There’s nothing better than grabbing your stocking on Christmas morning from under the tree and pulling out an assortment of outdoor gear (and maybe a selection of craft beer).
Here’s my list of favourite stocking stuffers you should consider giving your fellow camper this Christmas.
Seriously, this thing works. I’ve never seen such a simple piece of camp gear that really follows through on its promise. It will definitely get a fire going. Of course, there are a lot of options to feed oxygen to a flame. Fans made from pot lids or Frisbees, funnels made from birchbark or even lung-power puffed out straight from the mouth and into the smoldering flames. None are as effective as the Pocket Bellow. But is it worth $20? Well, the collapsible rod is made of stainless steel. It also has interior stops to prevent the entire rod from pushing or pulling beyond its limit. That’s a brilliant addition.
Outdoor Research Airpurge Dry Compression Sacks
It’s the bulk, not the weight, of your sleeping bag or camping clothes that can be problematic. Using a compression sack is life changing. Outdoor Research’s Airpurge is one of the best, featuring an air permeable/waterproof fabric band that purges excess air from the sack during compression. And the big bonus—fully taped seams and a roll-top closure provide complete water protection.
Kupilka Shot Cup
I’m a big fan of Kupilka camp mugs and bowls, and their shot cup is the perfect addition to my camp kitchen set, especially since I’m a dedicated whisky drinker. Just like the other products, it’s made from Kareline: a bio material of 50 per cent cellulose from wood fibre (from managed forests) and 50 per cent thermoplastic. The Kupilka shot cup is BPA-free, rugged, durable and does not absorb tastes or odors. And if you’re not into sipping a wee dram around the campfire in the evening, then consider using the shot cup for your espresso in the morning.
A pair of cozy insulted booties are perfect for wearing in the tent while winter camping or just around a poorly insulated house. I prefer the high-ankle booties for camp and the slip-ons for home. Both are lightweight, with a compression-resistant PrimaLoft Aerogel insert that makes them extra cozy. They also have a weather resistant exterior shell and a solid grippy sole.
This 65 Lumens solar light is amazing. It’s perfect for lighting up your tent or hammock at night while you snuggle in to read a book before bed. A single charge lasts up to 24 hours, and a full recharge takes under seven hours of moderate sunlight. I haven’t met a camper who doesn’t love their Luci Light.
For under $20, you’ll be able to quickly and accurately measure the grams or percentage of fuel left in your camp stove gas canister. You screw the canister onto the hand scale device, set it at either just “grams” or the grams of the size of the canister. Place the canister on a flat surface, pick it up while holding the scale and then read either the number of grams left or the percentage of fuel left in the canister. You can weigh any canister, but the JetGauge is calibrated to the weight of a JetBoil fuel canister, making it more accurate.
It’s always a bit of a dilemma deciding what sleeping bag to pack for a late-season backpacking trip. You don’t really have room to pack a winter bag, but you’re paranoid that the three-season bag might not be enough if night-time temperatures drop dramatically. Packing the Adventure Medical Kit’s SOL Bivy makes for the perfect lightweight, and inexpensive, backup system that gives you a few more degrees of warmth. The bag reflects your body heat but lets moisture escape from the inside.
Adventure Medical Kit’s Mountain-Hiker First Aid Kit
Adventure Medical Kit has always made an incredible first-aid kit, and their upgraded Mountain Series Hiker is my personal favourite. The Hiker contains a perfect selection of first aid supplies to treat common on-the-trail injuries and illnesses, including extras like moleskin, After Bite®, EMT shears and a trauma pad. The bonus for me is that it’s well organized into “injury-specific” compartments, which are all clearly-labeled. The bag is compact, lightweight, durable and water-resistant.
Axe and Knife Sheath Cream
Perfect gift. A camp cosmetic for my knife and axe: sheath cream. It’s a petroleum-free, non-toxic, plant-based mix of oils and waxes that nourish and protect leather from water, moisture and the elements. Bonus—it also comes with a subtle cedar scent. Lovely.
SOL Mag Striker
The Survive Outdoors Longer (SOL) Mag Striker is one beast of a fire starter. It’s a steel striker, flint rod and magnesium all in one. The flint and magnesium rods are embedded into the solidly built handle, letting you get a good grip while you shave off the magnesium. The curved edge on the steel scraper is engineered to make scraping a pile of magnesium easier. The straight edge struck against the flint rod acts as your flint and steel, creating a shower of sparks to ignite the magnesium and light your kindling.
Kelly Kettle Whistle
This is a game changer for anyone who uses a Kelly Kettle model stick stove. The older models just came with an orange stopper; which can be dangerous if left on during the water boiling process. The green whistle actually stays on, acting as a stopper replacement and letting you know when your water has come to a boil. The silicone whistle stopper fits all of Kelly Kettle's Kettles.
OR Happy Camper Hat
A lot of my readers thought that Outdoor Research designed their Seattle Funbrero Happy Camper rain hat for me, The Happy Camper. Unfortunately, they didn’t. But they were nice enough to mail me a couple of boxes of them to hand out at my presentations this year. How cool is that! This is one fantastic, breathable, wicking, quick-dry, water-resistant camp hat. If you don’t like wearing a rain hood while hiking or paddling, then this is the hat for you.
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