The Gift of Giving: Holiday Gift Guide

November 7, 2009
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Trying to find just the right gift for that outdoorsy type in the family? Well, you’ve come to the right place. Featured here are two dozen suggestions, any of which will delight recipients who have camping on their mind. Want to save money, too? Shop online. Some manufacturers, as well as online retailers such as Cabela’s, CampMor, Sierra Trading Post, REI, and Bass Pro Shops—to name a few—frequently offer special sales. Happy Holidays!

Aladdin Blank Canvas Tumbler
Sometimes the details are what count in a gift, and this is the case with Aladdin’s Blank Canvas Mug, available in 8-ounce and 16-ounce sizes. The outer portion of the mug is like a blank canvas—owners can display their favorite artwork, photos, or even a sticker collection. This BPA-free tumbler is also insulated to keep liquids hot on the inside, and keeps hands cool on the outside. Its secure lid and design make it easy to fit in a vehicle cup holder. $7 (8 ounce); $10 (16 ounce). Aladdin: 800/251-4535; aladdin-pmi.com

Liquid Solutions Sof-t Mug
This is great for the drive to work or hanging around the campground early in the morning. The Sof-t travel mug mates 18/8 marine-grade stainless steel and pliable plastic (both recyclable materials) to the traditional double-wall travel mug to keep liquids hot or cold, but with a new look and feel. It’s dishwasher safe and BPA-free. $16. Pacific Cornetta: 800/753-5647; pacific-cornetta.com

Heat Factory Holiday Warmer Pack
Want to make a family member feel warm all over during the holiday season? Give them one of these Heat Factory Holiday Warmer Packs. Each is filled with 21 of the company’s air-activated warming packs (in an assortment of hand, toe and body warmers) designed to be used inside gloves, boots, or other clothing to take the chill off of your bones when out in the woods this winter. $18. Heat Factory: 760/734-5300; heatfactory.com

Klean Kanteen
This bottle’s mouth is 1.75 inches wide, allowing it to accept ice cubes and making it easy to drink from. It’s also made from high-quality 18/8 food-grade stainless steel. It does not need plastic or an epoxy liner, and is totally BPA-free. Klean Kanteen makes its Classic Bottle in sizes ranging from 12 to 40 ounces, but its most popular is the 27 ounce (800 ml) with the Sport Cap. $18. Klean Kanteen: 530/345-3275; kleankanteen.com

Petzl Tikkina
This is a perfect stocking stuffer. Once your recipient has a headlamp, they will be amazed at its many uses: working around dark parts of the house, at night while digging through camping gear, and even on those late night walks. Petzl’s Tikkina has a comfortable elastic headband that can be aimed, weighs just 78 grams, features two flood LEDs, is water-resistant, and runs on three AAA batteries. $20. Petzl: 801/926-1500; petzl.com

Toollogic Credit Card Companion
Not much larger than a credit card, the Credit Card Companion tool kit from Toollogic fits right in your shirt pocket, wallet or purse, so it’s always handy. Weighing only 1.3 ounces, the tiny tool kit reveals a 2-inch stainless serrated blade, can/bottle opener, compass, 8X power lens, flat screwdriver, awl, tweezer and toothpick. $25. Toollogic: 800/483-8422; toollogic.com

Ryders Sunglasses
A new pair of shades is always a good gift, and Ryders has recently introduced a number of new styles (Garbanzo pictured) complete with DuraFlex frames, polycarbonate lenses and hydrophilic nose pads, and temple tips. All models offer polycarbonate lenses with 100-percent UVA, UVB and UVC protection. (Garbanzo) $40. Ryders Eyewear: ryderseyewear.com

Woolrich Classic Wool Field Coat
This is a timeless piece of clothing, and a gift any man will adore. The tightly woven, rugged wool-blend shell is warm, cuts the wind and sheds water. The Classic Wool Field Coat from Woolrich is machine washable, has two-piece sleeve construction for more room, four outer snap pockets, an inside storage pocket, a button-close front with a storm flap, knit inner storm cuffs, and an oversized chin-warmer collar. $190. Woolrich: 800/966-5372; woolrich.com/woolrich

SmartWool Socks
These are luxurious socks anybody would love. The Hiker Street sock from SmartWool is the ultimate crossover trekker and weekend comfy lounger, offering a supportive arch brace, and Smartwool’s WOW (wool-on-wool) technology for more wool in high-abrasion areas. The sock is 83-percent wool; some nylon and elastic is used for strength and flexibility. Color choices are gray heather, chestnut heather (pictured) or charcoal heather. Sizes run from medium to XL. $20. SmartWool: 888/879-9665; smartwool.com

Mountain Khakis OMP (Original Mountain Pant)
The “uber-khaki” for outdoors, the OMP from Mountain Khakis is a gift anyone will wear with a smile. It’s made from sturdy yet comfortable 10.4-ounce cotton canvas that’s garment washed for minimal shrinkage, and features two hand pockets, a hidden side pocket and two back pockets, six belt loops and triple-stitched seams. $73 (men’s). Mountain Khakis: 866/686-5425;mountainkhakis.com

Tilley Soft Shell Winter Hat
Looking for a cold-weather hat that doesn’t make its wearer look like the bominable snowman, and is guaranteed for life? Then check out Tilley’s new Soft Shell Winter Hat. The brimmed hat features tuck-away ear warmers, and is made from 100-percent nylon with polar fleece-bonded backing and 3XDRY technology that keeps it soft and pliable, yet breathable and waterproof. $85. Tilley Endurables: 800/363-8737; tilley.com

Buff Headwear
The Buff is one of the most versatile pieces of apparel we’ve ever run across. It’s a combination of head and neck wear and can be worn as a headband, scarf, cap, balaclava, neck gaiter… you name it. And it comes in an incredible variety of styles, colors and prints. As well as the Original Buff, available styles include a UV Buff with Insect Shield repellent technology, Baby Buff for the little ones, and Cyclone Buff for extreme climates. Our favorite: the 100-percent Merino Wool Buff. $27 (Wool). Buff: 707/569-9009; buff.us

Motorola Talkabout MJ270 Two-Way Radios
Motorola’s Talkabout MJ270 two-way radios offer a range of up to 27 miles, and feature 22 channels with 121 privacy codes, NOAA weather alerts, hands-free operation, an Emergency alert button and even flexible charging from the car, PC or desktop computer. They are the perfect gift for those who love camping and hiking; and are really handy for car caravans when on the road, too. $70/pair. Motorola: 800/638-5048; motorola.com

Garmin Foretrex 301
Garmin offers the Foretrex 301 GPS navigator, integrating a high-sensitivity, WAAS-enabled GPS receiver and USB interface into a lightweight, waterproof device for hikers and skiers to wear on their wrists. The Foretrex 301 features dual-position readout so you can view your current location in multiple formats, a trip computer, sunrise/sunset, hunting and fishing information, and can connect to your PC or Mac via its USB connection. $200. Garmin: 800/800-1020; garmin.com

TECH4O Accelerator Watch
Accelerator watches from Tech4O make great gifts for active men and women. These new wrist monitors are easy to set up and accurately measure speed, distance, calories burned and duration. Accelerators also offer a seven-day/10 week-memory step counter, dual time zones, alarm, stopwatch and a countdown timer. They are water resistant up to 50 meters and available in nine colors. $70. TECH4O: 800/572-8822; tech4o.com

Kestrel 2500
The Kestrel model 2500 is one of the company’s midrange pocket weather meter products and is just right for active campers. It measures wind speed, maximum wind gust, average wind speed, air/water/snow temperature, wind chill, barometric pressure, and altitude; and it features a three-hour pressure trend indicator so you can be warned of approaching weather changes. The 2500 floats and is waterproof. $200. Kestrel: 800/784-4221; kestrelweather.com

GoPro HD Helmet HERO
What shoots pro-grade 1080 (HD), 960 (wide angle) and 720p (stop-frame camera) action video, is the size of a matchbox, offers a RF transceiver for stereo wireless audio and remote control up to 30 feet away and features 32GB SD card-capability for 8 hours of HD video recording? Why, it’s the amazing new HD Helmet HERO camera from GoPro. You have to see it to believe it, but you really need to see this. $300. GoPro: goprocamera.com

SureFire G2 LED
The G2 LED is a small and lightweight but brilliant flashlight. Perfect for the camper in the family, the G2 LED comes in four colors (including hi-viz yellow), features a corrosion-proof Nitrolon polymer body, O-ring seals to keep dust and water out, and a non-slip molded grip. The tailcap switch can be pressed for momentary on, twisted for continuous light, and features a lockout so it’s not accidentally turned on. $70.
SureFire: 800/828-8809; surefire.com

Spyderco Bug
The C133P Bug’s handle offers a surface for engraving or embellishment, making one of the smallest folders in Spyderco’s lineup a perfect gift choice; and its lanyard hole is large enough to thread onto a keychain. Weighing a measly 0.4 ounces, the Bug is 2.875 inches long (1.625 inches closed) with a blade length of 1.3 inches. It has no lock; resistant pressure at the pivot area when the blade is being used keeps it tight. The blade is 3Cr13Mov steel and available with a plain edge. $8. Spyderco: 800/525-7770; spyderco.com

Ocean Kayak Peekaboo
Here’s a gift that will just keep giving—lots of exercise and exploration—for years to come. The Peekaboo from Ocean Kayak is unique in that it features a large leak-proof viewing window so you can see beneath the boat; but it also offers a Comfort Plus seat back, kid’s jump seat, oversized tank well with bungee, cup holders, and a transducer-compatible scupper for a fishfinder. The 61-pound boat measures 11 feet, 11 inches long with a 34-inch beam, and has a 400-pound capacity. $900. Ocean Kayak: 800/852-9257; oceankayak.com

Highgear Terrapod
The Terrapod is Highgear’s introductory weather-monitoring product. It’s intuitive enough for the entry-level user, yet offers a roster of high-end capabilities. The compact Terrapod has an altimeter, compass, and barometer with 12-hour weather forecasting and temperature monitoring. A bright LED flashlight, key lock and alarm are also featured. The flexibility of the foldable stand allows it to either be clipped to gear, or folded to make the device sit up for viewing. The Terrapod also offers a low battery detector and a user-replaceable battery hatch. $70. Highgear: 828/681-0335; highgear.com

Ruff Wear Climate Changer
Don’t forget that your pet can also get the chills, which is why Ruff Wear offers its Climate Changer Fleece Jacket for dogs. Made of 87-percent recycled and recyclable content, the jacket offers warmth without adding weight, has a contoured fit to help retain warmth, and dries quickly. A reflective trim helps the owner and others to easily spot the dog while hiking, trail running or during in-town excursions. Available in sizes XXS to XL and in colors black and forest green. Machine washable. $60. Ruff Wear: 888/783-3923; ruffwear.com

LEKI Thermolite Aergon Antishock Trekking Poles
These new trekking poles from LEKI can make hikes a lot easier on the knees and therefore a lot more enjoyable. The Thermolite Aergon Antishock pole features positive angle grips, substantial shock-absorbing capabilities, an anodized finish for long life, an interchangeable basket system and carbide tips. They weigh just 16.2 ounces/pair, and can be set for lengths ranging from 65 cm to 135 cm. $140. LEKI: leki.com

Mountainsmith Zoom Small Camera Bag
OK, so you got him a camera. Now get the bag. Made from ReDura 100-percent recycled PET fabric with a polyester lining, the Mountainsmith Zoom Small camera bag utilizes 2.5 recycled plastic 16-ounce bottles and is sized to fit zoom point-and-shoot digital cameras. Features include a reverse clamshell access to the main compartment, lined and padded interior, and a detachable shoulder strap. $35. Mountainsmith: 800/551-5889; mountainsmith.com

From Camping Life’s November/December 2009 issue.

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