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Last Minute Holiday Gifts For Your Overlander

You’re sitting in your office, counting down the days until the holiday break when all of a sudden it hits you, you’re almost out of time for gifts! Frantically, you try to figure out what to buy. Well, fret not, as we have two giant lists of last-minute products for the outdoor enthusiast in your life. This list contains the more reasonably priced items, while the other contains ideas for those who have been extra good this year, or rather put up with you being the opposite. You know who you are.

So whatever the reason for you to celebrate the season, we hope you enjoy the following gift recommendations from our staff!

FOR COOL GIFTS OVER $300, CHECK OUT OUR OTHER LIST HERE. 

From the Editor – Chris Cordes

Off The Grid Pants

It might sound cheesy to consider buying pants for a gift, but try them on and you’ll understand why I’m making the recommendation. After receiving a pair for review at Overland Expo this year, and wearing them for just a day, I immediately went back and purchased a second set, which has since become my favorite pair of pants. Why? For starters, they aren’t frumpy with bulbous canvas buckets on your legs like most cargo pants, but rather trim with concealed zipper pockets and low profile storage. 

They’re also extremely comfortable, with a contoured waistband and stretch canvas shaped into pre-bent legs to match your body’s shape. Off The Grid didn’t sacrifice durability though, as they include gussets in areas prone to rips and reinforcements in wear zones like your knee, back of the leg, cuff around your boot, and the corner of your pocket where you carry a knife. As good as they are, I expected a price tag in the $200-$300 range, but to my surprise, they’re selling for just $69.

$69 | Check out their website here. 

Adventure Tool Company Blanket

We’re suckers for the classic look of a plaid wool blanket, but most share three problems. First, they’re usually far too expensive for most of us to justify; second, they’re infuriatingly scratchy which makes cuddling up with your camp partner a difficult task; and third, explaining to your significant other why you spent $300 on a scratchy blanket will usually result in an argument. Thankfully, we have a way around all of that: simply buy this beautiful blanket from Adventure Tool Company for a mere $50. It is made right here in the USA from a wool and synthetic blend, which is not only soft, but machine washable and insanely practical. They can be used as a normal blanket, a picnic blanket, or as an insulator between your RTT floor and mattress during the winter. Whatever uses you find, we guarantee you’ll love this loom-woven, flame retardant, super snuggle-worthy camp blanket.

$50 | Check it out on the ATC website here. 

7P Recovery Ring

Snatch blocks or pulley blocks have been a staple of the four-wheel-drive industry for ages, but they’re far from perfect. For starters, they can become sticky or seize with time, and have several components that can break. But our biggest beef with them is that they’re bulky and ridiculously heavy which makes them difficult to store transport. For those who are looking to lighten the load with a simpler alternative, 7p’s new recovery rings could be a perfect gift. They’re designed for use with synthetic winch lines and soft shackles, and act as a snatch block while weighing just 1.9 pounds.

$189 | Visit their website here. 

Treaty Oak Soft Shackles

Soft shackles are a lighter and safer alternative to the heavy steel shackles many of us are used to, but they’re just as effective if not more so. We’ve tried a few models out over the years, but some of our favorites come from Treaty Oak Off-Road, a small business based in Houston, Texas. Each of their products is made to order right here in the USA, and can be purchased in an array of sizes, weight ratings, and colors. After putting ours to the test from Arizona to Australia, we can say you won’t regret making the purchase.

Pricing varies |Check out their website here.

Maps!

Many people are fascinated by maps, but they serve a more practical purpose for those of us wandering out into the backcountry. Before a trip, they play an important role in route planning, and once in the field, they are vital for backup navigation should your GPS fail. While they are available in a range of sizes, types, and prices, we’d recommend starting with maps from Benchmark, DeLorme, or National Geographic.

Blue Ridge Tire Bag

I started using spare tire trash bags years ago, but they always seemed to fade, become brittle, and slide off the darn tire like an oversized backpack. Recently, I picked up Blue Ridge Overland Gear’s XL spare tire bag and it changed everything. Made from a vinyl-coated polyester truck tarp it won’t fade like the other fabric versions I’ve used, and doesn’t absorb water or smells. It features two load-bearing MIL-SPEC MOLLE webbing straps which support the weight of the bag while toting heavy items like wood. If you’re looking for a way to keep garbage, fluids, or other dirty gear outside of the truck, the Blue Ridge bag is a perfect gift.

$159 |Learn more about it on the Blue Ridge website here. 

Kovea BBQ

We first spotted Kovea gear with a few of our favorite world travelers and contributors, so when Nomadica Outfitters became their US distributor, we knew we needed to check them out. We started by testing their all-in-one gas BBQ Grill, which we quickly fell in love with for its versatility, quality of construction, and heat control. Of course, their tables, chairs, and tent heaters are also stellar, but we’ll let you learn all about those by checking out their website at the following link. 

Nemo Star Gaze Luxury Recliner

Well, folks, you might find this hard to believe, but out of all the equipment we’ve tested, I think more people lose their minds over this chair than anything else, and I can’t blame them. The Star Gaze is the first-ever swinging and reclining camp chair, and will function on rocks, sand, mud, or just about any other surface you can find. It features an aircraft-grade aluminum suspension frame, is sturdy enough to hold 300 pounds, and packs down quickly and compactly. It also includes padded arm rests, cup holders, a stash pocket for tablets keys and books, and a padded carrying case for while you’re on the road. Most importantly though, it is without a doubt the most comfortable camp chair I’ve owned, and definitely the best one for staring up at the stars. It’s available for purchase at REI.

$219 |See it on their website here. 

Sea to Summit Comfort Deluxe SI Pad

If you’re looking for what might be the most comfortable sleeping pad on earth, look no further. I have been living on the road for about a year now, and during that time have spent several months on a Comfort Deluxe SI pad. As a side sleeper with two back surgeries behind me, I had originally feared that this would end up causing a myriad of aches and pains, but to my surprise, I’ve yet to wake with one. That’s because this heavenly bed is 4 inches thick, and uses Sea to Summit’s Delta Core technology to increase support without increasing weight. Even at 6’4″ and 225 pounds I can roll on my side without ever touching the ground. The deluxe carries an R value of 5.2, so you’ll be plenty warm at night, and it coated in a 30D polyester knit for a soft touch and feel.

$170 and up | Check out the Sea to Summit website here. 

Tenkara Fly Rod

For the fisherman in your family, or even the aspiring one, check out Tenkara fly rods. These easy to use rods skip the cost and complexity of standard fly fishing by dumping the reel in exchange for a traditional tied line setup. They’re also light and compact, making them an easy addition to a backpack, motorcycle, or truck. So whether you’re just looking to get into fly-fishing, or are a seasoned pro looking to try something new, check out Tenkara rods and enjoy a little simplicity in the new year.

$150 and up | Check out their website here.

Midland Radio

If you’d like to give your friends and loved ones the gift of communication this year, it’s worth checking out Midland Radio. They have a wide range of options for ruggedized, hand-held, and high-powered radios that are perfect for a day on the trail, and don’t require everyone to carry a license like 2 meter. So whether you’re spotting on the trail, hooking up a trailer, or just keeping in touch on your weekend adventure you’ll find these GMRS radios to be an affordable and easy to use fit.

Check them out on the Midland website here. 

Overland Journal Managing Editor – Sarah Ramm

Rumpl Puffy Blanket in “old growth” print

Nothing celebrates the advancements in the outdoor space quite like a technical blanket with a drone photo printed on it. I am not sure why, but this blanket speaks to me, and if I had room on my camping shelf for more bedding-related items you can bet I’d own it.

We have two Rumpl blankets and have found ourselves using them for the warmer 60°+ nights or paired with other blankets when it gets a little colder. This bedding solution has been our favorite because it allows for freedom of movement and cuddling.

$129 | Find the puffy blanket here.

 

Garmin Forerunner 35

Of all the smartwatches available today, this one pairs form and function beautifully. What draws me to this watch is the ability to track runs without your phone and the heart rate monitoring capabilities.

$170 | See all of the specs and available colors here.

Timbuk2 Classic Messenger Bag (Medium)

I love my Timbuk2 bags. I have always been impressed by the high-quality materials and the fit and finish of every component. The Classic Messenger has a waterproof liner on the inside which saved me from having to replace a very expensive Jeep key fob during an on-foot creek crossing. Ask me about it sometime, because it’s a hilarious story.

The current bag I have from Timbuk2 has a padded sleeve for a 13-inch laptop, so check out their entire lineup to find the perfect gift or to meet your own needs. They even offer custom color choices. Don’t be afraid to splurge, because these bags will last several years before you would even consider replacing them.

$99 | Check out the Classic messenger bag here.

myCharge AdventureMax

This little battery pack won my heart. Underneath the dust cover, you’ll find two USB-A ports with an output of 2.4A for charging most of your devices, and a micro USB for power input. This 10500mAh battery has enough juice to charge your average smartphone up to six times, and, I have even used the Adventure Max to successfully charge my Chromebook and Nintendo Switch (at separate times). The ruggedized non-slip texture and integrated carabiner keep it where you want it so it is always ready to go on your next adventure. If I could change anything about this product, I would update the power input to USB-C so that I could just one cable for everything.

$50 | Find the AdventureMax here.

myCharge UnPlugged 8K

While checking out the AdventureMax on the myCharge website, I found this little gem. If you have the convenience of wireless charging on your phone, you could essentially keep your phone charged every time you put it in your bag. Unfortunately, not every phone manufacturer has integrated this technology, so be sure to check out your phone’s capabilities first.

$60 | Check out the UnPlugged here.

GSI Pinnacle Base Camper Cook Set

This cooking set has been on my wish list ever since I switched to another pan manufacturer. I owned a previous GSI kit and absolutely loved it. With recent improvements to the coating and heat distribution, I would go back to a GSI pan set in a heartbeat. They offer varying levels and sizes to fit different campers’ needs.

$95 and up | View GSI’s cook set here.

GSI Destination Kitchen Set 24

Everything you need for cooking stored in one small, organized bag. I have been using the different generations of this kit for years now, and I would recommend it to anyone who needs to level up their camp cooking game. Included in this kit are niceties such as a nonstick knife for easy cleaning, a whisk for sauces or hot chocolate, and a cheese grater (to the exacting folks among us, it is more like a Microplane, but I digress). I replaced the soft-sided condiment bottles with a few from Nalgene to store cooking oil in, but everything else in the kit gets a 10/10 from me.

$50 | Get the Destination kitchen set here.

MiiR 12-ounce Camp Cup

This camp cup is the perfect size for beverages. We have a set in white that has become our go-to for coffee, hot chocolate, and tea. When the weather warms up, you can bet we’ll also find excuses to use them for iced beverages too. Their copper color stands out from the crowd of insulated goodies and might have a home in my camp kit very soon.

As an added benefit, you can feel good about purchasing from MiiR because they provide trackable codes for each product to see how your money helped humanitarian projects across the globe.

$30 | Find the MiiR camp cup here.

MiiR 32-ounce Howler

I would also give an honorable mention to the Howler from MiiR because they are offering a sweet deal of 50 percent off when you buy two tumblers and a howler to create a coffee set.

$43 | Check out their website for details because I’m sure that offer won’t last long.

MPOWERD Luci Solar String Lights

Solar-powered lanterns meet string LED lights. This little kit means you can have the best of both worlds when it comes to camp lighting. Rather than storing several solar lanterns on your dash while you drive, you can charge this unit before you leave and let the solar panel keep it charged during the day at camp.

$35 | Get the Luci string lights on the MPOWERD site here.

Solight SolarPuff Collapsible Solar Lantern

It seems like you can never have too many lights for camp. This inflatable solar lantern would make an excellent gift for the camping enthusiasts in your life.

$30 | See the SolarPuff here.

Yeti Rambler 18-ounce Bottle with Chug Cap

The Yeti Rambler is among the best vacuum insulated stainless steel bottles. Where their bottles shine is in their lid design. Not only are they easy to carry because of the wide handle, but the chug cap also makes it easy to drink without spilling it all over yourself. Just me?

$30 + $10 | Get the Rambler bottle here, and the Chug cap here.

 

And for the person who has everything but the…

Sea To Summit Kitchen Sink

Sometimes the people in your life already have it all. In that case, you can get them the Kitchen Sink from Sea To Summit.

$22 and up | This sink is handy and makes an excellent addition to any camp kit.

Born and raised in Dallas, Texas, Chris didn’t receive a real taste of the outdoors until moving to Prescott, Arizona, in 2009. While working on his business degree, he learned to fly and spent his weekends exploring the Arizona desert and high country. It was there that he fell in love with backcountry travel and four-wheel drive vehicles, eventually leading him to Overland Journal and Expedition Portal. After several years of honing his skills in writing, photography, and off-road driving, Chris now works for the company full time as Expedition Portal's Managing Editor.

2 Comments

  • Jeff Fujita

    December 20th, 2018 at 9:40 pm

    Finally…a list comprised of gear that is both affordable and applicable. I think several of these items can also apply to the full-timing traveler. Great job…thanks!

    Reply
  • Houston

    December 27th, 2018 at 11:38 pm

    It would have been awesome if Shower Pouch made it to your list 🙂 I’m joking. I’m a big fan of some of the brands you mentioned. Thank you for the article. I have some homework researching some of the brands I’m not familiar with. Thanks. – Houston (co-founder of Shower Pouch)

    Reply

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