Let’s face it – there’s a little gear lover in each and every one of us. Thoughts of newfangled items constructed from technical materials that repel water and UV rays always brings out the kid in me. It reminds me of the scenes in the holiday classic “A Christmas Story” where Ralph is always daydreaming about getting his mitts on an official Red Ryder, carbine action, 200-shot range model air rifle. Except I think more along the lines of getting a canister stove or maybe a moisture-wicking base layer, or a new ultralight shelter perhaps. And hopefully I won’t shoot my eye out with any of these things, either.
So, are you looking for some gear gift ideas that will leave a little jingle in your pocket? Here are a few goodies that will make that special outdoorsy person in your life squeal with delight. Or maybe not, because squealing is, well, slightly strange, even when getting good gifts. Maybe you’ll just get a nice big hug or a firm handshake instead. Enough of all that, here’s the list:
What? Toesocks, you say? Injinji makes some straight-up, high performance socks that make a perfect stocking stuffer. Hands down, they are the most comfy and technical socks that I own and they solved a blister problem that I had been dealing with for years. The best part? Twelve bucks a pair. Order two or three pairs from www.injinji.com.
Stuff that stocking with another great inexpensive piece of gear – the Buff. Sure, it looks like a mere tube of fabric, but this versatile item goes along with me on every trip. Use it as a beanie, balaclava or neck covering (that’s my fave). Thanks to UV protection and Insect Shield repellent technology, I’ve managed to keep the skin on my head and the blood in my body. Florida ain’t called the Sunshine State for nothing, folks. Keep the bugs and sun at bay for only $19.50. www.buffwear.com
Oprey Exos 34 Backpack
Shave off a few pounds and keep all the bells and whistles with the Exos 34. This is a lightweight pack done right, my friends. The alloy and mesh AirSpeed backpanel provides a stable framework to the Exos 34 and gobs of straps allow you to compress and fine-tune the pack. Hydration ready for systems up to 3 liters- perfect pack for lightweight weekend excursions. $150. Find a retailer at www.ospreypacks.com
You’ve heard the expression “about as fun as watching water boil,” right? Well, with the Jetboil Flash, watching water boil is exciting! Two cups of water will come to a full boil in about two minutes. The whole shebang collapses inside the cup – fuel canister included. It’s a near-perfect backcountry cooking system which comes in four nifty color options: gold, violet, carbon, and sapphire. Me? I totally dig the gold model – it’s easy to spot after dark. $99. www.jetboil.com