Gear Up for the Holidays

Last year, I admitted to being a little bit of a gear snob. What can I say? I like cool toys just as much as the next person. I still haven’t quite come around to cell cameras and a few other fancy gadgets, but maybe this time next year I’ll be singing a different tune.

If you haven’t noticed, the Biden Administration must have forgotten about Thanksgiving (shocker, right) because everywhere you look there’s Christmas stuff. I’ve even noticed Christmas decorations already going up in yards around town. It’s not my place to judge, so if that’s your jam then get after it. I’m doing everything I can at my house to keep the girls at bay and not skip over Thanksgiving, but it’s getting tougher every year.

In a recent podcast, we all thought it would be a good idea to talk about some of the gear that we like to use when hunting and fishing. We each listed ten items and discussed their purpose, and since I can’t slow down Christmas from throwing up all over your living room before you’ve had your turkey and dressing, I’ll go ahead and give you some items that you might wanna tell your loved one to pick up for you this year. Of course, they’ll need to take a class in jiu-jitsu ahead of venturing out into the angry Christmas shopping mob, but if they love you enough, they’ll take on Hell with a water gun to get you these items.

Let’s begin with low priced, stocking stuffer type gifts. These are mostly easy to find and won’t hurt your wallet, while at the same time, items that every hunter can use. First on the list are reflective tacks. That might sound dumb, but they are incredibly handy when marking a trail. We’ve used them to mark a spot going into a stand, and we’ve used them to mark blood trails. Second, a wind puffer. Knowing which direction the wind is blowing is something every hunter needs to be aware of. The ‘ol stick your finger in your mouth and see what side is colder afterward doesn’t always work. A puffer, or windicator, spits out just enough odorless powder to give you a good idea on which direction you’re gonna get busted. Third, an EZ 3-arm Bow Hanger, made by Realtree. If you’re an archery hunter, this is almost a must have, unless you’re the special kind of person that would rather hold your bow all day. This item easily screws into any tree, and you can adjust it to fit your needs. All three of these items can be found in just about any sporting goods store you go into.

Next, we’ll go with some items that are a little larger and a little pricier than the first three. First, is a Cutco Clip Point hunting knife. It’s a full tang knife that comes with a leather sheath and can be bought online, or from a local dealer. It’s the best knife that I’ve ever owned and comes with a lifetime warranty. Second, is the Vapor Trail “The Display” headlamp. Found at, this light does it all. I’ve used it hunting, as well as going up and down the river at night gigging frogs or running trot lines. It’s rechargeable, and cheaper than a lot of other headlamps that don’t perform nearly as well. An added bonus, it’s made in Mississippi. Third, a fanny pack. Yep, you read that correctly. Matt has been carrying a fanny pack for years in the woods instead of hauling in a bulky backpack. His is a Guide Series that had multiple compartments, but you can pick up a similar one at any outdoor store. If you think you’ll be viewed as “less manly” for wearing one, keep in mind that Matt has probably killed way bigger deer than most of us can dream of.

On to a few larger items that are going to cost you a little more but are well worth it. First, a subscription to OnX Maps. I know, I’m usually railing against technology in the woods, but this subscription is incredibly valuable, especially if you hunt public land. Just download the app on your smartphone and you’ll have property lines at your fingertips. You can add waypoints, as well as use the topo option to give you a good idea of the land layout. Next, is a Summit Viper climbing stand. There’s no denying Summit puts out the top climbing stand on the market. They are light, easy to hang on a tree, and super comfortable for long sits. One thing to make sure of, if you’re going to hunt from an elevated position, please make sure to wear a safety harness. It won’t do your loved ones any good to get you a climbing stand for Christmas if you’re just going to fall out of it. The most expensive gifts on the list are made by Vortex. First, is the Vortex Crossfire 1400 Rangefinder. With the clearest view for a rangefinder, the 1400 allows you to range your quarry up to 1400 yards, even in low light. Last on the list, and most expensive, is the Vortex Viper HSLR 4-16×50 riflescope. I don’t splurge and spend big on too many hunting items, but good optics is one area I make an exception. This scope offers an incredibly clear view, good eye relief, and the ability to take shots at very long ranges.

It was hard to narrow down our list to just ten items out of the thirty that we talked about. However, some of the items on this list were items that all three of us used, so we knew they would be good. To get the scoop on the other items mentioned, tune into the Pinstripes to Camo Podcast on Apple and Spotify, and make sure that whoever does your Christmas shopping is with you when you do!

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