Big-ticket items such as guns, reels and GPS units always are welcome under the tree, but pricey surprises often end up being the “not-exactly-what-I-wanted” kind because these selections and others are personal preferences.
So unless you know what that special someone’s crosshairs are set on this holiday season, don’t pull the trigger on anything big except gift certificates. Many outdoor gift list stories focus on the newest, most expensive gadgets on the market, but often it’s the little things that can mean a big difference. If you’re the kind of person who would rather give a specific gift instead of a gift card, there are plenty of inexpensive items that you can stuff a stocking with in the coming weeks before Christmas.
These 10 items and other similar gift ideas can be found at any number of chain sporting goods stores and online for $25 or less.
Pelican micro series cases (19.99 to 24.99): These waterproof cases come in various sizes, the smallest of which will hold a wallet, cell phone and car keys with room to spare. They’re great insurance for protecting things that don’t take well to water.
Lansky standard knife sharpening system (24.99): You certainly can pay more for ways to sharpen a dull edge but sharpeners like this are much better to use than cheaper handheld ones that quickly can mess up a knife if you press too hard or take the wrong angle.
Coleman double mantle propane lantern (24.99): This is another tool that anyone doing anything outdoors can use. These gadgets have provided hissing light on many late-night meals in my life on deer hunts and almost everyone I know who camps has at least a couple of them stashed in the garage.
Hoppes deluxe gun cleaning kit (24.99): As with sharpeners, you can shell out more but if you’re just looking for something functional this setup that comes in a wooden box will allow you to thoroughly clean any firearm.
Leatherman Micra ($19.99): This little tool features 10 functions, the main one being a good pair of scissors rather than pliers, which are much better than the flimsy ones that fold out on most multi-tools. And it weighs in at less than 2 ounces, making it a sharp addition to a daypack, tackle box or pocket you won’t even know was there.
Coleman single burner stove (19.99): Larger camp stoves obviously are better for cooking or heating bigger quantities of food but this item is great for solo or two-man expeditions and fits nicely in a backpack. It also provides heat in a pinch if exposure to the elements makes things a little brisk.
Gerber PR 2.5 (19.99): The number tells the length of the blade and this nifty little one-hand folder is another great addition to the arsenal for anyone who needs a small knife in a pinch. The high-carbon stainless steel blade isn’t as easy as other materials to sharpen if you dull it down, but for out-of-the-box sharpness it’s as good as more expensive ones.
Victorinox Tinker tool (19.99): This 12-function Swiss Army gadget is another one that’s great for anglers, hunters and campers, and it has enough parts to fix most small problems you need an implement for.
Hydration pack (16.99): This model by Game Winner isn’t as pricey as others but with a 2-liter capacity it holds as much liquid. These handy gadgets are worn like a backpack and one application could be on the ski slopes where you can get dehydrated but don’t want to carry anything bulky in a jacket or something unforgiving to fall on.
Mini Maglite (8.99): I probably have three or four of these bad boys stashed in various places but they’re cheap, handy and bright. They’re almost indestructible and authorities in various agencies still carry larger models. Good enough for them is good enough for me.
Here’s to happy hunting and happy holidays!