Yep it’s Christmas… Just 5 days away.
If you’re like the Gun and Gear Guy, sometimes you get down to those last few days before Christmas and have people on your list who you need to get a last minute gift for. Well the Gun and Gear Guy is going to provide you with a simple list (from $5 to $100) of 10 last minute items for your Gun and Gear Folk you that should be able to find in a store near you. That is, unless you live in BFE!
1. Ammo ($15 – $50) – Yes on this year’s “10 Last Minute Gifts” is ammo. Its always a great standby for any gun guy or gal. If your guy or gal shoots regularly then we always need ammo. In recent years (and possibly future ones) ammo has been scarce, so don’t down play the value of a box of ammo for your shooter. If money is tight, pick up some fairly stock ammo from Federal, Winchester, or Remington. Just make sure you get the right caliber they shoot. If you have a few extra dollars, you might consider picking up some ammo they might not normally buy themselves like Hornady’s SST Rifle Ammo (for your hunter), or G2R RIP Handgun Ammo (for your handgun shooter). While some of the higher-end ammunition can get pricey, if you shop your local “gun” stores (not big retailers), you will find deals.
2. Scope Covers ($5 – $50) – These are always winners for rifle owners. Whether simple slip-ons, or the more complex and expensive flip-ups/see throughs, scope covers are a must for any active shooter. What non-shooters don’t know is that we shooters constantly destroy them. The upside to this gift, is it is cheap, versatile and ubiquitous (you can find them everywhere). Only down side of this gift is a lot of scopes are hard to stock fit, so if you don’t know your scope lingo, you may have to get a gift certificate and have them fit them, themselves. The standard plastic flip-up scope cover is a pretty safe choice. Here is a list of typical flip-up scope covers on Amazon.
3. Socks ($5 – $20) – While socks are a cliche in the world of gifts, if you do a little research (or read this blog) and shopping, socks can become a powerful and unique gift for your Gun and Gear Folks. We are not talking about cotton athletic socks, but high-performance and/or speciality socks. Personally having spent a LOT of time in outdoor activities ranging from sky-diving to intense hunts, I would rather have great socks than anything on this list. Some great sock ideas? Well for your runner, hiker or casual adventure type, you might get some low-rise Thorlos TRMX or Swiftwick Performance socks. If you have a much more intense, active, competitive type, you could pick up some Darntough No Show’s or a nice inner layer polypro like Cabela’s Midcalf Polypro Liners. Regardless your local big retailer will have some wool/synthetic blend and those are great for keeping your feet warm back in the lodge. Just put some thought into socks when you buy them and you have a great gift idea.
4. Day Pack ($50 – $100) – The day pack is having its renaissance. No longer is this simple item strictly an “outdoor” piece of gear reserved for day hikers and back packers. This Gun and Gear Guy sees the lowly day pack in board room (as a laptop bag), in the airport (as luggage), shopping (as a urban day bag)… Pretty much everywhere! Anyone who is active in any way could probably benefit from a day pack (except this Gun and Gear Guy who has too many!). Don’t grab some school day bag but get a well-thought-out, durable one, like the ones from Drago. I started using Drago bags before they became well-known and have loved every piece I have bought. Grab a nice black day bag and a neoprene laptop sleeve, voila you have a great executive laptop bag.
5. Overalls or Bib ($50 – $100) – Any person who is doing things in the outdoor can appreciate a nice pair of overalls, or a good work bib. Whether gardening, playing around in the snow, hanging out at the beach, or pretty much any outdoor activity… having that easy-on, easy-off extra clothing layer to cover the range of weather, temps, and activities is always well appreciated. Don’t overthink this item. A good, well-fitting (not too loose or tight) pair of mid-weight denim overalls, or a simple canvas work bib is an awesome gift for any Gun or Gear Guy/Gal. If they don’t appreciate it, then they are full of it on the “adventure” scale! Quick tip… Go to your local agricultural supply house, they often have great overalls and bibs at awesome prices. The box retail stores now gouge you on these items (even the big sports retailers)!
6. Membership or License ($25 – $100) – Any active person is constantly having to renew licenses (hunting, boating, etc) and/or memberships (NRA, Ducks Unlimited, etc). These things can be both a hassle, as well as cut into our “fun” funds. For the shooter who doesn’t have a lifetime membership, pick up their renewal (or buy them a new) NRA Membership. Or if they are avid in some other activity do a little research, there is always a membership to some national organization. For the hunter, fisherman, etc consider paying for next years license or buying/contributing-to a “lifetime” license. Grandparents, the best gift you can ever give your new-born grandchildren is a lifetime state hunting/fishing license. Most states typically make these real cheap to purchase in the first year or so of the new born’s life.
7. Tools ($5 – $100) – Every (let me repeat for those of you who didn’t read that first word – EVERY) adventurer needs some types of tools. Whether a caliper to measure outside/inside dimensions in building guns, compact shovels for back country or hunting, or micro screwdrivers to make field repairs… It doesn’t matter. Without the right tools you can’t have the right fun. Things to look for in buying tools include: a) compact (adventurers don’t like heavy, bulky or the like) b) multi-purpose (except where it is important to have a single purpose tool) c) durable (we hate stuff that breaks when we need it most). The reality to most Gun and Gear Folks is that we destroy, lose, and just can’t often find the right tools. So do a little digging into the tools they may need and you will have a range of great gift options.
8. Knife ($20 – $100) – An oldie but goodie. The era of the knife has waned somewhat with all the restrictions everywhere you go. Gone are the days where every man (and most women) carry a good pocket knife. That said a good knife can be a great gift. Like socks you have to think this one through a bit, and you can have a great gift with purpose (utility), meaning (collection/value), or both. I still have and cherish pocket knives my grandparents gave me a a kid. I love the tanto style of knives as they have 2 directions of cutting surfaces and a strong point with lots of uses (ever need to break glass and get out of a car?). I recommend and carry SOG Knives. They are a solid value for the price. Not overly great, not expensive either. The nice thing about the gift of a knife is you can go from utility to collectable in this selection as a gift.
9. Training or Education ($10 – $100) – Do you have someone who has talked about wanting their conceal carry permit? Buy the class to help them get it. Have a friend who is just getting into fly fishing? Go to the local book store and buy a book on tying flies. As a Gun Guy I always loved when someone gave me the gift of the annual reviews of rifle, shotgun, pistol, etc books (or even magazines). Actually those have always been one of my favorite gifts. Every adventure has some reference material like this. If your buying some training, check out your local Groupon or Living Social. I often find great adventure training deals on these sites.
10. Local Mini-Adventure ($0+) – That’s right set up a mini-adventure for your favorite Gun or Gear Folk. Put together an afternoon shooting skeet, or a quick trip hiking the local (nearby) backcountry, or a fishing afternoon at a stocked pond of a local farmer with a fish-fry afterwords. It doesn’t have to involve hotels, or anything expensive. Just go find a local, “staycation” type of adventure of their liking and put the pieces together yourself. Trust me, us adventure types a) get tired of the travel, so staying local can be fun b) get tired of having to manage all the details, so having someone else put it all together is awesome.
We hope these ideas can help you find something unique and special for those Gun and Gear Folks on your list.
The Gun and Gear Guy and all the family here at thegagg.com wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Looking forward to 2015 and where it takes us.