I know there are a few wish lists floating around out there, but I wanted to weigh in on some items that I use and love that would make a great Christmas gift for that special hunter in your life. Here are six awesome products all under $100.
Havalon Piranta Bolt Knife
Havalon makes some of the best knives on the market. They are super light, insanely sharp and you can easily replace the blades. This comes in handy when you’re out in the field working on an animal and your blade gets dull, no problem. Just pop in a new one and you’re back in action.
I actually bought this knife as a gift for my Dad last year, and every time he uses it he’s blown away by how sharp this sucker is. This is a great gift for under $50 that will last a lifetime.
OnXMaps Hunt Maps
I’m a huge fan and supporter of the mapping software over at Hunting Maps GPS. I’ve used their maps for researching hunting and backpacking trips, and their app has been a lifesaver while out in the field.
These maps are offered by the state, so you can buy a state or two as a gift. If the person you are shopping for doesn’t have a GPS unit, you can still buy a map that works with the OnX Hunt App for iOS and Android. If they do have a GPS, you can buy the GPS chip for any state of your choosing. You can also learn more about the app in one of our previous posts on the Best Mobile Hunting Apps
First Lite Llano QZ Base Layer
Base layers are critical for keeping warm and wicking away moisture while out hunting. I’ve tried a variety of types for hiking, skiing, fishing, backpacking and hunting, but my favorite base layer by far is the First Lite Llano QZ. It’s super comfortable, the perfect weight, and also features a quarter zip so that you can easily dump heat while charging up the hill.
Side note: When I started to unpack after a backpack hunting trip this past season, the sick feeling came across me as I realized that I had accidentally left mine Llano QZ hanging up in a tree at our base camp to dry out. Worst feeling ever. I hate losing stuff. Especially a critical piece of gear that I love. I had an elk hunting trip right around the corner, so I immediately replaced the shirt knowing I was going to be wearing it every day during that upcoming hunt.
Sitka Merino Gloves
Every time I wear the Sitka Merino Gloves, I am constantly surprised by how warm these gloves are for how thin they are. I always have them with me in the field because they can be used across a variety of temperatures. They are the perfect layer for when you have to hike out to your treestand, sitting in the duck blind or trekking up a mountain side. Even in frosty conditions, they are able to keep my hands pretty warm. Eventually if it’s cold enough, I have to put some warmer gloves on, but these bad boys are super versatile and extremely comfortable. A great gift to give.
The Complete Guide to Hunting, Butchering, and Cooking Wild Game: Volume 1 & Volume 2
The series is now complete with Volume 2 - Small Game just launching a few weeks ago. These two books, Volume 1 - Big Game and Volume 2 - Small Game, should be in every hunter’s library. Originally the MeatEater crew had this all as one book, but there was just too much content that they had to split it up into two volumes. Makes total sense once you start to dig into these books.
The two volumes are jammed pack with information, perfect for the guy or gal who wants to get into hunting. But don’t stop there, this book is still incredibly invaluable for the hunter who’s already had a few rodeos in the woods and is hungry to learn more. These books cover gear, tactics and strategies, species and methods, butchering and cooking wild game. That’s everything you need to know across the entire experience of hunting for your own food. You’re getting a ton of bang for your buck with both volumes under $50.
First Lite Red Desert Boxer
The old stand by. The Red Desert Boxers are incredible. This is going to get a little personal, but before I slipped these wonderful briefs on, I couldn’t imagine spending north of $50 on a pair of boxers. However, these babies are worth their weight in gold.
I got these last year as a gift from my wonderful girlfriend, and I’ve worn these more days in a row than I’d like to admit. They are incredible for skiing, keeping warm while wading in the steelhead waters and most importantly on hunts - whether you’re sitting in a stand or sidehilling a mountain. This last year’s elk hunt I packed enough boxers to last the trip, but I ended up wearing my First Lite boxers the entire time. We were out pounding the hills day after day, and I just didn’t want to change out of them because they were so dang comfortable. These make a great gift this time of year because they are a bit on the expensive side for a pair of boxers, but that special hunter in your life will thank you many times over.