The popularity of bird-watching, camping, and hiking has skyrocketed this year. Whether your gift recipients are weekend warriors or seasoned dirtbags, they'll appreciate these tools and gear for getting most out of their hiking experience.
1. Stanley Nesting Two-Cup Cookset; $14
Stanley’s compact and lightweight cookset includes a 20-ounce stainless steel pot with a locking handle, a vented lid, and two insulated 10-ounce tumblers. It’s the perfect size for brewing hot coffee, rehydrating soup, or boiling water while out on the trail with a buddy. And as some hardcore backpackers note in their Amazon reviews, your favorite hiker can take the tumblers out and stuff the pot with a camp stove, matches, and other necessities to make good use of space in their pack.
2. Osprey Sirrus and Stratos 24-Liter Hiking Packs; $140
Osprey’s packs are designed with trail-tested details to maximize comfort and ease of use. The Sirrus pack (pictured) is sized for women, while the Stratos fits men’s proportions. Both include an internal sleeve for a hydration reservoir, exterior mesh and hipbelt pockets, an attachment for carrying trekking poles, and a built-in rain cover.
Nothing beats ice-cold water after a summer hike or a sip of hot tea during a winter walk. The Yeti Rambler can serve up both: Beverages can stay hot or cold for hours thanks to its insulated construction, and its steel body (in a variety of colors) is basically indestructible. It will add weight to your hiker's pack, though—for a lighter-weight, non-insulated option, the tried-and-true Camelbak Chute water bottle is incredibly sturdy and leakproof.
4. Mappinners Greatest 100 Hikes of the National Parks Scratch-Off Poster; $30
The perfect gift for park baggers in your life (or yourself), this 16-inch-by-20-inch poster features epic hikes like Angel’s Landing in Zion National Park and Half Dome in Yosemite National Park. Once the hike is complete, you can scratch off the gold foil to reveal an illustration of the park.
5. National Geographic Adventure Edition Road Atlas; $19
Hikers can use this brand-new, updated road atlas to plan their next adventure. In addition to comprehensive maps of all 50 states, Puerto Rico, Canada, and Mexico, they'll get National Geographic’s top 100 outdoor destinations, useful details about the most popular national parks, and points on the maps noting off-the-beaten-path places to explore.
6. Adventure Medical Kits Hiker First-Aid Kit; $25
This handy 67-piece kit is stuffed with all the things you hope your hiker will never need in the wilderness. Not only does it contain supplies for pain, cuts and scrapes, burns, and blisters (every hiker’s nemesis!), the items are organized clearly in the bag to make it easy to find tweezers or an alcohol wipe in an emergency.
Trekking poles will help increase your hiker's balance and stability and reduce strain on their lower body by distributing it to their arms and shoulders. This pair is made of carbon fiber, a super-strong and lightweight material. From the sweat-absorbing cork handles to the selection of pole tips for different terrain, these poles answer every need on the trail.
What can’t this multitool do? This gadget contains 19 hiking-friendly tools in a 4.5-inch package, including pliers, screwdrivers, bottle opener, saw, knife, hammer, wire cutter, and even an emergency whistle.
Don’t let your hiker get caught off the grid with a dead phone. They can charge RAVPower’s compact power bank before they head out on the trail, and then use it to quickly juice up a phone or tablet when the batteries get low. Its 3-inch-by-5-inch profile won’t take up much room in a pack or purse.
Neither rain, nor snow, nor hail will be a match for these waterproof, tearproof 3.5-inch-by-5.5-inch notebooks. Your hiker can stick one in their pocket along with a regular pen or pencil to record details of their hike or brainstorm their next viral Tweet.
We’ve all heard how different Halloween is going to be this year—but if you're looking to celebrate the spirit of the season with a Zoom party, you're still going to need a top-notch costume. And whether you want your costume to be punny, spooky, or culturally relevant, we've got a few ideas to make this socially distanced Halloween a memorable one.
1. A Dunder Mifflin employee
Practice your best deadpans, grab a Dundie, and set your Zoom background to the interview room from The Office. Bonus points if you can find a way to prank your unsuspecting officemates.
2. Technical difficulties
There’s no dressing up required for this one—just some minor acting. Simply sit still and act as if you’re frozen, or start mouthing words and pretend your audio is on the fritz.
3. D.B. Cooper
Do you resist turning the camera on during Zoom calls? Then dress up like D.B. Cooper, the mysterious plane hijacker whom the FBI never caught, and no one will recognize you anyway. All it takes is a black suit jacket, white shirt, black tie, and a pair of Ray-Bans.
Grab some office attire and set your Zoom background to a five-day forecast to look like a qualified weather expert. Alternately, you can don a parka—we’re partial to this Camel Crown for men and this Columbia rain jacket or women—and situate yourself in front of a hurricane. Spritzing yourself with a water bottle is optional.
5. Robert Kelly
Long before the age of social distancing, Robert Kelly became a WFH icon when his kids swaggered into his office during a live interview with CNN. A suit and tie can work as your attire, but the right background is necessary to make this costume work. Luckily, there are plenty of screen grabs from the viral incident online.
6. Chip On Your Shoulder
To pull off this punny costume, all you need is a sheet of yellow paper. Cut it into chip shape, fold it to get crinkles, and tape it to your shoulder. If you don't want to DIY, buy this giant chip from Etsy.
7. and 8. Carole Baskin and Joe Exotic
If you need a quick couple's costume for a virtual Halloween party, opt for the most infamous TV duo of 2020. Spirit Halloween has its own take on a Joe Exotic getup called the "Mullet Man," complete with his trademark Kentucky waterfall, garish button-down, and eyebrow ring. And over on Amazon, you can find a $14 replica of Carole Baskin's multi-colored silk tiger-print shirt and a $6 floral crown.
9. "Eye" Pad
This costume requires just a string, a pad of paper, and a pack of googly eyes. Stick the eyes to the pad, hang the pad around your neck, and bam! You have a costume.
The lovable—and elusive—star of the Where’s Waldo? book series can now pop up in your next Zoom meeting. You can try using a book page as a background and use this Waldo costume to complete the picture.
12. Pumpkin Pi (π)
Watching someone’s puzzled face break into a grin when they understand your punny costume is priceless. Dressing as “pumpkin pi” is decidedly cheaper. All you’ll need is some type of pumpkin headgear—like this headband from Amazon—and a piece of paper emblazoned with a nice big pi symbol (π) taped to your (preferably orange) shirt.
13. Twin Peaks's Log Lady
's beloved Log Lady offers great inspo for your Halloween look. Just put on a pair of oversized glasses, don a grandmotherly cardigan, and pick up a fireplace log at your local hardware store. Bonus points for a Zoom background of the Great Northern Hotel.
14. Holly Golightly
Emulating the glamorous protagonist from Breakfast at Tiffany’s in her pre-party sleepwear requires two items: a white button-up shirt and this teal, gold-embroidered sleep mask that also comes with tasseled earplugs from Amazon. Feel free to swap out those tassels for your own dangling earrings; and if you happened to have a cat to hold, too? Even better.
15. Ruth Bader Ginsburg
It only takes a couple of items to pay tribute to the late, great Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg—and most of the items are probably already somewhere in your house. Pull your hair back into a tight bun and let a black top take the place of a robe. You'll need a pair of glasses—real or fake—and a gavel makes a fun touch, though it's optional. What is absolutely required is a dissent collar; it's up to you how fancy you want to go.
16. Anonymous Interview Subject in a True Crime Documentary
It's a scene true crime fans know all too well: A witness or participant in a headline-making mystery agrees to be interviewed about the story, but doesn't want their face shown. The simple solution? Turn the lights way, way down and let the camera roll. No costume needed—and voice changer optional.
17. Samara from The Ring
To sell this costume, you'll need to set your Zoom background to the creepy well from The Ring (2000). Once that's taken care of, channel your inner Samara by donning a long black wig (bonus for getting it wet first). Your Zoom-mates will be terrified even if you don't end up climbing out of their monitors.
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