Although I spend a lot of time outside of cities, it is inevitable that I find myself in large populated places. As much as I would like to imagine otherwise, the gear I have with me on a day-to-day basis when traveling is not the same gear as I have on, for example, a thru-hike (that is to say, I have more gear).
How much do you really need when you travel? If you're gone for a week, two weeks, a month, do you bring a couple of suitcases? One large suitcase? Do you do a “backpacker” backpack with another smaller backpack carried in front? Do you have an enormous 100-liter backpack? Maybe you've just got a 35-liter backpack or even just a fanny pack (haha, fanny).
Well, if you're looking for something to improve your own travel outfit or you're looking to become the new best friend of someone you know, then here are some of my top picks for adventure travel gifts this year.
Awesome, But Not Too Expensive (Under $50)
Buffs are awesome. For a long time, I was jealous of everyone with a Buff. My enormous head never let me be 100% comfortable in one. However, I took the plunge and managed to stretch one enough to suit my head. Yes, they are just versatile head socks, but you would be surprised how useful they can be (like slingshot defense).
The Osprey Ultralight Stuff Pack is perfect for traveling. It packs down to the size of a tennis ball, has a second small zippered pocket, can hold 18 L of gear, and has an awesome side stretch pocket. There are other packs like this from Sea to Summit and Montbell, but this one is definitely my favorite.
The Joby GorillaPod Action Tripod is a lightweight tripod that will let you take all of those pictures that leave people wondering “how did they take that!?” A tripod, the answer is always a tripod (that and/or intense Photoshop).
I know, I mentioned Darn Tough in my thru-hiker gift guide, but I can't not mention them again here. They're just too awesome. They're incredibly comfortable, made with merino wool, and come with an unbelievable lifetime warranty. Seriously, get some.
For A Good Friend (Under $100)
The Peak Design Capture Clip literally changed how I use my camera. Instead of having it hanging from a strap or tucked away in my bag, it's always accessible and ready to go. It's probably my favorite piece of camera gear and might be top five overall.
The Lifeproof FRĒ Waterproof Case is basically the case you want to have if you want to have carefree adventures with your phone. This case is waterproof, weather sealed and protects against drops. One of the reasons I bought my new phone, was because this case was available for it.
Bluffworks Travel Pants are literally the pants I am wearing 99% of the time (that is, if/when I am wearing pants). Bluffworks makes clothing designed to be comfortable, breathable, quick drying, wrinkle-free, and exceptionally light. Nearly all my clothing not made from merino wool or nylon and goose feathers, is from Bluffworks.
The SteriPEN Ultra? What do you need a water filter for when you're traveling? Well, if you're like me and you don't want to buy all your water in plastic bottles at the supermarket (or in the mountains), then you may need something to filter water from the tap. The SteriPEN kills bacteria, protozoa, and viruses making it a great choice for travel in countries where clean drinking water isn't always readily available.
For Your Best Friend (Over $100)
Anker PowerCore+ 26800 is really the ultimate portable battery pack. It uses USB-C and is quick-charge compatible, it can charge even the largest of phones multiple of times, and can even charge your MacBook Pro or Nintendo Switch if you're really cool (I got a 3DS, maybe should have gotten a Switch).
Another repeat from the thru-hiker gift guide, but a deserving one. The HERO6 is a compact, ultralight, professional quality camera that can stand up to the elements. It's built for action sports, but it's also great for travel (and works with the tripod noted above). If you're looking to shoot some unique and adventurous footage, then a GoPro is where it's at.
Disclosure: I only recommend products I love and have personally used. This page contains affiliate links which means at no additional cost to you, I may receive small commissions for purchases made via these links. This helps keep the site up and running.