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This author is a paid content writer for Idaho Tourism.

‘Tis the season to stock up on camping gear. Do long winter nights and frosty, snow-covered windows have you daydreaming about the great outdoors? While we sit around the fire with our loved ones, there’s no denying that some of us are fantasizing about warm summer nights and weekend camping trips.

To help you get through hibernation, I’ve compiled a sleigh-load of Christmas gift ideas for all you adventurers out there. Everything from the most technologically advanced watches to the most epic tents. Here are the top 10 essentials to put on your camping wish list – Santa, if you’re reading this, take note:

1. Car-Top Tent

Car-Top Tent. Photo Credit: Popular Mechanics
Car-Top Tent. Photo Credit: Popular Mechanics

It’s a tent! It’s a car! It’s a…. Car-top tent? These trendy new camping contraptions are making large ripples in the outdoor media world, and in my experience, they are reliable and easy to assemble. No matter how counterintuitive a tent on a car or truck may seem, there’s no denying the convenience and coolness factor.

2. The 30-Day Lantern

30-Day Lantern. Photo Credit: Hammacher Schlemmer
30-Day Lantern. Photo Credit: Hammacher Schlemmer

This bad boy does exactly what the name implies – provide 30 days of light on one battery charge. All this lantern needs is three D batteries. Wowza. Those extended stays in the wilderness just got a little more comfortable.

3. Powertraveller Power Monkey Extreme Solar Charger

Powertraveller Power Monkey Extreme Solar Charger. Photo Credit: Powertraveller
Powertraveller Power Monkey Extreme Solar Charger. Photo Credit: Powertraveller

An eco-friendly portable solar charger that harness’ the power of the sun through advanced solar technology. Sounds intense, right? Well, it is. This tech of the future charges even in low light and cloudy conditions. Now you never have to worry about your phone dying before you get the perfect picture for your Instagram page.

4. Stanley Mountain Coffee System

Stanley Mountain Coffee System. Photo Credit: Stanley
Stanley Mountain Coffee System. Photo Credit: Stanley

Ah, the lifeblood of explorers. Coffee. Where would we be without you? Surely not on top of that 13,000-foot mountain top – you make all things possible. This ingenious thermos from Stanley makes sure you have coffee at all hours of the day. In addition to storing your coffee, it brews it and keeps it hot for 24 hours. A true work of art.

5. Garmin Fenix 3 Watch

Garmin Fenix 3. Photo Credit: Garmin
Garmin Fenix 3. Photo Credit: Garmin

This may be the most advanced piece of tech on the list, capable of tracking every activity you do. This watch isn’t only made for the weekend jogger – it’s designed for the rough and tumble skiers, swimmers, hikers and James Bond wannabes. A forearm companion for a tear-jerking price, no doubt – but worth every penny.

6. LifeStraw Personal Water Filter

LifeStraw Personal Water Filter. Photo Credit: LifeStraw
LifeStraw Personal Water Filter. Photo Credit: LifeStraw

By far one of the coolest inventions in the last ten years. Just think what this gadget could do for people beyond just camping? It was voted the Time Magazine invention of the year and contains no batteries, chemicals, or disposable parts. Perfect for emergencies when you’re running low on water in the backcountry.

7. Keen’s Versatrail Shoes

Keen Versatrail Hiking Shoes. Photo Credit: Keen
Keen Versatrail Hiking Shoes. Photo Credit: Keen

Hiking boots can be heavy, bulky and stiff, and trust me; that’s the last thing you want when ascending thousands of feet for days on end. Enter the Versatrail, a shoe with shock absorbing material that is as light as a feather. A sound investment for avid hikers.

8. Thermacell Lantern

Thermacell Lantern. Photo Credit: Thermacell
Thermacell Lantern. Photo Credit: Thermacell

Never again suffocate in a cloud of chemicals just to be spared an itchy mosquito bite. This battery-powered gadget heats up and spreads a natural repellent that’s harmless to you, as well as your pets. Capable of warding off pesky bugs for up to 12 hours, this lantern is a must-have for family campsites.

9. Onja Stove

Onja Stove. Photo Credit: Primus
Onja Stove. Photo Credit: Primus

Who says you have to sacrifice style for functionality? Be the coolest kid on the campground, and the smartest. This minimalist two-burner stove is a thing of beauty with a single gas canister hidden away in a suave carrying case.

10. The Katabatic Gear Flex 30 F Sleeping Bag

The Katabatic Gear Flex 30 F Sleeping Bag. Photo Credit: Katabatic Gear
The Katabatic Gear Flex 30 F Sleeping Bag. Photo Credit: Katabatic Gear

For those of you with Goldilocks syndrome, this is the sleeping bag for you. This quilt style sleeping bag is stuffed with 900-fill goose down feathers, with strategically-placed zippers that let you mold your quilt to the perfect temperature. A sleeping bag fit for a king, no doubt.

Be sure to share your outdoor Christmas gift ideas with us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. We’re always looking for the coolest tech to make outdoor adventure in Idaho even better!


Published on November 22, 2016