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Graduation is a tremendous milestone. High school graduation gifts and college graduation gifts are an important part of celebrating a friend or family member who has reached one of these big milestones. If the person in your life that’s graduating loves the outdoors, get a graduation gift that he or she will appreciate and use out there. Here are some guidelines to finding the best graduation gifts for outdoorsmen:

  • Think about is the kind of outdoor recreation that the graduating outdoorsman prefers. Do they primarily hunt, or fish, or camp? You want to tailor your present to the specific interests of the graduating senior.
  • That said, if your graduate does it all, you can get a versatile gift. For instance, a good knife is useful for hunting, fishing, and camping.
  • Outdoorsmen are practical people, but don’t dismiss artistry. For instance, the value of a high-quality fly rod is not only practical but also aesthetic. It performs well and is a pleasure to behold.

Below is a comprehensive guide to the best graduation gifts for the outdoorsmen in your life this graduation season. 

Watches Are Great Graduation Gifts for Outdoor Lovers

A watch is a classic graduation gift. It’s both functional and stylish, and, if the watch is high-quality, can last decades or more. Look for an outdoor watch that has GPS positioning to help an outdoorsman navigate the wilderness. An outdoors watch may also track fitness and connect with a phone via bluetooth. You want to find an outdoors watch that isn’t gimmicky but still has nice added features.

Best Watch for Outdoorsmen: Garmin Instinct Solar Tactical

The Garmin Instinct Solar Tactical is a can’t-beat pick for an outdoorsman. This Garmin smartwatch is loaded with useful features, including a built-in 3-axis compass, barometric altimeter, and multiple global navigation satellite systems. The watch will allow the user to project waypoints, navigate trails, and more.

Hunting Knives Are Great Graduation Gifts for Outdoorsmen

Hunting knives are useful, and often beautiful. A quality hunting knife is a great present for any outdoorsman, even for someone who doesn’t hunt, because hunting knives are versatile. You can use a hunting knife in many situations, from emergency scenarios to cooking in camp. 

When you’re looking for a hunting knife as a gift for an outdoor lover, look for a very well-made product. A good hunting knife will last a lifetime—and maybe even longer. The knife should be durable, which means that the handle should be made out of wood, bone, or metal, not plastic. If the graduate is a serious hunter, consider a fixed blade knife that will be useful for butchering big game. If the outdoorsman is a small game hunter or a generalist outdoors person, consider a folding knife. Those are more versatile and easier to carry.

Best Knife for Outdoorsmen: Benchmade North Fork 15031 Folding Knife

High Craftsmanship

The Benchmade North Fork 15031 Folding Knife is a beautiful, practical, and well-made all-around outdoor knife. cabelas

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The Benchmade North Fork 15031 Folding Knife was made with hunters in mind, though it’s a great gift for any outdoors lover. The CPM-S30V premium stainless steel drop-point blade is durable and razor sharp. The laminate hardwood grip looks great, and doesn’t absorb moisture or sweat.

Binoculars Make the Best Graduation Gifts for Outdoorsmen

A new set of binoculars makes a great graduation present for outdoorsmen, especially hunters. You can use binoculars to scout new hunting grounds, scope a potential target, or just explore nature and the outdoors. One big advantage to getting binoculars as a graduation gift is that you don’t have to worry if they will fit. 

Look for binoculars made specifically for hunting. These will get the job done in the field and tend to be high-quality products, with good lenses, a rugged build, and are often waterproof. You can spend anywhere from $50 to several thousand dollars on a set of binoculars, but there are some in the $200-$300 range that are excellent.

Best Binoculars for Outdoorsmen: Vortex Diamondback HD Binoculars

Well Designed

The Vortex Diamondback HD Binoculars are a high quality set of binoculars at an affordable price point. cabelas

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The Vortex Diamondback HD Binoculars boast an HD optical system that improves resolution as well as multiple anti-reflective coatings on all air-to-glass surfaces. The binoculars are waterproof and designed ergonomically to make them easy to use for extended periods of time, which means they’re great for glassing terrain.

Ice Chests Make the Best Graduation Gifts for Outdoor Lovers

An ice chest or cooler is a must-have for every outdoorsman. Ice chests are crucial equipment for any hunting, fishing, or camping expedition, not to mention barbeques and road trips. There are many coolers on the market, but odds are that a young outdoorsman won’t have one of the high-quality premium coolers that are available today. That’s where you come in. 

Look for a well-made cooler that will last a long time. A high-quality cooler is durable and effective. It will be rugged enough to stand up to any abuse and be able to retain ice for several days. This is a great one-size-fits-all graduation present that will cost several hundred dollars and last for years.

Best Ice Chest for Outdoorsmen: YETI Tundra 45 Cooler

Premium Quality

The YETI Tundra 45 Cooler will keep food and drinks colder longer than most other coolers on the market today. YETI

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YETI Tundra 45 Cooler is an extremely rugged ice chest built to stand up to the rigors of the outdoors. It’s a high-quality cooler with long-lasting durability, making it a great choice as a graduation gift for outdoorsmen.

Camping Tents As Graduation Gifts

Camping tents make some of the best graduation gifts for outdoorsmen for several reasons. They’re very practical and are used by outdoorsmen in both hunting and fishing pursuits. Graduating seniors don’t often have the funds for a new tent, which makes a tent a very thoughtful gift.

Before purchasing a tent as a graduation gift, think about where the graduate goes in the outdoors, and with whom. A two-person tent is a versatile and portable option that can be carried in a backpack. Larger tents are good for the outdoorsman that loves big group camping trips. Either way, get a high-quality product that will stand up to the elements.

Best Tent for Outdoorsmen: Kelty Late Start 2-Person Tent

Versatile Shelter

The Kelty Late Start 2-Person Tent works well in the backcountry. cabelas

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Kelty Late Start 2-Person Tent is a packable two-person shelter. It’s made with durable and water-resistant 1,800mm-coated 68-denier polyester. Pre-bent 9mm aluminum poles make for a strong frame that will stand up to harsh conditions.

Unique Graduation Gifts for Outdoorsmen

If you want to find a personal and unique gift, look for one that speaks to several interests. You know that the person you’re getting a graduation gift for loves the outdoors; can you think of another interest or hobby that he or she enjoys? For instance, if the graduating senior is a bookworm, consider getting a nice hardcover book that has to do with the outdoors. By combining multiple interests, you’re likely to get an outdoor gift that is distinct to the person receiving it.

Best Unique Gift for Outdoorsmen: WACACO Nanopresso Portable Espresso Maker

Smart Concept

The WACACO Nanopresso Portable Espresso Maker is a fully manual device, and can be used anywhere. WACACO

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The WACACO Nanopresso Portable Espresso Maker allows you to enjoy espresso no matter how far from civilization you are. It’s small, portable, and easy to use and clean. It’s a unique and functional graduation gift choice that any coffee-loving outdoorsman will truly appreciate.

Final tips for getting graduation gifts for outdoor lovers

The best graduation gifts for outdoorsmen should be functional, aesthetically pleasing, and last a long time. There’s a lot of cheaply made gear out there that seems appropriate but won’t last long. A well made piece of gear will always be appreciated—and used.


Outdoor Life wants to help you find the most useful and expert shopping recommendations for the best gift ideas. Searching for more unique gifts? Check out more gift guides here: Best Camping Gifts, Birthday Gifts for Outdoorsmen, Best Gifts for Dad.

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