Man standing at water's edge in the night lit by the milkyway galaxy and his headlamp.

A Few of Our Favorite Things: Outdoor Gift Guide

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It’s that time of year again. And, although we think it’s never too cold to head outside, winter is the perfect time to plan your next outdoor adventure. The holidays and the deals that come with them make stocking up on supplies simple and affordable — whether you’re shopping for yourself or someone else.

For those in need of some holiday shopping guidance, here are a few of our favorite things for the hunters, anglers, hikers and backpackers on your list.

Mike’s Favorite Things

Eberlestock Mainframe Pack 

Although I was unfortunately unable to use the Eberlestock Maineframe Pack to its full potential, packing out only what I packed in over my long weekend hunting in southern Missouri, I was impressed with it nonetheless. Its versatility and toughness were evident even as I packed for my trip as well as when used it as a seat hiding in the shade of young oak trees. Eberlestock offers a ton of gear compatible with this piece, but with MOLLE webbing and compression straps, it will also function well with gear you already own. See for yourself.

Daiwa Presso Ultralight Pack Spinning Rod 4-Piece 5’6″ 

Packing this rod is a no-brainer. Broken down and stowed in its protective travel case, this lightweight rod by Daiwa Presso takes up an infinitesimal amount of space. Pick up a small reel and a few rooster tails, and you can throw in a line wherever the trail takes you. Have a look.

MSR WindBurner Personal Stove System

In four and a half minutes, this compact stove can boil one liter of water. Hot coffee and oatmeal on a frigid morning is the only remedy for having to unzip your sleeping bag, and this windproof radiant burner will have you feeling better in no time; it brought my water to a boil surprisingly quick. After the coffee’s gone, the whole system breaks down and nests into a compact package, complete with a bowl. Find out more.

PETZL Tikkina Headlamp

Hikes to and from the tree stand would be a bit less quiet and significantly more hazardous without my PETZL Tikkina Headlamp. Probably my oldest and most used piece of gear, it goes with me every time I hit a hiking or game trail. The Amazon reviews speak for themselves. Check them out.


Alex’s Favorite Things

Osprey Women’s Viva 50 Backpack

This lightweight pack by Osprey — equipped with an internal frame — offers comfort in nearly any size. Bought and used on my first (of what will be many) backpacking trips with Mike, it offered more than enough space for our tent, my food, toiletries and sleeping bag; the pack actually comes with a separate sleeping bag compartment, which is easily accessible from the bottom. Zippered hip pockets allow for quick access to small items you may need often along the trail: chapstick, a cellphone, or even toilet paper. But perhaps one of the most noteworthy highlights of the Osprey Women’s Viva 50 Backpack — or any Osprey product for that matter — is the “All Mighty Guarantee” that comes along with it. Find out more.

The North Face Women’s Allproof Stretch Jacket

This jacket by The North Face is not only waterproof and windproof but surprisingly comfortable as well as. The flexible material makes it perfect for hiking as it adjusts to and doesn’t impede your movement. On the contrary, this jacket makes nearly any outdoor adventure possible — and in any weather. The North Face Women’s Allproof Stretch Jacket  held up on a rainy, 50-degree backpacking trip we recently took, keeping me warm and dry. Its zippered pockets also provide protection for any accessories you may need on the trail. See for yourself.

Platypus Big Zip LP Reservoir

Not especially glamorous, a water reservoir is an essential supply for any avid hiker or backpacker, making it easy to hydrate without having to stop. The Platypus Big Zip LP Reservoir is one of the best. With a wide mouth and a slidelock closure, it allows for easy filling as well as securely closing — and for airing out later. This bladder is designed with a low profile, so it works in a range of reservoir sleeves; it fits great in both my daypack and framed pack. But one of my favorite features of this bladder is the mouthpiece lock that prevents you from losing water and its quick-release hose, which unsnaps for easy cleaning. It’s also made in the USA! Check it out.

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Alexandra Vollman
Alexandra Vollman is an experienced writer and editor with a passion for the outdoors — especially hiking. As the co-founder and editor of Modern Conservationist, she oversees editorial management for the site. She has a bachelor’s degree in media communications and a master’s degree in writing and publishing. Alexandra enjoys using her knack for reporting and storytelling to instill in others a better understanding of and appreciation for nature.

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