Hiking Gift Guide 2017!
The gift giving season is upon us and the ability to think of great gift ideas usually runs short. Whether its for friends, family, or coworkers you don't want to be handing out easy gifts. There is a extraordinary feeling when someone bestows upon you a gift that feels like it was specifically targeted to who you are. Those extraordinary feeling is what the gifts on our BE IN gift giving list 2017 will give to that special someone.
There are many types of hikers and if you are acquainted with any of them you would know being outside is a passion for all of them. The types of hiking vary so much that one object someone going for a morning hike might use will be useless to someone who has been living on the trail for a month. Different hikers require different gear and that is why we will will be categorizing this list into types of hikers.
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The Day Hiker
After putting on deodorant this hiker breaches the wilderness for a few hours to 'stretch' his/her legs. This person might also enjoy trail running, taking a nap in a hammock, or any other nature activity as long as their back before bedtime.
Rhino Shield Iphone or Galaxy case
Im going to say it. This is the best iphone case ever. Why? Well when you get into the habit of throwing your phone up in the air as high as you can just so you can see the faces on your friends as it comes crashing down onto the floor, there is a little piece inside of you that dies laughing. This case is rated for 11ft drops (11ft is only advertised height. Lets call this minimum height) which is higher then any case on the market. If your going to be taking your phone out of your pocket to either take a picture or change a song your going to want to have that peace of mind. Best part is the case is pretty inexpensive. (click any of the links to see drop test videos)
Osprey Packs Manta AG 28 Hydration Pack
Osprey packs are one of the best packs you can buy because of one critical reason; quality. If you have read our backpack primer we talked about how quality control and quality of stitching are crucial factors when choosing a backpack. These factors almost always stem from a brand. This pack will not only provide the durability to last a lifetime but will provide you the necessary space to hold some amenities for your day hike such as some a mess kit or maybe a hammock to take a nap. This pack is equipped with Ospreys Anti-gravity system which provides a comfortable fit that is unlike any pack.
Casio WSD-F20 Smart Watch with GPS
This is a techy hikers dream. Having a watch can be extremely useful. Being able to tell when one should walk back, if they are drinking enough water on a long hike, or maybe you just want to know the time is just a few of the critical reasons to have a watch. The frailty of smart watches are its battery life. Casio tried to amend this by overlaying a low power display on top of a full color display. This means that if you just need it to tell time then you have 1 month of battery life but if you want it to keep track of your day using the gps feature this watch will last you 9 hours or essentially the whole day. If you want a more affordable option you can check out the first gen watch the WSD-F10.
This was a toss up between the Beats x and the Jaybird x3. Sound quality was similar, same form factor, and same price. What made me choose the Beats is the pairing process for ios, 2 hour quick charge in 5 min, and the magnetized ends. The Beats are easy to pair with your ios device and once paired it will be synchronized to your icloud account so that all your devices (ipads, iphones, and macs) will be automatically paired to these earbuds. Also the earbuds have magnetized ends so that if your done listening to music maybe while trail running you can combine both ends of the earbuds so that they can securely remain around your neck without fear of losing them. At 9 hours of battery life (for both headphones) you wont be disappointed with the quality of these headphones.
If you don't see this person very often most luckily its because they live on the trail. Their home the PCT, AT, Camino, Greater Patagonian, CDT, or maybe the Grand Italian trail.
If you are a thru hiker most luckily (depending on the trails you hike) you have a water filter. There is a a good chance that filter is a Sawyer Mini an amazing filter that is long lasting, reliable, and super versatile. The mini is one of the best filters on the market and only has one caveat. That caveat is low flow rate. The filter requires you to squeeze or suck the hell out of the water filled container. The squeeze does what the mini can do but with a greater flow rate. This makes the squeeze much more comfortable to use. With a lifetime warranty and filter that removes %99.99999 (that is five 9s after the decimal) of bacteria and %99.9999 (four 9s after the decimal) of protozoa this filter could not be recommended enough.
Minus33 Merino Wool Beanie
Soft, warm, and made of wool this incredible beanie. With its diverse uses is a pleasure to don on ones head. Made from a super soft wool the beanie sits comfortably on any size head. Since it is made of wool it will wick moisture, is very durable and is fire resistant. Unlike traditional wool, merino wool is very soft. I find a beanie a multi use object as I can use it like a glove to pick up some hot, pull it over my eyes to sleep, or store a fragile electronic inside of it. If you need more warmth you could always use it as a liner for a heavier head wear.
The problem with gloves is you cant use your phone while wearing them. Some gloves advertise phone use but really they just have small foil like area on the tips of one or two fingers that imprecisely works half the time. These tips usually fade away after subsequent washes. Glider Gloves solved this issue by 'infusing' a conductive thread into their gloves meaning any part of the glove can be used to control your phone. Finger tips dirty? Well then use your knuckle to scroll through that Instagram feed. To make the use of your phone easier the gloves run slim to not allow excess glove material to interfere with your navigation and provide you with precise control. The gloves have a super grippy rubber material on the palm which maintains its grip even when wet. The most important part is they are warm.
Field Notes Memo Book
On the trail you may want to jot down a story you heard, maybe a funny joke, that attractive hikers number or email, or maybe you want to write down everything you do every day. Field Notes are great as they do not take up much room and never run out of battery. Fit one in your pocket. Give one to a friend. Keep track of what you eat. The allure of the iconic Field Notes memo pad is it can come with you wherever you go. If you want to add some character to your pad then how about complement it with a leather case.
The Multi-day Hiker
Over night hiker that strays away from civilization. Days can go by and they wont be any closer to anyone except themselves.
Anker 15W USB Solar Charger
If your carrying around any type of electronic your going to need to charge them. Unfortunately trees wont share their photosynthesized energy with you so your going to have to look elsewhere. Anker, a reliable electronics brand has solar chargers that can charge your usb electronics even in overcast weather. You can hang the solar charger over your backpack as you hike and let your electronics charge. Anker has different size chargers; 15 watt which is good for smart phones or 21 watt good for larger phones or tablets.
Hybeam Pop Up LED Lantern
More of a luxury device this lantern can be deployed in a tent to provide a flood of illumination. Unlike flashlights or headlamps that provide intense direct light this lantern will give gentle light perfect for reading or miniscule tasks. The lantern has a handle perfect for hanging it inside your tent or on a tree branch. The lantern folds down into a compact design encompassing little room in a pack. The lantern can also double as a flashlight. The Hybeam lantern is of high quality making this a nice inexpensive gift.
Casio PRG-270 Triple Sensor Watch
Smart watch not your thing or to expensive? A great alternative is this triple sensor watch. In addition to the basic digital watch features the PRG-270 contains an altimeter, digital compass, barometer and thermometer. This means it will be useful for any multi-day hiker, climber, or anybody who needs a great outdoor watch. The most alluring part is the watch has a built in solar panel which give this watch essentially infinite battery life. I have had this watch for 2 years now and the battery has yet to dip below high (or under %75). The watch is also water proof up to 100 meters, very durable, and has a feature that can monitor barometric pressure to alert you when an impending storm might roll in. (Here are some more outdoor watches by Casio.)
MSR Quick 2 System
There are so many different cook setup philosophies when it comes to hiking that its hard to recommend something. I might use this titanium pot and pan setup by TOAKS if i want to indulge in something other than insta-pasta but maybe i am going light and simple and in that case I might just go with the TOAKS titanium cup. For someone on a hiker budget I might recommend this super simple but indestructible Stanley cup set. These are great suggestions but since I can only recommend one i am going to go all in and recommend the MSR Quick 2 person system. This is a great all in one 2 person mess kit that nests together to optimize room. Includes everything you would need to make almost any type of meal for 2 in a relatively light setup.
If you have not already check out our Travel Gift List 2017.