15 Outdoor Gifts for Exploring Our Amazing Planet
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Outdoor giftsWhether it's scaling an icy cliff or racing down a rocky mountain pass, adventurers need a lot of gear to support their epic pastimes. But what do you get for the adventure junkie who seems to have everything? We rounded up the must-have items, many of which cost less than $30, for that special daredevil in your life.
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MinipressoCrawling out of your tent after a chilly night bundled up in a mummy bag, coffee drinkers have one thing on their mind: where do I get a rich cup of joe? Minipresso to the rescue. The compact, manual espresso maker, from Wacaco, is just 6.9 inches long and weighs under a pound (14.4 ounces). Coolthings.com calls the maker "the most outdoor-friendly" portable espresso maker, rating it above Handpresso, GSI Outdoors Mini Espresso Maker and the Presso. Just add hot water and ground coffee beans and then pump with your hand, and voila, a shot of espresso.
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Buckshot 2.0 Bike SpeakerThis speaker satisfies the coolness and safety factors: Wearing headphones while cycling on a busy road or even in an isolated park can prevent you from being alert to your surroundings. With the Buckshot 2.0 Portable Bluetooth Speaker by Outdoor Tech, cyclists can use their voice to change the music and volume and even to answer their cellphone. The waterproof and shockproof, wireless speaker can be mounted to a bike's handlebars; and with a 24-hour battery life, you won't need to turn off even during a marathon ride. The speaker has a 100-foot Bluetooth range, according to Outdoor Tech.
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Mini Bug Out BoxWhether your outdoor enthusiast needs to survive a zombie invasion or just a boo-boo, this survival kit, called the Mini Bug Out Box, will do the trick. The 43-piece kit, created by 12 Survivors, includes a whistle and a signal mirror to alert search-and-rescue teams of your location (or to call to fleshy humans without notifying the brain-eating dead, a flint rod to start a fire in a snap, a paracord and other supplies for shelter-building and a fishing kit.
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Hydra SmartbottleThis 20-ounce, BPA-free water bottle does more than hold a refreshing drink — It even plays music! The long list of features makes this the gift that keeps on giving. For gadget lovers and safety-keen outdoors enthusiasts alike, the Hydra SmartBottle includes a 5W Bluetooth® 2.1 speaker, a micro-USB input, FM radio, a microphone that lets you turn the bottle into a hands-free speakerphone, white LED lantern and a red LED emergency flashing light, and more. The bottle has a compartment for hiding keys and cash as well as a carabiner with a bottle opener. The smart water bottle comes in four colors: black, blue, gray and orange.
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Leatherman Style CS multitool
Whether it's for cutting food or hacking her way to survival, every good outdoorswoman needs a solid knife. This multitool includes a knife, scissors, a nail file and tweezers, as well as Phillips and flathead screwdrivers. The tool also provides a carabiner-type hook to fasten onto clothes or backpacks, so it doesn't get lost.
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Glow-in-the-Dark S'mores SticksFor those who would rather not settle for traditional camping gear, or you just want to bring some fun to the campfire, this product may be just the thing. Made by Charcoal Companion, the s'mores stick comes in two styles (fork or skewer) and has a plastic glow-in-the-dark handle so you'll never lose a sturdy s'mores poker again. Plus, what will your friends think when you whip out your very own lightsaber-like marshmallow holder? The stick telescopes out to 32 inches (81 centimeters) to keep you at a comfy distance from the flames. Each order comes with two glow-in-the-dark s'mores sticks. ThinkGeek applauds the clever product, calling it a great way for those glampers out there — Glamping (from "glamorous" and "camping") is a new term for the idea of bringing creature comforts and tech to camping.
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Luci inflatable lantern
The Luci inflatable solar lantern is waterproof, packs to a compact size and can be recharged throughout the day to provide light for atmospheric nighttime camping. The lanterns can change to one of seven different hues, including bright white for reading. The elegant design and multitude of hues mean the lanterns aren't just useful for the wilderness: They would make great mood lighting at a dinner party as well.
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LifeStraw Personal Water Filter
For those heading out into the wild for a long time, the LifeStraw personal water filter can save you the trouble of hiking in with a huge cache of water on your back. The tiny, lightweight device filters out 99.9999 percent of all bacteria and 99.9 percent of all protozoans, such as Giardia lamblia in potentially contaminated water. The portable device can filter up to 264 gallons (1,000 liters) of water without adding iodine, chlorine or other purifiers that can leave an unpleasant aftertaste. And let's hope it never comes to it, but in a real bind, the LifeStraw can allow people to filter their own urine when they're stranded without a water supply.
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Fozzils Solo Pack
The Fozzils folding bowls and cups provide a lightweight, ultracheap option for dining out in the wilderness. Let's face it: Eating out of actual dishes, rather than the pot you cooked in or a plastic bag, lends a veneer of civilization and comfort to roughing it. Luckily, these slim, plastic bowls won't add pounds to someone's pack, as the complete set weighs just 4 ounces (0.1 kilograms). The unfolded bowls also lie flat for easy packing.
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GoPro Hero (and attachments)
The GoPro Hero provides a way for adrenaline junkies to immortalize their escapades, from hiking up to the mouth of a bubbling pit of lava to scuba diving into the deepest underwater sinkhole or adventure-biking along the rocky cliffs of the Isle of Skye. The GoPro Hero captures high-definition video and works in water up to depths of 131 feet (40 meters). The starter kit includes a head mount and extra disc drive. Those who want to share photos or videos via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth can opt for the pricier GoPro Hero+.
Even those who already have a GoPro can use additional accessories. Selfie sticks make you the star of your own adventure, and extra battery life is a must for those hoping to capture every moment of their all-day escapes.
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Patagonia R1 Hoody
The Patagonia R1 Hoody has a cult following amongst avid outdoorsmen. That's because it's the "Goldilocks" layer for outdoor adventures: a solid midlayer that's not too hot and not too cold. The unique engineered fiber is breathable and stretchable, and packs down to almost nothing. It has a front zipper for venting when it gets too hot, thumbholes in the sleeves for when it gets chilly and a slim zipper-pocket for holding essentials. At just 12.85 ounces (364 grams), the shirt is lightweight. The hoody is available for men and women in a variety of colors.
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Smartwool outdoor Light Pattern midcrew socks
Keeping your toes toasty can go a long way toward making you feel comfortable when snowshoeing, skijoring or downhill skiing. These smart wool socks are ultrawarm, just like ordinary wool, but unlike the scratchy wool socks that grandma wore, these are not itchy at all. Plus, they're lightweight and machine-washable. They also have specialized ventilation zones that wick moisture away and regulate temperature in just the right spots. For the fashion-conscious, the socks come in multiple colors.
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Hot Hands hand warmers
Hand warmers are perfect for those who want to actually feel their fingers while skiing, snowshoeing or camping in the mountains. These hand warmers release heat via a chemical reaction as soon as you open the package and expose them to air. They'll keep hands or toes toasty for up to 10 hours. They're also environmentally safe, meaning you can toss them in the trash when they're all used up. And their low price makes them a simple stocking stuffer for the adventure-seekers in your life.P
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Amphipod Xinglet vest
For those who fancy a quick jog or bike in pitch darkness, this reflective running or biking vest will make someone visible for oncoming drivers from all angles. The vest is brighter than other reflective clothing, and snaps on and off easily. It's also lightweight, meaning it won't make people any sweatier than their ultramarathon training otherwise would.
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Osprey Poco Plus child carrier
Getting outdoors can be challenging with little ones in tow, but the Osprey Poco Plus child carrier keeps both parent and tot comfortable on long hikes. The backpack provides adjustable harnesses that make it a good fit for both tall and short people, a hydration sleeve for water and a built-in sunshade so little ones can nap. The backpack has 0.875 square feet (23 L) of storage space for essential gear. The backpack also comes with a spot for quickly attaching a separate day pack, which older tots can carry when they decide to walk. The carrier can lug kids who weigh up to 48.5 lbs. (22 kg), so even 5-year-olds can take breaks in the carrier if they're feeling tired. (Though you will really, really want a kid that heavy to walk!)