Lead photo: If he does bivy hunts or backpacks, bingo! I bet there are more than 300 items in this pack.

By: Tom Claycomb

So, you’re getting sweet on a gun owner and don’t know what to buy him or her? Don’t worry, Santa’s little helper is here to help save the day! Outdoorsmen love their gear and are easy to buy for; you just have to do a little investigation to be sure that you buy the exact item they’re wanting. But one word of warning: their desires are very specific. If you feel hopeless, ask them for a list of six items and buy a gift off of that list. That will ensure you get them what they want, and yet it will still be a surprise.

Another good idea is to let them mark items in their favorite catalog. Everyone loves perusing through a good outdoor catalog, don’t they? You don’t want to just buy them another blender, so to speak, that will be thrown in the closet alongside the other five, do you? No, you want to buy a gift that will light up their eyes. And don’t worry, if you shop wisely, you don’t have to spend a fortune.

Well, let’s get started. Here’s some items that I’ve tested over the last year or ones that look interesting to me:

Talon Snap Cleaning Kit: I just finished testing out the coolest pistol cleaning set-up I’ve ever seen. Instead of having to screw in a tip, unscrew, repeat repeat, repeat, they just snap in and out. Ingenious.

Caldwell shooting (bench) bags: They make an assortment of sizes that are great on the range. For every rifle that I shoot I need a little different height so I got an assortment of bags so I can have the perfect fit.

Caldwell Hydrosled: Instead of piling lead bags on a sled, you just fill it with water to reduce recoil. These are great when you’re sighting in a lot of rifles or testing 3 ½” turkey loads. They take the flinch out of the equation.

-Caldwell Stable Table: Instead of shooting off of a wobbly card table and using an old broken legged camp chair to sight in your rifles, now you can have an all-in-one stable table to shoot off of.

-Scopes/Binoculars: There’s an up and coming company named Riton Optics. Check out their offerings. I use their 10×42 binocs and scopes on my airguns on up to my elk rifle.

-Targets: We all use targets.

-Ammo: This one is very specific so ask them what they use. (If you can find any right now!)

-Otis Elite Range Box: This is a great help when mounting scopes or cleaning your guns.

-Smith’s Consumer Products: Fine diamond sharpening stone. Everyone uses a knife, I bet even birdwatchers, and yet 99% of the people carry a dull knife. Smith’s makes the best stones. Smith’s also offers an abundance of folders. Everyone carries a folder.

-Airguns: The last 10 year, airguns have stormed the market as grown-men have been bitten by the airgun bug. Umarex is the leading airgun company. If your sweetie wants a break barrel, check out the Umarex Yukon Magnum. If he or she wants a PCP, check out the Gauntlet or Origin. They are both super accurate and economical as compared to other good PCPs on the market.

-JSB Match Exact Diabolo pellets: The most accurate pellet on the market.

-If your person reloads, there’s a million reloading tools, supplies-powder, primers, and bullets they use.

-Boyds’ Gunstocks make the coolest rifle stocks. They put the “WOW” into a rifle.

-5.11 makes some cool tactical pants: Not only are they functional on the range, they’re also nice-looking pants for casual wear.

-Vehicle Ready Hexgrid Headrests: 5.11 has a Hexgrid line. You can have your gear all in one set and transfer it from truck to truck. If it hits the fan, you’ll always have your pistol, magazines, knife and first-aid gear at your fingertips.

-SneakyHunter BootLamps: They’re like a head light that goes on your boots. Great for sneaking into your blind before daylight, hiking up a mountain in the dark to go elk hunting, or for hiking.

-If he likes to cook, check out some of the Spyderco culinary knives. I love their Counter Puppies, Utility knives, and bread knife.

-Ankle Trauma Medical Kit I never thought I’d see the day in America where you might need a medical kit while driving down a major street, but with the leftish anarchy that is prevalent in the liberal cities, you’re on your own against the mobs. Galco offers a neoprene carrier with 5-pockets, so you can have clotting packs, bandages, tourniquets, etc. handy in case disaster hits. Hopefully you never run into these hoodlums.

If you’re a kid with no money the best gift you could ever give a mom or dad is a slip that says “I’ll go backpacking/fishing or hunting with you.” I love it when my daughters or wife go to the outdoors with me. That’s the treat of a lifetime.


This is where you can really rack up some brownie points for mere dollars:

-What if you got them a daypack and hung that up instead of a stocking?

-Gun cleaning brushes

-Gun cleaning oil

-Cleaning patches

-Maps: I use mytopomaps. They’ll make a map of wherever you want to hunt. And as detailed as you want. Tell them that Tom said to call them.

-Jerky: Everyone loves jerky. I suppose even most vegetarians are closet jerky eaters! Why invest the time and money into making jerky using ole’ Aunt Bessie’s jerky recipe which she gave you after she went senile and had forgotten half of the ingredients? I get my jerky spices from Hi Mountain Seasoning. And I just received a Chard Pro Former Jerky Gun that I can’t wait to test.

-If you want to buy an elite knife, check out what Diamond Blades has to offer. A few that stand out to me are the Legacy, the Surge, and the Pinnacle II.


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