What's In Santa's Backpack?

What's In Santa's Backpack?

Christmas Gift Ideas for Outdoorsmen

Santa is a sportsman, obviously. How else would he have known to give you that Zebco 303 or Remington Model 572 when you were just a kid? Now that we've all grown up a little, it makes perfect sense.

Inadvertently, the Christmas icon left his Alps Outdoorz Commander at the Game & Fish/Sportsman offices while on a practice run. The famous North Poler had a lot of things you might pack in your bag, but with a seasonal twist.

Hunting Gear


We all knew Santa's favorite color is red, but we didn't know he compromised when it comes to hunter orange. We were even more surprised to learn Santa packs a field-dressing kit. Now we're wondering what species Santa prefers to hunt and if his elves help him process game?


Orange Pouch for Hunting 

We also found Mr. Kringle had carefully tucked Havalon's new skinning knife in a designated zipper pouch. This knife is razor sharp, and has (we're not surprised) red rubberized grips. After seeing how handy this knife is, we're hoping one of these ends up in our stocking.

Knives made for hunting

Why Santa would need hand sanitizer we don't know, maybe he uses it after field dressing an animal or cleaning up after reindeer? That said, Christmas themed hand sanitizer is what Santa carries. Since he likes to whitetail hunt we thought he'd be more in tune with using scent free products, but to each his own.


Hand sanitizer for outdoorsmen

Did you know Santa's favorite caliber is the .338 Winchester Magnum? It's also the top choice of Alaskan guides: it's perfect for caribou and moose, and it will stop a polar bear. Now we're wondering what brand of rifle he uses.

Hunting Bullets for Santa


Ever wonder how St. Nick sees you when you're sleeping? He uses a Steiner portable monocular to keep track of your naughty and nice. We bet Mrs. Claus has one of these also.

Optics for Hunting

Mr. Kris is definitely into Christmas colors, even his TerraLux flashlight has red and green filters. We're beginning to wonder if Santa would wear camo, or if his hunting clothes are color coordinated with the holiday season?

Flashlights designed for hunting


Survival Gear

We always wondered how Mr. and Mrs. Claus stayed in constant contact. Now we know. They use Midland two way radios to ensure Christmas day goes as scheduled and Santa doesn't eat all the cookies that are set out for him.

Communication Tools for Hunting

The man-in-red said, "Ho-Ho-holy snowballs it gets cold at the North Pole!" So, how does he stay warm? The contents of his pack suggest Santa uses ThermaCell's new Heat Packs, Zippo's hand warmer and traditional iron-filing packs such as HotHands. We just might have to add these 'stay warm' products to our own gear list.

Hand Warming Tools for Hunting

We had no idea Santa was such a traditionalist or had so much in common with the woodsmen of yesteryear. No, it's not coal for your stocking, it's charred cotton for his old-fashioned flint-and-steel firestarter kit. In a day of modern conveniences, these items represent some tried and true methods for fire starting. Even Santa prepares for the worst.

Survival Basics when Hunting

Santa's pack also included a multi-tool. This essential piece of survival gear looked rugged and dependable, but we did wonder if the green accents sold Santa on this Leatherman Skeletool.

Multi-tools for hunting


Fishing Gear

Fly Rod options for Fishing

Did you know Mr. Kringle was a fly fisherman? His rod of choice is a Hardy four-piece 8-weight. Our editors said, "he needs a fly rod hardy enough to survive his globetrotting adventures." We also found out he always stops at Australia's Christmas Island to release a few bonefish. That bit of information made the fly fishermen on our staff want stow away on Santa's sleigh.

Fishing Flies for Fishing

What do you think St. Nick's favorite fly for trout and Arctic char is? None other than the Candy Cane Wooly Bugger, a favorite out of the Cabela's Best-of-Alaska fly collection.

While a few of the items in Santa's pack did surprise us, it's easy to see all outdoor enthusiasts appreciate quality gear. Just so you know, we're arranging to have Santa pick up his pack on Christmas eve. In the meantime, we hope you're arranging to share the holiday season with family and friends. And of course, be fortunate enough to receive some hunting and fishing gear for Christmas as well.

Special thanks to Northern hunters Scott Haugen, Brad Fenson and Santa, aka, Sam Ignaty Cherry, santaclausic@gmail.com. (Yes, you can send him your list, Virginia.)

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