We test tons of gear on our many outdoor adventures throughout the South, and we’ve wrapped our hand-selected, trail-tested favorites into our 2018 Outdoor Gift Guide. We’ve sorted our favorite hiking, backpacking and camping gear and apparel by price and activity, to help you find the perfect outdoor gift – or find some new gear for your own outdoor adventures.
POWER UP, POWER THROUGH, RECOVER
GU Energy Snacks & Drinks
We’ve been longtime fans of GU and their line of energy, hydration, and recovery products. From pre-workout energy chews to post-workout hydration, GU keeps us moving and feeling great. Each product satisfies specific energy and nutrients needs for sustained activity and performance. And the products not only work great, but they taste great, too! Among our favorites are the Carmel Stroopwafels, Watermelon Energy Chews, and Lemon Lime Hydration Drink Tabs.
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FOOD WITH A MISSION
The Provisions line of delicious packaged meals and snacks are perfect for any adventure, on the trail or at home. Patagonia packs its Provisions with organic grains, fruits, and vegetables, and each meal is full of bold flavors and nutrient-filled ingredients. Delicious menu options include creamy banana hot cereal, black bean soup, savory grains, buffalo jerky, and an outstanding wild-caught salmon. And Patagonia’s pledge to conservation means each ingredient and product is sourced responsibly from farmers and fishermen committed to sustainable environmental practices.
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Morning coffee is a must-have around our campsite, and we’ve tried just about every gadget and press trying to get the best tasting cup. Kuju eliminates the need for fancy equipment. Simply open the individually wrapped packet, hang the filter over the cup, secure with the cardboard tabs, and pour hot water over the grounds. Simple, quick, delicious, and devine.
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DEPENDABLE FIRE STARTER
UCO Titan Stormproof Match Kit
The UCO Titan Stormproof Match Kit provides peace of mind when stormy weather catches up to us on the trail. The kit includes 12 windproof and waterproof matches that each burning for up to 25 seconds. The kit also includes 3 replaceable strike pads and a waterproof case that floats. With the Titan Stormproof Match Kit, we’re able to able to light a fire at the campsite, in pretty much whatever weather Mother Nature chooses to toss our way.
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STAR LIGHT, STAR BRIGHT
BioLite SiteLight Mini
We’ve been big fans of the BioLite SiteLights, and love the homey feel they bring to the campsite. The newest addition to the line, SiteLight Mini, provides even more options for illuminating tents, cooking areas, and other spots where task lighting is needed. The SiteLight Mini features four lights on a 10 foot cord and can be daisy-chained with other members of the SiteLight family. Powering up is easy with the ability to use the BioLite PowerLight, BaseLantern XL, or any USB port using the included adapter.
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SIMPLE YET VERSATILE
BUFF Original Multifunctional Headwear
Sometimes the simplest things can be the best. BUFF Original Multifunctional Headwear can be used in 13 different configurations to keep the head, neck and face protected from wicked winter weather, scorching summer sun, or pesky insects. The BUFF Original line keeps us warm and comfortable on cold weather adventures with it’s wicking and windproof fabric, while the BUFF UV and BUFF UV Insect Sheild lines keep us protected from the harsh Southern sun and ever-present pesky insects.
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SOLAR POWERED ILLUMINATION
LuminAID PackLite Max & Nova
Lightweight, portable, and solar powered: the inflatable LuminAid PackLite Max and PackLite Nova provide hours of illumination for lighting up the campsite, pool party or backyard BBQ. The larger PackLite Max comes with a USB connection for faster recharging, and both the Max and the Nova feature a strap for hanging from tent hooks and trees. When not in use, both models deflate and pack down for easy storage and travel.
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Green Goo Outdoor Travel Pack
We’ve been longtime fans of the Green Goo First Aid salve. All of Green Goo’s products are made without artificial ingredients – only all-natural botanicals, herbs, and essential oils. One of our favorite products is the Outdoor Travel Pack which features lip balm, first aid salve, pain relief salve, and insect repellant. It’s the perfect Green Goo starter kit and has become a staple in our camping and hiking bags.
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WARM AND WIRED
GSI Outdoors Glacier Stainless Microlite 500
Hot coffee for 8 hours! We’re sold. There’s nothing like an early morning drive to the mountains with a mug of coffee that stays hot for the whole trip. The new GSI Outdoors Microlite 500 provides unbelievable insulation while weighing ⅓ less and being 60% thinner than traditional vacuum bottles.
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BASIC BUT INDESTRUCTIBLE
Wide Mouth Nalgene Bottles
MADE IN THE USA + GUARANTEED FOR LIFE
Darn Tough Socks
Darn Tough socks are nearly indestructible and darn comfortable – and they’re unconditionally guaranteed, for life! Fast drying and wicking merino wool keeps our feet comfy and dry, even on the longest adventures. Sizes, thicknesses and heights are available for just about any type of outdoor activity.
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LIGHT IT UP
Adventure Medical Fire Lite Kit
Sometimes nature just doesn’t cooperate and building a fire can be nearly impossible. With the Adventure Medical Fire Lite Kit starting a fire is easy in any weather. The kit includes a firestarter and 20 pieces of Tinder Quick waterproof tinder.
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Keep It DRY
Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Dry Sack
Our adventures take us through a range of terrain and weather, so we never leave home without a dry bag or two. The Seat to Summit Ultra-Sil Dry Sack comes in a range of sizes to keep our electronics and gear safe and dry, whether we’re fording rivers, caught in an unexpected downpour or soaking up some sun on our paddleboards.
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Yum on the run
Good To-Go Meals
Mealtime on the trail just got one heck of an upgrade! Good To-Go’s gourmet backpacking meals have changed the way we think about trail food. They’re made by a former Iron Chef (for real!), and they’re super delicious and easy to prepare. Just add boiling water, wait 20 minutes, and you’ll be set for a meal more suited for a sit-down restaurant than a mountain summit. After a full day of backpacking, the Thai Curry is simply incredible.
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Ultralight Water Filtration
Sawyer Mini Filter
The Sawyer Mini is the easiest-to-use, lightest and most effective water filter we’ve tested. It lasts longer and outperforms most other backpacking water filters available, and has replaced the heavier pump-style filters in our gear closet.
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Flowfold Trailmate Dog Leash
We’re huge fans of reclaimed and recycled materials – and when we found out the Trailmate Dog Leash was made from reclaimed scraps of safety rope, we were full-on sold. This sturdy 5’ leash keeps Jake, our adventure pup, securely under control while we’re out chasing adventures.
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Let them choose!
REI Gift Card
What’s not to love about an REI gift card?! With a huge selection of top outdoor brands, envy-worthy gear and a staff of outdoor-loving experts, it’s like an outdoor gear paradise. Not sure what to gift this year? Let them decide!
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