GIFTS: Looking for a last-minute holiday present for an outdoorsy type? Here are three ideas that ought to please almost anyone: Swiss Army knife: The Spartan model goes for less than $20, fits easily in pocket or purse and, in addition to all of the important functional stuff such as blades, screwdriver and leather punch, has the two most important features you'll need in the great beyond -- a working corkscrew and a bottle opener. Longjohns: Your recipient may not be thrilled now, but he or she will be when the cold wind blows. We favor cozy Duofolds, with a soft cotton inside layer and warm wool on the outside. Duofold also makes a turtleneck. Waterproof watch: These black-plastic wonders by Casio, Timex and the like cost less than $30, keep time as well as their finest Swiss rivals and seem practically indestructible whether you're skiing, kayaking, boardsailing or rooting around in the mud for truffles.
THEY'RE HERE: America's Cup Class yachts have arrived in California to prepare for the world ACC championships in May and the Cup match from January to May 1992.
New Zealand was first on the scene when its two prototype ACC 75-footers made landfall in Los Angeles last week aboard a freighter. They've been barged to San Diego, where training will begin Jan. 8.
SPEED RACER: Washington Ski International's annual schedule of recreational racing will open Jan. 5-6 at Tussey Mountain in State College, Pa., and conclude in March with the East Coast championships at Hunter Mountain, N.Y.
In between, stops are slated at Wisp in Western Maryland, Liberty and Roundtop in Pennsylvania and Massanutten and Bryce in Virginia, among others. For information, write WSI, 4220 McCain Ct., Kensington, Md., 20895, or call (301) 946-0190.
DEER COUNT: As expected, the deer kill was down during Maryland's November firearms season as unusually mild weather made for difficult hunting.
Natural resources officials estimate the total at 31,874, down about 2,000 from last year's record 33,855. The tally on balmy opening day was 2,500 below the same day in 1989, when snow lay on the ground.
ROLLIN': Kayak rolling sessions, already under way at the YMCA in Silver Spring, will begin soon at Montgomery Aquatic Center in Bethesda and Lee District Pool in Alexandria.
Bethesda sessions will start Jan. 6 and run from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Sundays through April 14 and from 8:30 to 10 p.m. Thursdays through April 18. The center is at 5900 Executive Blvd., Bethesda. Call (301) 468-4211.
Silver Spring sessions will be from 4 to 6 p.m. Sundays through March 24, except today and Dec. 30, when they're closed for the holidays. The Y is on Hastings Drive off Colesville Road at the Beltway. Call (301) 539-2959.
Alexandria sessions will run from 9 to 11 a.m. Sundays for six weeks starting Jan. 6. Call (703) 922-9841.
Participants are welcome on a daily basis at Silver Spring and Bethesda, where rates will range from $2 to $6 a session. At Lee, advance registration is required for the full six weeks.
HOIGH TOID: That's how they say it on the Eastern Shore. However you say it, unusually severe tides will greet the new year as the moon reaches its perigee Dec. 31, putting it closer to Earth than at any other time of the month, while the sun hits its perihelion Jan. 2, putting it closer to Earth than at any other time in the year.
The extra gravitational pull tugs at the oceans, boosting tides, but officials say it should create no unusual problems unless a big storm accompanies the twin phenomena.