As we head into Christmas here’s a list of some great gear from hunting specific, to gifts most sportsmen will enjoy! There are a ton of websites pushing all the latest and greatest hunting gear right now and I’ll do that too a little but I’ll also throw in some cool stuff that most places overlook or plain don’t feature.
Maven B.3 Binoculars: $500
As far as Binos go these are probably the best deal on the market. They’re by no means cheap but available in 6×30, 8×30 or 10×30, they fit just about any hunting situation with a ridiculously good warranty. As long as they have a Maven logo on them if anything goes wrong they take care of you.
First Lite SEAK Stormtight Rain Jacket: $400
Yes, this is a very expensive jacket. Yes, this jacket is damn near bomb proof while still being oddly comfortable and breathable. I fished in a 72 degree downpour and wasn’t sweating at all. I’ve also worn it in combination with a down layer or the Uncomphagre Puffy and stayed insanely warm in some crazy wind and driving snow. If you live in area that sees precipitation all too often this the jacket. If it’s a little rich for you check out the Vaport Stormlight Jacket, ($275).
Garmin Fenix 3: $375
As far as smart watches go, this is about as good as it gets. I’ve had this watch for about a year or so and it does it all and then some. It can act as a smart watch and pair with your smart phone to vibrate and give you alerts. I quickly got annoyed with that and turned that feature off. What’s nice about the Fenix 3 is it doesn’t need a smartphone paired for it to be functional. Many smartwatches just communicate with your phone to relay information but the Fenix 3 is a standalone fully capable smartwatch that can accurately show GPS, Altimeter, Barometer, Compass and Temperature with no external device paired. It links to satellites quickly and can be used to mark waypoints, track your trail and works as a fitness monitor as well. It can be paired with your other garmin accessories like your VIRB action camera and allows you to control it from your wrist. If you feel the need you can even pay a little more for the Fenix 3 HR for native Heart Rate monitoring at your wrist.
First Lite Uncomphagre Puffy: $250
I really like this jacket. It’s a synthetic insulated puffy that withstands wind and light rain and does an immense job of keeping you warm. It’s extremely lightweight and packable. What sets it apart though is the fit. The cut fits me perfect and provides enough bulk and length to keep me warm without being big and in the way. If you need an insulated jacket, check it out.
Slumberjack Hone Pack: $160
I have a thing for packs and tend to own entirely too many. After I got the hone, a good portion of my packs hit eBay. The Hone has just over 2,000ci of capacity, the right amount of pockets and compartments and is immensely durable. The smaller compartments on the back are separate from the main compartment except at the bottom and have adjustable clip-in straps which make it awesome for sandwiching more gear onto the pack or carrying a gun and it stays super secure and mostly protected. The carry system also accommodates a bow. I’ve put a lot of miles on this pack and have used it for various purposes and always come away impressed. Plus it’s well under $200 which is rare for a solid pack that can take a beating.
Gander Mountain Non-Insulated Ice Shelter: $130
If you’re just getting geared up for ice-fishing for the first time like me you know it can be a costly endeavor. This ice shelter is much like the 5-hub style blinds you’ve likely used in the past but beefed up a little for life on the ice. It has ice anchors to keep it in place and vinyl windows will help keep out the cold.
Gerber 39 Series Micarta Folder: $120
I’ve had this knife for just shy of a year and it’s been in my pocket every single day. It’s an extremely reliable and sturdy knife made in the USA out of S30V Steel. It comes sharp and holds an amazing edge with just a run on a strop or a quick touch up being all it needs to keep that edge after much abuse. Gerber is definitely redeeming itself with this knife!
Gander Mountain Guide Series Men’s Briar Stop Upland Retriever Vest: $50
As you may have realized this site is currently sponsored by Gander Mountain but this item I straight up bought on the way to a recent pheasant hunt and for the price it’s hard to beat. Just the right weight and heft, easy-to-use pockets even with gloved hands and when it says briar stop it means it! If you have a new upland hunter on your list or someone that just needs a new one, get it!
Four Sevens Mini MkII Flashlight: $55
This may be the last flashlight I ever buy. It’s impossibly small but watch where you point it or you’ll blind yourself with it. It comes with a rechargeable RCR123A battery and a really cool charger. It’s a USB cord and on the one end is two little magnetic circles that stick to either end of the battery, self polarizes and charges the battery. You can charge it from a wall outlet, a battery power pack or a car outlet. It has multiple brightness settings from 550 lumens down to 0.8 lumens. It also remembers whichever brightness you had it on last so no more cycling through insane brightness at the truck in the morning when you need just enough light to see where you dropped your keys!
Stack-On Portable Security Case: $36
As a new handgun owner this fit the bill as a quick and easy yet secure storage option whether in the house or on the way to the range. It’s small and lightweight but still secure and durable. The three-digit lock makes it easy to access, but not too easy for those that shouldn’t gain access to your weapons.
Donnie Vincent’s Who We Are Shirt: $30
Inspired by the popular short film ‘Who We Are’ you can represent who you are as a hunter with a high quality shirt. And if for some reason you haven’t seen Donnie’s films The River’s Divide and Terra Nova, pick those up as well.
Backcountry Hunters & Anglers Membership: $25+
For the sportsman who has everything, the thing they definitely need is a BHA membership. BHA is “THE SPORTSMEN’S VOICE FOR OUR WILD PUBLIC LANDS, WATERS AND WILDLIFE.” If you hunt, hike, camp or fish on public land it’s an organization you should be supporting with time, money or both.
YETI 10oz Lowball: $20
I love this thing. Not because it’s a YETI but because it just works so good. Home, Office, Camp, coffee, whiskey, coffee with whiskey. I use it daily and it just flat out works.
Black Rifle Coffee Company: $13+
This has nothing to do with hunting but is best enjoyed outdoors. BRCC makes some great coffee from light roasts to extra dark roasts. I’ve become a fan of Just Black and Blackbeard’s Delight. It’s a veteran-owned company out of Utah that roasts to order and you can tell, the stuff arrives intensely fresh. They also have some solid apparel and accessories. Makes an awesome gift!
ReadyMan Gear: $13+
Readyman offers some really cool survivalist gear that any outdoorsman will find interesting and if they’re into the survivalist scene they’ll love their survival cards. They have various cards that can make all the difference in a survival or emergency situation. They also offer a membership service that provides training videos led by legit elite military men.
BOOKS! I’ll round out the list with some of my favorite books that anyone that enjoys the outdoors will love.
- American Serengeti: This book is really cool. It’s written by Dan Flores who’s basically a walking encyclopedia of North American game animals throughout time. The book talks about the history of the American Plains and the animals that have roamed them through the ages. It’s a fascinating read. If you need convincing check out the episode of the Meateater Podcast where he’s a guest.
- Buck Buck Moose: Another awesome cook book that beautifully presents how to care for and prepare large game animals. Hank Shaw does a great job of presenting solid recipes and techniques among beautiful images.
- The Complete Guide to Hunting, Buthering and Cooking Wild Game Vol 1 & Vol 2: Vol 1 is Big Game and Vol 2 is small game and fowl. These are great references for both the new and seasoned hunter. There are few people that have mastered every form of hunting, butchering and cooking game animals. What’s great about these books is it isn’t just Rinella pretending to know everything there are many contributors that add their expertise.
- American Buffalo: In Search of a Lost icon: I really enjoyed this book. It goes through the history of the American Buffalo, both modern history and it’s evolutionary history. The history of the animal is intertwined wit Rinella’s own experiences with the animal and documents his rare buffalo hunt in Alaska.
- Some other books worth checking out: The Mindful Carnivore, Meditations on Hunting, Meat Eater