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Outdoor Gear Reviews, Tips & Adventure Stories to Inspire an Outdoor Life

Month: November 2022

Review: CLIQ Camping Chair

CLIQ Camping Chair

CLIQ Chair Review
The CLIQ chair is smart and stylish

In a world where camping chairs are a dime a dozen – cheaply made and inexpensive to buy camping chairs rule.  These days, you can head to any big box store and pick up lightweight folding camping chairs for under $20 (like this on Amazon).  We have a bunch of these types of chairs in our garage.  They are great to have on hand for extra backyard seating or a large-group camping trip. Though lacking in elegance or engineering, they do the job well enough.

But when it’s time to up your camping chair game, the market is a bit different. The step up to better camping chairs includes 2-person love-seat style chairs, sturdier built chairs that are also heavier and more unwieldy, and even chairs with complex gadgetry and gimmicks. These niche options are fine, but if you’re looking for a camping chair that is truly smart and highly packable, the CLIQ Camping Chair is the chair for you.

The CLIQ Camping Chair is a small camping chair that is the size of a large water bottle when packed up and sets up in just 5 seconds. It’s well-made of aircraft aluminum and nylon, weighing under 4 pounds. CLIQ claims that its chair is the “most funded portable chair in crowdfunding history”. Such popularity before it was even on the market proves that there are many of us out there looking for a better-engineered camping chair.


Cliq Chair Review
The CLIQ chair folds up easily into the size of a large water bottle

We picked up a CLIQ Chair this summer after seeing one in person at a kids’ sporting event. We were amazed at its functionality.  Our friend who had one casually pulled it out of her backpack and astonished us by unpacking it in seconds without any wrestling or wrangling.  The CLIQ chair we tried was comfortable to sit in and it made us feel like we were the coolest parents around the fields. We bought our own soon after and have since used it on camping trips, while fishing, for extra backyard seating, and for many more sports games. Without sounding too over the top, the CLIQ Chair is simply brilliant. Its portability is really where it shines. Easily packable in a small bag or backpack, you’ll take this chair more places and use it more often than your other, larger chairs.  It’s even small enough to carry by hand in when you want a chair, but don’t have a bag to store it in.

At around $100, it’s on the expensive side for camping chairs, but once you feel the quality materials in your hands and easily store it away without a thought, you’ll feel it’s worth every penny. This chair is built to last. You won’t be disappointed by spending a few extra dollars on it.

The CLIQ Chair is one of our top gifts for Outdoors Lovers in 2022!  See our full 2022 gift guide.


The quality of this chair is top-notch. Typical (cheap) camping chairs last a season or two (if you’re lucky) before the backing breaks or the legs warp into wonky disasters. The CLIQ Chair is made of aircraft-grade aluminum and has a solid push-button hub that locks the legs in place when deployed. The ballistic nylon is both waterproof and tearproof. Some “engineering improvements” make products more complicated, but the push-button hub and locking arms of this chair feel smart and intuitive. As I’ve said earlier, the CLIQ Chair will last – making its purchase a wise investment.

Cliq Chair Review
The CLIQ Chair logo on the chair backing


Size (packed): 3.4″ x 3.4″ x 13″
Size (opened): 26″ tall x 13.5″ wide
Weight: 3.5 lbs
Supports: up to 300lbs


If you are looking for a truly portable chair that will last, you should get a CLIQ Chair.  When thrown into a backpack, you’ll find ways to use it you wouldn’t normally.  Take longer breaks on hikes to truly enjoy your surroundings.  Lunch or snack breaks while fishing will be easier and more comfortable. And you won’t need the wagon anymore to bring your chair monstrosities to kids’ games anymore – just a small backpack carrying your chair.  When space and convenience are a premium, you’ll love having a CLIQ Chair (or two) on hand. The higher cost is worth it. You can buy the CLIQ Chair in 8 color options on Amazon.



The CLIQ Chair is one of our top gifts for Outdoors Lovers in 2022!  See our full 2022 gift guide.

Garmin inReach Mini 2

Satellite Communicators: How to Stay in Touch While Off the Grid

The Zoleo Satellite Communicator

Everybody’s definition of what is the wild is different.  For some, the wild might be a hike in the hills on the outskirts of town.  For others, the wild is backpacking deep in the mountains far from civilization.

My definition of the wild is somewhere in between. I love exploring spaces off the beaten path, usually right on the edge of cell phone coverage.  On most trips I take into outdoor spaces, I can’t be sure whether I will have a cell signal where I am going or not.  Sure, cellular carriers all have coverage maps, but I find these unuseful for accurately determining whether or not I will be able to make a call in an emergency.

For many, one of the main thrills of exploring the wild is the potential for improvising and displaying self-sufficiency in emergency situations outdoors.  For sure, all explorers of wild spaces should have some basic understanding of how to make it out alive when something goes wrong, but I prefer always having a way to “call home” if things go sideways.

Safety in the outdoors demands an appreciation for redundancy.  Relying on only one way to start a fire or only one source of food can quickly become a mistake when off-grid.  You may be wired differently, but when I’m heading out to enjoy the outdoors, the last thing I am interested in is enacting my own personal survival show.  It’s important to me (and to those who depend on me) to come back safely at the end of my trip.  Exploring wild spaces is one of my favorite things to do, but it’s not worth my life.

The good news is that we no longer have to take unnecessary risks when spending time outside civilization’s bounds.  Cellular coverage in the United States is ever-expanding and you might just find that your favorite spot in the woods has just enough “bars” to get a call out. I’m consistently surprised by where I can manage to find a cell signal these days.

The challenge with relying on cell service is that you never know if you will have it or not when you’re off the beaten path.  You may be able to Facetime your family while camping for a night miles outside of the nearest town, but you may not be able to get a call out over the next hill while hiking the next day. I’ve sailed down the California Coast and been able to answer work emails or stream music without issue.  I’ve also sailed very similar routes and not had cell coverage for most of the day.  The bottom line is that you never know what coverage you will have when you’re exploring remote spaces.  If you’re like me, I want a backup plan when I’m off the grid.

The answer is a satellite communicator – a communications device that utilizes a network of satellites to keep you connected to the outside world, even without cell coverage.  With one of these babies, you’ll never need to worry about being outside of cell range again.  If something goes wrong while you’re off the grid, a satellite communicator will allow you to send a text to family and friends or call emergency services no matter where you find yourself.

Types of Satellite Communicators

Distinct from satellite phones, satellite communicators are primarily designed to communicate via short bursts of data – text messages, location updates, and even weather reports. While there are a number of models of satellite communicators on the market, there are two main types of satellite communicators.

Satellite Communicators that are designed to be used with your cell phone

These devices don’t have an onboard keyboard and thus can’t be used directly to get a message out.  They are meant to be paired with a mobile device with a companion app that handles messaging. These devices are typically cheaper and smaller but do require extra steps to get a message out when far from home.

Devices of this type: Zoleo, Garmin inReach Messenger, ACR Bivy Stick

Satellite Communicators that can be used without a cell phone

These devices can be used on their own to message home but also can connect to a mobile device and companion app for easier messaging. They typically have more features that may include GPS mapping, an altimeter, a compass, and other useful tools.  Some devices of this type include a screen and keyboard (think the old Blackberry format) and others utilize a screen with a number of buttons that can be used to type out a message.

Devices of this type: Garmin inReach Mini 2, Spot X

Garmin inReach Mini 2

Currently Available Satellite Communicators:

Zoleo Satellite Communicator

The Zoleo Satellite Communicator is a wallet-sized black and green device that is marketed to extend your messaging capabilities around the globe without coverage gaps.  When paired with its free companion app, the Zoleo uses wifi or a cellular network to send and receive messages when available.  When not in wifi or cellular range, the Zoleo uses the Iridium satellite network to get your messages out. It has a protected SOS button on its front as well as an additional “Check-in” button that allows for sending predetermined check-in messages without using the phone/app. Once activated with a Zoleo plan, the Zoleo includes a dedicated SMS number and email address – a nice feature that makes for easier messaging for friends and family.

Buy Now on Amazon

Garmin inReach Messenger

The Garmin inReach Messenger is an all-black, square device that’s about half the size of a cell phone – though thicker. Much like the Zoleo, the inReach Messenger is meant to be paired with a companion app and it has minimal direct functions on the device. Unlike the Zoleo, the inReach Messenger includes a small, black-and-white, display on the front of the device to allow you to see what’s happening on your device without using your phone. The Messenger also takes advantage of your connected phone’s cellular or wifi connectivity (when available) to send messages without tapping into your satellite service plan allowance. With up to 28 days of battery life and a “safety charging” option – allowing you just enough juice to send a message – the inReach Messenger is a great option for those serious about the outdoors, as well as serious about safety.

Buy Now on Amazon


Garmin inReach Mini 2

The Garmin inReach Mini 2 is Garmin’s fuller-featured satellite communicator. The Mini 2 is a tiny device with a larger display than the Messenger allowing for some advanced routing and tracking features when hiking.  The larger display gives you the ability to scroll through received messages and easily send preset messages.  Fitting easily in your hand, the biggest selling feature of the Mini 2 is its small size.  Like most of these devices, pairing the Mini 2 with its companion app makes the device infinitely more usable. Overall the Mini 2 is a nicely designed device, but it doesn’t give you a whole lot more than the Messenger.

Buy Now on Amazon


ACR Bivy Stick

The ACR Bivy Stick is similar to the Zoleo in that it doesn’t have a display on the device itself. Its rectangular shape includes a large hole through the top of the device to use for hanging.  While most will hang their satellite communicator from a backpack, devices that have easy attachments to hang, like the Bivy Stick, allow you to store it in more places.  Speaking of storing it, the Bivy Stick relies heavily on its companion app to access and complete the typical satellite communicator features: global satellite messaging, weather reports, location sharing and tracking, and check-ins.  Like other similar devices, it does have dedicated check-in and SOS buttons. One plus with the Bivy Stick is that its available service plans do not have activation fees.

Buy Now on Amazon


Spot X

For the messaging addicts out there, the Spot X is a satellite Communicator that has a built-in keyboard. With a similar “Blackberry” designed front, half of the Spot X is a display and the other has a small keyboard. Beyond the keyboard, the Spot Z also has dedicated SOS and tracking buttons. With its own dedicated phone number, the Spot X truly is a stand-alone device.  With most of the industry moving to devices that heavily rely on companion apps, some may love the independence of the Spot X.  While it does have its own companion app, the Spot X is the device most capable of being used without the app.  With only one battery to worry about keeping charged and only a single device to worry about, the Spot X may be perfect for the minimalist outdoorsmen types.

Buy Now on Amazon


Satellite Communicator Coverage Plans

Satellite Communicators rely on a satellite network to send and receive messages outside of cell phone range. Each company has its own service plans for its satellite communicators.  When choosing a plan, first consider the number of messages you’ll need per month as well as the costs involved to suspend your service in months when you won’t make it off-grid.

Zoleo Plans:

Basic In Touch Unlimited
Monthly Fee $20 $35 $50
# of Satellite Messages 25 250 Unlimited
Additional Messages 50¢/ea 50¢/ea Free (unlimited)

Zoleo Plan Notes:

  • $20 activation fee for all plans
  • Location Share can be added to all plans for $6/mo
  • Once activated, plans can be changed or suspended after 3 months
  • $4/mo to suspend service

Garmin inReach Plans:

Safety Recreation Expedition
Monthly $14.95 $34.95 $64.95
Annual $11.95/mo $24.95/mo $49.95
# of Satellite Messages 10 40 Unlimited
Additional Messages 50¢/ea 50¢/ea N/A

Garmin inReach Plan Notes:

  • $29.95 activation fee for annual plans
  • $34.95 annual program fee for monthly (freedom accounts)
  • Unlimited Check-in (preset) messages are included in all plans
  • Unlimited Tracking/location points are included in the Recreation and Expedition plans. 10¢ each for Safety Plan
  • Free to suspend service after 30 days (must pay annual fee only)

Bivy Plans:

Basic Plus Unlimited Premium
Monthly $19.99 $34.99 $59.99 $69.99
Annual $14.99/mo $29.99/mo $54.99 $64.99
# of Satellite Messages 20 80 Unlimited Unlimited
Additional Messages 75¢/ea 50¢/ea N/A N/A

Bivy Plan Notes:

  • $0 Activation Fees
  • Unlimited Check-In messages (preset) are included with all plans
  • Once activated, plans can be changed or suspended after 4 months
  • Free to suspend service after 4 months

Spot Plans:

Basic Advanced Unlimited
Monthly $14.95 $29.95 $39.95
Annual $11.95/mo $19.95/mo $29.95
# of Satellite Messages 20 100 Unlimited
Additional Messages 25¢/ea 25¢/ea N/A

Spot Plan Notes:

  • $29.95 Activation Fee for all plans
  • $34.95 Annual Fee for monthly (Flex) plans
  • Unlimited Check-In messages (preset) are included with all plans
  • Once activated, plans can be changed or suspended after 4 months
  • Free to suspend service after 30 days for no fee (annual fee still applies)

Our Pick:

Best Satellite Communicator: Zoleo Satellite Communicator

Most of us really don’t need (or want) to stay in touch with those back home while we’re out in the wild. We don’t need to carry on full text conversations when we’re camping, hiking, fishing, sailing, or doing anything else off the grid.  What we need is the safety of being able to communicate with friends, family, and emergency services IF we need to.  The Zoleo gets the messaging and SOS functions done well.  And if you do choose to send a few more messages while outdoors, the Zoleo and its companion app can do that too. But the price of the Zoleo is what sets it apart.  It’s the cheapest device on our list and its service plans are some of the cheapest and most flexible of the bunch. It’s a great device.  It does everything the others do at a much lower price. If you’re looking for a satellite communicator, save your money for other gear and get the Zoleo.

Looking for other satellite communicator options? Read our review on the Garmin Inreach SE+

The Best Gifts for Outdoor Lovers in 2022

Holiday shopping for friends and family can be stressful. Finding the right gifts that will truly be appreciated can be a challenge. Fortunately, if your friend or family member loves the outdoors, there is a wealth of great gifts to choose from. Here are our recommendations for the best gifts for outdoor lovers in 2022.

Got a price range in mind?
Best Gifts Over $200  |  Best Gifts between $100-$200  |  Best Gifts Under $100  |  Best Gifts Under $50

Gifts over $200

Satellite Communicator

Satellite Communicators are a miracle of modern technology.  Giving someone one of these is giving them the ability to stay in touch and call for help when they are far away from home. It’s a gift the outdoors lover in your life will appreciate, but also it’s a gift to yourself as it’ll ensure they return home safely.

Our Pick: Zoleo Satellite Communicator

The Zoleo Satellite Communicator is a small and lightweight 2-way messaging device that really shines when you’re out of cell phone range. The Zoleo automatically uses the lowest-cost network to ensure your text, email, or emergency messages get out without costing you an arm and a leg. When in cell phone range, the Zoleo will use the network of a Bluetooth-connected cell phone to send and receive messages. When off-the-grid, the Zoleo will use a network of satellites to make sure your message is received when your life depends on it.

Note: the Zoleo requires a satellite subscription service that starts at $20.

Buy on Amazon

Portable Power Station

Portable power stations combine a battery, inverter, and various charging ports to give you power while on the go. They are an awesome way to keep your devices charged while camping or to serve as your off-grid power plant for lights and other electronic equipment needs. Solar panels can be added to keep your power station charged.

Our Pick: ECOFLOW 256Wh Power Station

ECOFLOW power stations are some of the most respected in the industry. With fast charging, you’ll spend less time waiting and more time using this unit.  It has LiFePo4 battery cells for extended life and can deliver 300 watts via its 110V outlets. At only 7.7 lbs and a built-in handle, the ECOFLOW is as portable as it gets while still delivering big power. It also comes with a 5-year warranty that proves it’s built to last.

Buy on Amazon

Inflatable Stand Up Paddleboard

Paddleboarding great way to travel waterways while also offering a really good workout. Paddleboards are really big and traditional paddleboards can be heavy and hard to transport.  Inflatable paddleboards can be deflated, rolled up, and taken just about anywhere.  They typically fit even in a small car removing the need for expensive roof racks.

Our Pick: DAMA Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board

We really like the DAMA inflatable SUP.  It comes with everything you need including a bag, pump, leash and multiple paddle options. It even includes some items you don’t need, but are a pleasant bonus. The faux wood-grain design looks really sharp on the water and in our usage, the DAMA inflatable SUP feels sturdy and tracks well in the water.

The included backpack-style bag allows you to take this SUP to even the most remote waters.

View our full review of the DAMA Inflatable SUP

Buy on Amazon

Gifts Between $100 – $200

Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker

Bluetooth speakers are great – they allow you to take your favorite tunes just about anywhere.  But Bluetooth speakers with really good sound and true waterproof durability are the best for serious outdoor use.

Our Pick: JBL Flip 5 Waterproof Portable Speaker

Sure, there are less expensive bluetooth speakers on the market, but JBL is known for a long history of quality sound, and this speaker doesn’t disappoint in the sound department. You’ll get loud, dynamic sound with deep base.  The cylindrical form factor allows it to be stood up safely on its end or quickly stashed in a cup holder.  Battery life is great on the JBL, it’s charged via a usb-c cable, and you can pair multiple Flip 5s for an even bigger sound.

View our full review of the JBL Flip 5 Portable Speaker

Buy on Amazon

Lightweight Camping Chair

Whether backpacking or camping, its important to have somewhere to sit.  Camping chairs come in all shapes and sizes, but packability and weight are important factors to choosing a chair for the outdoor lover in your life.

Our Pick: CLIQ Camping Chair

The CLIQ Camping Chair is a marvel. Stylish and comfy, it al

so can be packed away to the size of a water bottle.  It’s extremely easy to pack and unpack on the go.  Throw it in a backpack and you may even forget it’s in there. In our time with the CLIQ chair, we’ve found all sorts of uses for it – sports games, weekends at the lake, and a quick extra backyard chair for guests.  This chair is the most versatile and practical camping chair we’ve seen.  It’s worth the hype and the price.

Buy on Amazon

Portable Projector

A video projector isn’t vital to exploring the outdoors, but if you’ve got one that’s portable enough to bring along, it’s can be pretty awesome to watch your favorite movies projected on the side of your tent. The key to choosing a projector for use in the outdoors is to find one that has a built-in battery so it can be charged beforehand and ready to go.

Our Pick: AAXA Technologies LED Pico Projector

The AAXA Pico Projector is a tiny workhorse of a projector that’s perfect for camping. Its built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery gives you about 80 minutes of viewing time which can be extended using a small portable power bank or power station.  It has built-in speakers for sound on board and has a 720p native resolution.  The AAXA accepts video input via mini-HDMI or composite video connections.  It also has a Micro SD port to allow you to play your favorite video with minimal effort outdoors. Rated at only 25 lumens, it’s not the brightest projector you’ll find, but it’s plenty bright to light up your campground for the whole family to enjoy.

Buy on Amazon

Gifts Under $100


Daypacks make carrying all the necessities possible while hiking.  Snacks, water, a first aid kit, sunscreen, & bug repellent are all mainstays of the daypack.  A good daypack is built to be practical, durable, and comfortable.

Our Pick: Osprey Daylite Daypack

Osprey builds some top-notch backpacks and the Daylite Daypack is one of them.  This pack is smaller than a typical backpack, but with its various pockets, it’s perfectly sized for multi-hour adventure. Available in 16 different colors, you’ll be able to find a Daylit Daypack that fits your style. This pack has 15L of storage, dual, side water bottle pockets, and is lightweight.

Note: Daypacks are meant to be smaller packs that make short treks easier and more comfortable.  

Buy on Amazon


Having the right tools when you’re outdoors can make or break a trip.  Even the simplest set of tools can be heavy and too unwieldy to want to carry off-the-grid.  Multitools are pocketknives or steroids – having multiple useful tools that fold up into a single small device.  Since you never what tools you’ll need when off the beaten path, a good multitool will equip you with plenty of options to appropriately tackle the task.

Our Pick: LEATHERMAN Wingman Multitool

LEATHERMAN invented the first multitool back in 1983. Their multitools are still the best on the market. The wingman has 14 tools to handle just about anything.  All tools can be opened with only one hand to allow for quick and effortless use. At only 3.8 inches long, the Wingman can be slipped into your pocket so you always have the tools you need on hand.  With a 25-year warranty, the Wingman should last a lifetime.

Buy on Amazon

Annual Activity Pass

Using public land often requires entrance or overnight fees. If the outdoor lover in your life spends a lot of time in National or State Parks, an annual pass is a great gift idea.

Our Pick: “America the Beautiful” National Parks Pass


US National Parks are some of our most beautiful and treasured lands. An annual pass saves you from having to pay between $10-$35 each time you visit a national park while giving you the incentive to get to more of them during the year. The “America the Beautiful” Annual National Parks Pass is valid for 12 months and provides access to more than 2,000 recreation areas managed by six Federal agencies, with up to 100% of the proceeds being used to improve and enhance visitor recreation services.

Buy Now

LED Lantern with USB Charging

LED lanterns are completely different devices than the kerosene lanterns your parents used. Using small, energy-efficient LED bulbs, LED lanterns illuminate your outdoor space using a built-in rechargeable battery that some models also use as a power bank to charge devices.

Our Pick: BioLite AlpenGlow 250

The AlpenGlow 250 gives off up to 250 lumens of light and has 8 different lighting modes. Choose cool or warm white light or add a little color to your campsite with the AlpenGlow 250’s color modes.  This lantern brings some additional fun with its internal accelerometer.  Shake it and it unlocks additional modes – single side light, candle flicker, 1-color cycling, and multicolor party. It has a 3200 mAh rechargeable battery that lasts for 5 hours on high or 200 hours on low. It also has a standard USB output for charging phones or tablets.

Buy on Amazon

FRS Radios

Family Radio Service (FRS) radios came on the scene in the mid-’90s and quickly became ubiquitous on ski slopes nationwide. Initially designed for use by families, FRS radios provide a simple way for small groups to communicate outdoors.  FRS radios can be used to communicate across campsites, hikes, and any outdoor activity where separation of the group occurs. At Under $100 for a set of 2, FRS radios are a great gift that can come in handy in many different ways when exploring the outdoors.

Our Pick: Motorola T260 Talkabout Radios (2 pack)

Motorola Talkabout FRS radios are full-featured with 22 channels and 121 privacy codes, equalling 2,662 channel combinations to choose from. Use the included rechargeable batteries for up to 10 hours of use or use 3AA batteries for up to 29 hours. The T260 has 11 weather channels to stay updated with real-time weather conditions.  It also has a scan feature to discover which channels are currently in use. The clean profile and white/grey design of these radios make them stylish and fun to use. These radios can save you time, hassle, and possibly your life when you’re outside of cell service range and need to communicate with friends and family nearby.

Buy on Amazon

Gifts Under $50

Portable Coffee Maker

Exploring the outdoors usually involves some sacrifices, but you don’t have to give up a great cup of coffee while out on the trail. There are a number of convenient options to make that perfect cup of coffee while outdoors.

Our Pick: AeroPress Go Portable Travel Coffee Press

Great coffee can be made with a small, uber-packable device and the AeroPress Go is proof. The Aeropress Go makes 1-3 cups of coffee, espresso, or cold brew in just a minute. The size of an aluminum can, the Aeropress unpacks to hold coffee grounds and hot water over its built-in mug. The AeroPress Go includes 350 microfilters which help filter the grit out of your freshly brewed coffee. Considering its size, the quality of the coffee it produces, and its reasonable price, the AeroPress Go is the perfect gift for outdoors lovers who also love coffee.

Buy on Amazon

Insulated Cups

It helps to have a cup, mug, or some sort of drinking device when camping. With little space for an assortment of cups and an interest in minimizing trash, having your own cup is a good idea.  An insulated cup will keep cold drinks cold and hot beverages hot for longer.

Our Pick: Outward Goods 12oz Insulated Wine Tumbler

We’re a bit biased on this one. Our sister company, Outward Goods, offers an excellent insulated cup that works really well for camping. While it’s technically a wine tumbler, its insulated sides make it great for both hot and cold beverages.  The 12oz Insulated Wine Tumbler is available in 3 colors: black, white, and stainless and features the Outward logo.

Buy at Outward Goods

Portable Water Purifier

When far from home, having access to a clean source of water can be the difference between life and death. Having the ability to filter contaminants, bacteria, and sediment from available water sources can make otherwise undrinkable water safe to drink.  If you have friends or family that spend a decent amount of time away from civilization, you should consider getting them a portable water filter.

Our Pick: LifeStraw Personal Water Filter

The LifeStraw Personal Water Filter is a small device that removes bacteria, parasites, and microplastics from water. Its microfiltration membrane removes 99.99999% of waterborne bacteria and 99.999% of waterborne parasites. This ultralight and portable water filter can be used for backup hydration, emergency, or on-the-go needs. Its filter will provide 1000 gallons of clean and safe drinking water during its lifetime. The carrying case protects your LifeStraw making it easier to pack and stow without worrying about it being damaged. As an added bonus, for every LifeStraw purchased, LifeStraw provides a school child in need with safe drinking water for an entire school year.

Buy on Amazon

Solar Phone Charger

Phones and tablets have become important tools while out on the trail or at the campsite.  From playing music to wayfinding with GPS, phones play a significant role in keeping us both entertained and safe while exploring the wild. To use these tools, a phone has to be recharged.  Using the power of the sun, a solar phone charger is a great way to keep your phone charged and maybe even have some power left over for that Bluetooth speaker.

Our Pick: 42800mAh Solar Power Bank

Most of us are familiar with battery banks – the phone-sized (or even smaller) battery devices that we can plug our phones into when we’re low on battery, but not near an outlet.  Solar phone chargers are simply battery banks with a small solar panel attached – allowing the battery bank to be charged when left out in the sunshine. The 42800mAh Solar Power Bank isn’t a name-brand device, but with more than 4,800 Amazon reviews and an average 4.5-star rating, it seems to be a great little device for outdoor enthusiasts. The device has an IP67 waterproof rating and claims to be dust-proof – helping to make sure it lasts many trips. The small solar panel and large battery in this device mean that it won’t charge very fast using solar, but in an emergency, being able to generate power to charge a communication device is pretty key.

Buy on Amazon

Tablet/Ebook Reader

A tablet or an e-reader may not seem high on the list for outdoors lovers, but the ability to carry a whole collection of books, maps, and travel documents on a single device is pretty awesome.  We even use our tablet to hold the pdf manuals of all of our outdoor equipment in case we need to reference them.

Our Pick: Kindle Fire 7

The Kindle Fire 7 is a small-format, inexpensive tablet that can be carried on your outdoor adventures without worrying about damaging an expensive device.  Its 16GB of internal storage is plenty to store a number of your favorite ebooks, audiobooks, music, and pdfs.  Its “larger-than-a-phone” screen makes reading much more pleasurable and when using it for music or audiobooks, it frees up your phone for other, more important tasks.  Think of the Kindle Fire 7 as a cheap storehouse for any media and reference materials you want to bring along on your next trip, but don’t have the room for.  On ours, for example, we have knot-tying and insect identification books along with pdf maps and details of our areas of exploration.

Buy on Amazon

This holiday season, get the outdoors lover in your life something that will help them enjoy the outdoors even more. Any of the above items should make your outdoor enthusiast happy and grateful for the thoughtfulness of your gift.

Did we miss a gift that we should have included? Let us know by leaving a comment below.