Outdoor Chenango: Dads And Grads Gifts
Published: June 8th, 2022
By: Eric Davis

Outdoor Chenango: Dads and Grads Gifts

June is a month that can mean a lot of gift-giving, between Father’s Day and high school graduation. When it comes to giving gifts, it can be tricky to know what to get for outdoor recreationalists.

Especially for those that seem to have everything or possibly for those who are starting out and don’t have anything.

A well-seasoned angler or hunter can have virtually everything there is to have, making shopping difficult. An easy solution is to get a gift card to a store they shop at that way they can use it to get exactly what they want. Another good gift is to focus on “consumables” that get used and need to be replaced. If they process their own game or fish, vacuum sealer bags or a knife sharpener make sense.

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Single use hand warmers may seem silly now, if you can even find them this time of year, but it would be one less thing to have to buy this fall. New spools of fishing line, packages of sinkers, and hooks should make most anglers happy. If you have a reloader to buy for, knowing what components they use would allow you to buy exactly what they use. Otherwise, I would stick to a gift card, so you don’t buy the wrong powder or projectiles.

With the weather breaking for summer, boating becomes very popular either with a motorboat or in kayaks. Kayaks come in two styles, sit-in and sit-on. Sit-in kayaks are more stable because your body is lower inside of the hull compared to being on the top for sit-on kayaks.

Sit-on kayaks keep all your body and legs on the top of the kayak so there is no change of tipping over and being “trapped” in the hull. Most sit-in kayak have a large opening so you can easily get out if you do capsize. If you buy a kayak, you will also need a paddle and personal flotation device (PFD). Make sure you get a Type III PFD, which is designed to allow you to be active while wearing it.

While it might be tapering off some as birds are nesting, birdwatching is an easy outdoors activity to get into for a low price. A decent pair of binoculars can be bought for around $100 these days. Add on a field guide to help you identify the birds for another $20.

Keeping track of your Life List of birds with a family member or significant other can be a great way to have something you do together. Once you have recorded most of the birds around here, you can plan trips to other parts of the state or even the country to try to check off the harder to find birds.

Hiking can also be a fun summertime activity. A good foundation of gear for a hiker includes lightweight polyester clothing, waterproof footwear, and a decent backpack. A couple bottles of water and some snacks carried in the backpack can be crucial on some hikes.

A map and compass for navigating are the bare minimum. A handheld GPS or even a smartphone with the right app downloaded can help new hikers find where they are going. The Finger Lakes Trail has numerous sections nearby so it would not require long distance travel to give hiking a try.