Presented by Küat Racks
Have you heard a Mariah Carey song blasting over the speakers at your local grocery store yet? If so, it’s probably time to start thinking about the quickly-approaching holiday gift giving season. From ADV riders to bikepackers, vehicle aficionados, and tent campers, there’s something for everyone in this Expedition Portal gift guide.
Organization is a popular theme with the Portal staff this year, including a roll-up travel kit and seat poncho from Bikepacking Editor Jack Mac, packing cubes from Senior Editor Ashley Giordano, and a messenger bag from Associate Editor Stephan Edwards. Meanwhile, Graeme Bell, our 4WD Senior Editor, has fishing (and barbecueing) on his mind, while Editor in Chief Tena Overacker has hand-picked a selection of high-performance socks, perfect for stocking stuffers.
Looking for more hand-picked holiday gifts? Check out our Black Friday Gift Guide.
Mountain House Pro-Pak Freeze-Dried Meals
Freeze-dried meals have come a long way in the last decade. Eating one no longer seems like punishment when you need a fast dinner on the go. I keep a small selection in my Land Rover pantry as emergency rations but also for quick overnight backpacks and when I only have the energy to boil water after a long day on the road. I like Mountain House’s Pro-Pak single-serving line because they package them in a smaller pouch yet cram in more protein than standard freeze-drieds. Oh, and their recipes taste like real food. A win-win for saving space and keeping up with your nutrition that doesn’t feel like taking a penalty at mealtime. (SE)
$12 | mountainhouse.com
Roly-Poly Coffee Co. Daily Driver Blend
Initially based out of a classic Ford Bronco, Roly-Poly Coffee Co. serves cups of hot joe from its quirky cafe in Bozeman, Montana. Fortunately, beans are also sold online in branded aluminum beer cans. Tasting like “chocolate-covered cherries on a graham cracker,” Roly-Poly’s Daily Driver blend combines South and Central American beans best served as pour-over, cold brew, or espresso. Each can is filled with 6 ounces of whole beans, which are roasted at the Roly-Poly Coffee Co. headquarters. If 6 ounces isn’t enough to satisfy, bulk options are available in 2.5- and 5-pound bags. (AG)
$16 | rolypoly.coffee
Snow Peak Chopping Board Set
I love multitasking cooking gadgets, especially for my mobile adventure kitchen, where I am ruthless about culling tools to save weight and space. Snow Peak’s clever folding chopping board doubles as storage for a high-carbon stainless gyuto-style knife that splits the difference between a chef’s blade and a utility knife. Open, the medium-size birch wood cutting board measures a usable 10 (L) x 8 (W) inches and folds to 4 (W) and 1.5 (H) inches in storage mode. The rubberized feet prevent slipping, and Snow Peak’s spare design aesthetic looks great in any kitchen, even if it’s just your dusty tailgate. (SE)
$50 | snowpeak.com
Kinco Lined Heavy-Duty Premium Grain and Suede Pigskin Glove with Omni-Cuff
“Here, try these on,” my brother said as he flipped me a pair of well-worn Kinco pigskin work gloves. I marveled at the softness of the neoprene-thermal lining and was immediately impressed by the dexterity in the fingers and thumb despite the generous insulating layer. The resilient leather outers offer excellent grip and shrug off sharp edges. My brother lives in Minnesota, so he knows a few things about winters, and his Kincos have endured many epic shoveling sessions. He even has a pair of their mitts for when things get really frigid. Kinco’s glove catalog is deep, with plenty of sizes across a range of models at accessible prices. I’ve already ordered my pair. (SE)
$54 | kinco.com
Frost River RollUp Travel Kit
Frost River’s handcrafted in the USA (Duluth, Minnesota) RollUp travel kit is a fantastic multi-purpose item for adventure. This product is made to last and features lightweight waxed canvas, solid-brass hardware, a leather logo, nylon mesh, and cotton binding/web. It enjoys twin zippered compartments, a snapped pleated slash pocket, and external XP snaps designed to attach the company’s accessory bags. The roll is secured with a web strap (which doubles as a hanger) and twin D-rings. Finally, all Frost River products include a lifetime guarantee and are manufactured in a facility powered by renewable energy. What’s not to love? (JM)
$60 | frostriver.com
Peak Design Set of Three Packing Cubes
I’m obsessed with Peak Design’s packing cubes. A recent addition to our OEV Alpine camper’s under-bed storage, the cubes keep me much more organized, creating perfect pouches for my T-shirts, socks, pajamas, and more. The expansion and compression zip maximizes space when needed, and the cubes feature dual compartments for separating clean and dirty clothing (genius!). The ultralight ripstop 70D nylon/poly is 100 percent recycled, 100 percent carbon neutral, and Fair Trade certified. Colors include charcoal, raw (light gray), and my absolute favorite: sage. Peak Design’s packing cubes are also sold separately, so you can be in charge of your own packing perfection. (AG)
$95 | peakdesign.com
Happy Trails Pannier Top Bags
Based in Boise, Idaho, Happy Trails understands the needs of adventure riders, manufacturing innovative made-to-order storage solutions that are “designed by riders for riders.” The Pannier Top bags (an exact fit for the Imnaha panniers) are made using urethane-coated ballistic-grade material and heavy-duty zippers for the harshest conditions. Features include four quick detach loops and snaps for seamless installation/removal in seconds, nylon webbing for strength and durability, UV-resistant T-70 nylon thread, reflective trim for visibility, and a 1.5-inch overlap to keep the zipper free of dirt. A lightweight, easy-access bag for everyday essentials. (JM)
$125 | happy-trail.com
Antigravity Batteries Gen-2 XP-1 Micro-Start Jump Starter
While Antigravity’s first generation XP-1 was one of the first lithium jump starters on the market, the brand has stepped up with its Gen-2 version. No need to wait for another vehicle and jumper cables as this micro jump starter allows users to be completely independent. The Gen-2 features higher jump-starting power, a large digital display, and PD 30-watt USB-C charging and recharging for phones, tablets, and laptops. With multiple sizes available, there’s a power pack for any adventure vehicle, from trucks to motorcycles. The complete kit includes a set of jumper clamps, an instruction manual, cables, and a carry case. (AG)
$150 | antigravitybatteries.com
Benchmade Mini Griptilian Black Grivory Drop-point
A knife is essential for the overland traveler, and I use mine daily for maintenance, cooking, camping, and outdoor pursuits. Quality matters, and when it comes to top-notch USA-made knives, you need to look no further than Benchmade. In a recent field test, Associate Editor Stephan Edwards sang the praises of the Mini Bugout CF-Elite, and today, we’re featuring the budget-friendly Griptilian. This best-seller incorporates a glass-filled black nylon handle with stainless steel liners, a premium stainless-steel blade, an Axis lock mechanism, and a standard carry pocket clip. This is a knife-for-life, and Benchmade will re-sharpen for free as part of their LifeSharp service. (JM)
$150 | benchmade.com
Venture Libre Guatemalan Seat Poncho
I’m forever looking at ways to utilize wasted space in my vehicle, and a rear seat organizer is a great option. Cue Venture Libre’s Guatemalan Seat Poncho, which seamlessly blends functionality, style, exquisite craftsmanship, and ethically sourced materials. The Poncho is made in La Paz, Baja California, using premium Guatemalan leather and handmade Mayan textiles from the hills around Lake Atitlán. It features a large lower storage pouch and two smaller pouches up top, leather straps for a secure fit, and is compatible with almost any vehicle with removable headrests. Practical overlanding storage with a timeless aesthetic. (JM)
$175 | venturelibre.com
Tenkara Kita 380 Fly Fishing Rod
Crafted in a traditional Tenkara fly fishing style, the Kita 380 rod is designed for level line casting and stands out for its incredibly lightweight build, weighing less than 2.4 ounces for a rod of its length. It excels in handling light lines and delicate flies with precision, making it an excellent choice for those searching for a traditional Tenkara rod measuring over 12 feet. The Kita 380 Kit package includes not just the rod but also a rod tube, rod sock, line, line holder, flies, and tippet. Alternatively, the Kita 380 rod-only option offers the rod, rod tube, and rod sock for those who prefer a simpler setup to kickstart their fishing adventures. (GB)
$225/rod only, $250/kit | tenkararodco.com
Icewear Alda Winter Parka
I was camping with Overland Journal contributor Lisa Morris of Four Wheeled Nomad this summer in Scotland when she pulled out her Alda parka. Instantly delighted by the adjustable string at the waist and the faux fur trim at the hood, I immediately added the jacket to my wish list. Two roomy hip pockets add storage without bulk, and the water-repellent, windproof polyester and cotton construction are designed to keep you warm during cold winter days or nights. Icewear outdoor gear is designed to suit the unpredictable climate of Iceland, so I think it will fit the bill whether I’m in my home country of Canada or abroad. (AG)
$211 | icewear.is
Goertzen Adventure Equipment Safari Edition Messenger Bag
Goertzen Adventure Equipment consists of one guy in a tiny shop in Missoula, Montana, crafting hand-made leather goods for adventurers, scholars, and fly fishermen. I’ve hauled my Goertzen messenger bag to two dozen countries on four continents over the last decade, and it’s only gotten better with age. It’s been dragged through the dust in Namibia, soaked in Singapore rain storms, dumped unceremoniously into the back of more pickup trucks than I can count, and crammed into overhead bins. The heavy-gauge leather has gradually become softer, and it wears its years of experience proudly. It is literally one of my favorite things and will be for your friend or family member, too. (SE)
$350 | goertzenae.com
Ron’s Bikes Classic Waxed Fabio’s Chest
If you haven’t read our interview with Ron’s Bikes owner, Ronnie Romance, I highly recommend checking it out. In short, every product is based on years of international bicycle touring experience, and it shows. The Large Fabio Chest showcases expandable load capacity, magnetic bag closure for one-handed operation, loops for attaching a shoulder strap, an internal organizer pocket, two large side pockets, a bright yellow drop liner for added weather protection, and can be utilized rackless. Furthermore, it has multiple fitment options for both the front and rear of the bicycle. This might be the best all-around bike-packing bag I’ve ever owned. (JM)
$270 | ronsbikes.com
Garmin Dash Cam Live
The Garmin Dash Cam Live is a cutting-edge device featuring 1440p always-connected LTE with a generous 140-degree field of view. To unlock its full potential, a subscription plan for LTE connectivity is essential, enabling users to enjoy continuous access to live views, location tracking, theft alerts, and parking guard notifications, all seamlessly delivered from the dash cam to the user’s smartphone via the dedicated app. The dash cam boasts impressive capabilities, recording video in stunning 1440p HD resolution through its wide 140-degree lens. Day or night, it ensures sharp and detailed footage, thanks to Garmin Clarity HDR optics. (GB)
$400 | garmin.com
Denali Electronics D3 LED Driving Light Pods with DataDim Technology
For motorcyclists, lighting is safety. To see and be seen is paramount for mindful and defensive riding. While stock lighting on newer motorcycles has improved in recent years, there’s always room for upgrades, and Denali Electronics makes it easy with DataDim technology. Denali’s plug-and-play wiring allows the rider to switch between half and full intensity on their auxiliary lights using the bike’s original high beam switch. For globe-trotters, the D3 hybrid driving beam is ECE and SAE compliant to deliver a street-legal high beam in North America and the European Union. The D3 only draws 36 watts and has a claimed maximum beam distance measuring over 1,900 feet at 1 lux. (SE)
$411 | denalielectronics.com
Spyderco Bodacious Black Blade EDC
A light and slick EDC, the all-black Bodacious boasts a diamond-like carbon (DLC) coating on its blade, complemented by matching black coatings on the handle liners, clip, and all other hardware components. It offers a choice between a PlainEdge blade for general utility or a fully serrated SpyderEdge blade, optimized for cutting fibrous materials with ease. The knife features CPM S30V steel construction, a type of martensitic stainless steel known for its hardness, produced through powder sintering. This material offers excellent resistance to wear and corrosion and is widely regarded by experts as the premier choice for versatile, high-end stainless steel applications. (GB)
$372 | spyderco.com
Yeti 500X Portable Power Station
The Yeti 500X comes equipped with a versatile array of four different port options, encompassing AC, 12-volt, and a high-powered 60-watt USB-C PD, capable of energizing a wide range of devices, from smartphones to portable refrigerators. Its advanced charging technology, including a high-speed power delivery port, facilitates the rapid charging of USB-C laptops, tablets, mirrorless cameras, and mobile phones, significantly reducing charging time. The inclusion of an MPPT charge controller ensures that you can harness the most efficient solar charge possible, enhancing overall performance. The Yeti 500X is one of the most compact power stations in the Goal Zero stable of products, which ranges from the Yeti 200X (187-watt hours) to the powerful Yeti 6000X (6071-watt hours). (GB)
$500 | goalzero.com
MiniMax Big Green Egg
Designed with versatility in mind, the charcoal-burning MiniMax is a great companion for various outdoor activities, such as camping, poolside gatherings, and tailgating at sporting events. The MiniMax is just big enough to grill a rack of ribs and includes a stainless-steel cooking grid that spans 13 inches in diameter, providing a cooking area of 133 square inches, all neatly packed within a convenient 19.5-inch height. Like its larger counterparts, the MiniMax is crafted from ultra-high-quality ceramics, ensuring durability and consistent cooking results. Additionally, it comes with a limited lifetime warranty for your peace of mind. Be warned, while the MiniMax is compact, the price is not. (GB)
$700 | biggreenegg.com
Mini Mondo Off-Road Challenge Trail Riding Trip in the Spanish Pyrenees
Guided by moto legend Austin Vince, Mini Mondo is a five-day, off-road trail ride in the Catalan Pyrenees of Spain. If you’re up for a challenge in 2024, this may be the trip for you. Self-catered with no tents, GPS, backup vehicle, or satellite phones, this adventure is only for the most competent trail riders. “It will be intense and tiring with little privacy or molly-coddling,” the trip description reads. “However, it will be an unforgettably positive experience with the risk of death and serious injury.” Upcoming dates include May 20-24 and September 2-7, 2024. Vince also offers training sessions and beginner trips; see the website below for more. (AG)
$1,567 | austinvince.com
Stockings to Hang by the Fire: Hand-Picked by Editor in Chief Tena Overacker
Pearly’s Possum Socks
Made from a blend of merino wool and possum fur, my Pearly Originals are the softest socks I have ever worn. The fur is sourced from New Zealand, where the critters are considered pests, a threat to forests and native animals, and harvesting by accredited hunters is an established program. A durable heel, arch support, natural odor resistance, an estimated 20- to 30-year fur lifespan, and easy care make them worth the price. With exceptional insulating qualities due to the fur’s fine, hollow structure, these socks will keep your tootsies toasty on the coldest of days. The newer iterations are slightly thinner and more tightly woven—great for everyday wear as well as athletic activities.
Moto knee-high/$58, Road Pearly/$44, Original/$38 | pearlyspossumsocks.com
Farm to Feet Light Targeted Cushion Trail Socks
Farm to Feet takes “Made in the USA” up a few notches with their all-American recipe of US materials, manufacturing, and workers “cooked up” in the Carolinas. A plethora of designs and colors make for the merriest of days any old time. The 3/4 Crew size is perfect for hiking boots, resting comfortably on the calf above the shoe lip, and the merino/nylon blend delivers with its soft, temperature-regulating, odor-resistant features. High-density cushioning is perfect for long days or long hikes, and “advanced knitting techniques create a flat connection in the toe box, reducing bulk and eliminating blister-generating friction.” Farm to Feet has a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee.
$24 | farmtofeet.com
Vim & Vigr Compression Socks
Woman-owned Vim & Vigr just celebrated its 10th anniversary, extending its reach in a decade from a single style to a full line featuring three compression levels with cotton, nylon, and merino wool fabric blends. The company’s unisex, whimsical patterns step up the fun factor (they have practical plain-Jane/Jack styles, too), and the association many have with compression socks, hospitals, and injury recovery dances straight out the window. The support and comfort ratio of the Moderate level is unparalleled for backcountry usefulness, with circulation benefits, reduced muscle stress and swelling, and improved energy levels after long days of travel behind the wheel. Open-toe socks and leg sleeves up the ante.
$32-$44 | vimvigr.com
Gordini Burke Lightweight Ski Sock
Gordini Gloves was founded in Canada in 1956, and while gloves have always been their specialty, goggles and multiple sock styles for men and women round out the company roster. I’m not a skier (anymore), but the knee-high Burke caught my eye for use with full-size winter boots. Made in Italy, its compression instep, expanding cuff for comfort, bolstered arch support, and frictionless fit make the Burke an excellent choice when playing in the snow for extended periods. Using technology that maintains circulation and warmth, the merino inner layer allows feet to breathe while the nylon exterior reduces wear and tear, simultaneously maintaining body heat while extracting moisture.
$25 | gordini.com
SmartWool Athletic Targeted Cushion Socks
Founded in Colorado in 1994, SmartWool was the harbinger of the merino wool revolution, expanding features to suit the outdoor industry and beyond. While there are a ton of amusing colors and designs, and the Nature Conservancy and Alpine Trail patterns are particularly fetching in the Trail sock, the Athletic’s old-school, basic-stripe pattern and versatility hit the mark for me. Made in the USA with a merino wool/nylon blend, they have “a reinforced sole for durability, mesh zones for breathability, an elasticized arch, and ankle support.” With strategic cushioning and a 4 Degree fit system to hold them in place, consider them a “win” for your wardrobe.
$23 | smartwool.com
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For additional overland gift ideas, check out these Expedition Portal guides:
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