The 2019 Outdoor Life Mother’s Day Gift Guide
Twelve fishing- and hunting-themed ideas for what to get mom this holiday
Late in the spring, every year, we get a chance to do what we should do more often—recognize our mothers for all they’ve done, all they do, and all they will do. But sometimes it’s hard to find a gift that fits the occasion. If you’re looking for a unique Mother’s Day gift with an outdoor theme, or simply want to break away from gifting the traditional bouquet of flowers, here’s a short list of fishing- and hunting-related gifts that are sure to bring out smile. Get mom something nice and let her know how much she’s appreciated.
There’s something to be said for simplicity. If there’s a way to get gear from point A to B in an easy-to-use tote, any mom will be all for it. That’s what you get with the new Yeti Camino. Made from the same thick-skin shell as their soft-sided coolers, this bag is puncture and abrasion resistant. The mouth is huge which makes getting gear in and out of the bag a cinch, and the molded waterproof bottom keeps the contents upright and dry. If there’s not enough room inside for all she needs to carry, there are fabric loops on the outside to attach anything with a carabiner. This is simply a great bag for carrying any and all items that don’t have a home—a towel, Rambler of margaritas, sunscreen, and Bluetooth speaker for an afternoon on the beach, for example.
Spring weather can be fickle—sometimes it feels like winter isn’t quite over, or summer is coming on a little early. But if mom has a lightweight jacket that insulates without making her overheat, she’s prepared for nearly anything. Patagonia’s Nano Puff Jacket fits that bill perfectly. It’s a thin, light (10 ounces), comfortable outer layer that uses the company’s PrimaLoft Gold Eco insulation for a good warmth-to-weight ratio. The outer layer is a recycled ripstop fabric that’s treated with Patagonia’s proprietary Durable Water Repellent (DWR) finish, which can repel light rain. There’s a drawcord hem, two zippered pockets, internal chest pocket, and zipper garage to prevent chin chaffing when it’s all the way up.
In most cases, sunglasses are one of those items you typically have to try before you buy. However, there are a few select designs that compliment nearly every face they adorn. The Canna frames from Maui Jim happen to be one of those styles. The acetate frames have a classic cat eye look and feel that was popular in the 1950s and ’60s, and the super-thin lenses are polarized glass (not polycarbonate) with a UV protective coating. Available in five different frame and lens color combinations, and in prescription strengths, the glasses come with a hard storage case and lens cloth.
More and more outdoor companies are understanding the need to design products with women in mind, and not simply downsize an existing model and say it’s for ladies. Case in point is the Huntress Hunting Pack. ALPS says it started from scratch and designed the contoured shoulder straps, waist belt, and frame to accommodate a woman’s figure. The pack is also vented to prevent back sweat, features a drop-down weapon pocket for a bow or rifle, it’s large enough (2,200 cubic inches) to carry lots of gear, and there’s space and ports for hydration bladders. It weighs just 2 ¾ pounds empty and includes a blaze orange rain cover.
I know it’s spring and it’s hard to think the weather will turn cold again in a few months, but when it does, Sitka’s Celsius Jacket can keep your mom or wife warm when they’re in the field. It features a soft, water-repellent nylon shell and Primaloft Silver Active insulation, making it a great option as a middle layer. There’s even a safety harness pass-through port so she can wear the harness close to her body and not have to take it off as she adds or removes layers. Two insulated front pockets will keep hands warm, and there’s a small internal pocket to keep a phone or other small items.
One of the most innovate knife designs unveiled at the annual SHOT Show in January, 2019, was the Provoke from Columbia River Knife and Tool (CRKT). Designer Joe Caswell leveraged on the ancient karambit design, but added a few modern features of his own. It’s the first ever CRKT knife to use their Kinematic technology, which allows the business end to remain tucked away, and quickly deploy (fast, like a switchblade) when it’s needed. The blade itself is D2 steel, and the entire piece has a nitride finish, making it completely corrosion resistant. If your mom or wife are interested in personal protection, but don’t want to carry a firearm, the Provoke is a terrific alternative.
Spring is the time to plant gardens, prepare flower beds, scout for turkeys, set up trail cameras, and do all sorts of other chores that include some component of mud, moisture, or mire not suited for everyday sneakers. With a comfortable rubber boot, however, like the Alpha Lite from LaCrosse, your mom won’t think twice about trudging through slop. These boots are made from hard rubber over insulating neoprene so feet stay dry and warm, and the diamond-pattern outsole provides excellent traction. Every pair is easy to slip on and off, are 14-inches high, weigh approximately three pounds, and come in several color options.
One of my mother’s favorite warm-month activities is to hike the trails winding through the foothills outside her home in Boise, Idaho. Going up is tough, but coming down is sometimes harder because of the impact on the knees and the risk of rolling an ankle. A hiking stick helps, but trekking poles are better. A pair of trekking poles can make a huge difference while hiking by steadying your upper body and providing better balance, especially in areas with poor footing. Moreover, mom can (and should) use them when hunting in steep terrain, and they make good makeshift weapons against aggressive dogs, snakes, or wildlife, or an extension of her arm to brush away thorn bushes or poison ivy from the path.
Hydration is important, especially in the warm-weather months, and on those particularly hot days, nothing tastes better than ice-cold water, lemonade, or ice tea—as long as it remains cold. That’s where a Hydro Flask comes in. A Hydro Flask is a stainless steel, toxin-free carafe your mom can carry with her when she’s on the go and doesn’t have time to find a drinking fountain or buy fluids at a convenience store. It keeps whatever she’s drinking ice cold for extended periods of time, it’s lined with food-grade stainless steel so there’s no need to worry about contaminants, and it has a grippy, slip-free outer coating. Add a sport cap or straw lid and mom can sip away without worrying about accidental spills.
It might not occur to you, but socks (well made, thick, comfortable socks) make great gifts. Whether you’re hiking, fishing, hunting, or just moving through everyday life, a quality pair of socks and good footwear can make or break someone’s day. Nobody knows that more than the folks at SmartWool—they’ve been weaving socks for 25 years—and their women’s Hike Medium Crews are one of their most popular. Made from a Merino wool, imported yarn, and nylon blend, they have a medium cushion to absorb impact on the trail, an elastic arch brace, flat knit toe seam, and they keep feet dry and happy.
For over 150 years, Pendleton has produced thick, colorful blankets from their mill in Oregon. Originally used by shepherds in the Pacific Northwest, their Yakima Camp Throw blankets, are easily recognizable by their solid, earthy tones and stripe patterns, and have since become a staple throughout the West. Each blanket is 54 inches wide, and 66 inches long and made with 100 percent virgin wool and cotton. What’s more, you can use the blanket to keep you warm on a cold night, fling it over the bed footboard, or hang it up in the house as a colorful decoration.
12. Taking Aim: Daring to Be Different, Happier, and Healthier in the Great OutdoorsCheck Price
If you’re a hunter and you haven’t heard the name Eva Shockey, you need to get out more. The daughter of noted outfitter and hunting personality Jim Shockey, Eva has made a name for herself in the outdoors and inspired countless other females to pick up a bow or rifle and head to the woods. This book details her personal story from childhood through adulthood, the highs and lows of a life spent hunting and fishing, her thoughts on conservation, and some of her favorite hunts. It’s a great gift for the mom or wife that loves to read.