The holiday season isn’t just here, it’s almost over. Here are a few low-cost items I recommend to bail out family and friends who want to give the gift of gear.
Peppermint Stick Energy Gel – Gu Sports makes seasonal batches of its namesake gel, including the yummy Peppermint Stick flavor. The gel gives 100 calories of candy cane flavor energy at a pop. $1.50, guenergy.com.
Iced Gingerbread Clif Bar – Just like the gel above, Clif bars are sold for a limited time flavored for the holidays. This iced offering is a spicy/sweet treat good enough to eat by a Christmas fire or on a hike. $1.50, clifbar.com.
Bike lights – Tis the season for riding a bike at night! Keep your loved ones more visible after dark with the easy-to-attach Thunderbolt lights. With 90 lumens of power (bright!) and a USB-rechargeable battery, they offer convenience and safety in a small, durable package ready to ride. $45, serfas.com.
Silva compass – Start a kid in the right direction (literally) with the Polaris 177. The $15.99 compass has a clear baseplate with scale, measurement, and cartographical markings to aid in moving accurately through the snowy winter woods. silvacompass.com.
Stormproof matches – REI’s house-brand matches have a water-resistant coating to prevent compromise of their fire-starting ability even if wet. They are a stocking stuffer that can’t wait to go camping next year when spring rains come. $6.50, rei.com.
Headlamp – Headlamps offer hands-free convenience for visibility at night. The Fuel model from Princeton Tec is a solid entry-level lamp. Its four LEDs shine bright and have the efficiency to run for 140 hours on AAA batteries. $29.99, princetontec.com.
Touchscreen ski gloves – Type in a GPS coordinate or snap a photo without exposing fingers to the cold. OnTip gloves work with phone and other touchscreens via conductive fabric and raised fingertip nubs for better touch accuracy. $29.50 and up; ontip.com.
On the Web: gearjunkie.com.