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Gift guide for children of sportsmen

By Laura Kruse, Staff writer
Published On: Mar 12 2012 02:44:50 PM CDT
Updated On: May 15 2014 09:48:27 AM CDT
man fishing, fishing pole

If your dad is an outdoorsman and you have no idea what to get him, that probably means you are more of the indoors type.

Join the club.

My dad jumps at the chance to hunt for ... whatever ... and take the boat out on any and all lakes with his fishing pole. However, I haven't joined him in that boat since I was a kid.

If your dad is an outdoorsman and you just don't get it, don't worry. You can still find a Father's Day gift he'll love; it will just take a little more work.

Camping

If Dad likes to camp, he probably has the basics -- a tent, sleeping bags and pads, rain gear, probably even a cookstove of some variety.

So what can you provide?

You could opt for an updated sleeping bag; the high-end ones keep you warm in freezing weather and fit like a glove. Or, if camping has become less and less about "roughing it" and more about relaxing, a hammock might be a fun choice. They come in either fold-up or hang-from-trees varieties. Speaking of fold-ups, how are your Dad's lawn chairs? If they're starting to show their age, you could upgrade to some fancier ones -- complete with the cutout hole for his beer.

How about a pocket knife? If he doesn't already have one, it would be a good addition to his camping gear; you never know when those things will come in handy.

Other camping gift options: updated cookstove, lantern, flashlights, hiking boots, or compass. And for the time Dad spends thinking about camping, some nature-related books might go over well -- find one that details the plants and wildlife around his favorite stomping grounds or one with new campfire recipes.

Fishing

Fishing gear has come a long way beyond the simple pole, bobber and tacklebox. Take inventory of what Dad already has (ask Mom for help if you need it), make sure you know what kind of fish he's fishing for, and head to the sporting goods store to find a lure that's sure to help reel them in. If your dad is like mine, he can't have enough lures to try.

If he doesn't already have one with which he's in love, a fishing vest would also be a good gift. Get one with all sorts of little pockets in which he can stick his most often-used fishing tools, extra weights, lures, etc. However, I suspect that most dads who already have vests they like won't give them up for something too fancy, so make sure you know going in that it's something your dad will use.

If you're looking to spend some money, you could surprise Dad with a new rod and reel. However, there are dozens -- OK, hundreds -- of varieties, so get some help with that. Ideally, get advice from one of his fishing buddies or, at the very least, a sporting-goods store clerk. And if you're still unsure, a gift certificate can be wrapped up, too.

Hunting

Now, I know very little about hunting, but I do know this: The gear depends entirely on what you're planning to hunt. If your dad is a deer hunter, you might invest in some extra orange gear for him or some of those cool battery-heated socks. It gets chilly in those tree stands! Along the same lines, a thermos or thermal lunchbox might also come in handy.

For just about every other kind of hunting: Get out the camo! Can Dad really have enough camouflage gear? I think not. And if he's like most dads, he's not going to update his hunting wardrobe unless prompted. That's where you come in. Find another vest -- same style as the fishing one, but in camo -- as well as water-resistant pants for all the hiking through the wet fields in search of prey. You might also spring for binoculars or new boots.

As far as the gun goes, you might want to leave that for Dad. But feel free to find him a new case and extra ammo.