100 Offbeat Holidays You Can Celebrate In 2020

MentalArt/iStock via Getty Images
MentalArt/iStock via Getty Images

While everybody else is celebrating New Year's Day, Valentine's Day, Easter, Fourth of July, and the various other national holidays throughout 2020, you can stand out by celebrating National Hangover Day (or celebrate not celebrating National Hangover Day) and these 99 other offbeat holidays throughout the year.

1. January 1: National Hangover Day

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If you find yourself nursing a serious hangover on New Year’s Day, you can at least rest easy in the fact that someone has made an official day dedicated to your misery.

2. January 4: National Trivia Day

Obviously, we are all for—and about—National Trivia Day. So feel free to steal any of these essential bits of trivia and share them with a friend.

3. January 14: National Dress Up Your Pet Day

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Your pet may not love the fact that there’s an entire day dedicated to making them look extra fancy, but your Instagram followers will thank you for it.

4. January 18: National Thesaurus Day

British lexicographer Peter Mark Roget—who is most famous for publishing The Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases (a.k.a. Roget’s Thesaurus) in 1852—was born on January 18, 1779. As such, this is a day to honor, celebrate, extol, laud, praise, revere, salute, etc. his contributions.

5. January 20: Penguin Awareness Day

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Not to be confused with World Penguin Day (which happens on April 25), Penguin Awareness Day encourages you to cultivate even more knowledge of the Spheniscidae family. (Here are 20 fascinating facts to get you started.)

6. January 24: National Compliment Day

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National Compliment Day? You’ve got this. You’re fabulous. And you look amazing. Keep up the great work!

7. January 27: Thomas Crapper Day

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Often incorrectly credited with inventing the toilet, Thomas Crapper was a plumber and businessman who did, in fact, champion the modern wash closet and also invented the ballcock—that floating ball in the body of your toilet. His apropos surname was just a coincidence: The word crap already existed in the English language at the time of his birth.

8. January 27: Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day

Celebrated on the last Monday of January, Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day is a day to give thanks for the many hours of joy this beloved packing product has brought us all. And to share all that you know about it with others (like how it was originally meant to be wallpaper, and could potentially offer real-life mental health benefits). And if you don’t know much about it, here are 50 facts for you.

9. February 2: National Tater Tot Day

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Take National Tater Tot Day to reconsider what might be the finest form of fried potatoes.

10. February 2: Hedgehog Day

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It might technically be Groundhog Day, but just look at this cuddly creature. He also needs celebrating.

11. February 9: National Pizza Day

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You already crave it every day, so take February 9 to treat yourself to your favorite slice (and learn some pizza history, too).

12. February 13: Get A Different Name Day

If you're called Phil, but you always wanted to be named something a little more flowery (say Barnaby), or unusual (how about Pilot Inspektor?), or hip (hello, Noah), today's the day to take the plunge and give yourself a new moniker.

13. February 20: Northern Hemisphere Hoodie-Hoo Day

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On this day, residents of the Northern Hemisphere take to the streets at noon, toss their hands in the air, and exclaim, "Hoodie-Hoo!" It's meant to chase away winter, and while it might sound ineffectual, we challenge you to come up with a better idea.

14. February 23: Curling Is Cool Day

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As if anyone needed convincing.

15. February 27: National Chili Day

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With about a month to go until spring, be sure to enjoy some piping hot bowls while it's still prime chili season.

16. February 28: National Tooth Fairy Day

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Smile wide and celebrate everyone's favorite tooth collector.

17. March 1: National Pig Day

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Sure, they like to roll around in mud, but that's just a pig's clever way of keeping cool on a hot day. Pigs are fascinating creatures—and one of the most intelligent members of the animal kingdom. Spend the first day of March paying tribute to oinkers around the world.

18. March 1: National Peanut Butter Lover's Day

iStock

If you love peanut butter, this is the day to proudly polish off your PB-based sandwich of choice. Reflect on all of the amazing qualities of peanut butter, from its delicious taste to its amazingly effective gum-removing capabilities. If that’s not enough, there’s even a year-round website for lovers of the legume-based spread.

19. March 4: National Grammar Day

The people who care most about this holiday will also want to know that National Proofreading Day is just a few days later, on March 8.

20. March 7: National Cereal Day

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Cereal first, then milk. Learn your history.

21. March 8: National Proofreading Day

Sure, it may seem scary—but the red pen is your friend. As is giving that missive you’re about to send a second (and very careful) reading. A typo might not seem like a big deal … until it costs you $80 million (or some serious embarrassment).

22. March 10: International Bagpipe Day

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There are more than 130 different kinds of bagpipes played worldwide, and this is an international holiday to celebrate every single one of them. Be prepared!

23. March 12: National Alfred Hitchcock Day

Nobody’s particularly sure why March 12th is Alfred Hitchcock Day: it’s neither the Master of Suspense’s birthday (that’s August 13), nor does it commemorate the date of his death (that happened on April 29, 1980). Still, it’s as good a time as any to regale your movie-loving friends and family members with your encyclopedic knowledge of Hitchcock trivia.

24. March 14: Pi Day

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Don’t let the sound of the name fool you: 3/14 does not commemorate the sweet, baked circuitous treat (but feel free to grab a slice). It is the official day of the Greek letter symbolizing the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter, pi, also known as 3.14159265359 …

25. March 14: International Fanny Pack Day

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From grandparents to Normcore hipsters, this holiday spans generations. And, for better or worse (but definitely worse), the fanny pack doesn’t seem in danger of going anywhere.

26. March 20: Won't You Be My Neighbor Day

Focus Features

Everyone's favorite neighbor, Fred Rogers, was born on March 20, 1928 and this holiday now serves as an occasion to remember the beloved TV star, and honor him by being kind, generous, and, well, downright neighborly.

27. March 21: Play the Recorder Day

Getty Images

Limber up those fingers and celebrate this ubiquitous childhood instrument with a rousing rendition of "Hot Cross Buns."

28. March 23: National Puppy Day

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Most of us don't really need an excuse to spend all day watching adorable young pups playing. But on March 23, it’s your nationally mandated duty. If merely observing puppies is not enough for you, consider donating to your local animal shelter—or just take the plunge and adopt one already (and send us pictures, please)!

29. March 25: International Waffle Day

A tradition that originated in Sweden, International Waffle Day basically encourages the consumption of all things bready and waffled. It’s hard to disagree with that.

30. March 31: Eiffel Tower Day

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One of the world’s most famous “towers” was dedicated to the city of Paris on March 31, 1889. Named for its designer, Gustav Eiffel, the structure was intended to commemorate the French Revolution. This Parisian landmark isn’t the only famous structure with Eiffel’s paw prints all over it; he also helped design the framework of New York’s Statue of Liberty.

31. April 2: National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day

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Who doesn't love this classic childhood snack? Eat one today, and then get the answer to something you've wondered since childhood: What's the difference between jelly and jam?

32. April 2: National Ferret Day

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We'll definitely be celebrating these furry little guys.

33. April 5: National Deep Dish Pizza Day

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A day to appreciate sky-high pies, or argue over the best pizza in all the land.

34. April 6: International Pillow Fight Day

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Have a pillow fight!

35. April 7: National Beer Day

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On March 22, 1933, Franklin Roosevelt signed the Cullen–Harrison Act, legalizing the sale of beer (as long as it was 3.2 percent alcohol by weight or less) after many years of Prohibition. The thirsty public had to wait two long weeks before they could legally imbibe again, and on April 7, the law finally went into effect. Beer drinkers around the country rejoiced, and celebrated with a nice cold one, presumably.

36. April 10: National Siblings Day

Celebrate the brothers and sisters who drive you mad and keep you sane—often all at the same time.

37. April 12: National Licorice Day

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This offbeat holiday—designed to celebrate black licorice specifically—will surely be a contentious commemoration. For those of you who cringed, please enjoy your Twizzlers.

38. April 13: National Scrabble Day

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Created by Alfred Mosher Butts in 1938, Scrabble did not become a national phenomenon until the 1950s. It has since inspired less mobility-impaired games like Bananagrams and Words With Friends. But to honor the holiday, use a classic board and show off your robust vocabulary.

39. April 19: National Garlic Day

istock

We all know it's supposed to keep a vampire away, but did you know these 11 facts about garlic?

40. April 21: National Bulldogs Are Beautiful Day

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If you didn't already know this, you can see yourself out.

41. April 22: National Jelly Bean Day

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When you grab a handful to celebrate this year, just make sure you don't get "BeanBoozled."

42. April 23: Talk Like Shakespeare Day

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We have of late, but wherefore we know not, lost all our mirth. What a perfect day to get it back! In honor of the Bard’s birthday, drop some thous and thees, master iambic pentameter, and cast people away by exclaiming “get thee to a nunnery!” Talk Like Shakespeare Day is the one time of year you can express yourself in rhyming couplets; wethinks thou oughtest useth the opportunity.

43. April 25: World Penguin Day

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Seriously, all the animal holidays are fine with us.

44. April 27: Morse Code Day

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Break out your best dots and dashes, it’s the birthday of Samuel Morse—co-inventor of the eponymous Morse Code. These days any Joe Schmoe can try his hand at transmitting lights, clicks, and tones to send a secret message. But this system of communication used to be a highly specialized field that required a license and a proclivity for spying on communists.

45. May 1: Mother Goose Day

Founded in 1987 by Gloria T. Delamar in conjunction with the publication of her book, Mother Goose: From Nursery to Literature, this is a day to "re-appreciate" the old nursery rhymes.

46. May 4: Star Wars Day

Central Press/Getty Images

May the fourth be with you!

47. May 11: National Eat What You Want Day

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Though it's definitely not healthy, this is a food holiday that we want to celebrate more than once a year.

48. May 15: National Pizza Party Day

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Party is a relative term, by the way. You and a pizza is definitely a party.

49. May 18: International Museum Day

On this day, the entire planet celebrates museums and all the amazing things they have to offer. We recommend checking for events and activities in your area: Hundreds of thousands of museums join the party every year.

50. May 23: World Turtle Day

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Celebrate by reading 20 things you didn't know about sea turtles right here.

51. May 25: Towel Day

To honor author Douglas Adams, fans carry around a towel all day. The tradition is a nod to a passage in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy about the importance of towels: "A towel, [The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy] says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have." Good enough for us.

52. May 25: National Wine Day

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As you're enjoying a glass of cab sav or chardonnay with friends this National Wine Day, drop a few of these wine-related facts.

53. June 4: National Cheese Day

There are so many different types of cheese to celebrate. Here's a quick refresher on how some of the most popular cheeses got their names.

54. June 5: National Doughnut Day

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One of two National Doughnut Days celebrated every year. Why are there two, you ask? We've got you covered.

55. June 6: National Yo-Yo Day

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Donald F. Duncan had more to celebrate about his life than an amazing name; he helped popularize the yo-yo. Though technically invented by a man named Pedro Flores in the late 1920’s, the yo-yo didn’t hit the mainstream until the entrepreneurial Duncan purchased Flores’s Yo-Yo Toy Company, mass-produced this circular piece of plastic and string, and introduced it to the world. June 6th is believed to be Duncan’s birthday.

56. June 8: World Oceans Day

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In 2008, the United Nations officially designated June 8 as a day to honor the part of the planet covered in water. Which is to say, most of it. Even before that it was celebrated by the Ocean Project and the World Ocean Network. These days, it's a growing global event with a focus on education and preservation.

57. June 12: National Jerky Day

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No explanation required: chew and be merry.

58. June 18: International Sushi Day

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Any food worth its salt, or umami, has its own holiday. But if you're looking for an excuse to eat sushi, June 18th seems as good a day as any other.

59. June 19: World Sauntering Day

A man named W.T. "Bill" Rabe, a publicist allegedly rampant self-promoter, is said to have conceived this holiday in the 1970s on Mackinac Island, Michigan. According to Merriam-Webster, to saunter one must merely “walk about in an idle or leisurely manner.” So for all of you who balked at a running holiday, thank Rabe for providing a much more casual holiday for getting around.

60. June 26: Take Your Dog To Work Day

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Created in 1999 by Pet Sitters International, this is a day intended to encourage people to adopt pets from animal shelters—presumably by making all your dog-less coworkers incredibly jealous.

61. July 3: Compliment Your Mirror Day

If you haven't quite gathered it yet, this holiday isn't about the mirror (wink).

62. July 6: National Fried Chicken Day

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Not all fried chicken is created equal. Before finding the best in your state, learn about how it used to be made.

63. July 14: National Mac and Cheese Day

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You can thank none other than Thomas Jefferson for popularizing this delightful dish.

64. July 19: National Ice Cream Day

Our third president also had a hand in making ice cream a thing—in fact, according to the Thomas Jefferson Encyclopedia, "he can be credited with the first known recipe [for ice cream] recorded by an American," and it probably stems from his time in France.

65. July 27: Take Your Houseplants For A Walk Day

It doesn't matter if your neighbors think you're crazy. Set those plants free!

66. August 1: National Mustard Day

We'll use any excuse to eat a hot dog—or three.

67. August 7: National Lighthouse Day

The one day a year in which we shine a light on these beautiful beacons.

68. August 10: National S’mores Day

No need to wait until the middle of August to get this party started. The holiday just means you should have extra.

69. August 12: Middle Children’s Day

We have just the thing to send those oft-overlooked kids who could use some encouragement.

70. August 15: National Relaxation Day

Preferably celebrated in a hammock, on a beach, or with a pooped pup.

71. August 24: National Waffle Day

Would it be a surprise if we told you that Jefferson loved these delicious discs so much he brought back four waffle irons from France? He liked to serve them with (duh) ice cream.

72. August 26: National Dog Day

This was what we looked like when we found out about this holiday.

73. September 5: Be Late For Something Day

While a lot of people don't need an excuse to be late, all of you punctual people out there should try to cut loose on this day and be tardy for something for once.

74. September 13: National Hug Your Hound Day

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If you don't have a hound of your own to hug, may we suggest looking at photos of people hugging their hounds?

75. September 16: World Play-Doh Day

Today's the perfect day to do something with your favorite childhood clay! It's OK with us if you mostly just smell it.

76. September 22: Hobbit Day

September 22 is the birthday of cousins Bilbo and Frodo Baggins from J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings world. Go barefoot, have a Hobbit party, journey somewhere, and most of all, be brave.

77. September 24: National Punctuation Day

Because how would you be expressive without it???!!!!

78. September 25: National One-Hit Wonder Day

Get your playlist started now. (We have some suggestions for you.)

79. September 29: International Coffee Day

We won't talk to you before you've celebrated this one.

80. October 4: National Ships-In-Bottles Day

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Someone spent a lot of time making this art happen, so let's take a little time to appreciate it.

81. October 8: National Pierogi Day

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On this day in 1952, pierogies were first delivered to a grocery store in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania, and we’ve been devouring them ever since.

82. October 15: National Grouch Day

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For those who love one, and those who are one.

83. October 16: Dictionary Day

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October 16th is Noah Webster’s birthday, so take a break from your lackadaisical use of the English language, k?

84. October 17: National Pasta Day

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There are myriad ways to celebrate National Pasta Day, so why not consider some of these unique pasta shapes?

85. October 17: Sweetest Day

Traditionally celebrated in the Midwest and Northeastern United States, Sweetest Day is a lot like Valentine's Day, which—depending on your outlook—is either a very good thing or a very bad thing.

86. October 29: National Cat Day

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We know you don’t need a date in the calendar for this, but it makes your Instagrams all that much more justified.

87. October 30: National Candy Corn Day

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Feel free to debate the merits of a holiday for this highly controversial, tricolored confection.

88. October 31: National Magic Day

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Halloween, shmalloween. This holiday is fittingly held on the anniversary of the death of Harry Houdini.

89. November 3: Cliché Day

All's fair in love and war and holidays, and what goes around comes around so have the time of your life this November 3 by celebrating this fit as a fiddle celebration. You'll be like a kid in a candy store.

90. November 3: Sandwich Day

The birthday of John Montague, the 4th Earl of Sandwich, is as good a day as any to do what you normally do: eat a sandwich.

91. November 19: “Have A Bad Day” Day

This isn't a celebration of the inevitable bad day, but rather an occasion for those working in customer service to break their usual (and tired) refrain of "have a nice day" and wish customers a bad one instead.

92. November 21: National Stuffing Day

If you're worried about celebrating the right food, make sure you know the difference between stuffing and dressing.

93. November 27: National Flossing Day

PSA: This is not a suggestion to floss just once a year.

94. November 30: Stay Home Because You’re Well Day

You probably just spent the last several days gorging with in-laws—you deserve this.

95. December 4: National Cookie Day

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December isn’t exactly lacking in opportunities to indulge in sweet treats, but today it’s your offbeat-holiday-given right to mix, bake, and/or eat as many cookies as you can handle.

96. December 6: National Pawnbrokers Day

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If you thought good ol' St. Nicholas was the patron saint of reindeer and stockings, think again: The actual Nikolaos of Myra was the patron of things like the falsely accused and pawnbrokers, and on this day we acknowledge the latter.

97. December 12: Poinsettia Day

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This day doesn't just celebrate the festive flower—it also marks the death of its namesake, Joel Roberts Poinsett. The botanist (and first U.S. Ambassador to Mexico) brought clippings of Euphorbia pulcherrima back to the States from southern Mexico, and grew the plant at his South Carolina home.

98. December 14: Monkey Day

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Officially, Monkey Day is an “annual celebration of all things simian, a festival of primates, a chance to scream like a monkey and throw feces at whomever you choose.” The origins of the holiday are unknown, though it has been observed since at least 2003.

99. December 17: Wright Brothers Day

Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

Made an official holiday in 1963 by Presidential Proclamation, this holiday marks the day in 1903 when Orville and Wilbur Wright achieved the first ever successful (documented) controlled airplane flight near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.

100. December 21: Humbug Day

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Get out all your bahs and scowls and growls now: no one will tolerate them come Christmas.

10 Rad Gifts for Hikers

Greg Rosenke/Unsplash
Greg Rosenke/Unsplash

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

Amazon

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.

Buy it: Amazon

2. Osprey Sirrus and Stratos 24-Liter Hiking Packs; $140

Amazon

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.

Buy them: Amazon, Amazon

3. Yeti Rambler 18-Ounce Bottle; $48

Amazon

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.

Buy it: Amazon

4. Mappinners Greatest 100 Hikes of the National Parks Scratch-Off Poster; $30

Amazon

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.

Buy it: Amazon

5. National Geographic Adventure Edition Road Atlas; $19

Amazon

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.  

Buy it: Amazon

6. Adventure Medical Kits Hiker First-Aid Kit; $25

Amazon

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.

Buy it: Amazon

7. Hiker Hunger Ultralight Trekking Poles; $70

Amazon

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. 

Buy it: Amazon

8. Leatherman Signal Camping Multitool; $120

Amazon

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.

Buy it: Amazon

9. RAVPower Power Bank; $24

Amazon

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.

Buy it: Amazon

10. Pack of Four Indestructible Field Books; $14

Amazon

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.

Buy it: Amazon

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11 Expert Tips for Carving a Better Jack O'Lantern

Maniac Pumpkin Carvers
Maniac Pumpkin Carvers

Forget two triangles and a toothy grin; this Halloween, take your jack o’lanterns to the next level. We asked Marc Evan, co-founder of Brooklyn-based Maniac Pumpkin Carvers—whose crew carves everything from corporate logos for Martha Stewart and the Yankees to replicas of Escher, Klimt, and Van Gogh paintings on as many as 400 pumpkins a season—for a few tips. “We look at it as this new art medium,” Evan says. “For us, it’s this really fun material to work with, and we’re always trying to push the boundaries of what we can carve into a pumpkin.”

1. Get a pumpkin with a stem.

Pumpkins grow on vines and rest on the ground, so the stem is never meant to support the fruit’s weight; a pumpkin without a stem means it’s been handled—or more likely mishandled—a lot. To ensure you’re getting the freshest pumpkin, look for one with a greenish stem. “If a pumpkin has been sitting around, the stems will dry out and get brittle,” Evan says. “The greener the stems the better. We also like when they have a big, thick stem, which is an indication that the walls of the pumpkin will be thick as well. The thicker the stem, the heavier the pumpkin and the better it is for carving or sculpting.” Also avoid pumpkins with blemishes, soft spots, or bugs, as you would when picking out any other kind of fruit.

2. Don’t dismiss a weirdly-shaped pumpkin.

“Part of the fun of pumpkin carving is that pumpkins come in so many shapes and sizes,” Evan says. “We actually almost prefer some of the really awkward ones. They can inspire some unique designs.”

3. Have a pumpkin-carving plan.

Evan recommends drawing out what you plan to do before you ever make a cut on your pumpkin. “We’ll print out a bunch of references to get inspiration,” he says. “And then we’ll draw our design with a pen onto the pumpkin and start carving away.”

4. Wait to carve your pumpkin—but work fast once you start.

You can buy your pumpkin whenever you want—“they should last a really long time until you carve them,” Evan says—but wait until you want display to start carving. He and his crew at Maniac Pumpkin Carvers usually create a pumpkin just 24 hours before an event, and once they start carving, they don’t stop until a pumpkin is finished, which can sometimes take 10 hours. “We’re working with a perishable food item,” Evan says. “As soon as you cut into it, it’s starting to decompose. It’s unpredictable—we’ve had some carved that last three weeks but then others three days. At home, it’s kind of safe to carve it within two or three days of when you really want it for. But if you want it for Halloween, you shouldn’t carve it at the beginning of October.”

5. Keep a water bottle handy while you’re carving your pumpkin.

“Pumpkins don’t oxidize as fast as an apple or avocado would, but if you leave it out on the counter over the course of just one day, you do see the change in the structure of the pumpkin,” Evan says. “It’s losing a lot of moisture, so one thing we do while carving is we’re constantly spraying it, trying to keep it wet. That helps it to stay workable.”

6. Think beyond the typical pumpkin carving kit.

Evan and the Maniac Pumpkin crew will use whatever it takes to carve a pumpkin, including paring knives, lemon zesters, rasps, Exacto knives, saws, and clay sculpting tools. “Ribbon hoops that are normally effective on clay work great on pumpkins,” Evan says. “One of our favorites actually is a linoleum cutter, normally used in print-making—it’s great for doing intricate designs and line work. Really, anything that is sharp can be useful.”

Still, for scooping, you can’t get much better than what comes in a kid’s pumpkin carving kit. “We love those little plastic orange scoops,” he says. “But you can also use big spoons—we have a couple of big, wide salad serving spoons that we’ve snapped the handles off of, and those work really great.”

7. Leave the top of the pumpkin on.

Removing the top not only messes with the structural integrity of the pumpkin, it also cuts off the vine, which supplies the fruit with nutrients and moisture until it’s all dried out. “When you cut around it, you’re kinda cutting off that lifeline that’s keeping the pumpkin fresh,” Evan says. “So we like to keep that intact.” Likewise, cutting off the bottom is a bad idea because “pumpkins give off so much water when you cut them that all that liquid can start oozing out onto the table or whatever surface the pumpkin is on and really make a mess.” Evan favors cutting a hole in the back of the pumpkin instead.

8. Wear rubber gloves.

There’s no getting around it: You’ll have to get a little dirty scooping out the inside of the pumpkin. But if you find the goop that gross, Evan suggests donning rubber gloves.

9. Scoop everything out of your pumpkin. And we mean everything.

Leaving bits of pumpkin goop inside your jack o’lantern is a big no-no. “Those are gonna start getting moldy and then it’ll spread to the walls of the pumpkin,” Evan says. “When we scrape the walls really thin and get every last little stringy bit out, the walls are almost drier and seem to stay that way longer before they start to break down.”

10. Use an electric light to illuminate your jack o’lantern.

Evan recommends LEDs or CFLs. “They get really bright, but they don’t give off heat,” he says. “You want to keep the pumpkin as cold as possible, and if you have a heat source inside of it, the pumpkin is gonna start to cook inside. Which actually can smell nice, but doesn’t help with the longevity of the pumpkin.”

11. To make your jack o’lantern last, pop it in the fridge.

Nothing you can do will add weeks to your jack o’lantern’s life, but there are things you can do to add a few days. “Our favorite thing to do is, when it’s done with display, we’ll wrap it up really tight with plastic wrap and keep it some place really cool, preferably a refrigerator,” Evan says. “If it’s cool at night, near a cool window or in a garage will also work.”

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This post originally appeared in 2014.