Choosing a gift is not an easy task and let alone doing it during the pandemic. With the holiday season upon us, it is time to start looking and thinking about what to buy for our loved ones. This year I will miss the in-store shopping experience the most. I love seeing the holiday decorations in the stores, the smell of pines, cookies, and hot cocoa in the air, and this is probably the only time that I don’t mind the crowd. Instead, I will be staring at the computer screens for online shopping, with Christmas music playing in the background. There are many websites that offer gift guides and ideas for basically anyone and anything. Since I like to adventure in the outdoors and travel, I would like to share some of my favorite items in these categories. All the recommended items listed are products that I own and tried unless otherwise stated. Hopefully, this list will narrow the fields for you and ease that shopping jitters.
Gift: noun, a thing given willingly to someone without payment; a present
Peak Design photography bucket list. I own several of their products and find them convenient and may even be essential items to have when I carry a camera with me while traveling or adventuring in the outdoors.
- Capture clip for camera.
- Pros: the camera clip fits on the strap of the backpack for easy access during my hikes, and it has a security lock to prevent accidental release. Alternatively, it can also be easily clipped on your belt loop.
- Cons: it does not fit onto every backpack, especially if the backpack has a shorter shoulder strap.
- Travel Tripod and Ultralight Conversion Kit. I had just acquired the travel tripod after an extensive search on the internet and tried several less expensive products.
- Pros: it is a sturdy and compact tripod and can be converted into a lightweight tripod with a conversion kit for hiking. I love the weight, compact profile, the handy phone attachment, and that this tripod can be adjusted inches off the ground for those low perspective shots.
- Cons: price, comes in aluminum or carbon fiber and prices differ accordingly.
- Everyday Backpack 20L.
- Pros: well made, compartments for camera and lenses, laptop, etc., a perfect companion for photoshoots, travel or everyday use.
- Cons: price, if not bought on sale.
Overall, I like the Peak Design products because they are well made, sturdy, and come with a lifetime warranty. They are pricey but, after the frustration and disappointment from other less expensive products, they are worth every penny.
The travel essentials. Some great items for the traveler(s) in your life or, for yourself.
- Pacsafe anti-theft bags. These bags are perfect for travel or even everyday use for peace of mind. I own a few styles for different occasions. A small crossbody pack to keep passports and money, a bigger size backpack to store other travel essentials.
- Pros: they are built with anti-theft locking mechanism, locking zipper, RFID pockets, and cut resistant technology. They also started to use sustainable technology and recycled products on their new line.
- Cons: the styles are not quite trendy although they do offer them in many different styles and colors, some styles can be pricey.
- Packing cubes and packable duffle bag. I love to use packing cubes to separate the different type of clothing and travel items so that I can find them easily. We always bring with us a packable duffle bag too so that we can pack in those extra items that we acquire during our travels. You can find plenty of options for both on Amazon.com.
- Pros: there are many brands and affordable price points available, find items in luggage easily.
- Cons: none.
- Osprey sling bag. I use this to carry water bottle, snacks, phone, keys, camera, etc. It is great for travel.
- Pros: wear it on your back or front, lightweight and flexible to pack in luggage, awesome Osprey warranty.
- Cons: not waterproof.
You can create a great travel essentials package when pairing these items with some cozy socks, travel books, a travel neck pillow, and some snacks.
Gifts for the outdoors enthusiast. Most of the items listed here can certainly be gifted to the traveler(s) too. Spending time in the outdoors in winter requires more planning to stay safe. The products I listed here will be a great starting point to help you stay warm and recreate safely when you venture outside in the winter.
- Osprey hiking backpack. This brand is my favorite backpack for hiking, backpacking and, even as a carry-on when I travel on planes. I own several of these ranging from 20L to 60L. I use them for day hikes, backpacking, and traveling. You will need to decide which size is best for you for your purpose. Tempest 20L backpack is my first Osprey pack and one that I use the most, from day hikes to climbing a 13400 ft. mountain.
- Pros: durable, lifetime warranty and they will repair them for free, can be a multipurpose backpack for hiking or as carry-on when traveling.
- Cons: price, must be fitted individually so it is hard to share them.
- A reliable down jacket. If there is one piece of clothing to buy for that adventurer on your shopping list, I recommend getting a reliable down puffy jacket. I have had my Patagonia for a few years now, and it is my go-to for those chilly summer nights in the camp, hiking and snowshoeing in the fall and winter, or just walking around town. It is very packable, warm, and lightweight. It’s getting worn out, so I bought a new Outdoor Research Transcendent down jacket which is equally as good as the other.
- Pros: can be used for different occasions, warm and durable.
- Cons: price and not waterproof.
- Smartwool socks and beanies. My favorite brand for warmth and durability.
- Pros: warm and cozy for all cold fall and winter hikes, different rating for warmth so you can choose a lighter or heavier weight for extra warmth, pair the socks with your favorite hiking boots for blister-free feet. I love the colors and styles of the beanies, some are reversible.
- Cons: beanie can get too warm sometimes especially after warming up from hikes.
- Kahtoola Microspikes Traction System. This is perfect for those icy hikes or just walking out to the mailbox to prevent slipping, a must have in my winter backpack.
- Pros: no slipping when hiking in icy condition, easy to put on and take off, comes with a carrying bag.
- Cons: pricey but worth every penny.
- Classes such as reading a compass, navigation etc., avalanche awareness for winter hikes.
- Pros: to gain the knowledge and be prepared when adventuring and enjoying the outdoors.
- Cons: none.
You can create an adventurer gift pack by adding other items such as guide books, first aid kits, reusable water bottles, reusable food bags, snacks like peanut butter pretzels, pepperoni sticks, dried fruits, Nuun tablets/powder or other electrolytes, gloves, comfortable walking shoes or hiking boots, etc.
Now that you have some ideas, let’s start tapping away and find those amazing sales. If you do not mind the older models or styles, you can sure find some good deals on all the items that I mentioned above. I hope you have fun searching through the internet and stay safe if you do venture outside. Happy Holidays!