench for mounting scopes
-Boots. I wear Irish Setter. Check out their Traveler, Drifter, Borderland, and Vapr Trek models
-Big Game Decoys. Check out the selection from Montana Decoys
-Ammo. This gift will be super selective. Find out what caliber, exactly what grain of bullet, etc. etc.
-Gun cleaning supplies. I like the selection from Otis. I use their patches and solvents. The Gun Cleaning Station from Otis to clean or work on guns is very handy.
-Book “How to Stay Alive by Bear Grylls.” I’ve just started reading it.
-Trail camera.
-Gun cases: Check out International Supplies
-Boresites. Check out Sightmark, they make a cool laser sight
-Ear protection. Check out Silynx’s Clarus Pro, hearing enhanced system which is Bluetooth compatible
-If they like CO2 airguns, check out what Sig Sauer has to offer. Their CO2s mimic their actual firearms, so they’re good training tools.
-Mossberg Patriot Revere. Nice rifle for the money and has a walnut stock
-Binoculars, check out Riton Optics 10×42; that’s what I use

Here are a few knives that stood out to me in my test this years:

-Diamond Blade The Summit knife
-Diamond Blade Pinnacle II knife
-Knives of Alaska Elk Hunter. For the blue-collared hunter, this is a stout, reliable hunting knife if you prefer a drop point knife
-Knives of Alaska Pronghorn. If you prefer a clip point knife, then this is a great choice
-Buck 110 Auto Knife – How can you not love this knife? They took the 110 folder, which put Buck Knives on the map with more than 10,000,000 of them sold, and took it to a new level by making it into an auto. This is an iconic knife elevated even more.
-Spyderco, Utility Knife 4” – I love these knives for kitchen use. Whether the smooth edge or the serrated. In fact, I think I like the serrated edge best.
-Victorinox 6” Semi Flex wood handle boning knife. This is my go-to boning knife.

And of course, you’ll have to sharpen your knives. I use Smith’s Consumer Products. I like their Tri-hone 8” Diamond Stones. This is the ultimate sharpening system for your knives. Also consider:

6” Fine Diamond Stone – if you’re on a tighter budget
Diamond Retractable Sharpener – This is my preferred item to sharpen serrated-edged knives

Since Yeti sold out on the NRA, I figured it’d be appropriate to list Cordova Coolers. Check them out. Cordova is the new cooler rockstar.

This is where you can really rack up and get multiple items cheap:

-Aquila .22 ammo
-Can of Crosman pellets
-Quaker Boy calls. They offer all manner of hand calls and reeds.
-Browning Hiking Socks
-Birchwood Casey splattering targets. Kids really like these.
-Waterproof matches
-First aid gear. Check out Adventure Medical Kit
-Water filtration systems. Check out Aquamira
-Flashlight or head lamps
-Lenses rag to clean optics (And lenses spray)
-Here’s a unique thought: What if you hung up a backpack instead of a stocking? Check out the Alps Mountaineering packs.
-Amazon Kindle, ha! of course they’d like my Knife Sharpening, Survival Tips for the Outdoorsman, or Cooking Deer Meat books.

And with that we’ll close. Merry Christmas!

Tom Claycomb III is a product tester for outdoor manufacturers, hunter, and outdoor writer, writing from Idaho.