Gifts and Gadgets for the Outdoor Traveler
By Karen Berger
Shopping for a camper this holiday season? Or maybe you're jotting down a personal wish list. Either way, here's a pack-full of outdoor gift ideas.
PETZL MYO XP HEADLAMP. Headlamps keep getting lighter and brighter. The MYO XP provides high output with three lighting levels and an LED light that can shine ahead up to 97 meters. (That’s longer than a football field!) You can widen the beam to shine across a vast area and narrow it to a longer-distance mode for looking ahead. The lamp can be tilted, letting you shine the light where you need it. Used in its lower-power mode, batteries last for 180 hours. Water-resistant. www.petzl.com. $80.
BUSHNELL’S BACKTRACK. This isn’t a full-fledged GPS, but it can help you get from point A to point B using GPS technology. Use it to find your way back to a campsite, your hotel in a strange city, or your car in a large parking lot. It can store up to three locations, and it also contains a digital compass. Weather resistant and compact, it’s a handy, easy-to-use tool. www.bushnell.com. $74.
REI ONE JACKET. This jacket provides breathability, weather resistance, and mobility for alpine climbs, backpacking trips, and adventure races. Its soft-shell, four-way stretch fabric is both wind and rain resistant. A soft, bonded lining offers moisture transfer and light warmth, while seam-free shoulders help prevent rain penetration. Zippered hand and chest pockets are bonded, rather than sewn, to cut down on bulk. An inner zippered pocket features a headphone port. www.rei.com. $189.
PLAY AND FREEZE ICE CREAM MAKER. Ingredients: 1) Rock salt and ice. 2) Cream, sugar, and vanilla. 3) A group of friends who like to play ball. Directions: Mix and play, then eat. Ideal for a car camping trip or a backyard party, the “Play and Freeze” ice-cream maker combines two childhood favorites: ball games and ice cream. Available in two sizes, original (makes one pint; best for smaller children) and mega (makes one quart; best for older kids and teens). www.icecreamrevolution.com. Prices start at $30; Flavor Fountain four-pack at www.lorannoils.com. $12.
S.O.L. SURVIVAL PAK. The S.O.L. (Survive Outdoors Longer) Pak contains critical survival items in a lightweight dry bag: compass, mini signal mirror, howler whistle, waterproof and windproof matches, waterproof tinder, a survival blanket, a fishing kit, and duct tape. www.adventuremedicalkits.com. $25.
HIGHGEAR’S “ADVENTUREPLUS” MULTITOOL. At last, here’s a multitool with gadgets you might actually need in the outdoors: a digital thermometer, liquid-filled floating dial compass, 5x magnifier, whistle, and high-intensity LED light. It’s all packed tight in a dry storage compartment that weighs a scant two ounces. www.highgear.com. $20.
OUTDOOR RESEARCH REVEL JACKET. When early season trekking lures you to the trail despite springtime drizzle, this waterproof jacket will keep you protected without sacrificing breathability. A dual-pull adjustable hood folds into the collar, and a zippered internal chest pocket with media port doubles as stuff sack. Double-sliding zippers open fully for poncho-style ventilation and temperature regulation while providing maximum weather protection. www.outdoorresearch.com. $150.
SIGG TRAVELER BOTTLE. This stylish water bottle is designed and manufactured in Switzerland from a single piece of pure aluminum. The proprietary inside lining has a nontoxic coating that’s flexible and crack resistant. The lining is taste-neutral and resistant to fruit acids, carbonated sodas, and energy drinks. Available in various sizes; 20-ounce shown. www.sigg.ch. $22.
“CAMP” BOARD GAME. Perfect for rainy days or relaxing in camp, this educational board game is all about the great outdoors. Different levels of questions make it possible for small children to play with teens and adults—and for everyone to find challenges. There are 400 questions to get you started. Don’t worry if you play them all; you can order a booster pack of additional questions. www.campboardgame.com. $25.
BSA TRAVEL COMPANIONS LUGGAGE SET. This high-quality set of travel luggage is made of PVC-coated ballistic polyester canvas and features telescoping handles, in-line ball-bearing wheels, and long-lasting YKK zippers. The larger bag can convert into a garment bag; it holds enough for a week or more. The small bag is good for weekends. And the zip-off computer bag is great any time you need to bring along your laptop. BSA Supply No. 24212, www.scoutstuff.org. $200.
TREE HUGGERZ CAMPSITE ORGANIZER. Tired of digging in the dirt to find where you left your pot-grabber? The Campsite Organizer wraps around a tree, providing an obvious central place for camping utensils. With hooks, storage pouches, and smaller slots for personal items, there’s plenty of room for camping gear that often gets lost in a campsite kitchen. BSA Supply No. 689076310024, www.scoutstuff.org. $22.