Outdoor and active equipment can be surprisingly expensive, but it’s built to last. In honor of Black Friday, here is a short list of great gifts for the woodsy folks in your life for under $30.
1. Engraved Leather Journal – I’ve purchased two notebooks from Leather Keepsakes as gifts for family members and finally broke down to buy one for myself before our trip to Europe last summer. The journals are handmade with genuine leather and, once engraved, become a one-of-a-kind gift. The more bumps and bruises mine takes from the trail, the better it seems to look. This size and model allow it to be stashed into a backpack and the flap keeps any wildflowers or leaves from my hike in place.
2. United States Wall Map – This one – The Essential Geography of the United States of America – has gotten rave reviews from a number of sources and is considered to be the best paper map of the U.S. ever made. There is significant detail with elevation, national and state parks, rivers and major trails. This is the perfect gift for the dreamer in your life – I recommend pairing it with plenty of map pins so that they can mark their past and future destinations.
3. Binoculars – This is the item your favorite hiker may never know they need or want until they’re staring up at what they think might be (can it be?!) a Golden Eagle or out at a (…nearly certain) whale spout. They sure come in handy in moments of doubt! Try for a light pair like this model and make sure it comes with a light case and a neck strap.
4. Wool Socks – Who doesn’t want stockings in their stocking?! There are infinitely cooler things to pick up on your run to REI, but once you’ve been on the trail for several hours there are few items that will garner appreciation like a quality pair of wool socks. Smart Wool is our favorite brand – they last forever and can be washed and dried with your regular laundry.
5. Coffee/Tea Filter – If ever there was a morning to require coffee, it’s after a night sleeping on the ground. Make sure you’re tree hugger has as much spring in their step the next day with this nifty insert. It works in most standard travel mugs!
Now you know our must-haves for the trail. What item can you not live without when you’re out and about in the wild world? Share your favs in the comments below.