By Dennis Doyle
The dedicated outdoors person these days is confronted with ever more alternatives and possibilities for adventure that often require new skills and abilities. This week, I present my gift suggestions for the adventurers on your list.
The latest efforts at battery-powered small tools can also become really handy during the holidays. The small, shape-shifting Apex Compact Portable Drill and Screwdriver is a prime example. Allowing access and use in previously unreachable areas can make a difficult job routine, and nicely so.
Another handy gadget is the mini one-handed chainsaws made by Saker Co. and the Worx organization, among others. A small, battery powered cutting tool with many applications can make clearing areas, trimming trees and bush more comfortable and less noisy.
If interacting with non-English speakers is one of your adventure challenges, there’s a device that can help. Muama Enence is a handy pocket translator that can take your questions and accurately translate them into more than two dozen languages, including Spanish, French, Hebrew, Mandarin, Japanese and Pashto. Reasonably priced and efficient it is just one stocking stuffer that can turn dinner arrangements, urgent needs, and traveling complications into just amusing stories and not examples of modern frustrations.
To those hardy sports favoring trekking into the hinterlands, potable water access is always important, not only for us but for our four-legged partners as well. The Platypus Water Filtration (top photo) devices can convert a gallon of natural free-flowing water into guaranteed safe, protozoa- and bacteria-free conditions in just over two minutes. Something that we unfortunately need more and more these days.
For paddle board enthusiasts, traveling with your board can be cumbersome.SUPs are large, and sometimes over six feet long. However, there are companies who have come out with a number of rigid, inflatable paddle boards that fold down into compact 18-inch pouches. It’s the same experience as the original SUP but now you can bike and hike to even more locations, then assemble your board on site. Plus a smaller board means easier storage.
Loved ones who like lots of reassurance when outward-bound adventurers take to the woods or waters would love to receive the gift of knowing where you are. Consider the relaxing gift of using an inexpensive personal locator beacon. These devices can be attached to gear or clothing and locations can be accessed online. The cheaper ones are designed for dogs and, conveniently, work easily as well for children. They are necessarily weatherproof and almost unnoticeable.
My final suggestion for useful gifts, particularly stocking stuffers, is for a quality, compact flashlight. My favorite of the past 20 years is the Surefire Model G2X. It has two powers, close and out to 100 yards. It’s indestructible, comes in a number of colors, and when you need it, there is none better to do the job.