Originally published on ElevationOutdoors.com
The summer’s adventures are getting smaller and smaller in the rearview mirror of the camper van, there’s frost along the open road, and a delicious swath of bluebird sky through the windshield. That means it’s time for another tranquilo gift guide for humans who like to camp and hike. From smart lanterns to heavy hoodies to cold weather running gear, here are a few ideas for your people this holiday season. Or whenever.
Titan Deep Freeze 14 oz. Stainless Steel Mug ($15.99, pictured above) is the safest gift of them all, like socks. This BPA-free mug is condensation free, double insulated, and has a pressure fit lid with silicone gasket for a good seal, even on bumpy rides. Pair it with one of Titan’s 20 oz. bottles or 20/30 oz. insulated tumblers (also pictured above).
Cascade ($50) is a durable, portable, cordless, and waterproof power bank from Lander that straps to your phone. It packs 6000 mAh battery, Qi wireless charging and a built-in strap to go around your device as you hike or hang.
Boulder Lantern ($100) takes your camp lighting game up a few notches, though this is more of a frontcountry or canoe camping device as it’s a little large and heavy for backpacking. It’s a waterproof smart lantern and power hub with proximity lighting (light intensity adjusts to your proximity to the lantern) and can charge up to three devices via a secret popup cable hub. It has a one-button control, or adjust it through the Lander app on your phone, where you can scroll through a full spectrum of colors and control the light level.
CamelBak filtration bottles ($70 for a 32 oz. vacuum stainless steel bottle) now feature in-line Lifestraw water filtration, which is a big deal, especially for backpackers (they make a 2L reservoir version of this which I’ll try out next summer). Just dip it in a lake or creek and let the Lifestraw do the rest: “the Hollow Fiber Filter removes bacteria, parasites, and microplastics. Next, the Ion Exchange Filter reduces lead, taste and odor, chlorine, and other chemicals….” Use it for potable water during your next backcountry trip.
High Camp 750 flask ($125) is the highest quality, insulated vacuum bottle solution to the problem of how to carry hot drinks and/or spirits into the backcountry. Fill with coffee, cider, or other liquids. It keeps the hot hot, the cold cold, and will warm your belly one way or another. Comes with two tumblers with magnetic clips for the full service. Much classier than the empty Gatorade bottle flask trick.
Cool Weather Apparel
Jack Wolfskin Atmos Jacket ($199.95) is a midweight, softshell, appropriate for everyday use but also for climbing, skiing, or winter running. It’s thicker than just a shell and less cumbersome than a puffy, making it a nice shoulder season jacket. It’s water-resistant and windproof, designed with recycled, synthetic fiber insulation (61% recycled polyester and 25% Tencel) and is 100% PFC Free. The Atmos is available in men’s and women’s styles, and in a few colors including a vibrant “lemon curry” (shown above).
Ibex Tencel Tee ($85) blends tencel and merino natural fibers into a material they call “the ultimate hot weather performance top.” Tencel comes from sustainably grown eucalyptus trees; they weave it with the merino wool for moisture wicking, temperature regulating, and antimicrobial properties. Ibex HQ is in Nederland, CO, in a 100% VOC-free, solar-powered home built from beetle-kill pine. Also in the sustainability realm, their manufacturing partners produce fiber in a closed-loop system, recycling over 99% of water and solvents that extract fibers from the wood pulp.
Stretchdown Pant ($250) is designed to be worn over base layers and around the campsite. I tried them out during a cold, 3-day backpacking trip last month and wore them all morning long, until the sun warmed the forest, which was pretty late in the day. It has 700-fill RDS-certified down insulation and weighs 12 oz (340 grams).
Polarized Running Sunglasses ($50) from Nathan are no-slip shades designed with sweaty athletes and adventurers in mind. Their thermoplastic TR90 frame is lightweight, impact resistant, and heat resistant, and super grippy inserts on the nose and temple keep them in place when you pick up the pace. These glasses are made with injection-molded polycarbonate lenses, which means the polarization is embedded in the lens as opposed to an easily-scratchable film on top. I can’t wait to try them out in the snow, where the polarization should ease strain on the eyes.
Woolies Tech Base Layers ($225), also from Ibex, are a warm, woolen foundation all winter long, whether I’m on recess duty at school or snowshoeing through the backcountry. The longsleeve crew ($105) and bottoms ($115) make a cozy mid-weight base that’s dry, warm, and smooth and they come in a range of earthy colors.
Darian Longsleeve Tee ($36.99) is a camouflage—the pattern is “mossy oak obsession”—all-around outdoor shirt, not just for hunting. It’s lightweight, breathable, snag-resistant, and is treated with scent-free Insect Shield Permethrin Technology against mosquitoes, ticks, and other bugs. Made from 100% polyester with 50+ UPF and an antimicrobial finish to reduce body odor, this shirt is a base in the winter, or a primary backcountry shirt for the summer.
CrossKix Foam Shoes ($59.99, pictured above) are a nice, comfortable, unisex slip-on shoe for those who like the soft, pliable foam but are too embarrassed to wear Crocs. These are partly open, with holes for breathability and fully water submersible and drainable, but you can also wear dark socks to give the illusion of a real shoe (but do not have any woodcutting accidents–you can’t fool an axe). For the winter, these are perfect apres-ski shoes for happy hour, but also good around the campground in the summer.
Swiftwick National Parks Collection Socks ($19.99) adds five new designs: Arches, Denali, Grand Teton, Joshua Tree and Rocky Mountain National Parks. They’re made from a soft, wicking blend to keep feet dry and give medium compression in the lower calves. These are excellent hikers and great for photo ops if you happen to be in the actual park.
PCH Hoodie from California Cowboy ($148) is like comfort food for your torso–a heavy cotton (465 gram French Terry) full zip sweatshirt with ample hood and pockets. It also has some bells and whistles like an insulated beverage pocket, a zippered dry tech pocket, and sunglasses loop. California Cowboy has a fun line of functional party shirts too and this hoodie feels like the cold weather extension of that.
Threads Triple-Layer X-STATIC Mask ($37) comes from a tights company whose production facility in Italy pivoted to making high quality masks last year. They use a nylon and elastane blend, for a soft, stretchy material, plus they have a layer of antimicrobial and antiviral silver yarn. The X-STATIC Mask has three-layers, including one layer of removable polyester customizable to your face shape. They also sell less expensive standard masks and kids’ masks.
TrailHeads Men’s Convertible Running Gloves ($35) are just the right midweight layer to keep the icy air off your hands. They switch easily between gloves and mittens and the mitten shell is made from waterproof, reflective material. The thumb is made from grid fabric so you can wipe the sweat from your brow and stay comfortable during winter workouts. Extended cuffs are long enough to tuck into a jacket sleeve so that none of your skin is exposed. The thumb and forefinger are touchscreen friendly, made from conductive fabric.
Cover photo by Noah J Katz Photography