2020 Holiday Gift Guide

Welcome to our 2020 Holiday Gift Guide!

YETI 14 oz Rambler with lid
(about $25)
I love mine! Still looks new after many road trips.

YETI 10 oz Wine Tumbler
(about $25 without lid, Magslider lid is another $10)

YETI Rambler 20 oz Tumbler Insulated with MagSlider Lid
(about $30)

Hydro Flask Water Bottle Insulated 32 ounce
(about $45)

Delorme Atlas & Gazetteer
(about $15 to $25 depending on state)
We’ve linked here to the Utah book, but you can search on Amazon for other states.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Delorme-Utah-289x300.jpg

Patagonia Black Hole Duffel
(range of prices)
Lightweight and indestructible.

Cell phone tripod
(about $14 for this model – UBeesize is the brand)
Great for selfies where you need a little more distance between you and your phone, has a remote control.

Nalgene Wide Mouth Water Bottle
(about $9 to $15 depending on size and color)
When you search for Nalgene water bottles on Amazon, be sure to pay attention to size, color, and price. There is a wide range of combinations and prices.

Darn Tough Hiker Micro Crew Socks – Men’s and Women’s
(about $22 to $25 per pair)
We’ve tried every kind of sock made for hiking, and so far, Darn Tough socks are the best we’ve found. Many different styles and colors to choose from. These socks are made in Vermont and come with an unconditional lifetime guarantee, no matter how many mountains you’ve climbed.

Carhartt Men’s Watch Hat
(about $15 to $20)
Not just for men, this hat will instantly make you part of the hip crowd—or whatever they call the hip crowd these days. Made of 100 percent acrylic rib-knit fabric, stretchable, and one-size-fits-all.

Patagonia Houdini Jacket
(about $100)
Our favorite light jacket, and it stuffs inside the chest pocket.

Patagonia Nano Puff Jacket
(about $200)
Our go-to puffy. Also comes in a hoody version.
The link here is to the men’s, but they also offer women’s sizes and styles.

The North Face Etip Gloves
(about $45)
You’ll always find these at the bottom of my daypack.

(about 3 for $12)
And it makes you look like a cowboy–or-girl-when you wear one around your neck.

($20 per year for basic, $40 per year for premium- sometimes on sale on their website)
This app saved our lives at least a couple times this year alone.

Alltrails App
($30 per year, $60 for three years)
Indispensable for researching trails.

PeakFinder AR App
Closest thing to magic you’ll see in an app.

Bear Spray
(about $30-$60 depending on brand)
Here are links to three different brands: Counter Assault, Udap, Sabre
A must when you hike in bear country.

Bear Cannister
(about $70 to $80 depending on size)
Required in many national parks when hiking in bear habitat.

RATSACK – Food protection against rodents and bears
(about $32 to $58 depending on size)
Lighter than carrying a bear vault. Keeps fury critters from getting at your food.

Ursack – Bear resistant food sack
(about $90)
Another version of an animal proof food bag. Easy to hang off the ground.

Books by Matt and Karen
(about $12 to $17 depending on Amazon sale prices)
Give the gift of laughter with one of our books

Dear Bob and Sue
Dear Bob and Sue: Season 2
Dear Bob and Sue: Season 3
Dories, Ho!

National Parks passport book
(about $10)
You can also buy these passport books at any national park unit.

America the Beautiful – National Parks & Federal Recreational Lands Annual Pass
An annual pass more than pays for itself if you visit a few parks each year. You can also purchase the senior pass on the same website. Just follow the link above.

Kahtoola MICROspikes Traction System
(about $70)
These are the first microspikes we’ve used that are easy to put on and take off, even in the cold. And they’ve saved us from falling on our faces more times than we can count.

Black Diamond Trail Back Trekking Poles
(about $80)
Our favorite trekking poles because of how easy they are to adjust the length.

3M Safety Sunglasses
(about 4 for $16.50)
Stop worrying about losing or breaking your sunglasses. These are light (less than 1 oz.), wraparound frame design, anti-scratch lens coating, impact-resistant lenses that absorb up to 99.9% UV, and are so much cheaper than other sunglasses.

Jetboil Flash Camping and Backpacking Cooking System
(about $110, does not include fuel)
A must-have for anyone backpacking. Boils two cups of water in 2-3 minutes.

Jetboil Fuel Scale
(about $21, does not include fuel)
The only way to really know how much fuel is left in your partially-used fuel canisters.

Single Burner Camp Stove Dual Fuel
(about $32, does not include fuel)
Super compact and works with both propane and butane fuel.

LifeStraw Personal Water Filter
(about $18)
Here’s an item we hope never to use, but we carry it whenever we hike regardless. It weighs only 2 ounces, so there’s no excuse for not throwing it into the backpack. You put one end of the LifeStraw in water and suck through the other end, pulling the water through a filter that removes most bacteria, parasites, and microplastics. The manufacturer states the device will purify up to 1,000 gallons. It’s a $15 item that could save your life one day.

LifeStraw Go Water Filter Bottle
(about $34)
Same concept as the LifeStraw above except this version has the filter integrated with the water bottle. You can fill the water bottle with unfiltered water and then drink using the built-in straw, which pulls the water through the filter as you drink.

SteriPen Ultra
(about $110)
Our “magic pen.” Many times, this is the only water purification device we take on backpacking trips. Easy to use and is rechargable.

Nuun Sport: Electrolyte Drink Tablets
(about 4 for $18)
Our favorite electrolyte source. Also helps prevents hangover–so we’re told.

Energizer LED Headlamp
(about $16)
We’re prone to losing gear, so these inexpensive Energizer headlamps are perfect for us. They’re comfortable and work every bit as well as headlamps that cost many times more. They’re invaluable when hiking or camping, especially when taking a midnight stroll to the bathroom.

First Aid Kit
(various prices)
One of the ten essential items every hiker/backpacker should have with them.

(less than $5 and up)
You don’t need one very often, but when you do, it is a lifesaver.

Thermacell Portable Mosquito Repeller
(about $20 for the battery-operated version)
Works well to give you about a ten- to fifteen-foot mosquito-free zone.

Therm-a-Rest Z Seat Cushion Insulated
(about $15)
One of the few items we’ll go back to the truck to get if we’ve left them behind, they’re light (2 ounces), durable, and comfortable.

Helinox Camp Chair
(about $100 for Helinox brand, other brands as low as $30)
What a luxury it is to have a chair to sit on after a long day of backpacking.

Solo Stove Campfire
(about $110 depending)
We love our Solo Stoves, they come in a variety of sizes. We use a small one (the Titan model) for ambiance at the picnic table and a larger one as a portable fire pit. The model pictured below is the Campfire.

Kindling Cracker Firewood Kindling Splitter
(about $90 to $100 depending on size)
These things are addictive. Now I love making kindling.

ARB Orange Snatch Strap
(about $62 for the 17,600lb-rated model)
Make sure you watch ARB’s instruction video about which size strap to buy for your vehicle.

Recovery Shackles
(about $20 a pair)
You’ll need these to attach the snatch strap to your vehicle’s recovery points.

One Man’s Wilderness: An Alaskan Odyssey
(about $18 for paperback)
Dick Proenneke’s diary about building a cabin and surviving in the wilderness of Alaska.

Alone in the Wilderness
(about $28.50)
A DVD documentary of Dick Proenneke’s adventure in Alaska. From the Amazon description: This video “Alone in the Wilderness” is a simple account of the day-to-day explorations and activities he carried out alone, and the constant chain of nature’s events that kept him company.

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23 Replies to “2020 Holiday Gift Guide”

  1. The protective sunglasses – BRILLIANT!!!
    I think I actually wept when my Oakleys slipped office top of in a shady area near Snoqualmie falls

  2. Hi there. Proof reading not a skill I have today. Previous comment

    Protective sunglasses – BRILLIANT!!!

    I think I wept when my Oakleys slipped off the top of my head in a shady area near Snoqualmie Falls. Oakleys will float, for a while ☹️

  3. What a great list! I always want to read the real scoop from people who actually use these items on the trail, rather than get paid to say something. I can see purchasing a good half-dozen of these items (once we can travel again). Thanks!!!!

  4. Houdini Houdini Houdini!! Hands down my favorite. And black hole duffel. Great list and love how inexpensive some of these items are and how the pricier ones really do last forever! Thanks for sharing just in time for the holidays.

  5. Always great holiday gift ideas from Matt & Karen. We’ve gifted many of these items over the last few years and there are many nice suggestions for people who are hard to purchase for….and at a wide variety of price points.

  6. Love your podcasts! Listened to.all of them. Also love to listen to.your audiobooks on road trips. I give them the maximum of stars available. I listen on Google, don’t know how to leave a review on a Apple. I already get your email newsletters.
    Wonderful gift ideas! Thanks. Keep up the good work. Happy Holidays!

  7. I’ve been listening to the podcast in bits and pieces as time allows, and this morning was able to read the guide. I hadn’t gotten to the firewood kindling splitter in the podcast yet, but I think that gift is going to win Christmas in this house. Thank you so much for the recommendation!

  8. Love, love, love your podcasts! After reading your books and listening to all of your podcasts, my husband and I feel like we know you – that we have hiked and enjoyed apres hike beers together. Funny! We are jealous that you live close to many places we love to visit.

    Handy list – thanks for including links. Many of these are items we already own and use on our own hiking and backpacking adventures, but we got a few new ideas, too. Awesome!

  9. Thanks for this great gift guide! My husband and I already have a lot of these items, but there is always room for more gear, right? Will be wearing my nano-puff on our hike today, I’m sure. Love your podcasts and books. Thanks for brightening up 2020!! Here’s to lots of cool adventures in 2021!

  10. We just purchased some of the Darn Tough socks (we already have some and love them). We have to admit, though, that we’ve never seen hiking socks with exploding outhouses on them before . . .

  11. I purchased several items on this list for Christmas. My sister and I are into park sign pictures so a tripod was perfect, and all the hikers in my family got Darn Tough socks.

  12. That was what I bought my grandkids and their parents for Christmas this year, hope they are all wearing them, they live up North!

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