Alright, it's that time of year, the dreaded moment when you've filled your Christmas list except for that one pesky person. Or two.
What do you buy someone who seemingly has all the gear they need?
In case you need more options I've also included my 2015 list at the end.
1. First and foremost, these are a repeat offender and appear on both lists. Socks. I'm not talking regular discount bin socks, I'm talking utilitarian socks. Whether the person you're buying for loves ice fishing, fall/winter hiking, or late season hunting, there will always be room for more socks. Trust me, we get excited about socks.
2. As a photographer, owning a hard case to carry my camera equipment is absolutely necessary. I find myself in some pretty wild situations on the water, and I rest easy knowing my gear is safe. If your gift receiver has valuable equipment that accompanies them in the outdoors, chances are they will appreciate a hard case to protect it from the elements.
Another option is dry bags. A lightweight alternative to hard cases that provide water proofing for less fragile items, such as clothing, towels, or granola bars (my mind always travels back to food)
Different elements call for different measures, I currently have my eye on a few water resistant duffel bags like the one below. Be warned, these duffel bags are only water resistant, not water proof and won't hold up in heavy rainfall or snow.
Adding onto the above, anything water proof. Water proof phone cases, rain shells, you name it. To be sure you're getting what you need, check seams for seals, test phone cases (without phones in them) and remember, you get what you pay for in terms of quality.
3. It's no secret outdoors enthusiasts love to document their adventures. Action cameras are getting more and more affordable every day. Do some research on different makes and models, and if you need a hand, always feel free to pick my brain at firstname.lastname@example.org.
4. Art is on my 2015 list, but I can't stress enough how exciting it is to receive a piece of original art.
5. This is a bias item, I won't deny it. The new Just Encase musky tackle box is so wicked. I don't own one yet but I've been hearing great things. Honestly, as soon as I have the chance to go through their custom options, I'm getting my own.
7. I'm the person who geeks out when I see new multi tools hit the market, I know I can't be the only one out there. As a side note, I found these Paracord Grenades recently, can't speak for them personally but they sure look like they'd make an unique gift, just check out all of the stuff that comes inside of them!
8. Hand and feet warmers, disposable packs are great, however I'm a huge fan of the butane hand warmers by Zippo.
9. Headlamps. To help you avoid whomping said knee on said trailer receiver.
10. Gift cards, they are often over looked in my thoughts because I just assume they are tied to large corporations or the LCBO. However, I was recently reminded (Thanks, Scott T) that you can purchase gift cards for smaller, local suppliers. Here's a few I wouldn't mind store credit from :
Chesher's Outdoor Store http://www.cheshersoutdoor.com
Pro Tackle Musky Shop http://protacklemuskyshop.com/musky-homepage-c20.php
Feel free to comment adding your favourite local outdoors shops.
That just about sums it up for the 2016 list of goodies I'd want, I mean, your loved ones will want under the tree this year.
Did I leave anything out? Be sure to let me know, I'll add your ideas and names to the list!
Happy Holidays, and stay safe out there!
Amanda Paulhus Photo
Below is my 2015 list geared towards anglers.
2015 Guide for Experienced and Beginner Anglers.
Christmas is fast approaching, contrary to what Mother Nature wants us to believe.
I've had a lot of people ask me this year what I would suggest getting for a fishing crazed family member or friend. If you're having trouble coming up with gift ideas for the anglers or outdoor enthusiasts in your life, I've got your back, Jack.
Sam Thompson Photo
I'll start with the experienced anglers, here are some gift ideas outside of the fly box, and less geared towards, well, gear.
I have been fishing for many years now, I have a plethora of fishing gear, spinners, spoons, line, mono that I don't ever use, Plano tackle boxes galore, everything from a Mepps to a Jitterbug. Odds are, your experienced angler doesn't need another Williams spoon in their collection.
Though those gifts are always appreciated, there are many other things anglers will use just as much, if not more than their tackle. That being said, I need fly gear like mad, so I may just create a kickstarter at the end of this for myself.
Anglers LOVE their stickers. They are affordable and an absolutely delightful stocking stuffer. Boat products, tackle, tackle boxes, rod and reel makers, even clothing companies that focus on fishing. All of them have one thing in common, they all make stickers. And we all love them. Trust me.
But what will they put it on you ask?! Anything. Everything.
Clothing is tricky, because its very personal, and every angler has different taste. Do they love extreme skeletons, or do they appreciate the simpler patterns? For the clothing I have in mind, you don't need to think about it.
There is no such thing as fully water proof gloves, but a lined pair of gloves with a water resistent surface will get them pretty far. Add text-friendly finger tips to them and you've got yourself a winner.
Who wants socks in their stocking? Outdoor enthusiasts, that's who. Warm, wool, high socks, are an outdoorsmens/womens best friend. Socks aren't cheap, especially the ones your toes will thank you for. Because of this, they are often an overlooked piece of the outdoor enthusiasts wardrobe, and are always needed. I would jump for joy if I had more than two pairs of Redheads wool socks.
Face protection, there are many brands that have great products, more and more pop up every day. I am a lover of Buff, and BlackStrap Inc. This isn't limited to face covers, there are sleeves, balaclavas, and hoods you can find too. If you haven't the slightest clue to what I'm taking about, refer to the shot below, it should help out!
Sam Thompson Photo
People who love the outdoors are often very creative, open minded, colourful people. I may be biased with this suggestion, but there is nothing I love more than staring at a piece of original art, and if I had a fishing room, it'd be full of it. Also if I had money.
You can easily spend over $100 on six pieces of tackle (two if they chase muskies) that your angler may or may not need, or you can spend $100 on an original piece of art, that they can display proudly.
Sculptures, mosaics, abstracts, paintings, drawings, there are some spectacular artists out there. I could recommend some truly amazing artists, feel free to contact me.
Original piece by Michael Meyer
*Keep in mind, commissioned work is often busy this time of year, but some artists have an abundance of original pieces already ready to go.
Alright let's switch it up to some gear for the less seasoned anglers.
First and foremost, tools, what every angler needs, and what most anglers forget until they need them.
Pliers. My heroes. Seriously. You get me a pair of longnose pliers with metal snips at their base, I am happier than a pig in what may or may not be it's own feces. Everything from removing hooks deep down a pikes throat to clamping more splitshot onto my line ( fly fishers, pretend you didn't read that )
Cutters, you may not want to hear this, but cutters aren't just good for getting fickle hooks out of fish. If you get what I'm saying. I have been on the water with anglers who have had a hook set into their own skin, badly. If they didn't have cutters to remove the hooks barbs, it would have been a nasty 3 hour trip to the hospital. Not to mention when said hooks are still attached to thrashing unhappy fish, its good to have them on hand.
Sunglasses. What this girl wouldn't do for a closet full of polarized sunglasses. Get them a gift certificate for a Sunglass Hut and let them go wild. A word of warning, brand name sunglasses can run about $60+, and for polarized lenses they can be $100 or much much more. My last pair set me back $160 for Ray Bans on sale. Polarized lenses are actual life and bite savers on the water. They allow anglers to see clearly under the water to spot structure, possible hazzards and of course, interested fish.
Anything that will make their things float. Have an angler that documents everything they do on the water? Six GoPros all willy-nilly affixed to their boat? Do them a favour and buy them floating cases for those GoPros. Floating phone cases, floating key chains, floating sunglass clips, basically buy them bulk styro foam, some string and adhesive.
Sam Thompson Photo
Nets, some anglers choose not to use them, but if I'm chasing anything that swims, I (usually, unless I forgot it) have my net. Do some digging and find out what they target most. ( bass, pike, walleye) When you find out the species, speak with someone at the tackle shop to point you in the right direction. At my last fly fishing meeting I scored a small trout net in the raffle, of course I fish mostly for pike and muskie, so as pretty as it is, I now need to target trout.
If they are getting into fly fishing, the first thing I wanted when I started was my own fly box. I didn't even know how to tie flies, I still don't really, but that doesn't stop me from owning six fly boxes. My first fly box was given to me by some very dear friends who even filled it with flies tied by one of them. It was a very special gift that I still treasure to this day.
This about sums up the neccessities but there are endless gift ideas. My only other piece of advice would be to do some extensive digging on what species they target, and when they fish the most. With that knowledge you can speak with tackle and fly shop owners with confidence and get the right gift for your loved one.
To see more work by Sam Thompson Photography please check him out here, http://www.samthompsonphoto.com
For inquiries on Michael Meyers beautiful art, contact me at the outlets below.
Have more ideas? Let me know, I'll add them to this blog with your name attached! Feel free to contact me at email@example.com, my Facebook page, Alyssa Lloyd Photography, or my Instagram @alyssalloydphoto