26 great gifts for travelers
From must-have accessories to once-in-a-lifetime experiences, here's how to make your favorite adventurer's holiday a treat
Our staffers fought to road test the Electra Townie Go! e-bike. You pedal, but a battery and motor offer extra oomph—30 no-sweat miles per charge. $2409.99; electrabike.com
The bike enthusiast on your list can ring in the new year with this graphic, clear-toned bell. Pattern bike bell, $24; poketo.com
Designed in Hawaii for an outfit based in Washington State, the Armundson TR-X bamboo-carbon board taps the gusto of big-wave surfers and the know-how of sailboarders used to the windy Columbia River Gorge. Which should be comforting, even if all that’s on the agenda is a quiet paddle around the nearest pond. From $1,900; amundsonsup.com.
These luxurious, plush towels have double-sided patterns inspired by ocean-side mountains and iconic pink flamingos. It’s a 2-in-1 deal. $90; 40 by 67 in.; tideandpool.com
This carry-it-all has room for everything, from towels to lunch. (Plus, pockets line the sides for your valuables). For each purchase, Blu Kicks donates $1 to organizations that help protect endangered habitats. $95, www.blukicks.com/collections/womens-accessories/products/beach-bag.
A tailored but tough tote from Filson of Seattle (around since the Klondike Gold Rush) will hold plenty and hold up for many a trip. Rugged twill carry-all, $220; filson.com
It might seem pricey for a tote, but this multifunctional bag is as sturdy as it comes—brass rivets, leather handles, and a detachable leather strap—while being stylish enough to fit every occasion. (Which means you can do without any other handbags. See? Savings!) $298; schoolhouseelectric.com.
Handcrafted in Denver, this waxed canvas backpack sports leather straps that darken with age and tucked-away pockets for stowing those special souvenirs. Natural/Olive Waxed Canvas Day Pack; $285; winter-session.com
A stylish flask is a necessity in the wilderness, or so says our senior features editor, Christine Ryan. True, not everyone drinks, but pancakes often make an appearance, and having enough maple syrup is the winning move. Especially when carried in this stainless steel flask from the Bay Area company Cork Pops, which lets you monitor the level of the liquid inside. Whatever it may be. $29; corkpops.com.
This collection of herbal elixirs will make a soothing supplement to the standard bandages-and-thermometer first-aid kit. It includes a lavender mister (to clean scrapes and cuts), liniment (for sore muscles), and aromatherapy oil (to ease stress or shock). $75; portlandapothecary.com.
Lighter than cast iron and tougher than aluminum, these carbon-steel pans, designed by a husband-and-wife team in Ojai Valley, California, are perfect for campfire cooking. They come in four sizes, ranging from 8 to 12 inches in diameter, and are sturdy enough to use for steak night at home too. From $28; vagabondmfg.com.
Dogs like to camp. Dogs like to hike. Let’s face it, dogs like to do pretty much whatever you’re doing—even going to the office on a Saturday. One thing dogs don’t like to do: Be thirsty. Prevent this by carrying a foldable waxed-canvas water bowl whenever your dog is near. Which should be always, of course. $50; tannergoods.com.
When we first saw this, from Portland-based Original Nomad, we thought, This is brilliant—a hot tub you can take camping! Just fill it up and flip on the heater coils (which can be fueled by either propane or firewood). Then we tested it and realized it’s just as handy to have at home—especially if you’ve been reluctant to devote a large chunk of your yard to the usual permanent hot-tub infrastructure. $999/tub and heater; theoriginalnomad.com.
Playing Candy Crush can kill some time while waiting for a flight, but we’d rather get to know our fellow travelers. You won’t regret carrying these laser-cut, birch-ply friend-makers. Nor will anyone you give a set to. $75; walnutstudiolo.com.
Thanks to Yosemite-based NatureBridge, kids in underserved urban areas get to take wilderness trips all over the West. naturebridge.org