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Okay, so I’m not a huge fan of gift guides, but at the same time, I know there don’t seem to be a lot out there for us explorers. So I decided to put one together and recommend my absolute favorite things for adventure – things I can definitely get behind and assure you that every one of these would be an amazing gift.
So, here are the rules of my gift guide:
• There are only 10 items on this list. Keeping it simple!
• Every gift is unisex, meaning you could give it to a guy or girl and he or she will be equally stoked.
• I own every single one of these items and they definitely make my life better and more awesome.
• Many of these are from smaller shops in SLC because I always believe in buying local! Look for this symbol which will signify a local buy: ℓ
• Most items are also available for purchase on Amazon! Always looking out for you. Here’s the Amazon symbol to watch for: ✩
Shall we begin?
1. Cotopaxi Inca Backpack ✩ ℓ
If you’re looking for a daypack that does it all, this is the one! I bought this backpack for our Iceland backpacking trip last year and I loved it so much that I bought one for my husband too. There’s so much space on the inside, including an internal hydration sleeve that doubles as a laptop sleeve, top pocket perfect for keys, two(!) water bottle pockets (game changer), and the zippered pouches on the shoulder strap and waist straps are lifesavers. The waist straps give you so much support – my shoulders have never been sore – and the carry system makes it easy to pack my tripod and camera within reach. All of this is a really technical way to say this is an awesome backpack, especially for the person in your life planning a big adventure.
2. Lander Cascade Power Bank ✩ ℓ
I’m sure you’ve seen me talk about this on IG multiple times, but I never leave home without this power bank. It’s durable and can hold 2-3 full phone charges, and it has kept my phone alive in the cold many, many times. (Does anyone else’s phone constantly die in cold weather? So annoying.) I have several power banks from other brands and this is definitely the best one. Gift it along with the Neve Power Cable – the one receiving it might not know she needed it, but then she’ll wonder how she ever lived without it.
3. ONE80 Headlamp ✩ ℓ
The perfect headlamp exists. It’s rechargeable, it’s brighter than any other light I’ve ever seen, and it’s comfortable to wear. The ONE80 is a halo of light that extends around the head and allows you to use your peripheral vision in the dark. I used mine for the first time on an early morning hot spring adventure last winter and I was amazed by how well I could see everything. If you know your friend is still changing the batteries in a Walmart headlamp, hook him up!
4. Enso Silicone Ring ✩
This isn’t a local shop but it’s one of my all time favorite things. If you haven’t heard about the silicone ring craze, get yourself and everyone you know one of these. They are so comfortable and low maintenance – most of the time I forget I’m even wearing mine. I love this brand in particular because their rings are light and they have a precious metals line, where they infuse the rings with actual metal (gold, silver) so it looks like you’re wearing a normal wedding band. I have the rose gold one and I wear it every time I go hiking, rock climbing, or to the gym. I gave one to Colby a year or so ago and now it’s all he wears!
5. Indy Brand Tee ℓ
I discovered this rad company a couple years ago through Instagram and they have grown like crazy, it’s so cool to see! I love all of their hoodie and t-shirt designs (I have the Keep It Rad throwback tee), have my eye on a few other things on the site (hello blankets and beanies), and they are all perfect for the adventurous spirit in your life… or yourself, because you deserve a gift too.
This was another Instagram find that I debated buying for so long before I finally grabbed it when I got a new camera a few months ago, and let me tell you: this has been a lifesaver already. I hate carrying my camera inside my backpack when I’m hiking because it’s too hard to access, so I usually strap it to the front of my pack (this is my carry system, if you’re wondering). But that also leaves it exposed to the elements and/or rocks I might have to scramble over, so I needed something to protect it that was easy to remove. Enter this camera base layer. It’s like a puffer jacket for your camera, which is both adorable and useful. It’s super easy to put on and take off, and it also comes with a little rain fly that can pull over the whole thing. The outdoor photographer in your life needs this.
If you know a national parks junkie, chances are he or she already has an annual pass, but might still be missing a national parks passport! Each visitor’s center has a stamp station where you can stamp the park and the date visited, and pick up some stickers to slap into this book as well. I got one of these just last year and I have four stamps in there so far, with many more to come!
8. Tevas ✩
I don’t know about you, but I live in Tevas in the summer. I have a hiking pair and an everyday pair and I don’t need any other shoes. Colby has a pair as well, and I always see him wearing them to take our dog for a walk or go fishing. It might seem like a lame idea to give sandals to someone for a winter holiday, but Colby gave me a pair for Christmas last year and I was so stoked, even though I had to wait a few months to wear them. (Or did I, because hot springs?!) I have these leather ones that I absolutely love, but they have such sweet patterns on all their shoes that you really can’t go wrong.
9. Thread Wallet ✩ ℓ
What did I do with all my crap before I had a Thread Wallet? I’m pretty sure I had a massive leather wallet that I hated dragging around everywhere and most of the time I wouldn’t bring it, and then I would be screwed. These stretchy little wallets are pretty minimalistic – they have a couple pockets and a key ring that you can hook to your keys, a lanyard, or wherever else is easy and accessible. I have mine on my keys and now I never leave it behind and I never have to carry a bag. These are a less spendy item and are great gifts for a casual friend, the office gift exchange, or someone who wants to simplify their life and actually be able to fit their wallet into a hiking backpack or pocket.
10. Mosquito Net Hammock ✩
This purchase has changed my camping game for life. I ordered this hammock on a whim last year before I went to Havasupai, since I was going alone and didn’t want to pack in an entire tent. The net does a great job of keeping out mosquitos, but I also just really like the comfort it provides since you’re zipped inside and feel a little more cozy than just laying out in a normal hammock. I was impressed at how good the quality of this is, especially for it being so inexpensive. If you have a buddy who likes to camp and backpack, this might be just the thing! One tip – it doesn’t come with straps, so make sure you grab some of those too if needed.
Hopefully this guide gives you some solutions – or at least some inspiration – for the adventurous friend or family member in your life! Which one of these is your favorite (and let’s be honest, you’ll probably buy it for yourself)?