Tuesday, December 10, 2013
If you’re like us, you’re likely having a tough time coming up with gift ideas for the special people in your life. It’s tough. You want to the gifts you give to mean or be worth something to the people you’re giving them to. We feel your pain. So to help where we can, we put together this gift guide for those of you with river runners and outdoors people in your life. Take a look and take heart; if they love you, they’ll love you no matter what. But it can’t hurt to give them something rad this holiday season.
12 Holiday Gift Ideas for the Outdoors Enthusiast in Your Life
Goal Zero Nomad 7 Solar Panel
43 year veteran OTT guide Mike Slagle recently tested the Goal Zero Nomad 7 Solar Panel on OTT’s recent international expedition down the Sun Kosi in Nepal, and found that the device far surpassed expectations. For those of us who might take our camera, or phone (for photos, not calls!), or iPod or what have you on multi-day trips down the river and along the trail, this panel is a game changer. ($79.99)
Goal Zero Lighthouse 250 Lantern
A perfect complement to one of their Solar Panels, the Goal Zero Lighthouse 250 Lantern is a lantern and USB power hub in one. With 250 lumens, three brightness levels and a hand crank for the nights when you realize that you forgot to charge it using your solar panel, this thing is the ultimate camp lantern.
Princeton Tec Vizz Headlamp
A good headlamp must be among the most important pieces of equipment for just about any outdoor excursion. Whether or not you plan to be out after dark–whether camping, hiking, trekking, rafting, kayaking, climbing, fishing, running, etc.–it’s always a good idea to have a headlamp along with you, just in case. As far as headlamps go, the Vizz by Princeton Tec is a solid choice. The Vizz offers three bulb settings (including the all important red light for buggy environs), from little-light to Gandalf Bright, has a burn time of up to 110 hours, is waterproof and doesn’t take up much space. ($29.95)
For anyone looking to keep valuables–like wallets, phones, keys, medications, electornics–dry and intact during outdoor excursions, a Pelican Case is a must have. With specialty cases ranging from tiny to huge, open to compartmentalized, and even some military grade, there’s sure to be a case for everyone and anything. For those looking for a standard case, we might recommend something like the 1060 Micro Case. (As low as $16.99)
REI Double Shot Press Mug
On cold mornings…well, on any morning, there’s nothing better (or for many of us, more necessary) than a hot cup of coffee. Enter the REI Double Shot Press Mug. The simple yet functional design of this mug would be enough to merit recommendation. But add in the (included) French Press attachment, the airtight canister on mug-bottom for storing grounds and double-walled stainless steel body to keep warm stuff warm and you have yourself the grandaddy of outdoor travel mugs. ($29.95)
Hydro Flask Insulated Bottle
There’s good news and better news. The good news is that being hydrated is back in style. The better news is that getting hydrated has been upgraded. With this, there have emerged a number of good water bottle options, but we think the best to be the Hydro Flask Insulated Water Bottle. Based out of Bend, Oregon, Hydro Flask water bottles boast a simple and sleek design, double wall vacuum insulation, BPA-free materials, food grade stainless steel internal lining. Speaking from experience, we can vouch for these bottles keeping cold stuff cold and warm stuff warm all-day-long. (Price varies based on model/volume)
eTrak ETC-100 GPS Tracker
It’s sometimes important to unplug or get lost as they say. But it’s just as often more important to know where the things and people most important to you are. This is where the eTrak ETC-100 GPS tracker comes in. Though intended as a means of keeping tabs on the kids (maybe don’t explain the gift this way), the ETC-100 GPS tracker is just as useful for keeping track of or finding lost gear, bags and the VIPs in your life (we want to avoid 127 Hours-esque situations). ($130)
GoPro Hero3+ Black Edition
If you’ve done something wrong, or someone in your life has done something very right, the GoPro Hero3+ Black Edition is the grand equalizer. This thing is the uncontested big-dog of the outdoor/action/adventure cameras. With video resolutions up to 4K, 12 MP photos and up to 30 frames per second, as well as built in wifi, a new Superview and auto low light features (not to mention being water and shock proof!) the GoPro Hero3+ Black Edition is capable of the most incredible videos photos in the most incredible activities and locations. Orange Torpedo Trips General Manager, Erik Weiseth, brought one of these along with him on OTT’s recent expedition down the Sun Kosi in Nepal. The footage is evidence enough of what this camera can do (be sure to watch in HD). ($349.99)
Kelty Ignite DriDown Sleeping Bag
As a group of people who spend significant portions of their lives sleeping outdoors, we cannot overstate the difference a good sleeping bag can make, which is why we’re so stoked about the Ignite DriDown Sleeping Bag by Kelty. Voted best bag of the year by Outside Magazine, the Kely Ignite DriDown is “made of water-resistant down, weighs less than three pounds, and packs to the size of a football.” Best of all, you can get a hold of one of these for just $200 bucks. Now that is a screaming deal. ($200)
Astral Porter Water Shoes
Whether kayaking, rafting, hiking, fording or else out on the town after any one of these, the Astral Porter has you covered. The shoe’s stylishly laid back, but it’s design is anything but, boasting a heel lace to lock the shoe in place in the event of a swim, the WETGRIP outsole to keep you clinging to the most slippery rocks, and holes along the side and heel to drain water and silt. All said, this is the ultimate multi-utilitous shoe for the outdoor enthusiast in you life. ($84.95)
Cold River Fleece Skirts
This recommendation is all about the ladies. For those of you with outdoorsy women in your life, Cold River’s Fleece Skirts are bound to please. Warm? Check. Stylish? Check. Infinitely packable? Check. It’s a done deal. ($40-45)
Julbo Wave Sunglasses
The Waves by Julbo were made with river runners in mind. Consider:
“A removable protective frame skirt eliminates spray in the eyes and the polarized lenses provide maximum protection against glare. The frame will float if dropped in the water and comes with a strap to hold them securely in place. All-around protection for life on the water.”
‘Nuff said. ($120)
Internal Bias Recommendations
Orange Torpedo Trips Branded Chums
If you’re considering getting a loved one some new sun-reflectors, like the Julbo Waves recommended above, or are tired of hearing about someone losing yet another pair of sunglasses, we humbly recommend giving the gift of some functional and stylish OTT branded chums. There’s not much to say about chums. Ours work well and look good. They’ll hold tight to your glasses and come in a spectrum of colors. If you’re interested in getting hold of a pair of OTT branded chums, give us a call at 541.479.5061 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Even if you don’t end up going for OTT branded chums, we really do recommend investing in a pair, whether for yourself or another. We’ve lost and seen lost too many pairs of glasses in our time. It’s time to break the cycle!)
River Themed Reading
If you’re looking for the perfect gift for the literate river runner in your life (not for guides; most of them don’t read good), we recommend the following two river-themed books. Trust us, both of these books are bound to please. If you or a person you have in mind are anything like us, you won’t be able to put either of these down.
Jo Deurbrouck’s Anything Worth Doing: A true story of adventure, friendship and tragedy on the last of the West’s great rivers ($15).
Kevin Fedarko’s The Emerald Mile: The Epic Story of the Fastest Ride in History Through the Heart of the Grand Canyon (~$14)
Marial Lodge Swag
Marial Lodge has a special place in our hearts here at OTT. It’s been a part of every one of our 3-day Wild & Scenic Rogue River trips since 1969. Pat and Lori Cameron, who own and operate the lodge, sell Marial postcards, Marial themed hoodies and shirts (like the ones pictured below), and homemade jam (so very, very tasty). While they don’t have the supply and delivery chain that Amazon does, we’re sure they’d be happy to talk with any interested parties about shipping out some Marial swag for the holidays. (Snail Mail: Marial Lodge, P.O. Box 1395, Grants Pass, Oregon 97528; Phone: 541-474-2057)