We’ve all know a guy who’s more at home chopping a cord of wood or filleting his latest fly fishing catch than spending the day lazing in front of the TV or playing Halo with the bros. He’d wear flannel and hiking boots to board meetings if he could. For that ultimate outdoorsman on your gift list this year, forego the REI gift card and DVD set of Duck Dynasty. Whether he spends his time hunting big game, scouring the river for the best brook trout lies, or just enjoys living in front of a campfire instead of a laptop, we’ve got the best gifts for the modern day backwoodsman.
Alite Designs Mayfly Camping Chair
Any outdoor fanatic knows that the best days end with a good beer and your boots propped up in front of a campfire. Sitting on a wet log or rock may cut it if you’re a Boyscout, but for the well-prepared outdoorsman there’s the Alite Designs Mayfly Chair. The light aluminum frame weighs in at 1.4 pounds and is easily packable for car camping or backpacking. Even the biggest mountain man (up to 250 pounds) can rest easy, and the bucket-seat design ups the comfort factor while the frame distributes weight better than individual legs, ensuring you won’t sink into the mud — or worse, fall off after a few drinks.
Etiquette Clothiers x Mark McNairy Boot Socks
The most important accessories not only protect you from the elements but keep you comfortable and looking good even when you’ve been in the backwoods for days. These Etiquette and Mark McNairy boot socks hit all the right notes to keep your feet warm and dry on your next outdoor adventure. Their Italian wool blend is naturally wicking and odor resistant, so you (and your compatriots) need not fear that day-old foot stench when you get in to camp. The classic styling and relaxed fit will have you finding excuses to throw them on with a pair of boots.
Trust Co. Restored Axes
Chopping firewood for winter bonfires is a lost art, and having a good axe on hand is a hallmark of the quintessential outdoorsman. If you’re looking for quality beyond the typical Home Depot fare, a heritage axe (yes, it’s really a thing) should be at the top of your gift list. The team at Trust Co. searches out antique and heritage axe heads and restores them to their former glory. After grinding out decades of rust and nicks on the blade, Trust Co. attaches each to a seasoned hickory handle. The end product is beautiful enough to hang on your wall, but still functional for working up a sweat at the summer cabin.
Patagonia Special Edition Mesclun Retro-X Jacket
Patagonia’s Legacy Collection has us nostalgic for the days when all you needed to enjoy the outdoors was a jeep, a cooler of beer, and a decent fleece coat to fight off the cold at your favorite fishing spot. We may not all be expert fly fisherman or climbers like Yvon Chouinard, Patagonia’s legendary founder, but we can look the part with the Mesclun Retro-X jacket, which updates a classic design with recycled fleece lining and a water repellent treatment. There’s no better jacket to be wearing next time you
get lost find a new trail.
Yukon Roller Cooler
What’s camping without a few cold beers, especially after a day chasing peaks or landing rainbow trout? Yukon’s 50-quart Roller Cooler has enough space to stash ice, a thirty pack, and even some spare bacon and eggs for a good campfire breakfast. The rugged polyethylene construction is lined with three inches of insulating foam so it can take a beating and still maintain sub-freezing temperatures for days. Convenient tie-downs can secure it in the back of your truck until it’s time to break out a celebratory drink. The oversized wheels are perfect for overland hauling to your campsite, although we don’t recommend it as a backpacking accessory.
Filson 1912 Cruiser Shirt
Filson’s Cruiser Shirt has been a staple for American outdoorsman since 1912, and its timeless style is equally at home hauling logs in the Pacific Northwest today as it would have been on a big game hunt with Ernest Hemingway in the 1930s. This limited edition reissue of the original patented design easily sets any outdoorsman apart from the typical flannel-and-granola crowd. Five front pockets keep fishing, hunting, or navigation tools close at hand; double layering makes this a perfect overshirt for hikes through cold, wet old growth forests. Each shirt is presented in a wooden collector’s box with replica designs from the original classic.
Kaufmann Mercantile EDC Kit 2
No good backwoodsman is ever far from his tools, but for the days when you don’t have a full toolbox within arms reach, a good everyday carry mini-kit is the next best thing. Whether it’s for navigating through the wilderness or just surviving a day in the city, the EDC Kit 2 from Kaufmann Mercantile has the tool for the occasion. With a stainless steel knife, brass compass, miniature pen, flashlight and magnesium fire starter — all held together with a quick-release keyring — it’s better outfitted than MacGyver. Bring a small roll of duct tape and a mini can of WD-40 and you can fix anything.
Sony DEV-50V/B Digital Recording Binoculars
If you’re planning to watch the buffalo herds of Yellowstone or bird migrations in the Aleutians, Sony’s new DEV-50 recording binoculars help you get the perfect shot from a distance. With up to 25x digital zoom and optical filtering for low light conditions, these binoculars almost seem like they belong in a sci-fi movie rather than a national park. 2D and 3D pictures and 3D video capability mean you can capture evidence of that massive eight-point buck on your next hike. Just don’t get caught spying on the cute girl who has a corner office across the street, creep.
Wild Fish Photarium
No more fumbling with your camera as a huge walleye struggles on your line — and no more “I swear it was this big” fish stories. A quality photarium holds your catch while you observe and snap photos and ensures a healthy release back into the wild. The durable, lightweight plexiglass construction is perfect for humping to you hidden backcountry spot, and a built-in ruler ensures that no one can dispute your next monster brookie. Once you’ve got your shot, your finned friend’s freedom is just a quick, gentle pour away.
Cabela’s ColorPhase Camo
Cabela’s new ColorPhase technology is truly a revolutionary development in the camo business. Using temperature-sensitive dyes, the fabric’s vivid greens fade to late-season brown and grey as the seasons change. Woodland and Western patterns in tops, bottoms, and baselayers let you customize your appearance to trick even the wiliest prey. For putting a bird on the table for the holidays (one that isn’t a Butterball), there’s no better camo out there.
Aerobie Aeropress Coffee Maker
Good coffee is often the only thing keeping camp morale high, so the right tools for brewing a perfect cup to start the day is a must. Brewing campfire coffee just got much easier with the Aerobie AeroPress — something we wish we’d had while testing our field coffee makers at 9,000 feet in a blizzard earlier this year. It’s damn simple, as the chamber fits directly onto most mugs; fill it with grounds, add hot water, seal and press for 20-30 seconds.
DiamondBlade Meridian Suregrip Knife
From cleaning fish to cutting cordage around camp, a well-built, fixed-blade knife is the first tool that should go into a pack for a backcountry adventure — and the Meridian should be that knife. Each one is hand crafted upon order, the expert bladesmith working especially to ensure that your knife is not just another tool to get lost in the gear closet. The blade’s D2 high-carbon steel will likely outlast your lovingly pampered jeep. The 4.5-inch blade is substantial enough for any job around camp, but not so large as to make you look like Schwarzenegger in Predator.