Sporting Life

Stocking Stuffers for the Outdoor Person 

By Dennis Doyle 

It’s a lot easier to select proper minor gifts for an outdoor person than making a winning major purchase, so if you want to hedge your bets for that special someone, you can always deluge them with smaller gifts they are sure to appreciate. 

Duct tape is the first foolproof gift on the list, especially a colored variety. The original gray is always needed and appreciated but a roll of blaze orange will be welcomed by sportspeople that want to make themselves, or a guest, or an item extra visible. Gorilla Products makes a heavy duty and water proof variety that really maximizes their usefulness and field life. 

Swiss Army (Victorinox) products are also excellent choices, they make a uniquely attractive, heavy duty kitchen can opener and a very well executed poultry and general kitchen shears. The Swiss Army fish spatula may well become a chef’s favorite tool for flipping everything. And their pocket knives are also very well done. The Waiter folding knife is always handy for anyone needing a corkscrew and small knife at all times, and the Tinker style carries two types of screwdrivers, a cutting blade, a can opener and a leather punch, all in an extremely compact unit. These folding knives come in all colors, if you want something memorable, but the traditional, bright red handles make them easy to find and hard to lose. 

Victorinox also makes the very best 8-inch general chef’s knife, arguably better than the hundred dollar-plus units touted by elite TV cooking writers. Everyone always needs an extra kitchen knife. This is a sure winner. 

A carton of AA and AAA batteries is also a surefire bet. They’re standard in compact flashlights, TV remotes, and game controllers; these are the batteries that seem to always die at the worst possible time. The gift of backup batteries will be appreciated by all. 

Anglers will appreciate spray cans of Real Magic, or similar fishing line conditioner products, especially during the hard winter months when they finally have time to realize that they really need at least one can. 

WD-40 is also a welcome gift. It’s been modified over the last few years to become a quite decent lubricant (it wasn’t before) as well as a go-to rust preventative. And the small 3 ounce can is particularly handy so put a couple of them in the stocking of your favorite giftee. 

Corrosion-X is a particularly excellent spray lube and corrosion protector that will be an eye opener for anyone not already familiar with the product. More intense and chemically sophisticated than the WD products, it is the gold standard for protecting complex sporting gear, firearms and fishing reels. The dedicated outdoor person will thank you for this one. 

No one ever has enough pairs of heavy wool socks. Wigwam makes some of the best in a multitude of styles and applications. I like their 40 Below Line but any heavyweight item in their catalog will keep your toes toasty in the field or blind. Nothing like an extra sock in your Christmas stocking to warm up the season. 



It’s white perch time on the Chesapeake as rockfish season is closed. However, stripers are still open oceanside. Try around Ocean City in the surf with big bloodworms for a winter workout. Minimum size is at least 28 inches but when they’re in, they are the big ones. Dress warm.