Travel

10 Outdoorsy Gifts That Won’t Break the Bank

Pale Blue Earth Rechargeable Smart Batteries

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Some family members don’t need a $500 sleeping bag. Some friends just aren’t close enough to warrant giving a new ice axe. Or maybe you’re simply looking for something small enough to hide inside a stocking. No matter the reason, these gifts pack a punch. 

Pale Blue Earth Smart Rechargeable Batteries (Photo: courtesy)

Pale Blue Earth Rechargeable smart Batteries (4-pack) 

$25; Buy Now

Normal batteries are a poor gift idea for anyone except your prepper uncle. These rechargeable batteries are something else. Each Pale Blue Earth Smart Battery has its own micro-USB connection that can be charged via a power bank or wall outlet. They can charge up to five times faster than standard rechargeables and can replace 1000 alkaline disposable batteries during their lifetime. Ultralighters will be pleased to know that every lithium-ion batteries is almost 40 percent lighter than a disposable. 

Nite Ize Squeeze Clippable Phone Holder
Nite Ize Squeeze Clippable Phone Holder (Photo: courtesy)

Nite Ize Squeeze Clippable Phone Holder 

$20; Buy Now 

A backpack’s hipbelt pockets are never quite the right size for our always-changing smartphones. This device attaches any phone using grippy arms. After hundreds of miles of bushwhacking this year, our guide testers approved it. The clip can be adjusted to fit thick straps and rotates 360° for different snapshots in portrait or landscape orientation. 

 

JoGo Coffee and Tea Brewing Straw
JoGo Coffee and Tea Brewing Straw (Photo: courtesy)

JoGo Coffee and Tea Brewing Straw 

$25; Buy Now

The straw filter makes cowboy coffee easily accessible to backpackers who are ultralight. You can add the grounds and hot water to a cup. Let the coffee steep for about ten minutes, then you can use the JoGo Straw to suck it down, grit-free. The removable mesh filter and stainless-steel straw are dishwasher-safe, as well as the silicone mouthpiece. You can use it for loose leaf tea and any other brewed beverage. 

HydroFlask 6 Oz Mug (Bark)
HydroFlask 6 Oz Mug (Bark) (Photo: HydroFlask 6 Oz Mug (Bark))

HydroFlask 6 Oz Mug (Bark)

$23; Buy Now

In a sea filled with double-walled vessels, this insulated cup stood out. The gasketed push-in lid with easy-slide drinking port and gasketed push in lid prevent coffee from leaking and splashing, even when driving on gravel roads. The brand’s vacuum-insulated technology works exceptionally well, keeping spiced chai piping hot after six hours sitting in the mid-40s. Our favorite feature? The “bark” cork exterior is wonderfully neutral in an insulated flask market full of bright neons and has a soft, pliant texture that keeps it from slipping off of surfaces. 

Smartwool X Grateful Dead Cushion Crew Socks
Smartwool X Grateful Dead Cushion Crew Socks (Photo: courtesy)

Smartwool X Grateful Dead Cushion Crew Socks 

$23; Buy Now

Deadheads, rejoice: This limited-edition print celebrates the iconic American rock band with the classic “dancing bear” print slapped right on the side. It’s not just for Grateful Dead megafans (we’re looking at you, Green Mountain State hikers), though. Smartwool’s crew socks are some of the longest lasting we’ve tested. Merino blend has an elasticized ankle and arch support, flat knit toe seams, and a reinforced sole. 

Primus Salt and Pepper Mills
Primus Salt and Pepper Mills (Photo: courtesy)

Primus Salt and Pepper Mills 

$23; Buy Now

If you’re seasoning your campfire steak with iodized salt and dusty old black pepper, take note: there is a better way. Primus’s overbuilt salt and pepper mills are a cinch to use with one-handed spring-loaded trigger operation—important while balancing unwieldy backcountry cookware or swatting away bugs. Although the set weighs in at 6 ounces, it is strong enough to be carried around in a backpack. 

SOL Fire Lite Fuel-Free Lighter
SOL FireLite Fuel-Free Lighter (Photo: courtesy)

SOL FireLite Fuel-Free Lighter 

$25, Buy Now 

This multipurpose gadget will give you the gift of preparedness to your friends who are constantly trying to light matches or warm up their Bic lighters left over from the night. SOL’s weatherproof electric plasma lighter is capable of igniting a campfire or stove in the worst conditions. The USB-rechargeable, rechargeable firestarter has an LED light built in and provides enough power to light up 45 fires for 3 hours.

BUFF Original EcoStretch Neckwear Pride Stacked
Pride Stacked BUFF Original EcoStretch Neckwear

BUFF Original EcoStretch Neckwear Proud Stacked 

$24; Buy Now

Most people already own the infamous tubular neck/head gaiter—or maybe several—but this one proudly celebrates inclusivity for queer, trans, and LGBTQ+ folks in outdoor adventures. Not only are the designs bright, loud, and funkadelic, but these Buffs are also made with 95-percent recycled polyester—roughly two plastic water bottles worth. Polyester is quick-drying and breathable.

UCO Gear EcoSwitch Spork
UCO Gear EcoSwitch Spork (Photo: courtesy)

UCO Gear EcoSwitch Spork 

$10; Buy Now

There are many backpacking sporks made of plastic. Many of these sporks can be used interchangeably with knives, forks and spoons. UCO’s Spork, however, morphs, transformer-style into a long-reach utensil for deep-walled dehydrated meal pouches, which means you can keep your hand safely out of the mac ‘n’ cheese. This all-in-1 utensil set is made of food-safe, dishwasher safe BPA-free recycled plasticpropylene. It can be easily stored compactly, or clip onto your backpack.

LifeStraw Peak Personal Straw
LifeStraw Peak Personal Straw (Photo: courtesy)

LifeStraw Peak Personal Straw

$20; Buy Now  

LifeStraw’s well-loved emergency-use straw filter got a major overhaul this year in the form of 50% post-consumer recycled plastic, a 1.3-inch length reduction, and compatibility with standard water bottles and gravity filters. That last bit makes it usable not only in emergency “stick your face into the stream” situations, but for a variety of common filtration methods. At roughly 2 ounces and less than 8 inches long, it’s the ideal stocking stuffer for backpackers who need a backup filter, and folks looking for a versatile, multi-purpose filter.

10 Outdoorsy Gifts That Won’t Break the Bank

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