Sure, it is easy to show how much you care at the holidays by giving someone that big gift. You can drop a cool $1,000 on skis, $3,000 on a fishing raft or $18,000 for that boat outfitted for fishing Puget Sound. But showing you care can also come in a small package. We’ve assembled a dozen recommendations for gifts that might not trip the Richter Scale in terms of size, but will do just that in terms of appreciation.
Price: $39.85 suggested price
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This inexpensive stainless steel multitool features a 2.6-inch knife that is accessible from the outside and can be opened with one hand, as well as newly designed spring-action jaws. It comes with 14 tools, including three screwdrivers, scissors, package opener and can opener. The 1.5-inch ruler seems impractical. When closed, the tool measures 3.8 inches long. It weighs 7 ounces. Users like the thin design that allows it to be easily carried in pants pockets or in a pack, and the variety of tools that are practical for daily use.
BugBand insect repellent wristband
These bands, which are suitable for children, release all-natural Geraniol insect repellent vapors to keep bugs off the wearer. Instead of wearing it on your wrist or ankle, you also can attach a band to places on belt loops, hatbands or inside a tent. The life of the band, up to 120 hours, can be preserved if the band is sealed between uses. The manufacturer includes a reusable plastic pot to hold the band when not in use.
Wine2Go Foldable wine flask
Backcountry meals have gotten a bit more highbrow than the days of gorp and peanut butter. Folks wanting a little more refinement with their dinner under the stars might want to take along this flask. Large enough to hold a bottle of wine, the reusable, foldable flask means someone in your hiking group doesn’t have to haul the glass bottle into and out of camp.
Olympia EX550 Headlamp
The 550 in the name stands for 550 lumens of brightness. What does that mean? Well, in this case, the headlamp has a beam bright enough to reach more than 440 feet. Built with corrosion-proof, aircraft-grade aluminum, the headlamp is built to handle drops and wet conditions, according to the company.
It is waterproof up to one meter for 30 minutes. The EX550 has a pivoting head and a lockout feature to prevent accidental battery drain when it’s not in use.
Adventure Medical Kit Survive Outdoors Longer Origin Survival Kit
The kit is packed with tools and supplies, but weighs just 6.25 ounces and fits in the palm of your hand measuring 3.875 inches by 2.75 inches by 1.5 inches. The kit features a combination knife-LED light-whistle, plus fishing gear, signal mirror, fire starter, nylon cord and stainless steel wire, all in a rigid case.
Alchemy Goods Franklin Wallet
Seattle-based Alchemy Goods makes a wide array of accessories from recycled products, such as bike tubes, seat belts and advertising banners. Products include backpacks, bags, purses, wallets, luggage tags, belts and shaving kits.
The Franklin wallet is made entirely of reclaimed bicycle inner tubes and features four card slots. The wallet is black and you can choose silver, blue or orange stitching. For an extra $3 get reflective material stitched into the fold edge.
CamelBak Kids’ Eddy Water Bottle
This version of Camelbak’s popular water bottle is made for small hands. It holds 14 ounces of water, and features a simple one-piece bite valve, an integrated handle that can be clipped to a belt or backpack and a wide mouth. It is made from BPA-free copolyester hard plastic that withstands being dropped. It measures 2.5 inches wide by 7.5 inches high, and weighs 5 ounces empty. The bottle is best for toddlers. Users have noticed the bottle will leak on plane flights if you don’t relieve the pressure.
Vaavud Wind Meter
The days of licking your finger and sticking it in the air to test the wind are numbered, thanks to devices like the Vaavud Wind Meter for smartphones. The two-cup wind meter weighs a smidge more than half an ounce and is plugged into an iOS or Android phone to measure wind speeds of 4 to 48 knots.
The device works with the phone’s magnetic field sensor (digital compass) and comes with a neoprene storage pouch. The Vaavud Wind Meter app needed to use this device is free to download. It also works with Apple iPads.
America the Beautiful Pass
With many national park units considering an increase in entrance fees, including Mount Rainier and Olympic (from $15 to $25 for seven days), this pass becomes more of a bargain. Officially known as the National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass, it allows the pass owner and up to three accompanying passengers 16 years and older in a single, private vehicle to enter federally operated recreation sites across the country. It is good at more than 2,000 recreation sites on land managed by the National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and Bureau of Reclamation. If the prices increase is approved, this pass will pay for itself after the fourth trip.
Don’t Get Lost Out There! Playing Cards
Throw this deck of playing cards in your pack and you’ll have a fun way to pass the time the next time you get lost in the outdoors. Or you might learn how to find your way.
The cards in the standard 52-card deck are packed with information on how to use a map and compass, GPS technology, route marking and what to do if you do get lost.
Hug-A-Tree Survival Kit
These small kits are sold to help finance the work of Tacoma Mountain Rescue and the National Association of Search and Rescue. The kits are geared for kids 7-11 and include an emergency shelter, a mini light, a whistle and a signal mirror in a waterproof case with a carabiner clip. The kits also come with instructions on what to do when lost.
Blackrapid Sport Camera Sling
Seattle-based BlackRapid has designed a strap that will allow you to keep your camera handy while biking, hiking or climbing without the annoyance of the device flopping around as you move.
The Sport strap slings over your shoulder and includes a second strap under the armpit to keep the device in place. Different designs are available for lefties. The company makes a $35 strap that attaches your camera to a backpack.