Whether 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.
Crawling 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.
Buckshot 2.0 Bike Speaker
This 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.
Mini Bug Out Box
Whether 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.
This 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.
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 Sticks
For 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.
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.
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.
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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Tia is the managing editor and was previously a senior writer for Live Science. Her work has appeared in Scientific American, Wired.com and other outlets. She holds a master's degree in bioengineering from the University of Washington, a graduate certificate in science writing from UC Santa Cruz and a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. Tia was part of a team at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that published the Empty Cradles series on preterm births, which won multiple awards, including the 2012 Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism.