In case you hadn’t noticed the holiday season is lurking, claws flexing and eyes blazing, just around the corner. So if you’re looking for gift ideas, here are some things that have proven themselves of worth in actual use this year.


Leatherman MUT. This tool is designed to service black rifles, and since I am not much of a black rifle shooter, Leatherman was nice enough to send one to someone who is, 2/LT Baker Flagg, currently stationed at Ft. Knox, KY. Lt. Flagg reports:

“I carried the MUT with me during three field exercises here at Ft. Knox and was able to use it in a variety of situations from conducting maintenance on tanks to cleaning weapons. The bronze scraper made quick work of carbon build-up, the quick-access cutting hook proved most effective, the knife and saw performed admirably, and I was able to clear up a truly hideous jam in my M4 rifle with the bolt-override tool. Using the screwdriver is a bit awkward because you have to keep it partially unfolded, but this is nevertheless one of the best, most functional multi-tools I have ever owned.”


Burris Eliminator Rangefinding/Range Compensating scope. I took it to Montana, and in bitter cold it did just what it was supposed to, putting a little amber dot on an old whitetail buck at 329 yards. The bullet went exactly where it should have, and the 8-pointer went down so hard he bounced.


Federal Vital-Shok Trophy Bonded Tip Bullet. The Trophy Bonded Tip is a strong contender for the “best all-around bullet” title. Great aerodynamic shape, terrific penetration, violent expansion, fine accuracy. A sudden killer.


Mystery Ranch One-Man Duffel. Mystery Ranch makes what I believe are the best packs available. Their One-Man Duffel holds 8,000 cubic inches, is very strong, very light, very simple in construction, and if you load it with everything it is capable of carrying and try to pick it up, you will hurt yourself very badly.


Cabela’s FatBoy hunting cushion. Your ass will thank you only once, and that will be continually.


Kenetrek Pac Boots. Kenetrek claims that this insulated rubber-bottom boot walks as well as an all-leather boot, and they are correct. Very light, very form-fitting, and very high quality.


LacCrosse Hunt Pac Extreme. This 10-inch leather/cordura boot is light, waterproof, and crammed with 2000 grams of insulation. It kept my feet warm for 10 hours on a Maine deer stand where the temperature ran from 20 degrees to 40. It’s a bit clunky for quiet walking, but hoo boy, is it toasty.

Check out the rest of Dave Petzal’s gift ideas here.