The Best 2017 Outdoor Gift Guide!

This year, get them stuff they'll actually use!

paddling gift guideIt’s often tough to buy meaningful gifts for the outdoors enthusiast in your life, especially if you don’t share their love of being cold, wet and dirty.  That’s why we’re offering this gift guide to help you find stuff they’ll actually love!

A typical online gift guide is really a thinly-veiled “infomercial” but we’re doing things different: everything below is owned, tested and approved by WildIndiana staffers!

The items in this gift guide are all available in outdoor stores and online.  As a courtesy, we have linked to Amazon for purchase and further research.  If you do end up purchasing through Amazon, WildIndiana will receive a small commission at no increased cost to you.


General Outdoor Stuff
Food & Drink
Safety and Emergency Gear

General Outdoor Stuff

Tactical Christmas Stocking $15.00
We couldn’t help ourselves! The “Tacti-cool” man or woman in your life needs a Molle-compatible ballistic nylon stocking complete with with snaps, buckles and D-rings!  ‘Merica!
HotHands Hand Warmer 12-pack $15.00
In winter, everybody needs to keep these on hand.  They make great stocking stuffers for all; buy them by the case!
Gerber Dime Multi-Tool $16.00
Multi-tools don’t do any one thing exceptionally well but they are truly lifesavers when you don’t have a real tool kit at hand.  The Gerber Dime is probably the best cost versus benefit tool on the market.
 Hiking Poles $20.00
If you haven’t used hiking poles, you’re missing out.  They turn you from a biped to a quadraped, allowing much more stability and use of upper body strength while walking.  We also use ours religiously as a wading staff to maintain balance.  Hiking poles are essentially aluminum sticks so buy inexpensive ones; they’ll work just fine!
Rapala 50lb Digital Scale $26.00
We don’t use it often but when you catch a nice fish, it’s pretty cool to have an accurate weight for bragging purposes.  We’ve had one of these for several years and it continues to work well even after lots of neglect in the tackle box.
Shoreline Marine Hood/Trunk tie-Down Loops $9.00
Modern streamlined vehicles make it difficult to tie kayaks down but these ingenious loops solve that problem. Essentially you close the trunk on the plastic toggle and you have a secure tie-off point.
Yaktrax Cleats for Snow and Ice $17.00
This are literally a lifesaver!  They slip over your shoes and boots to give great traction on snow and ice…they are perfect for ice anglers.  Don’t buy knock-off brands; they slip off too easily!
Kayak/Canoe Transport Cart $31.00
Everybody’s got a fishing kayak these days but getting it to the water is more difficult than you realize until facing a long hike down a trail, pier or beach.  This collapsible cart makes transport a breeze!
Igloo Mens Finger Mittens $14.00
Most of us might consider ourselves too old for mittens but if you need to keep your hands warm, these are unbeatable.  With a tip that flips off to allow fingertip dexterity, they instantly warm your fingers when needed.
Storacell Battery Storage Modules $6.00
Batteries are a way of life for outdoor enthusiasts but keeping your backup supply organized is a pain in the neck.  Originally designed for pilots to hold spare batteries inside their flight bag, these work perfect for campers, hikers and hunters.
Hennessy Hammock Expedition $134.00
If the ground is uneven or wet, the Hennessy Hammock is the king!  We use one regularly in place of a one-man tent and never regret the choice.
UCO Original Collapsible Candle Lantern $20.00
For campers, this can’t be beat.  Safe to use in a tent, they offer good long-lasting light at minimal weight. DO NOT buy cheaper knock-off versions!!  During one adventure to Boundary Waters, our friend’s cheap Big Box Store version quickly burned through its hanging cord and nearly set the tent on fire!!  Our UCO lantern is now approaching 20 years old and going strong!

Food and Drink

FoodSaver Vacuum Sealing System $83.00
If you hunt, fish or garden, you need a vacuum sealer.  Having broken several cheap ones, we advise you to stick with name-brand sealers.  Our FoodSaver is still going strong after several years.
LEM Products Jerky Cannon $50.00
If you like to make ground-meat jerky, a jerky cannon makes that process easy.  Just like the vacuum sealer above, don’t waste your money buying a cheap jerky cannon.  This one will last for years.
Platypus Water Tank, 6 Liter $21.00
Our favorite camping water carrier. This container allows you to easily gather water from sources that are only trickling but allows very quick filling from high-flow sources. It is unsurpassed for water gathering in campgrounds or backpacking
Hydroflask Stainless Steel Vacuum Water Bottle $30.00
These are the hottest thing in the outdoors…an updated take on the old steel Thermo bottle, they keep water cold (or hot) regardless of the outside temperature. It is also easier to keep clean than a plastic flask or canteen.
Stanley Classic Vacuum Bottle $25.00
These are definitely “old school” but remain the undisputed champ for keeping coffee and tea hot at the football game, on the deer stand and waiting in the duck blind. Here’s a tip from an old duck hunter: on those all-day hunts, take tea instead of coffee. The logic is that, for most of us, cold tea is far more palatable than lukewarm coffee!
SteriPen Adventurer Water Purifier $80.00
The easiest way to purify water, whether your backpacking or simply traveling in places where the water is ‘sketchy.’ It uses ultraviolet light to kill all the nasties; you simply swirl it around in the container and 30-90 seconds later, safe water!
Jetboil Zip Cooking System $55.00
Have you ever seen water boil in 60 seconds?  A Jetboil gets water rolling that fast! The cooking system is designed for backpackers and works wonderfully, but it’s also great for boats, duck blinds and RV’s.


5-pack LED Flashlight $16.00
We’ve given many of these for gifts and they also get stashed in packs and vehicles. These are “knock-off” Chinese imports and aren’t bulletproof but the cost/benefit ratio is exeptional. If you want a “good” light, look below
Streamlight ProTac 1L Flashlight $44.00
This is our personal “EDC” (Everyday Carry) flashlight. It stays in our pocket at all times and has even survived a trip or two through the laundry. It is small but incredibly bright.
Streamlight 88064 ProTac HL-X $77.00
You have a need for blinding, “Get that out of my eyes!”-light?  The HL-X is one of the brightest compact lights (1000 lumens) under $100.


LA Police Gear Atlas 12 Hour Tactical Backpack $55.00
We love our LA Police Gear packs.  They are well made at a very fair price point.  We have owned- and abused- several of their packs for years and have absolutely no complaints.  This pack is great for dayhiking but we use ours sometimes as a range or shooting gear bag.
LA Police Gear Jumbo Bail Out Bag $40.00
As stated, this makes a great bail-out bag but it really is the very best “tactical briefcase” on the market today.  Ours was used daily for 6 years and it still is going strong.
LA Police Gear Tactical Bail Out Gear Bag $29.99
This is a mini-bailout bag that is probably a better size for emergency equipment.  Ours currently houses our action camera photography kit.
Hill People Gear Original Kit Bag $117.00
This is the absolutely best way to carry a defensive pistol while hiking or wading.  It also makes a great chest pack for fishing.  Hill People Gear is expensive but absolutely “pro grade.”
Osprey Men’s FlapJack Courier Pack $70.00
Our daily carry bag, the Flapjack has been all over the country, wallowed under airline seats and ridden in the back of dusty pickup trucks but still looks great.  It’s the perfect size for your every day “stuff.”

Safety and Emergency Gear

Lifestraw Personal Water Filter $20.00
One of our favorite pieces of outdoor gear, it allows us to forgo a canteen when we’re wading. It’s also a great backup when hiking so that you’re never without water.
Permethrin Clothing Insect Repellent $10.00
This stuff seems like a gimmick but works wonders!! We discovered while hiking the Knobstone trail in springtime, it wasn’t uncommon to find a dozen deer ticks on your legs.  Fortunately, the ticks immediate dropped off pants treated with Permethrin. Can’t recommend this one enough!
Ankler PowerCore 10000 Cell Battery $26.00
A spare battery for your cell phone might not seem like a piece of outdoor gear but if you use your phone for GPS, camera and communication, you need to carry a battery charger. This unit is tiny but can charge a dead iPhone 6s (or any USB-powered device) over three times.
Acme Thunderer Metal Whistle $9.00
The Acme Thunderer is the legendary whistle all others are measured against. For outdoor safety and security, this can’t be beat and should be carried by all hikers (especially kids) for emergencies.
Biffy Bag Portable Toilet, 3 pack $10.00
OK, jokes aside, this is a vital piece of outdoor gear that actually works better than competitors, especially for folks who are squeamish about “going” in the outdoors. A thoughtful (and semi-humorous) gift for the outdoors enthusiast in your life!
S.O.L.Survival Blanket $6.00
Along with a whistle, this is something every outdoors enthusiast should carry in their pack. This blanket, of all the ones we’ve tested in the field, is by far the best quality.
Gorilla Duct-Tape To-Go $2.50
A standard go-to for fixing outdoor gear. This is definitely the strongest, thickest, most adhesive duct tape available and these 10-yard rolls are perfect for throwing in a pack. The price on Amazon is excellent IF you are a Prime member, otherwise you might consider purchasing at the local Big-Box or Home Improvement store. A great stocking stuffer for anyone!
Adventure Medical Kits Sportsman Kit $55.00
Pre-packaged medical kits are usually overpriced and seriously lacking in usefulness.  However, all the Adventure Medical Kits are first-rate; the Sportsman kit is the one we carry anytime we’re in the backcountry.
Adventure Medical Kits Professional Trauma Pak Kit $18.00
You might of heard of “blowout” kits carried by the military and law enforcement.  Simply put, these kits stop massive, life-threatening blood loss until the victim reaches a hospital.  Now consider accidental gunshot wounds, chainsaw accidents and the like and you’ll realize why outdoors enthusiasts should also carry a kit like this.
DATREX Emergency Water Pouches $12.00
These are foil pouches containing six ounces of water.  The main benefit is they are nearly indestructible and keep your emergency water safe and pure for years.  Keep one in your first-aid kit and a couple in each vehicle.
Do you have suggestions to add to the gift guide? Share your ideas in the comment section!


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