The Wild South

Gifts for Moms Who Enjoy the Great Outdoors

Top-notch gear for the mom who loves the boat, beach, woods, blind, and, of course, you

All moms rock, but if the mom in your life likes to cast a fly, dock a boat, start a campfire, or come home with a limit of tasty doves, then this guide is for her. She deserves the best sporting gear out there, and thankfully, manufacturers are catching on with a growing number of high-quality goods either designed specifically for women or modified smartly for humanity’s better half. There’s nothing wrong with flowers and breakfast in bed, but this year, add one of these items to the standard Mother’s Day gift-giving ritual to let her know she’s appreciated and cherished—and bad to the bone. In the good way, of course.

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Sharp Shooter

The A400 Upland Kick-Off Plus is the first wood-stocked shotgun in the Beretta line to include the company’s signature recoil reduction system, which cuts the kick significantly. The gas-operated semiautomatic action also helps tamp down recoil, and it’s a fetching firearm, with a gloss-finished walnut stock and nickel receiver. In 20-gauge particularly, it’s a lightweight gun as at home on the sporting clays range as in a dove field or duck blind. From $1,949;

Cozier Comfort

Remember the white cotton waffle-weave thermals you used to wear? (Or that you’ve seen in photos of your mom when she was a kid?) Well, Duck Camp’s new Hill Country TurboDry Pullover takes all the awesome comfort and wearability of the waffle weave of yore and transforms it into a high-tech, moisture-wicking knit. A four-button front lets Mom customize the look and venting properties, and the thumbholes provide a bit of extra coverage and a boost of style. These are not your grandmama’s long johns. $99;

Stepping Out

Here’s a do-it-all water shoe Mom can use from a dawn paddleboard sesh to grabbing a beer on the bar deck after a late afternoon wade for redfish. On a boat, the Simms Pursuit’s siped outsole provides grip, and the non-marking sole will keep fishing guides from grumbling. The shoe is breathable and quick-draining, with a sweet and simple lacing system designed to reduce snagged fly lines. I’ve worn the men’s version while wading for bonefish, hauling a canoe around downed trees on a local rock bass creek, and chasing blues with a center console, and it may be my favorite find for the summer. $140;


Breaking the mold of traditional wraparound performance fishing glasses, Bajio’s Paraiso rocks a hip shape with a nod to classic style, in a smaller size and with the option of a punch of color in the frame. Choose from polycarbonate and glass lenses, in seven colors, each tuned to different water conditions, all polarized and made with Bajio’s glare- and blue-light-reducing technologies. I’m also a fan of the brand’s sustainability focus, including eco-friendly materials for frames, and cases wrapped in cactus leather. From $209;

Fun in the Sun

For moms who don’t care for hoodies—like my bride—the new-for-spring DriCast Quarter Zip sun shirt from Orvis is the ticket. The highly permeable fabric has a softer, more cottony feel than earlier versions and boosted performance specs. It offers UPF50+ sun protection whether wet or dry, comes with an odor-busting application for multiple wearings while traveling, and dries quickly, and it’s easily balled up and stuffed into a daypack or boat bag. I’ve tested the fabric, and it’s a winner. On the flip side, the range of solids and patterns won’t make your choice easy. $69;

Party to Go

The boat, beach, deck, pool, campground—where wouldn’t this be an awesome addition to Mom’s tote bag? YETI’s Rambler Wine Chiller does just what it says: keep a chilled bottle of wine crispy cool for hours (as if, right?), and you can pre-chill it in the fridge or a cooler for even longer performance. A silicone bottom pad prevents marring tabletops or boat decks, and if you want an extra pop of color, the chiller is available in seasonal editions of Power Pink, Big Wave Blue, and Cosmic Lilac. $70;

Let It Rain

Foul-weather bibs tend to be bulky and garishly bright. That’s not the case with the Women’s Neptune bibs from Grundéns, which bring a tailored cut and medium-weight fabric that stretches and gives. A game changer for spring and fall boating, they also work nicely for any mom who loves oyster collecting, mudlarking, and general outdoorswoman badassery. Even around the house they have plenty of utility—wet-weather gardening and spa day for golden retrievers comes to mind. $100;

A Better Beach Towel

Made of 100 percent post-consumer waste materials, each Nomadix Original Towel contains the plastic equivalent of thirty water bottles. The micro-terry fabric absorbs four times its weight in water but dries four times faster than cotton terry towels. That means less time for odor-causing bacteria to form, and less washing, less machine drying, and less soap going into wastewater systems. The fabric is also made to shed sand and comes in an array of fun patterns and prints—so no more sand-grimed, forever-soggy beach towels for Mom. $40;

Skiff Skort

Paired with a hoodie (sorry, Julie) or a tank, the super lightweight Active Breeze skort from Free Fly is ideal for scorching-heat comfort while fishing and boating. Available in both 13- and 15-inch options, it features UPF50+ sun protection, four-way stretch, and a slightly longer length in the back. The skort’s updated design also has a higher waist for a handy side zip pocket, so Mom doesn’t have to sit on her spare tippets and nippers while running to the next bonefish flat. $74;

Reel Refinement

For the woman angler who wants something a little different, this fly reel from Hardy is a beauty. Built of barstock 6061 aluminum with carbon fiber–reinforced spokes and a matte, saltwater-safe anodized finish, the Zane Carbon is a lightweight, classy fishing tool with a fully sealed carbon fiber disc drag and a ton of stopping power. It comes in line sizes from 6-weight to 12-weight, so it will tame speedsters from spotted seatrout and bluefish to false albacore and tarpon. Understated and elegant, it’s a reel that fights way above its price. From $450;

Follow T. Edward Nickens on Instagram @enickens and find more Wild South columns here.

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