2018 Holiday Gift Guide


Can you believe next Thursday is Thanksgiving already? Gosh, holidays are just around the corner! If the holiday season has sneaked up on you, don’t panic. We’ve come up with 10 awesome gift ideas for your friends and family.

These are items that either we have tried and loved or would love to add to our own gear supplies! They are not in any specific order.

1. Patagonia Nano Puff Vest

Hiking Girl with Dog

Winter in Southern California is pretty mild and sometimes I don’t even need a jacket when I hike. This vest is all I need to keep my midsection warm and protected. On colder days, layering is the best way to keep yourself warm. My Nano Puff Vest and Nano Puff Jacket are usually all I need after a merino wool base layer. Nano Puff Vest is an awesome layering piece and it’s a must-have!

It’s windproof, super light and packable. PrimaLoft Gold Insulation Eco, made with 55% post-consumer recycled content, is water repellent and retains 98% of its insulating ability even when wet. Internal chest pocket doubles as a stuff sack with a reinforced carabiner clip-in loop. It packs down to almost nothing.

2. Kelty Discovery Low Loveseat Chair

Kelty Loveseat
Source: REI

I want this folding chair so much!! It is perfect for 2! It’s padded and has a beverage holder on each armrest. But I think the best feature is its slightly reclined seat back for comfort. My Coleman single chair is sturdy and roomy but it’s too vertical and it’s not comfortable to lounge. Others who already have this loveseat rave about how comfortable this chair. It comes with a padded roll-tote storage bag that makes the chair easier to pack and doubles as a firewood/gear tote. I imagine Xena snuggling up next to me around the campfire during our car camping adventure or while watching a sunset together by a lake.

3. Darn Tough Socks

Darn Tough socks are my favorite hiking socks all year round! They are soft and never give me blisters nor bother my sensitive skin. Darn Tough makes super cute designs! They are snug around my ankles and calves without being constricting. I absolutely adore these socks! After I tried these a few years ago, my Smartwool socks never made it out of the sock drawer. Darn Tough socks are great for stocking stuffers or a Secret Santa gift!

4. Ruffwear Dog Pack


Who doesn’t like a high-quality dog pack? Ruffwear makes great dog packs for all kinds of hikes – Singletrak Pack for light day hiking, Approach Pack for full day hiking, and Palisades Pack for backpacking. Approach Pack and Palisades are great packs. They are practical and functional but the pockets are huge on small/medium dogs. We have a Singletrak Pack (review coming soon!) and it’s great when I need Xena to carry extra water for us. It’s sleek and doesn’t dwarf her. Each pocket holds a 0.6L collapsible water bottle.

5. Peak Design Capture 3.0 Camera Clip

Hiking Girl With Dog

My right shoulder ached during a long hike from the camera strap. The camera felt heavier as the hike got longer. I needed to try a new way to carry my DSLR. This camera accessory was recommended to me by another hiker who loves to take photos. I am glad I decided to give it a try.

You can clip it on anything you want but the most common places are a backpack strap or a belt. I like that all parts are weatherproof and resist rust and saltwater. The security lock prevents accidental release so I can relax when I reach down to give Xena a treat or kisses. With a push of a button, you unlock and release the camera when you need it. It’s convenient and secure. The camera locks into the clip in 4 directions so you can carry it the way you like regardless if you are right-handed or left-handed.

6. Salomon X-Mission 3 Trail Running Shoes

Salomon X-Mission Trail

I love my Salomon X-Mission 3 trail running shoes! They are super comfortable right out of the box. Contagrip WT and Contagrip HA combination outsoles provide solid traction and strong grip. Feel confident with your steps on wet/dry and hard/soft surfaces. They are made for trail running but they are also great for hikers who don’t like bulky hiking boots on non-technical terrain! Oh, by the way, those are Darn Tough socks. Aren’t they cute!

7. Humangear GoTubb 3-pack

I have both squeeze bottles and round containers. Both designs come in different sizes and they are great for traveling. I carry painkillers, allergy pills, and digestion aids in a 0.9 cubic inches container. I have one in my hiking backpack and another one in my purse.

These containers are 100% BPA free and phthalate free. To open a round container, just squeeze the sides and the lid releases. To close, simply press the lid back on. It’s great for anyone with arthritis. Squeeze bottles’ rubber seal prevents leaks. While a regular shampoo bottle leaks during air travel, these squeeze bottles keep the liquid inside. Another great idea for stocking stuffers!

8. ONA The Bowery Leather Camera Bag

ONA Camera Bag
Source: REI

Most of the camera bags you see on the market are backpacks or just simply look boring. I love the quality and the sleek modern design of ONA bags. I have an ONA canvas tote and love it. Removable padded dividers are great to organize my personal belongings and separate the camera and the lens from the objects that can scratch them.

The Bowery bag is a compact size camera bag for men and women. The bag has room for a DSLR and 1-2 small lenses. It also has 5 external pockets for accessories. It’s handcrafted with water-resistant waxed canvas and full-grain leather accents. It’s perfect for a photographer who also appreciates a style.

9. Black Diamond Trail Pro Shock Trekking Poles

I love my Women’s Black Diamond Trail Pro Shock Trekking Poles and I highly recommend them. The foam grip is comfortable and doesn’t get slimy after a while like some poles do. The external level lock is easy to operate even with gloves on. Thanks to the solid locking mechanism and an excellent shock absorber, you can hike with confidence and strength on any terrain. Trail Pro Shock Trekking Poles come in two models – Unisex and Women’s.  Not to mention, they have withstood my years of throwing them on the ground to take pictures of Xena.

10. REI Alpine 3/4 Gaiters

rei_gaitersLong gaiters are too much for all year round use. These only come up to the mid-calf and are not puffy looking like most of the short gaiters. These are water-resistant and seem to be durable. Hooks and the instep straps at the bottoms and shock cords at the tops ensure a snug fit. I think these would be great for snow protection in the winter as well as for keeping water, mud, and debris out of the shoes all year round. No more stopping in the middle of the trek to shake the debris out of your shoes!


I enjoyed putting this fun list together. It got me in the holiday festive mood early this year. My girlfriends and I exchange our wishlist every year. I look forward to getting their lists. They are entertaining and educational at the same time. 🙂 I use the lists to come up with something creative to surprise them too. It’s always a blast!

Do you make a list for your family and friends? What’s on your wishlist this year? 

*This helpful guide was sponsored by REI.

2 comments on “2018 Holiday Gift Guide”

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