While the most important thing this holiday season is time with friends and family, I am frequently asked for gift suggestions, often for the adventurer that has everything. Here is my top 10 recommendations for awesomeness this Christmas.
1. Snow Peak GigaPower Torch: $39.95
There is nothing else sold for $40 that will make you more of a campground hero and aspiring pyromaniac than the GigaPower Torch. Spending 20 minutes preparing the perfect Boy Scout teepee fire thingy is dumb. The torch will do the trick in seconds, and can also start charcoal and finish a creme brulee. FIRE!
2. Longhunter Axe: $125
Continuing with the fire theme, this long-handled hatchet looks sweet and will last a lifetime. I appreciate the simple appearance and non-tacticool approach. For the guy who is bound to whine in the comments section: “A $125 Axe! I bought mine from Walmart for $5”. It is Christmas, get over it. . .
3. American Optics Aviators: $63
I love these sunglasses and have several pair strewed around various vehicles and bags. They are Made in USA, metal frame and less than $70. You can even find them on Amazon for less then $50 at times. I have worn them on seven continents, and never had a pair fail me. . .
Meh, Humbug! Does my kafia make my head look bald?
4. Trip to Iceland: $3-10,000 with truck rental
Iceland is one of the most incredible places on the planet. Beautiful, unique and you can drive a diesel Hilux or Prado on 44″ tires across the largest glacier in Europe. You can also rent a stock Suzuki Jimny for a few hundred Euro per day and camp or stay in huts.
5. Diesel Land Cruiser: $10-18,000
For the overlander that really does have everything, buy him a turbo diesel Land Cruiser. He will fist pump for days and love you forever. . . promise.
6. Filson Heritage Sportsman’s Bag: $360
Made from oil finished tin cloth, this is the bag I have traveled around the world with. Mine is thoroughly beat on and still works great. It is carry-on sized and easily takes three to thirty days of stuff for adventure travel. (note: yes, you can travel for months out of a carry on bag. I haven’t checked bags for years) I also have a few for range bags and they just look better the more you use them.
7. Prometheus Design Werx Danger Bear T-Shirt: $29
It is hard to find cool t-shirts. These are the coolest. . . Grrrrrr
8. NEMO Helio Shower: $99
It is shocking how much effort and expense people will go for a shower in the field. They fit impossible to clean storage tanks, elaborate electrical pumps and an expensive water heater. In reality, few of them work and all of them break. Unless you are traveling in a Unicat, just buy the Nemo Helio. $100 and it works every time, stores the size of a cantaloupe and you can move it from truck to truck- brilliant I tell you!
9. Aether Shelter NH Jacket: $260
Clean and functional, this compressible and warm jacket suits most travel needs, and is the jacket I take along for most travel adventures. I wear it daily in Prescott during the fall and winter, and also use it for an insulating layer underneath a technical shell. It stuffs into my camera bag and looks at home around the campfire and during a night out in Tallinn. Aether.com
10. 4WD Training: $200-1,000
80-percent of the people we see on the trail can’t drive themselves out of a paper bag. While you are no doubt convinced you are part of the 20-percent that can drive off-highway, even you can benefit from intermediate or advanced 4WD instruction. Training is always the best money spent in a new hobby, so seek out a qualified trainer. Unfortunately, the quality and experience of 4WD instructors varies wildly, from those that don’t know the difference between a KERR and a winch line extension, to the Round the World teams that have genuine experience with all brands and all environments. Do some research, but Barlow Adventures in the west and Overland Experts in the east are good places to start.
BONUS. Overland Journal: $45
Overland Journal is a 136-page, perfect bound adventure travel magazine filled with real-world tested gear, incredible journeys and drool-worthy 4WDs and motorcycles.
Note: Sure, I could have filled the list with a bunch of 4WD parts, but that would have been boring, and few actually fit in a stocking. . .