The Elevation Outdoors Hiker’s Gift Guide
Hikers may be the only people in your life who will actually be psyched to get socks for Christmas. Our 2014 Hiker’s Holiday Gift Guide features gifts great and small for your favorite wanderer.
1 – Pro Bar Bolts 2.1 packet – $2.69 / $29 for case of 12
It’s gotten to the point where if I don’t have a pack of Bolts in my pocket while hiking, I feel metaphorically naked. These all-natural, organic energy chews are essentially super-candy — candy that happens to be fortified with B vitamins and complex carbs. Easy on the stomach and tasty (Berry Blast is my favorite).
2 – GSI Infinity Dukjug Bottle – 1 Liter (32 oz) – $11
BPA-free, these durable water bottles have super-grippy lids that are easy to get off when wearing gloves. However, our favorite feature is the indented cylinder shape. Slip off the rubber grip and wrap a few yards of duct tape in its place (duct tape not included).
3 – Farm to Feet Greensboro Quarter Crew Sock – $17
We got our hands…err, feet… on Farm To Feet’s line of socks and they quickly became our footwear of choice for backpacking, 14ers and day hikes. As one of our reviewers said after sampling the Greensboro Quarter, “I had not known sock until this day.” And despite a year of very heavy use, they are still in great shape (the same goes for the entire Farm to Feet line).
4 – Patagonia Capilene 2 Base Layers – $40 – 55
For years, I have literally lived in my Patagonia Capilene 2 base layers. Available in mens and womens, short sleeve and long and optional zip-neck, these are ideal shirts for Colorado hiking. As a chronically hot hiker, the well-vented long-sleeves are perfect high-altitude layers (the sleeves keep the sun off your arms). The short sleeves are great for hiking, biking, gym workouts and climbing. Worth every penny.
5 – Lepow POKI Series 10000mah External Battery Pack – $29
Lightweight and powerful enough to recharge high-end smartphones (like the iPhone 6) four times on single charge, the Lepow POKI is a powerful charger at a great price. With more and more useful backcountry apps coming out everyday, a portable charger is the logical companion when GPS, photos and videos have drained your device. Works with nearly all devices: Apple, Samsung and LG.
6 – Teva Abbett Sandal – $65
Originally tested as a water-crossing / camp shoe, the Abbett ended up doing well as a light hiker as well (confession: they were all I had in my car upon reaching the trailhead for Grays Peak). Lightweight, supportive and quick-drying, ours have been up Mount Sanitas countless times and served us well in their primary camp-shoe duties.
7 – Deuter Act 32 Backpack – $129
Deuter makes packs in all shapes and sizes. The Act 32 hits the sweet spot for Colorado hiking: plenty of room for the myriad of layers you’ll need when hiking at altitude, pockets and storage for dog gear and the versatility to be used year-round for hiking, climbing and even light-weight backpacking. The fit and design carries heavier loads with ease and outside pouch is great for storing on-and-off again layers (or those dreaded, slimy used energy gel packets).
8 – Native Eyewear Lynx Glasses – $159 – 179
My Colorado mantra has always been: invest in the best footwear and sunglasses you can afford. Native’s Lynx glasses fit the bill for hiking in Colorado. A full-coverage lens (available in different colors) can handle the most blinding of high-altitude UV and the featherweight frames won’t irritate your ears while being worn for hours. Also nice for road and mountain biking.
9 – Leki Micro Tour Stick Vario Pole – $199
The lightweight pole with the funny name has won accolades from Elevation Outdoors for being a tough, versatile ultra-light pole that is easily adjustable. The collapsible, carbon fiber pole sections feature a top section that is clamp-adjustable — perfect when you need to adapt to mountain terrain (or put the poles in your pack when scrambling or climbing). These poles also won one of our coveted Peak Gear Awards.
10 – DeLorme InReach Explorer – $379
The InReach exceeded our expectations as a two-way satellite communication device — especially on trips into the deep reaches of the San Juans and even more remote backpacking adventures to Montana. Capable of sending “just checking in” messages as well as functioning as a true emergency locater, the InReach also pairs with your smart phone via Bluetooth to work as GPS tracking device. Best of all — there are a variety of service plans (starting as low as $11.95 per month) so that you can pay only when you’ll be needing the device. Also nice to share with friends who may only take one or two backcountry trips a season.