We say it every year around this time: Instead of stuff for the sake of stuff, let's focus on gifts that matter more. This year we've pulled together some of our team's top gift picks that do more, with less! These gift ideas are ways to reduce waste, reuse quality gear, and recycle to give new life to old materials.
HIPCAMP GIFT CARD - Have you heard of HipCamp yet? It's a peer to peer model, like Airbnb or GoCamp, but instead of homes or camper vans, HipCamp is for campsites on private land. A gift card to HipCamp means you're giving someone an experience, and memories that will outlast shiny new gadget or device.
STASHER BAGS - Single-use ziplocks have met their replacement with these reusable silicone storage bags from Stasher. Seriously, whenever you might reach for a ziplock baggie (any size), for snacks, or toiletries, or for protecting field guides and journals, Stasher makes a comparable size out of pure, platinum silicone. Lightweight, plastic-free, and not prone to punctures like their disposable alternatives. Brilliant.
BITE TOOTHPASTE BITS - Kinda weird to put toothpaste in a gift guide, but we've got this on our stocking stuffer wish list! These little toothpaste bits are so dang clever, we have to wonder why we're still using the squeezable status quo at all! One billion plastic toothpaste tubes get discarded each year. Plus, they're a total pain anyway. Messy. Wasteful. When you're traveling or backpacking, just bring along a reusable container with some Bites, then when it's time to brush, just pop a tablet in your mouth, bite down and brush with a wet toothbrush as you would commercial toothpaste.
KULA CLOTH - When nature calls, take Kula Cloth with you! This antimicrobial "pee-cloth" is made in the USA, and is making an impact by helping hikers leave no trace when nature calls. Because nobody wants to see t.p. on the side of the trail.
REFILLABLE TUBES - There are a few options when it comes to refillable tubes, but what we've found is critical for backpackers (and parents!) is how easy they are to clean. We like the original GoToob from Humangear. They're easy to fill -- with peanut butter for an on-the-go protein hit, for example - and easy to clean. And no one will be picking up any "accidental trail trash" left in its wake.
MOUNTAIN HOUSE MEALS! Plugging our own product in our own gift guide? You betcha! Mountain House pouches are re-sealable and can be re-used in a few ways, like for packing out trash, or for poaching a fish, or for a spa day in the backcountry. The usual. And when you're done with your backcountry spa, you can recycle your used pouches for FREE through TerraCycle!
BIG AGNES LOST DOG 15 SLEEPING BAG - Sometimes gear wears out, and when it does, it's an awesome opportunity to find something that's top-rated AND utilizes conscious materials and construction. Enter our new favorite sleeping bag: The Big Agnes Lost Dog 15, featuring 100% post-consumer recycled polyester insulation. High loft, compressibility, high weight-to-warmth ratio and durability, and it won't break the bank.
FISHPOND USA WASATCH TECH PACK - Not only is Fishpond USA a certified B Corporation, but they're using lightweight, recycled fabric from commercial fishing nets (Cyclepond™) to make their packs. Got a backcountry angler in your life? You'll be reelin' in smiles for miles with a gift from Fishpond.
Find any favorites in this year's Mountain House Gift Guide? We hope you and yours enjoy a happy holiday season, making memories, sharing adventures, and plotting out good times to come. Cheers!