Although there are many stocking stuffers that can be purchased at low cost, some are gimmicky and destined for the trash. Wouldn’t you rather select something that is useful or beautiful or nutritious? Here are ten things sure to please your hiking or backpacking friends.
1.A lightweight, collapsible water bottle. The 750ml Stash™ Collapsible Water Bottle. $17.99. Compact, flexible, and lightweight, the 750ml Stash™ Collapsible Water Bottle keeps you hydrated without weighing you down. Check out one model here.
2. Membership in a regional or state park. Of course the details will vary depending on where you live, but in the East Bay (San Francisco area), we have a regional park system that is tops. An East Bay Regional Parks’ membership supports the parks’ programs and allows members free parking, swimming, and many other benefits. “Our purpose is to provide broader public access to the Park District’s 65 Regional Parks, 1,200 miles of trails, and 40 miles of shoreline that make up more than 114,000+ acres throughout Alameda and Contra Costa Counties.” $50 for an individual membership/$40 for a senior or student membership. Go here to check it out.
3. An assortment of energy bars. Energy, or nutrition bars, vary widely in terms of nutritional value and tastiness. As any long distance hiker knows, buying a large amount of one kind of bar isn’t a good idea; you can get awfully tired of eating the same thing day after day. You can find these at most sporting goods stores.
4. Bay Nature Magazine. The Bay Area is lucky to have the fine magazine, Bay Nature, which has first-class articles about our natural environment and beautiful photos to inspire exploring and hiking locally. From $21.95 a year. Find info here.
5. Liner gloves. Liner gloves provide a second layer of insulation under heavier gloves, or sometimes can be worn solo. There are many types to choose from; look for ones that allow the user to use a phone or tablet while wearing. REI has many styles, click here to check them out.
6. The spork. The “spork” (combined spoon and fork) by Sea to Summit also has a small carabiner so you can clip the spoon to a pack, mug or another utensil and there will be less chance of losing it. 6.95. Look here.
7. LUCI OUTDOOR Inflatable LED Solar Lantern. There are various models with varying degrees of power and brightness. The Lucis are inflatable LED lanterns that are useful for camping, backyard, emergencies, and more. barbecues, by the pool etc. This is a Solar Rechargeable Light which is very light and inflates in seconds. Available at various outdoor supply and camping supply stores. Price: $14.95 & FREE Shipping from Amazon.com
8. Bandannas. Topographic maps of such parks as the Grand Canyon, Joshua Tree, Yellowstone, or Yosemite. You can also hunt for designs with animal scat, butterflies, or similar. Under $10. Look here.
9. Swiss Army knife. I happen to love the tiny Classic, because it has a blade, tweezers, toothpick, key ring, straight edge, screwdriver and scissors, and nail file. Many people would find it too small for any serious use, and so there are many other models available. $10.99 at Target, click here.
10. ExOfficio underwear. The men’s ExOfficio Give-N-Go briefs are breathable, moisture-wicking, easy handwash, line dry in a few hours. Blend of 94% nylon and 6% spandex. Treated with Aegis Microbe Shield to resist odor-causing bacteria. Widely available; women’s models, too. $15-20 At L.L.Bean, go here.
Note: The author has tried most of these products, which she acquired by purchase (not as complimentary gifts from the stores or manufacturers). She does not guarantee these products, but provides the information for your consideration.