Time flies, and this fall, the clock has seemed to speed up on me. My 2022 Gift Guide is out the door and here for you to enjoy. Happily, there’s still plenty of time before the holidays, so check out some of my favorite things hiking, outdoors, and running related!
First, of course, start with coffee.
On the trail, car, or camp, for me, coffee is the start. My eldest daughter generally tries to steal my coffee and make it “fancy” but so far I’ve convinced her to stick with hot cocoa and let me cuddle my cup of black coffee + cream. How that coffee gets made? Easily the favorite is the aeropress. Car camping, backpacking, evenwinter snowshoe/ski day excursions for afternoon coffee pick-me-ups.
Jet Boil Stove
This of course, comes with the need to actually make hot water. I recently became a convert of the JetBoil, and I’m embarrassed to say it took me this long to get into this absolutely phenomenal way of heating water.
Speaking of water, clean water is a must. Whether you use the Lifestraw or Lifestraw Water Bottle, a Steripen, or a Gravity Filter, you need to be sure you’re not drinking contaminated water. I use the gravity filter for backpacking trips, and a more lightweight, portable option for day hikes with iffy water situations.
Bottom line: Bring a Headlamp. Whether you plan to stay out overnight or just for the day, in case of an emergency, a headlamp can save the day.
Speaking of staying out longer than normal, if you are using your phone for navigation, photos and video, or are in places with spotty cell reception, you are likely drain your battery fairly quickly. Portable cell phone battery charger to the rescue! Toss it in your backpack, and charge on the go or during your snack breaks.
Just in case you have to spend the night out of doors, or get soaked in a freak rain/hailstorm and need to cover up quickly, this Emergency Sleeping bag/tent shelter covers your bases. These pack into tiny little bundles that are good to stash in the bottom of your hiking bag. Even my kids carry them when we are out and about.
Most of you know I’m really into sun protection. If you read my weekend trip guide to White Sands National Park, you’ll know I love the Sunday Afternoon Play Hat and sunglasses for everyone (even for babies).
Let’s talk comfort
There is no way to capture all the ‘comfort’ items that you could use with running, hiking, or outdoor adventures. Here, a few of mine:
You’re on your feet all day, often in places where you have dirt and other particulate creeping between your toes. Smartwool Performance hike light socks are my favorite right now. I’m pretty picky about socks, but these are thin enough that they don’t feel bulky, while still providing enough structure to not get blistery.
Formerly a trekking pole skeptic (they’re for “old” trail geeks, not cool hiking me!), I started using them when I was carrying my children in the baby backpack. Wiggly toddlers can throw off your balance – even more than it already is with a child on your back. Trekking poles have saved the day, helping with balance, form, and overall fatigue more than once. Now, I’m one of those trekking pole enthusiasts who rave to others about how awesome they are! They were key to my being able to fly up and down Mt. Whitney, too.
My hands are always freezing. Kids also get cold quickly, and warm fingers and toes are a sure way to kill the mood for kiddos during witner hikes or backpacking trips. Kids love these warm packs, no matter the weather!
A good daypack
For any amount of serious hiking, you want to look for a pack with both a hip belt and chest straps. I tote an Osprey pack that is fairly large but is the perfect size for extra snacks, layers, water, and more snacks we bring when on family hikes. I like the REI Tarn for kids. It is just the right size and my daughters have used it for backpacking trips and dayhikes.
Books & Other Fun
A Woman’s Guide to the Wild is a fun, easy to read book with some great tips for outdoor best practices. It’s funny, small, and has cute illustrations. Plus, writtem by another University of Oregon geology alumnus!
Speaking of books, go check out my book to cool geology in Colorado! Plus, if you have questions or want more info or other places on a route in Colorado, send me a note! I LOVE talking about the geology and landscapes people travel to. Want a signed copy? Click here.
Looking to share some some serious inspiration? Check out Walks of a Lifetime. I first saw this at a friends’ house and while I’m not normally a major coffee table book person (I do not actually own a coffee table!), this is a book I have enjoyed for years.
Day hike planner printable
Sometimes it’s nice to write your plans or ideas down. This downloadable sheet gives you one place to store and organize all your hike information. Use this for your own planning, or as a way to share your hiking plans with your emergency contact(s).
Just for fun, and for map geeks like me, a printable globe ornament or the best thing to hang from your rearview mirror. It’s also a fun way to teach kids about the globe and geometry. Not recommended for toddlers!
Be inspired by the incredible watercolor art of Drawn to High Places. She places her art pieces on prints, calendars, stickers, buffs, hats, wallets, and various other outdoorsy art gifts.
For your pup: a harness-pack. Seriously folks, keep your pets on leash and let them carry their own food! Get one in a bright color if you’re hiking during hunting season.
Hiking in bear country? Carry and know how to use bear spray. Also, know how to store it properly in your gear/garage at home (a cool, dry place away from the reach of kids —not in your car)!
For folks who like to peruse a good gift shop, head to New Nuevo – for eclectic gift options (select a single item or choose from a curated or make-your-own gift box) of New Mexico gifts and experiences.