Do you have an Adventurer friend or loved one whom you need ideas for gifts? While on a recent adventure of my own, I was inspired to collect ideas from other adventurers, as well as from my own experience, of what would be great gifts for the Adventurer in your life. (In case you didn't know, I camp at Burning Man, so some of the things work for the Burner/Festival-goer in your life too!). For the Holiday Wish List I tried to find what I could on Amazon for your ease, but some items are not available there...or more choices are on the manufacturer/artist website. Naturally I'm an affiliate of some of the wish list items, but they have all been checked out by me or my adventurous friends. (PS - one person just back from Burning Man asked for "World Peace" and a passive income. Not sure how to wrap something like that up!)
1.) Coolest Cooler - I saw the Kickstarter campaign awhile ago, and one of my long-time friends bought it.
I had such envy when I saw them enjoying it with friends on the beach (which means it's been to many a picnic and works well, best recommendation ever). Some adventures are just better with fresh frozen drinks (alcohol or green is up to you!) Coolest Cooler
Another cool little gadget is an immersion heater to warm your drinks or soup. My friend introduced me to this last year (she said that in a pinch she used it to warm a make-shift tub of water to clean herself) immersion heater. Cooking at home can be an adventure too. I learned how to make a wide variety of dishes through Blue Apron (one of those food delivery services that include easy-to-follow instructions). Learning about wines can be fun too. The Wine Folly recommends several sites including klwines.com or amazon's wine (which features many independent producers that don't have other distribution). I like Naked Cellars (OR) best sellers gift set (Oregon wines have been getting great reviews lately. And the vineyards there are high on my adventure getaway list!)
2.) Travel is always a great Adventure. Over the years I've found Lonely Planet guide books to totally fit my style. Here's a book filled with awesome ideas! Lonely Planet's Ultimate Travel: Our List of the 500 Best Places to See. Women can be nervous about traveling alone, and Adventure Women Tours takes care of that anxiety and provides opportunity for sisterhood. I don't have an affiliation with them, but hear great reviews (the link is part of my "Adventure Tools" shop section, which then goes to their site) Adventure Women Tours.
For some people, just going out to dinner by themselves is an Adventure. For them I suggest a nice restaurant gift certificate (and an Adventure book!). If you or your adventurer wants to know more about Burning Man, check out this children's book The World's Biggest Playground by Peter Armenia or this one Black Rock City, NV: The Ephemeral Architecture of Burning Man.
They are on-point and better than googling photos that don't really represent the culture.
3.) A good point and shoot camera. I have a Nikon with zoom lens I bought at Best Buy. Extra batteries, charger, canned air, and extra memory cards. This one is good if you want to make sure it's waterproof (a camp-mate recommends it as it's also really good for dust!). Lumix Active Lifestyle Camera
4.) Tents. At Burning Man we saw these cool Shift Pods (Shift Pods) - in fact one whole camp group from China had about 70 of them! I've swiped the photo from the Shift Pod Face Book page (you can find them there for more photos and info too).
For regular tents you want bigger ones that you can stand up in, have room to change and sleep. If camping in the desert is in your future, make sure all the vents are closed/taped against the dusty winds. After two years of camping in either an RV or a 3-man tent, we finally bought a 10-person, 2 room tent. We also bought indoor/outdoor lightweight carpets (Home Depot and Lowes carry them) for each room. This helped keep the dirt/dust out.
While we bought ours at Dick's Sporting Goods on sale, I found something similar on Amazon a campmate has used for several burns and other festivals. Coleman 8-person tent with closet.
5.) A 'better' suitcase. The guy who suggested this was not having good luck with the cheap one he brought. I like the hard sided suitcases because the dirt wipes off. Pro Tip: I've started placing stickers on mine as easier identifiers. Ribbons tied on have been a trick I've used since my early traveling days. Make sure the one you purchase fits in the airplane specs (especially carry-on bags - airlines seem to have lots of different requirements). This suitcase looks close to mine: Samsonite hard side suitcase
6.) A kilt. I saw my first one on a Scottish carpenter on the subway in NYC.
There was no mistaking the macho swag this guy had! I saw more at a renaissance faire. A new friend wore a white one during my Brides of March adventure. Guys seemed to really relish the freedom. Then my Adventure Partner bought one for himself for Burning Man. He swears they are more comfortable than shorts. Honestly? Men look great in them. Utilikilts and Amerikilt make excellent ones. I like this one because of the pockets and D-rings for hanging things (like water bottles or tools) Tripp Black Kilt
7.) Tutus, especially the fun ones that light up. They've become a trend at nightclubs and people even run marathons in tutus! (read my Tutu Tutorial ). I found a beautiful one on Etsy that would be custom made (Etsy Cinderella light up tutu) Or look around on Amazon - they have lots of choices. light up tutu (multi color). And light up sneakers are pretty cool too! (Though I hear mixed reviews on how well the lights work out in the desert) Gold LED flashing sneakers
8.) Some call them Festival Belts, some call them Utility Belts, but I call them convenient! I bought a fancy one for my first Burning Man, created one out of leather for my second event, and then made one from old jeans/scrap leather/used belts and lots of grommets for my third burn for Build Week. I've used each belt on other adventures. The leather ones are great for city trips as it keeps your valuables close by with no threat of being grabbed off your shoulder (I've worn the black one in NYC, and my homemade blue one in San Francisco a few times.)
Try these cool festival belts: Flowtoys Waist belt or black leather waist belt with hip pouch. This one from Etsy looks similar to my first one handmade leather festival belt -GOA And check out these Smarter Garters! (I tested mine at the Renaissance Faire in Tuxedo, NY. It was after that I decided to join their affiliate program to help this company grow!) smarter garter
9.) Lifeproof case for your phone. I bought this one before my trip to Costa Rica Lifeproof iPhone case in blue (Bonzai). So I can personally attest it holds up to lava-warmed rivers, waterfalls, ocean dips, happy hours and dust storms. I put a fun sticker on the back of mine. And a trick is to make your lock screen your name and a way to contact you in case your phone gets lost and needs to be returned (true story - this happened to my friend!)
10.) Bicycling fun! I own a fat tire, beach bike with a basket and I love it. However, my friend has this electric bike yellow fat tire ebike and it was fun to buzz around on!
Lights and locks are good to have too. This Abus Lock was suggested by a Black Rock City Ranger & long time burner friend as something he wishes for Abus bike lock; I used something like this Combo lock ; Lighting your bike at night is key at Burning Man. Otherwise, it's just fun to go on adventurous night rides with cool lighting. Strands of LED or even EL wire work fine. These lights are easy to install and come in several colors bike wheel lights
11.) Sun Protection is needed whenever the Adventurer goes out. Here are fun & practical suggestions: Before my last trip to the desert, I learned about this awesome little product. It truly doesn't make your eyes sting when you're sweating while working under the hot sun. (My Adventure Partner took it to India with him. It travels well). Ocean Potion Dab On Stick Harlow, a high school buddy, told me his wife likes the GoLite Chrome Dome umbrella for her work in the deserts of Arizona and Nevada, but they are hard to find. Here are some others that are suggested well-liked substitutes: EuroSchirm Swing Liteflex Umbrella in silver or this Liteflex Trek Umbrella I have a paper parasol, which I found a plain white one in NYC's Chinatown (it's on my wish list to hand paint it). For fun and fancy try:Hand Painted Blue Cotton Waterproof Umbrella or this one which works well with the Steampunk/Victorian look Beautiful three-dimensional lace umbrella or a paper one similar to mine Chinese/Japanese paper umbrellas
12.) Being able to make your own Adventure gear is part of expressing your (or your beloved Adventurer) creative side. Here are a few things that I've found useful: Free to Make: How the Maker Movement is Changing Our Schools, Our Jobs, and Our Minds and The Steampunk Adventurer's Guide: Contraptions, Creations, and Curiosities Anyone Can Make (these two books I discovered at the recent Maker Faire in NYC). This sewing machine comes highly recommended by Bobby, a trapeze artist who has been sewing his own costumes for decades. Singer 9340 Signature Sewing Machine. Bobby also designs and created custom hats - wearing creative hats brings out a part of you and your imagination that inspires fun.
Here's a base hat for making your own Steampunk or stylin' gent topper ): Top Hat for crafting your own look. I have one of these babies-Leather Hole Punch Sometimes I wish I had a more industrial set though. Aiskaer 10-piece Stainless Steel Hollow Leather Punch tools The duct tape of glue? It glues strongly and stays glued even in hot desert climates. Recommended by all the stores in the garment district and other serious crafting locations. E600 crafting glue
13.) Cool-kid gifts could include practice poi (the fire ones come after they know what they're doing!), hula hoop (embarrassing fact - my college son is better at hooping than I am! I will keep trying) and/or dreads (so many color choices! Women swear it keeps their hair protected in the dusty desert. Be forewarned, I hear it can take 8 hours or so to install).
Here's a highly rated Practice Poi and a hula hoop on my wish list- Fitness Hula Hoop. My friend Kelly has this to say about hoops "I usually buy from Etsy or moodhoops.com & hoopsupplies.com. Beginner hoops should be about what they call 100 or 125 psi, which is a heavier and more sturdy hoop. Any more than that is too heavy (like 160 psi.) The heavier weight makes it easy to keep on the waist & shoulders, which is good for beginners but harder to do tricks where you throw it around. So when the person gets better, they graduate to a polypro hoop, which are lighter & then you can really throw that thing around.Definitely do not put on your list what they call "fitness" hoops, as those are really heavy and not for fun dancing at parties/events. As for decoration for a beginner, there should be "grip" tape on the hoop. It's pretty much like gaffers tape so it has a little tooth (a term I know for rough paper for drawing.) Grip tape comes in all kinds of pretty colors and widths. Shiny or patterned tape offers no grip but sure does look pretty, so most hoop makers have a selection of kinds of tape the buyer can customize to their liking."
I have yet to wear dreads (I think my hair is too short to hold them in?) But I admire the women who do wear them. From the ebony beauties who wear them regularly, to women at Burning Man keeping their hair from completely matting in the dust to the festive woman I met at Santacon in a bar bathroom (I have a photo, but never got her name to ask permission to use her image. But think of it as candy cane colors!) Here are some nice looking ones. One of the sites even has a video on how to install yourself. Multi-color dreads from Nepal Dreads in many color choices
14.) Two very practical items every Adventurer should own - a good pair of boots and a multi-purpose tool.
After several camping trips and two burns, I knew I needed sturdy boots. However, I didn't want the typical colors. I learned Timberland has custom boots where you can choose color combos etc, I discovered these awesome Timberlands in purple. Even covered in dust they are pretty outstanding! Another classic Adventurer item is the Leatherman MultiTool. I use mine on home projects as well as venturing beyond my borders.
15.) Interested in other off-the-beaten-path gift ideas? Tarot cards (my blog The Fool - My Tarot Adventures discusses how these can be adventures in learning about oneself). I recommend the classic Rider Waite Tarot cards and history/how-to The Tarot: History, Symbolism & Divination. Belly dancing lessons are awesome for any level fitness, and helps with learning body acceptance too! I have a beginner DVD (which I bought after taking two lessons - so I could better keep up in class) Belly Dance Lessons for beginners Don't forget one of those cute coin belts too! If your Adventurer likes (or wants to get into) yoga - why not give them related gifts? A gift certificate to Bikram (the hot yoga, which I adore and know it burns mega calories). Maybe a ticket/weekend retreat to Wanderlust (which has multiple events around the country) or Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health or maybe a subscription to Yoga Journal
16.) And just for funsies - Adult size onsies. The trend barely started in 2012, but now you can find them lots of places (even Target!). Here's a DIY for making one Instructables Adult Onesie or buy a pattern at Jo-Ann Fabrics JoAnn Simplicity pattern for Adult Onsies. Now, I don't (yet) own this, but how can you resist something from "Adventure Time"? Here's a cute onsie Adventure Time Finn the Human Onsie
Enjoy everyone! And feel free to comment about the suggestions, or if you would like to suggest any gifts. If you'd like to sign up for my blog, click here (it will direct you to my home page with a sign up button) Adventure Wednesday sign up home page