Christmas shopping is not something I overly enjoy. The crowds, the driving, the trying to stay on budget, and the complete lack of ideas from those I am buying for tends to lead to frustration. However, the internet is making my life a lot easier these days since I would prefer to shop from the comfort of my couch. Another thing that helps is having a common interest with the people you are buying for – I buy Darrell fishing stuff that we have both been wanting. It has the added bonus of being something I can use, and makes my Christmas visit to Bass Pro Shops very quick. It wasn’t always that way though. Our first Christmas together I asked Darrell what he would like. “Fishing stuff,” is all he said. Do you know how hard it is to buy fishing stuff when you don’t know anything about it? Sheesh!
If you’re stuck on what to get the outdoors person in your life, or if you’re one of those frustrating people who can’t decide, here are a few suggestions. Since I am an angler, these suggestions are skewed towards fishing-related items.
Books – Everyone enjoys a good book (or they should, anyway). If the person on your list likes to read, here a couple of books to consider, with links to book reviews:
- Paddling and Hiking the Georgian Bay Coast by Kas Stone – A fantastic look at different adventures that can be had in the Georgian Bay area.
- Building Outdoors Gear by Gil Gilpatrick – For the outdoors loving DIYer this book has detailed instructions for a variety of projects such as canoe motor mount, trip boxes, and a reflector oven.
- Carp Fishing In Canada by Tony Benham – The ideal book for anyone considering getting into carp fishing. The author’s passion makes this a fantastic read.
- Ice Fishing: The Ultimate Guide by Tim Allard – The best all-round ice fishing primer available. Whether this is going to a newbie or an experienced angler, this book will be sure to please.
Jewelry – There’s a variety of unique, outdoors-related jewelry available that will bring a smile to an outdoorswoman’s face. I enjoy the earrings made out of feathers as they offer a really neat change from the ordinary.
- Sweethearts of the Forest – Nature inspired jewelry created by a mother and daughter team. Not long ago I purchased a necklace from here and I absolutely love it.
- Damselfly & Co – Fly fishing inspired earrings. I have a pair of these and they never fail to get compliments when I wear them. Whether you love fly fishing, or just enjoy beautiful things, these earrings really impress.
- Anisa Design – Absolutely stunning designs are what you will find here. I spent a very long time clicking through all of the galleries, the Offshore collection stirs the imagination! Necklaces, bracelets, cufflinks, etc.
Clothing – Wear clothing that shows off your outdoors pride. While the standard clothes bearing the names of tackle companies are always eagerly accepted (as in, I would gladly accept anything with the G. Loomis logo on it), there are more options than ever to show off your love of the outdoors.
- B’ASS Fisher Woman – Visors, t-shirts, and tanks – the fishing addicted lady in your life will love one of these. With slogans like “Girl with a lure” and “Shut up and fish!”, how can you go wrong?
- FlyGal – April Vokey’s company, FlyGal, has a some wonderful new t-shirts available, as well as many items that are 50% off. Check it out!
- Pink Fishing – Pink Fishing sells clothes for men and women and donates a percentage of all sales to breast cancer research and awareness.
- Fishbum Outfitters – Fishbum clothes are the ultimate in cool. At my last bass club meeting there were at least three members sporting Fishbum apparel and, here at home, Darrell has been asking for the new Squaretail Jacket since it came out. You’ll have a very happy angler on Christmas morning if you give them something from Fishbum.
Memberships – How about giving that loved one a membership to a club they would like to join? A couple of years ago I would have love to have someone gift me a membership that I could not afford on my own. Many clubs have perks like a magazine, club meetings, or other events and ways to get involved.
- Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (OFAH) – A great idea for the outdoors enthusiast in Ontario. The OFAH is the voice of anglers and hunters in Ontario, and the leading not for profit fish and wildlife conservation organization in the province. OFAH members receive the Ontario OUT OF DOORS magazine.
- B.A.S.S. – If they love bass fishing, they need a B.A.S.S. membership.
- Trout Unlimited / Trout Unlimited Canada – These organizations are dedicated to conserving coldwater fisheries and their ecosystems. The volunteer opportunities and chances to make a difference are a big bonus for the angler conservationist.
- Conservation Authorities – Do you know someone who enjoys visiting the local conversation area/park? Maybe they like to hike, swim, snowshoe, or fish in these areas. Buy them an annual membership that will allow them to visit the parks as often as they want without having to pay the admittance fee each time. Most conservation authorities have an option to purchase these online.
Tackle – When it comes right down to it, most anglers can’t get enough gear. Do you have a rough idea what they want? Buy it! Unless you were given specifics, don’t worry too much about color and size. Three of the same lure is never a problem, it allows the chance to share a hot lure with a friend, or replace the one that was lost in a tree. Two of the easiest places to purchase tackle online are Bass Pro Shops and Tackle Warehouse. If you want to go beyond that, check out some of the small tackle companies. They offer lures that won’t be found everywhere and they can customize something for you. Visit your local tackle shop and ask for gift ideas, they will be only too happy to help.
Think outside the box – Give that special person a fishing trip. If they enjoy ice fishing, pay for hut rental for a day. Ask to spend a day fishing with them – most anglers love taking other people out fishing. Take your loved one for a hike in a spectacular setting. Go to a conservation area and go snowshoeing. These may not have the same effect as opening a brightly wrapped box on Christmas morning, but the memories will last far longer.
Hopefully these suggestions will be of some use to you. Whatever you choose, have a very Merry Christmas!