The great secret of gifts is that it is much more fun to give someone a good present than to get them yourself. But if you got any of these, you'd probably be happy.
If there's one thing that screams "holiday cheer," it's a luxurious scented candle. Good & Well Supply Co. takes a more personal tack for the outdoors-lover with its National Park candles. Choose from Grand Canyon, Great Smokies, North Cascades, Saguaro, or Sequioa.
To counteract the inevitable holiday fat-and-sugar overload, try gifting this neat sampler set of hot sauces: Three all-natural, handmade sauces—Jalapeno Tequila & Lime, Scotch Bonnet & Ginger, and Red Habanero & Black Coffee—blend heat and acidity in mouthwatering ways.
This handy little lantern charges fully after 7 hours' direct sunlight, then will give off light for 24 hours. Waterproof, dustproof, and collapsible, it's perfect for tree houses, pillow forts, backyard camping, or—at just 4.4 oz—a serious backpacking trip.
A beautifully boxed set of pantry-staple spices is a joy for anyone who eats or cooks. This Fundamentals Collection of single-origin spices from includes a mildly spicy chili from the Mediterranean region in Kahramanmaras, Turkey; a floral, herbaceous Flowering Hyssop Thyme that complements roast chicken, soups, and tomato sauces; and a smoky-sweet, savory paprika sourced from a single fabrica in the hot, dry western region of Spain. Read more about founder Ethan Frisch and his travels around the world seeking small, family-run spice farms—the sesame seeds here are from the Fayoum oasis in central Egypt!
In some parts of the Midwest and Northeast, between November and March, "I want your ears to be warm" is the most caring message you can send. This wool number from 180s, which folds up easily to fit in a coat pocket, will do the trick. They also have .
A tiny screwdriver is not just great because it can be used in small spaces, but because it can be stashed in them too. A great gift to wind up in any cabinet or drawer.
What is such a small skillet for? Melting butter for popcorn, frying an egg, baking an individual serving of apple crisp or cornbread. You could even get enough for everyone in the family to have their own!
It's a blanket! It's a towel! It's a huge (6.5' x 5.5'), soft, much-needed reminder that beach days will come again.
This endlessly re-markable mat is for kids, supposedly. Any dry-erase markers work on the food-safe silicone. Get extra colors. Get one for yourself.
I’m not sure why, but my parents keep one of these on their breakfast table. Sometimes you just need leverage at hand. This is made of drop-forged steel, a process in which manufacturers use machine-powered hammers to pound the steel into the die, just as blacksmiths do by hand. In any case, it’s a strong little bar, good for such tasks as prying up carpet tacks, pulling apart two items, prying out studs. Wear your safety glasses, in case you drop one end in your Grape-Nuts.
A one-cup worksite coffee maker used every day by Seniorhelpline’ home editor Roy Berendsohn. If Roy likes it, it’s a good product. This operates by cord or on a lithium-ion battery, and it has a permanent filter so no paper ones needed. It’s a bit over eight inches tall and has a cup clearance of 3-1/2 inches, if you want to also give someone a nice worksite mug that will fit in it.
This collapsable handle that mounts on the back of your phone is great to prop it up for hands-free viewing, like for killing time at the airport watching videos. Or you can wind your earbud cord around it. It’s what you need to help you do stuff on your smartphone, like taking photos, without being so likely to drop it. Maybe you don’t ever drop yours, but even so, this PopSocket is handy. Lots of different colors and patterns—and you can even design a custom one of your own.
This light (0.6 ounces) and strong back-country trowel from TheTentLab makes doing your business in the wild easy to hide all traces of. But it is also good for tasks at the campsite such as digging a trench around a tent in a rainstorm (just remember to put the earth back in the trench when you de-camp). So it’s not just for burying poo.
Is there a better stocking stuffer than... a stocking? A good sock is a joy, or at least very satisfying to wear, for a long time. SmartWool’s Anchor Line is a practical pair for everyday wear or a camp trip, made in the U.S. of merino wool and a bit of nylon and elastane. You need that elastane for stretchiness, but it is the soft wool that snugs up your feet. These are breathable too. Get a couple pairs.
At 11.6 by 7.5 by 2 inches and 1 pound 9.6 ounces, this is a bit bulky for backpacking, but it is a super-organized, compact camp-kitchen knife set (6-inch chef’s knife, 6-inch serrated knife, both with sheaths), and it has a folding cutting board. And a paring knife (also with a sheath). And the ballistic nylon case is tough. A pleasant price for a tidy set of knives.
An old-fashioned toy, don’t let the kids hog it! Still fun for adults, made by Schylling, a German crafter of toys.
Don’t let a ten-year-old bluff you. Keep the cards close to your flannel shirt and play to win the most pieces of macaroni or whatever you happen to be playing for.
A delicious gift basket to accompany a nice tot of Scotch by the fire. You just need this and the Scotch. Comes with: manchego, pecorino tartuffelo, Murray’s Spiced Cherries, some heather honey, crackers, and serrano ham (and more!). You have to buy your own bottle of Scotch though.
Filson’s Tin Cloth, which this hat is made of, has a water-repellent oil finish and can be rewaxed to keep it so. It’s got a sweatband inside the hat and a wide brim to keep rain off your face in the field, whether you are a poet contemplating a gloomy fall day or a hunter heading for a blind on a neighbor’s farm.
This compass has a declination screw, grid lines, luminescent markings, and a baseplate with magnifying lens. Because sometimes you want to know the direction without getting sucked into your smartphone.
This single-malt whisky from Balcones Distilling in Waco, Texas, is redolent of "buttered stone fruit, banana and pears," with a toasty finish. It would go nicely with the Scotch Lover's Collection, above. Or on its own, as you sit reading Seniorhelpline.
This portable console means you can play your favorites wherever you go. This is a bit of cash to spend, sure, but last-minute does not have to mean cheap! If you want to amaze someone you love, give this.
These light, waterproof are a great set for a beginning birder. The twist eyecups are handy for eyeglass wearers. The rubber housing is rugged, and the fully multicoated lenses reduce reflections and give sharp images.
Get yourself some beef jerky (try Appalachian Jerky Company's Hickory Smoked, made in Vermont)—I mean, give it as a gift. But get some for yourself too. Or try this delicious from Mountain America Jerky. And maybe some Hot Hawaiian or Spare Rib jerky from . Or .
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