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It may not look like it but on our recent Alaska trip, fellow outdoor writer Ron Spomer is sitting by more than $8,000 worth of gear. (Tom Claycomb photo)

Every year I write a Christmas list article on what to buy the outdoorsman in your life. Outdoorsmen are easy to buy for since our activities are gear-oriented. There’s a million items just for fishing alone and more are invented weekly.

I used to write a weekly column for Bass Pro Shop and they’d have me write five lists for Christmas. So believe me, outdoorsmen are easy (but specific) to buy for. I get to test a ton of gear every year. Below are some items that I’ve tested this year that impressed me.

• If you want to really impress him buy him a Diamond Blade knife. A cool set is their African PH combo set. It is the ultimate skinning set.

• Silynx Hearing protection/hearing enhancement Claurus Pro set.

• ThermaCELL mosquito unit and lanterns.

• ThermaCELL heated pads

• Simms waders and wading boots. If it’s imperative not to get wet, buy Simms.

• Knives of Alaska. Pronghorn or Elk hunter knife.

• Irish Setter boots. I own probably 4 or 5 models.

• For a dependable shotgun check out the Mossberg Waterfowler Pro Series or for a rifle their Patriot.

• For optics I use Leupold.

• Backpacks. Check out the Alps Mountaineering options.

• MyTopo Maps owns the map market. They’ll make whatever you want.

• Flies — check out

• Gun Cleaning gear. Otis owns the market.

• Knife-sharpening gear. Check out the Smith’s Products line of sharpeners.

• Big Game decoys. I use Montana Decoys. They’re lightweight and easy to pack.

• Grinder. I use a Weston.

• Jerky makers — Weston makes a slicing board and knife.

• Airguns — check out the new Sig Sauer line of airguns. Sweet.

• Flashlights —check out the line of rechargeable lights from Coast.

• Sure-Shot duck calls

• XGO base layer clothing. This is what I wear.

• Lodge Dutch ovens and black iron skillets. They make the best.

• Field & Stream makes some nice fishing shorts and shirts.

• Explorer gun cases. Great for flying.

• GSM Outdoors Stealthcam trail camera.

• Ask him what kind of ammo he favors.

• Birchwood Casey makes some cool new targets. Dueling Tree Stand, Diamond Spinning and the Mule Kick Target.


• Little bungee cords to strap stuff to your backpack.

• Plastic lures — check out Lake Fork Trophy Lure Co.

• Survival matches, fire starter and Bic lighters.

• Fishing lures

• .22 bullets

• Sausage and jerky seasoning, Hi-Mountain Seasonings makes the best.

• Mountain House backpacking meals.

• TTI Blakemore jigs.

• Gift card at his favorite outdoor store.

• Hiking socks

• Clean Trek wipes

• Subscription to an Outdoor magazine. We love outdoor articles.

• Subscription to the NRA Magazine. They are the leading protectors of our Second Amendment.

• An “I’ll go fishing/hunting/four-wheeling With You” pass. It won’t cost you a penny and he’ll love it.

I love it when Katy goes with me.