If you're anything like me, you're hoping Santa is a sportsman.
You also haven’t done even a lick of holiday shopping.
That’s OK though. There's still plenty of time to get the perfect present for the outdoor lover in your life.
With an entire week of shopping left, you may even have time to catch a football game or two.
If you're stuck for some good gift ideas, I’m your man. I've been asking and hoping for free stuff all my life.
Books and magazines: One of the worst things about being a fan of the outdoors is you can’t always get outside. Pennsylvania’s winters can be brutal and it always seems to be raining or blowing when I finally have time to head into the field. For that reason, I keep a well-stocked library of books on reserve.
If the outdoorsman on your list doesn’t have the time to sit down and read a book, magazines are the next best thing. There are literally dozens of great magazines published each month. All of them give a chance to get outdoors without getting off the couch. My favorite by far is Gray’s Sporting Journal.
LED headlamp: If you're into more practical gifts, one of the best gifts I ever received was an LED headlamp. It's a simple gadget, but I find myself using mine on more occasions than I ever imagined. The lights are bright, the batteries last a long time, and because they strap to your head, they allow for hands-free use. They can’t be beat.
Guided trips: Another great gift for hunters or anglers is a guided trip. While, these gifts may sound ultra-expensive, in reality, they aren’t. You can purchase an all-day guided trip to one of central Pennsylvania’s renowned trout streams for less than $250. It is a gift no angler will ever forget.
Hunters can get the same type of first-class treatment on a pheasant or wild boar hunt for about the same money. Call around and you'll be surprised by the deals you'll be offered, especially during this time of year.
Memberships: Finally, if you just can’t think of that perfect gift, nobody would ever turn down a gift membership to their favorite sporting organization. Clubs such as Trout Unlimited and Pheasants Forever are always looking for extra income. Not only would you be giving a loved one a great gift that’s filled with benefits, you'd also be making a nice contribution to an organization working hard to preserve the sports we love.
Remember reason for giving: In the end, it's not about what gift you give, but why you give it. Always remember the spirit of the season. But no matter what gift you finally choose, it'll be enjoyed.
Anything that gets us closer to the outdoors is always cherished by a true sportsman.
Andy Sndyer writes about the outdoors for The York Dispatch. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.