Showing posts with label Holidays. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Holidays. Show all posts

Happy Holidays From The Adventure Blog

It is that time of year again! I want to take this opportunity to with each and everyone of you a very Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and Happy Holidays in general. I'm not really sure where 2016 went, but it has come and gone in a blink of an eye, with so many amazing and fantastic experiences along the way. Hopefully it was a year filled with adventure for you, with plenty of inspirations for 2017 as well. 

Now that we're heading into the holiday weekend, I wanted to share a bit about the schedule for The Adventure Blog moving forward. Next week we'll enjoy a bit of downtime to celebrate with friends and family, so expect very few updates between Christmas and New Year. I'll share any major stories that might arise, but for the most part daily updates will be at a minimum. 

I'll return in the first week of January to get things going once again, but even then there may be a limited posting schedule. During that week, Adventure Blog World Headquarters will be relocating to a more permanent location, so there could be a bit of transition to undergo while that happens. Immediately after that, I'll be flying off to Salt Lake City for the Winter Outdoor Retailer Convention, where a host of new gear will be on display. I'll have more about that as we get closer to the day however, but expect the usual reports on what I see and learn about on social media and here on this blog. 

For now, just go and enjoy the holiday season. And get ready for an exciting year to come.

Men's Journal Gives Us 51 Last Minute Gift Ideas

Okay, if you're still looking for the perfect Christmas gift for someone on your shopping list this year, and my 10 last minute gift ideas, nor Nat Geo's 31 suggestions, and Outside's list of 20 stocking stuffers for under $20 hasn't been much help, than perhaps Men's Journal can be of assistance. The magazine has posted it's selection of last minute holiday gifts as well, and it is lengthy one, offering 51 options for procrastinators

Not all of the items on the list are specifically geared for the outdoors or travel, but there is still a lot of things that men (and women!) are going to like. For instance, some of the items that get the nod from MJ include a sweet cycling hat from Rothera, a fun daypack from Cotopaxi, a cool camera from Nikon, and a headlamp designed for runners from Nathan. You'll also find a number of interesting books, some useful gadgets, pants from Fjällräven, and a even a kayak from Perception

All in all, this is a fairly wide list of suggestions for gifts for just about anyone in your life. Obviously here at The Adventure Blog we focus more on the outdoor and adventure travel items first and foremost, but there are all kinds of other great ideas as well for just about any type of personality. If you truly are stumped, perhaps this will at least provide a few ideas to help you get just the right thing for your loved one. If not, you're probably going to have some problems, as obviously the clock is ticking on the holiday shopping season. 

Check out the entire list at

Video: Polaris RZR and Brantley Gilbert Bring Holiday Cheer to Veterans

With Christmas just a few days away at this point, it's hard not to share some of the more heartwarming stories we've come across recently, and this one definitely falls into that category. Below we have a video put together by Polaris RZR and featuring country singer Brantley Gilbert, who came together with the Disabled American Veterans organization to make the dreams of three families come true. The families – each of which has a disabled vet as part of the group – were brought in under the guise of helping to film a promo video for Polaris. But, it turns out they got quite a surprise that they'll no doubt remember for a lifetime. Check it out below.

10 Last Minute Travel Gift Suggestions from The Adventure Blog

Christmas is now in sight and the clock is most definitely ticking. If you find yourself still scrambling to find the perfect gift for the adventure traveler or outdoor enthusiast on your holiday shopping list this year, we have some suggestions for what they might like. Here are 10 list minute gifts that are sure to make them happy, all of which are under $100.

Ledlenser SEO 7R Headlamp
Every outdoor adventurer can use a good headlamp, and Ledlenser's SEO 7R is one of the best I've seen in awhile. Powered by either a rechargeable battery pack or standards AAA batteries, this lamp is capable of putting out as much as 220 lumens and is built to be water resistant too. It is comfortable to wear, lightweight, great for travel, and comes with a 5 year warranty as well. Price: $90

Dog & Bone LockSmart Travel Bluetooth Padlock
Keeping your valuables safe and secure while on the road can be a challenge, but Dog & Bone's LockSmart Travel high-tech padlock can help. This Bluetooth enabled lock connects to your smartphone for keyless unlocking from anywhere in the world. It also has location tracking properties and is TSA compliant, meaning you can place it on your bad and not worry about nefarious individuals gaining access to your belongings. Price: $59.95

LifeStraw Go Water Bottle
Everyone can use a good water bottle of course, but the LifeStraw Go isn't just a handy way to stay hydrated, it also features a two-stage filtration system that removes 99.99% of all harmful bacteria, protozoa, and viruses that could be lurking in water. This makes it a great choice for both backcountry excursions and travelers who might be visiting countries where finding clean drinking water might be a challenge. Price: $49.95

Power Practical Luminoodle Plus Camp Lighting System
Keep the campsite well lit with a Luminoodle light rope from Power Practical. Flexible and waterproof, these lights are easy to hang in a tent, on branches, or just about anywhere else you need them, delivering 180 lumens of light without blinding anyone in the process. The Luminoodle Plus kit comes complete with a 5-foot set of lights and a 4400 mAh battery to keep them powered on. Price: $39.95

Global Entry
Frequent travelers know how long it takes to get through security lines at the airport, and customs when returning to the country when traveling abroad. But a Global Entry membership from the Transportation Security Administration lets them bypass those bottlenecks quickly and efficiently. The process does require an interview and a bit of a wait time, but it is worth it. Price: $100

Champion Duofold THERMatrix Baselayers
Baselayers are always handy no matter what outdoor activities your favorite adventurer is into. They provide the first line of defense in keeping us warm and dry in the backcountry, and are an indispensable part of any gear closet. Champion makes high quality baselayers that are also affordable and good looking too. Price: $23.99

Yaktrax Cabin Socks
Soft and warm, the Yaktrax Cabin Socks just might be the most comfortable sock your outdoor lover will ever put on his or her feet. If the cold chill of winter is leaving their toes a bit chilly, get them a pair of these to help them recover. They are so comfortable (and affordable!) that you'll even want a pair for yourself. Price: $12.99

Stacked iPhone Wireless Charging System
For the traveler looking for a convenient way to keep their iPhone charged while on the road, the Stacked wireless charging system is a godsend. Modular in design, this iPhone case uses powerful magnets to connect with chargers, portable battery packs, and a handy car mount that is fantastic for navigating on long road trips. Buy the Stacked bundle for $99.99 or individual pieces as needed.

Dry Guy Warm 'n Charge
The cold weather isn't just hard on our bodies, it's hard on the batteries in our electronic devices too. That's why Dry Guy invented the Warm 'n Charge, a battery operated hand warmer that is also capable of recharging a smartphone too. The device uses a 4400 mAh battery for up to five hours of warming or two phone charges. Price: $40

Stanley Pocket Steel Adventure Flask
Let's face it, we all like to rough it in the woods on occasion, but that doesn't mean we have to be completely uncivilized. The Pocket Flask from Stanley is a lightweight and compact way to carry a little extra something into the backcountry with us for those celebrations when you bag a peak or are just toasting to your good fortune. Price: $18

Video: A Little Holiday Cheer Courtesy of WestJet

We're now just a little over a week away from Christmas, and while this isn't the type of video I normally share, I thought it was worth posting nonetheless. 2016 has been a challenging year for the citizens of Fort McMurray in Alberta, Canada. A forest fire destroyed a large portion of the town, claiming many homes and consuming lots of valuables in the process. But, the holidays won't be quite so grim there thanks to Canadian airline WestJet, which has made a habit out of making Christmas miracles over the past couple of years. In this video, you'll see what they did for the people of Fort McMurray, and if it doesn't warm your heart heading into the holiday season, I don't know what will. Have a great weekend!

Outside Gives Us 20 Stocking Stuffers for $20 or Less

With a little more than a week to go until Christmas, our shopping days are running short. Hopefully you've wrapped up all of your gift buying for the season, but if not, Outside magazine is here to help. The staff there has compiled a great list of 20 stocking stuffers for under $20 that any outdoor enthusiast is sure to love. 

With 20 items to choose from, I wouldn't think of giving away everything on the list. But, there are some really great suggestions for those still struggling to find the perfect gift, or are simply looking to add one more item that won't break the bank. Amongst the things that Outside recommends are a classic Swiss Army Knife from the folks at Victorinox for just $17, running socks from Balega for $8, and a new Nalgene bottle, which start as low as $3.50. Other options include traction cleats from Yaktrax ($14), a travel pillow from Therm-a-rest ($12), and a classic Petzl Tikka headlamp for $20. 

A lot of the items on this list are things that active outdoor athletes use all the time and will appreciate receiving in their stocking. Many are thoughtful items that most gift-givers wouldn't think about picking out for the people on their list, which makes them all the more special to the person receiving it. I can't speak for everyone, but I'd personally rather have a utilitarian gift that I can actually use than an item that just doesn't suit my needs. Of course, it's always the thought that counts, but it is very nice to get things that we actually want too. 

If you're looking for a few last minute ideas on what to pick out for someone, check out all of Outside's suggestions by clicking here

31 Last-Minute Outdoor Gift Ideas from National Geographic

Still wondering what you should get that outdoor and adventure lover on your list this holiday season? Are you starting to stress out as time begins to run short? Never fear, because National Geographic is back today with yet another extensive list, this time providing 31 gift ideas to help us get outside more.

As you can imagine, this particular list is filled with some wonderful suggestions for outdoor gear that your adventurer is sure to love. For instance, you'll find the Rumpl Down Puffy blanket on the list – which is something I recommended in my holiday shoppers guide a few weeks back. Nat Geo also recommends The North Face ThermoBall Hooded Parka for the ladies, as well as Smartwool's awesome mountaineering socks, which were created in conjunction with Conrad Anker. Other items that get the nod also include Osprey's Raptor 14 hydration pack, Gear Aid camp lights, and the GoPro Hero 5 camera.

All in all, this is a really diverse list of gear with suggestions for just about every kind of activity or outdoor gear lover. Whether they enjoy hiking, biking, running, or travel, there are plenty of suggestions on what gifts to buy this year. Check out the full list by clicking here.

I'm working on my own last minute shopping guide as well with even more suggestions for what to get your favorite adventurer. Look for that in a couple of days, hopefully with enough time to round out your shopping before Christmas.

The 2016 Adventure Blog Holiday Shoppers Guide (Part 2)

Yesterday I posted my first round of picks for the best gifts for the outdoor lover in your life in the form of Part 1 of my Holiday Shopping Guide. Most of the items that made the cut are products that I've personally used and really enjoy, but they also mostly focused on the basics for the general outdoors, including boots, a backpack, tent, sleeping bag, and so on. Today, in Part 2 of the shoppers guide I'll offer up some suggestions for other categories as well, including travel, running, cycling, and so on. Hopefully you find these suggestions to be good ones as you get ready to head out and start hunting down the perfect gift for the adventurer on your list.

Altra Men's Superior 2.0 ($110)
If you're looking for a great trail shoe for the runner on your shopping list, look no further than the Altra Superior 2.0. I practically ran the bottoms out of mine this year, as they are comfortable, lightweight, and offer plenty of room in the toe box. In fact, you'll be hard pressed to find a shoe that offers better balance and control on the trail. (Buy at (Note: These are on sale at both REI and the Altra website for $76 right now)

Craghoppers National Geographic Response Compresslite Travel Jacket ($95)
The Response Compresslite from Craghoppers is my new favorite travel jacket. Incredibly lightweight, yet warm and comfortable, this jacket stuffs into one of its own pockets for easy packing, yet when needed performs like a much bulkier and heavier puffy. The jacket looks great, isn't overly technical and is priced right. It is the perfect companion for the traveler who is active, but isn't venturing into the more remote areas of the world where something more serious is required. (Buy at

Catalyst iPhone Case (Prices vary by model)
Lets face it, our smartphones are a constant companion these days no matter where we go. That means we have to take the necessary steps to ensure that they are well protected, both from accidental drops and the elements. I haven't found a case that does that better, without compromising the look and feel of my iPhone, than the ones made by Catalyst. These cases don't add a lot of needless bulk to your mobile device, and yet they still offer an amazing level of protection. The cases are available for the iPhone 6, 6S, and 7, as well as the "+" models for each of those generations too. Once in place, the phone is waterproof and shrouded in a case of armor that is will keep it safe from just about anything. (Note: Catalyst also offers cases for the iPad and Apple Watch too.)

Power Practical Luminoodle Plus Camp Lighting ($39.99)
Camp lighting has come a long way in the past year or two, to the point that there are now a number of awesome options to choose from. One of my favorites is the Luminoodle Plus from Power Practical, which uses a portable battery pack to power a flexible string of lights that can be strung up just about anywhere. Waterproof and durable, these lights give off up to 180 lumens, but the light is dispersed more than with a headlamp, making it easier to enjoy when sitting in your tent or lounging around the campfire. (Note: The Luminoodle Plus is on sale for $28.50 right now)

Stacked Wireless Charging System for iPhone ($99.99)
Speaking of iPhone cases, here's one that not only keeps your phone well protected, but also offers the ability to charge it without having to plug in cables as well. The Stacked Wireless Charging System has everything you need to keep your iPhone charged both at home and on the road, plus an optional car adapter ($49.99) not only does the same in your vehicle, but is great for mounting the smartphone where it can be reached for navigation too.

Ledlenser SEO 7R Headlamp ($90)
A good headlamp is essential for adventure travelers and outdoor lovers a like. The SEO 7R from Ledlenser can fill both niches nicely. It offers 220 lumens of light, and a burn time of up to 20 hours, and since it comes equipped with a lithium-ion rechargeable battery, and can also use AAA batteries as well, you never have to worry about running out of juice again. (Also, for the mountain biker in your life, check out Ledlenser's amazing XEO 19R headlamp, which puts off a blinding 2000 lumens of light to illuminate the trail.)

Rumpl Original Puffy Blanket ($65)
Want the same comfort and warmth that you get from your down jacket in a blanket? Rumpl has you covered with their Original Puffy Blanket. Made of high quality fabrics that are weather resistant, and filled with the same insulation found in sleeping bags, this is the best outdoor comforter you could ever ask for. Warm and cosy in the tent, backyard, or cuddling up around the fire at home, it is simply the best. And since the blanket packs down to an incredibly small footprint, you can take it with you when you hit the road too.

Eagle Creek Afar Travel Daypack ($119)
Every traveler needs a good daypack to accompany them on their journey, and Eagle Creek's Afar pack is perfect for just about any kind of excursion. Made from durable fabrics and with integrated anti-theft zippers and lock points, the Afar offers plenty of storage for carrying essential gear for the day. It includes a laptop sleeve large enough to hold a 17" notebook, a passport pocket, a padded, breathable backpanel, and a built-in ego-skeleton that adds increased durability. It is even water and abrasion resistant so it can handle the rigors of the road. (Buy at

ExOfficio Isoclime Thermal Hoody ($90)
We all need a good looking and versatile wardrobe at our disposal for when we hit the road, and ExOfficio makes some of the best travel clothes around. Their Isoclime Thermal Hoody features casual good-looks, but it is also warm, comfortable, quick-drying, and has the ability to wick moisture away from the body as well. Additionally, it works well as a layer under a warmer jacket, or completely on its own depending on your needs. And of course, if you're ordering anything from ExOfficio, don't forget to pick up a pair of their legendary underwear. No adventure traveler should ever leave home without at least one or two pairs. (Buy at (Note: The Isoclime Thermal Hoody is currently on sale for $44)

Adventure Medical Kits World Travel ($80)
Staying healthy while traveling is never easy, but with the World Travel first aid kit from Adventure Medical Kits, it is a lot easier. Packed with items to keep you healthy while away from home, this kid literally has everything you need, an then some. The World Travel is stocked with enough bandages, gauze, medications, and tools to keep a family of four well stocked for a month on the road, and probably longer. It even comes with a handy guide for treating common injuries as well, and when you start to run low on supplies, AMK has handy refill picks too. (Buy at

Solavore Solar Sport Camp Oven ($239)
Want a unique and fun way to cook at your campsite that is also good for the environment? Check out the Solar Sport oven from Solavore. This oven comes with everything you need to create some amazingly tasty meals at your campsite using nothing but the rays of the sun. It does require a bit of planning and forethought on a part of the chef, but the results are amazing, including the ability to bake bread or cookies, make pizza, casseroles, and so much more. Designed more for car campers than backpackers, this oven will nevertheless turn you into a camp gourmet.

There you have it. More picks for the best gifts for the traveler and outdoorsman or woman in your life. Anyone of these items is something I'd like to find under the tree come Christmas Day, and chances are your loved one will too. Happy Holidays!

The 2016 Adventure Blog Holiday Shoppers Guide (Part 1)

The holidays are now upon us, and its time to start looking for the perfect gift for the outdoor adventurer and world traveler on your list. If you're looking for the perfect gift for that guy or gal, I have some suggestions that should make them happy this year. Here's what they really want to find under their tree this holiday season.

Mountain Hardwear StretchDown Jacket ($250)
If your loved ones like to spend time outdoors in the cold months of the year, they'll appreciate the new Mountain Hardwear StretchDown Jacket. Not only does is use stretchy material that moves well during active outings, but it employs heat-sealed baffles rather than standard stitches, making it much warmer as well. This is the most innovative puffy on the market today, and one that will be a great companion on many adventures to come. (Buy at

Osprey Atmos AG 50 ($230)
There are so many great backpacks to choose from on the market today it is tough to select just once. But Osprey's Atmos AG 50 is still one of the very best, with perhaps the most comfortable fit and suspension available today. Perfect for backpacking, camping, and adventure travel, this pack has plenty of capacity and comes with such additional features as a removable top lid, tool attachments, removable sleeping pad straps, and much more. Best of all, its backed by Osprey's lifetime warranty, which means they'll fix or replace it should anything every happen to the pack. (Buy at

Lowa Renegade GTX Mid Boots ($230)
There are a lot of great hiking boots to choose from these days, but for my money it is tough to top the Lowa Renegade GTX in terms of performance, comfort, and durability. This boot is designed for hiking, trekking, and even light mountaineering, with excellent traction on a wide variety of surfaces, plenty of support for the foot, and a classic look that never seems to go out of style. (Buy at

Goal Zero Venture 30 Battery Pack ($99.95)
Being able to keep your gadgets charged while on the go is an important consideration these days, and there are many portable battery packs to choose from. But Goal Zero's Venture 30 not only carries a lot of juice (7800 mAh) but its rugged enough to survive just about anywhere you want to take it. Waterproof and durable, the Venture 30 has a high speed USB port that can recharge your mobile devices as quickly as a wall outlet. (Buy at

Eddie Bauer Kara Koram +20ºF Sleeping Bag ($449)
When it comes to getting a good night's sleep in the backcountry, your sleeping bag is the most important piece of kit that you can take with your. Warm, comfortable, lightweight, and compact, the Kara Koram +20º bag from Eddie Bauer is a great option to have at your disposal. Stuffed with 850-fill, water-resistant down, this bag is tough enough to go anywhere and continue to perform at an incredibly high level.

Klymit Static V2 Sleeping Pad ($64.95)
Nobody likes to sleep on the hard ground when they're spending a night in the tent, which is why a good sleeping  pad is a must. The Klymit Static V2 is lightweight (weighs 1 lbs), very comfortable, and packs down to the size of a soda can. Its body-mapped pattern is also extremely comfortable too, allowing you to sleep like a baby in the backcountry. (Buy at

The North Face Talus 2 Tent ($199)
A good tent provides the shelter you need to survive in the backcountry, and the Talus 2 from The North Face is an excellent option for those who like to travel light but without sacrificing features. Tipping the scales at a mere 3.2 pounds, this tent has plenty of room to sleep two, features double-doors and two vestibules, and comes with both a gear loft and a footprint. It even has a lifetime warranty, which means you can depend on it surviving rough conditions, or TNF will replace it. (Buy at

Mountain Khakis Original Mountain Pant ($84.95)
If you're looking for the perfect outdoor pants that can also transition to town without missing a beat, the Original Mountain Pant from Mountain Khakis has you covered. Reinforced in all the right places, and designed for comfort on and off the trail, these pants feature classic good looks, a relaxed fit, and quality fabrics, stitches, and zippers. (Buy at

REI Sahara Tech Long-Sleeve Shirt ($36.93)
The REI Shara tech shirt is comfortable to wear, provides moisture wicking and temperature control features, and offers UPF 50+ protection from the sun. It also has classic good looks, is designed for travel and outdoor activities, dries quickly, and packs down to a small footprint. Pretty much everything you want out of any piece of active apparel.

Leki Micro Vario Ti Cor-Tec DSS Trekking Poles ($159.95)
A good pair of trekking poles are essential for challenging hikes, and Leki makes some of the very best. Lightweight, compact, and easy to travel with, the Micro Vario TI Cor-Tec DSS poles are perfect for anyone hiking local trails close to home, or flying off to tackle Kilimanjaro. Quick and easy to assemble, with comfortable hand grips, these trekking poles are one of those items you don't know you need until you have a pair. They are perfect for the hiker on your list. (Buy at

More gift ideas to come in the second part of my holiday gift guide tomorrow.

REI Invites Us to #OptOutside Again This Fall

Last fall, gear retailer REI made headlines when it announced that it would close all of its brick and mortar stores, as well as online shop, on the biggest shopping day of the year – Black Friday. Instead of chasing the almighty dollar on a day that should be about spending time with your family, the company elected to give all of its employees the day off, and encourage them – as well as the rest of us – to head outside for an adventure. They even used the hashtag #OptOutside to promote the movement, which was adopted by several other outdoor brands like Outdoor Research as well.

Yesterday, REI announced that it will again be closed on Black Friday, and that it is encouraging its employees and customers to skip the crazy shopping madness that is typical for the day, and instead head outside to enjoy some time with nature. That means that on November 25 all 149 REI stores will be closed, and the company's more than 12,000 employees will be free to spend time with friends and family, as well as pursue their favorite outdoor adventures.

In addition to that, over 275 national and local organizations are joining in on the fun this year as well. Those entities will also be encouraging their communities to #OptOutside on Black Friday too, as this movement seems to be picking up even more steam heading into its second year.

REI has also launched an activity finder on the #OptOutside website to help you find organized events, and other things to do, on November 25. That search engine lists local hikes, trail running outings, organized mountain bike rides, climbing excursions, skiing trips, and more. If you're at a loss for things to do where you live, this will surely help.

Obviously REI received a ton of publicity for its decision to close its doors on Black Friday last year. The company more than made up the revenue it would have made on that day with the exposure it received with the #OptOutside campaign. But it would be easy to dismiss this as just a marketing scheme if I hadn't met some of the representatives of the company a few weeks back. It is clear that the gear retailer genuinely cares about helping its staff, members, and customers to get outside and enjoy their time in nature, and while #OptOutside has been a good marketing campaign, the people who run the company definitely believe in the message they are sharing too. You don't find that in too many companies these days, and it is refreshing to say the least.

This attitude also makes it easy to want to support REI too. Which is exactly what I'll be doing on November 25. Hopefully you will too.

#OptOutside for Black Friday

Tomorrow is the Thanksgiving holiday here in the U.S., and most of us are gearing up to have a few days off to spend some time with friends and family. Of course, Thanksgiving brings another annual tradition along with it – Black Friday. That's the day that holiday shopping kicks into high gear, most major stores offer significant discounts, and shoppers head to the malls in droves in an attempt to get an early start on their holiday shopping. In short, it is madness, and most sane people try to stay as far away from the experience as possible.

This year, outdoor gear retailer REI has done something that to many was unthinkable. The company has decided to close its doors on Black Friday, and actually give its employees a paid day off to go outside instead. Using the hashtag #OptOutside, the company has encouraged its customer base to do the same. As of now, nearly 1 million people have pledged to follow suit.

REI isn't the only organization that has pushed to turn Black Friday into a day to enjoy the outdoors either. Gear company Outdoor Research has jumped on the bandwagon as well, as have some state and national parks as well. In Tennessee, all state parks will be free for visitors,  and Oregon is doing the same. In the state of Washington, Olympic and Mt. Rainier National Parks will be fee-free as well, and if you look hard enough you'll probably find similar offerings where ever you are too.

The point is to avoid the massive shopping frenzy and head out to enjoy the great outdoors, which is a great message to send. The holiday shopping will be there in the days ahead, but we don't always get a day off to enjoy being outside. So, if you're like me, and would much rather be on a trail than standing in line at the store, take advantage of this new unofficial holiday, and #OptOutside yourself. Chances are it'll be a far more rewarding experience.

The Adventure Blog 2015 Holiday Shopper's Guide (Part 2)

Yesterday I posted the first part of my 2015 Holiday Shopper's Guide with ten suggestions of gifts aimed at the adventure traveler and outdoor enthusiast in your life. Today I have even more gear ideas that the explorer or adventurer in your life will sure love.

Big Agnes Rattlesnake SL2 mtnGLO Tent ($350)
With its integrated LED lights, the Big Agnes Rattlesnake SL2 mtnGLO tent isn't just a great camping shelter, it is a fun place to sleep in the backcountry. This two-person, three-season model is lightweight, sturdy, and easy to assemble. It comes equipped with a rainfly, two doors and two vestibules, integrated media pockets, and more. And at the end of the day, those built-in LED's give create an ambient light that makes this tent even more cozy and comfortable inside.

Osprey Atmos AG 50 Backpack ($230)
Rated amongst the best backpacks currently on the market, the Atmos AG 50 from Osprey is comfortable to wear, offers plenty of capacity, and is durable enough to withstand all the punishment you can throw at it. On top of that, it comes equipped with Osprey's amazing anti-gravity suspension, which makes wearing this pack a joy, even when it is fully loaded. Great for camping, backpacking, or adventure travel, this is a backpack you can take with you just about anywhere, and know that it is going to serve you well.

Base Camp Power Solutions from EnerPlex ($350 - $1400)
For those who need plenty of power while on the go, EnerPlex has the solution. They offer a pair of lightweight generators that can be recharged by solar panel, and are a source of electricity even in remote locations. The Generatr 100 is small enough to be slipped into a backpack and carried anywhere, providing a charge for your smartphone, tablet, camera equipment, or even laptop. The larger Generatr 1200 is built for use in base camp, and is even capable of powering a television set or a small refrigerator. Best of all, this model is less than half the weight of competing products, which makes it far easier to use on extended expeditions.

GoPro Hero 4 Session ($300)
Acton cameras continue to be all the rage as more budding filmmakers capture their outdoor exploits. GoPro remains the leader of the pack, even though other camera manufacturers are closing ground. The new Hero 4 Session is a great choice because it is the smallest, lightest, and simplest camera that GoPro has ever produced. It shoots professional quality video, is compatible with the majority of GoPro accessories already on the market, and it is durable and waterproof out of the box. If you have a future action film director on your shopping list, they'll be thrilled to unwrap this camera.

Berghaus VaporLight Hydroloft Reversible Hoody ($220)
When it comes to innovative design, it is tough to top the VaporLight Hydroloft Reversible Hoody from Berghaus. This jacket takes the "reversible" angle to the next level, and not just for cosmetic value. With one side of the jacket facing out, it is a windproof layer that can keep the wearer warm while out on the trail. Turn it inside out, and the hoody becomes more breathable to help vent out excess heat. As if that wasn't enough, the jacket weighs less than 8 ounces, making it the perfect companion for trail running, winter hiking, climbing, and even mountain biking.

SPOT Gen 3 Satellite Messenger ($149, Free for a Limited Time)
The SPOT Gen 3 Satellite Messenger has been around for awhile, but it is still a great way for adventurers to stay safe while in the backcountry or traveling in a remote parts of the world. The device allows friends and family to track their whereabouts at any time, and it can send pre-canned messages to let everyone back know that they are okay. And if an emergency situation should arise, the SPOT messenger lets the user to call for help, even if they are way off the grid. And for a limited time, you can get the SPOT hardware absolutely free with the purchase of a qualifying service plan.

Adventure Medical Kits Ultralight & Watertight .9 ($36)
Want to show your favorite outdoor enthusiast that you really care? Than buy them the excellent Ultralight & Watertight .9 first aid kit from Adventure Medical Kits. This compact and lightweight pack contains everything you need to take with you on a backpacking trip or while traveling abroad to treat common injuries and ailments. Inside the waterproof bag you'll find everything from band-aids and syringes, to medicines to kill the pain and silence an upset stomach. There are wraps and bandages, as well as moleskin for blisters, plus a few tools that could come in handy too. This is the kind of gift that really shows its true value over time.

Cannondale Habit Carbon 3 Mountain Bike ($3730)
Really want to spoil the mountain biker on your holiday list? Why not buy them a new bike? The Cannondale Habit Carbon 3 is an all-mountain ride designed for nimble performance on the trail, fast climbs, and even faster descents. This is a bike that begs to be ridden in all kinds of terrain, and with its dialed trail geometry, lightweight frame, and high performance components, it is sure to put a smile on anyone's face.

Princeton Tec Sync Headlamp ($30)
A good headlamp is always a handy device to have with you while traveling or even at home, and the Princeton Tec Sync is one of the best available right now, especially at such a great price. Tipping the scales at a mere 3 ounces, it is comfortable to wear and easy to operate. It can crank out up to 90 lumens of light, and offer a burn time of over 200 hours on its 3AAA batteries. On top of that, it features both a spot and flood beam, as well as red light LED. The wearer can dial in exactly the brightness and settings they need with the twist of dial, making this one of the most convenient headlamps to have on you in the backcountry.

Phiaton BT 330 NC Bluetooth Headphones ($179)
Anyone who travels regularly can tell you the value of having a good pair of headphones. They come in handy on long flights and they are great way to stay entertained while on the road. The new BT 330 NC headphones from Phiaton have two great qualities that frequent fliers will definitely love. First, they use Bluetooth connectivity to wirelessly stream music from a smartphone or tablet, and they come equipped with noise canceling technology to keep out background noise too. Music and podcasts sound crisp, clear, and vibrant, and these headphones are comfortable to wear, even for extended periods of time.

The Adventure Blog 2015 Holiday Shopper's Guide (Part 1)

Do you have an adventure traveler or avid outdoor enthusiast on your list this holiday season? Are you struggling to figure out what you should get for them? I've got more than a few suggestions for the best gear for hiking, backpacking, climbing, or just plain having fun around home. So, without further ado, I present The Adventure Blog's 2015 Holiday Shopper's Guide (Part1).

Ex Officio Storm Logic Vest ($125)
It's hard to find a more versatile piece of outerwear than the Storm Logic Vest from Ex Officio. Not is it comfortable to wear, and will keep your core plenty warm, but it comes equipped with seven interior pockets, each designed for a specific purpose like keeping your smartphone close at hand, protecting your passport, or storing your sunglasses. If that wasn't enough, the vest even transforms into a travel pillow for use on those long flights to your next destination.

Limefuel Rugged Portable Battery Pack ($85)
Need portable power to keep your smartphone and tablet running in the backcountry? Than checkout the Limefuel Rugged, a battery pack that is built to survive in the worst of conditions. This waterproof, dustproof, and shockproof product has a built-in battery that packs a whopping 15,000 mAh of power. That's enough to recharge your iPhone nearly eight times over. With dual-USB ports you can charge multiple devices at once, and the Rugged is even capable of powering a full-sized tablet. Just the think for the modern adventurer on the go.

Sugoi Zap Run Jacket ($170)
Have a runner on your list? Want to keep them warm, dry, and safe on their winter workouts? Than the Sugoi Zap Run Jacket is the way to go. Made from water resistant fabrics, this jacket reflects light on an insane level, making the wearer highly visible, even on very dark nights. It also comes with two hand pockets, a chest pocket, and a headphone management system built right into the collar. Sugoi's signature quality is a given of course.

Holiday Clif Bars ($15 box 12)
Clif bars are a staple of in the diet of many outdoor adventurers, and it is easy to see why. They're good for you, easy to carry, and provide a burst of much needed energy at times too. Plus, with so many flavors to choose from, everyone will find at least a few that they like. But during the holiday season, Clif Bar always introduces some special seasonal flavors that are only available for a limited-time. This year those flavors include hot chocolate, iced gingerbread, and spiced pumpkin pie. Get 'em while you can.

Cold Weather Buff ($20-$25)
I've been a big proponent of Buffs for years because they have so many uses while traveling or on an outdoor adventure. The super-versatile headwear can be worn around the neck, as a hat, balaclava, face mask, and more, and really should be a part of everyone's wardrobe. Better yet, the company has a line of Buffs specifically designed for use in colder weather, providing extra warmth for our favorite outdoor winter activities. Available in a wide variety of colors and patterns, this makes a great stocking stuffer too.

Mountain Khakis' Original Mountain Pants ($85)
Looking for a pair of pants that you can wear on hike, traveling the globe, or to the office? The Original Mountain Pant from Mountain Khakis can fill that role, and than some. This is the article of clothing that put the company on the map, and has continued to be one of their most popular products for years. Comfortable, packable, and easy to keep clean, these pants are ready for adventure.

Eddie Bauer Kara Koram 0º Storm Down Sleeping Bag ($549)
When you're camping, backpacking, or traveling in remote settings where the temperature can drop surprisingly low, having a good sleeping bag is the key to staying comfortable. The Kara Koram 0º bag from Eddie Bauer isn't just good however, it's great. Packed with 850 fill water resistant Storm Down from DownTek, this bag is ready for the worst of conditions. Warm, comfortable, and lightweight, this sleeping bag is perfect for backpacking, climbing, and cold weather camping. It is also available in 20º and -30º version too.

Skins A400 Starlight Running Tights ($160)
Keep the runner in your life warm on those winter workouts with these running tights from Skins. Form-fitting, yet very comfortable, the A400 Starlight tights are designed to help the wearer perform better and recover faster, while also staying highly visible in low light conditions. The reflective power of the fabrics used in these tights is very impressive, and will increase safety out on the road too.

Suunto Traverse GPS Watch ($450)
The Traverse is the latest GPS watch from Suunto, delivering all of the features you would expect in such a timepiece, in a new, thinner form factor. The watch features improved navigational capabilities that make it easier than ever to find your way, its barometric sensors will alert the wearer of changing weather patterns too, giving them an alert on incoming storms, as well as data on sunrise and sunset times across the globe. Connect it to a smartphone to receive notifications, or use it as a fitness tracker. With a battery life of over 100 hours with GPS activated, this is truly a versatile watch designed for the outdoor adventure lifestyle.

Lorpen Hiking Socks (Varies)
Yes, I know what you're thinking. Socks are a terrible gift that are often the butt of holiday jokes. But Lorpen makes great technical socks that are perfect for the outdoors, including their T3 Light Hiker ($17.99), which is made from a blend of three fabrics designed to keep the foot comfortable on long walks. For those who require a bit more from their performance socks, the Trekking & Expedition Polartec/Primaloft ($69.99) model is the way to go. Billed as the "ultimate sock for high altitude expedition use" this is a highly technical sock to be worn inside mountaineering boots in rigorous alpine environments. Whether you're buying for a trail runner, hiker, backpacker, skier, or all of the above, Lorpen has a sock that can meet their needs, and make their feet very happy in the process.

That's all for part 1 of my holiday gift buying guide. I'll be back tomorrow with even more suggestions.

Outside Publishes 2015 Holiday Gear Gift Guide

As the end of the year draws nearer, the holidays are also now in sight. That means it is time to start thinking about what you'd like to give the outdoor enthusiasts on your list this season. To help out with that dilemma, Outside magazine has published its 2015 Holiday Gift Guide, with more 113 products that they recommend for the gear hound in your life. 

The guide is broken down into various categories, including adventure, fitness, tech, travel, and so on.  Each of those broad sections is further subdivided with specific categories that fall under each of those headings. For instance, under the category of "adventure" you'll find options for the best backcountry tools and toys, big gifts that float on snow and water, and 8 gifts for those who have been exceptionally good this year. Each of the other sections are similarly broken down into subcategories as well.

As you can imagine, the gear items that Outside recommends vary greatly in price and size. Some of the products that they recommend include the Goal Zero Flip 10 portable battery for keeping your gadgets charged, the GoPro Hero 4 Session action camera, and the Eddie Bauer First Ascent Maximus Duffel. Other items that get the Outside editors seal of approval range from an axe from United By Blue, to a fitness monitor from Fitbit. You'll also find Smartwool's PhD Propulsion Hoody on the list, as well as Keen's new The 59 boot

If you're just getting ready to start your holiday shopping, and you're looking for some good suggestions for your outdoor adventurer, there are plenty of options to choose from on this gift guide. Better yet, if you're one of those people who are difficult to buy for, and always have people asking you what you want, choose a few items from the list or just send the link to those who are shopping for you. Chances are, you'll come away with something great to add to your gear closet. 

Happy New Year From The Adventure Blog

I just wanted to take this opportunity to wish everyone a Happy New Year and thank you all for dropping by my little corner of the Internet from time to time to see what is happening in the world of adventure. Hopefully 2015 will be filled with all kinds of opportunities to put more adventure to your lives as well.