It’s the holidays, which means you’re aimlessly roaming the mall for presents, dodging shoppers who would fist-fight you, and ultimately just buying H&M clothes for yourself because, hey, gift-giving is hard and you needed a new sweater! We get it and we’ve been there. But before you hand out gift cards that scream “I ignored your personality and spent 2 seconds thinking about this,” take a look at our gift guide. It’s for anyone with a sense of adventure, so whether you’ve got a friend’s list full of backpackers or you’re coming up with your own wish list (so your well-meaning parents don’t give you clothes you’ll never wear), we’ve got you covered.
1. Vintage compass necklace, $26.99
Your heart will always point you in the right direction—especially if you’ve got a literal compass draped over it. We’re big fans of vintage navigational paraphernalia (we’ll never part with the 1985 RV we used on our first road trip, no matter how much it smells like a musty pirate). So when this antique brass compass necklace pinged our radar, we had to have it. Coated in a worn-and-lived-in-looking patina, it even features a map image of your city of choice. Take that, Google maps.
2. Stance Socks, $10-20
Remember packing to go somewhere as a kid, and your mom would make a big, theatrical production out of how many socks you were bringing? “Pack extra socks!” she would squawk from 3 rooms away, in a half-cautionary, half “listen to me, I housed you in my uterus” tone. Well, mom was right. Forget packing that 4th pair of shoes in case you happen to go an underground steampunk dance club. Instead, toss in these, which come in every color and pattern imaginable.
If you’re like me, your purse is a black hole of infinite chaos. It carries your wallet, sure, but it’s also a storage unit for movie stubs from 2 years ago, 4-year-old eyeliners, business cards of people you have no intention of calling, and 7 pens (only 2 of which work). This scarf that doubles as a purse is the solution, storing only essential items discreetly so you’re free to walk around without the equivalent of a bowling ball on your shoulder.
4. Cocktail Kit for Flying, $24
Like a Saturday Night Live skit come to life, this in-flight artisinal cocktail kit brings hipster fussiness to a level not even Portlandia could have envisioned, and it’s awesome/ridiculous. Included is all the ingredients needed to make a drink that would cost $17 at an LA bar, including aromatic bitters, a spoon/muddler, cane sugar, a linen coaster, recipe card, and carry-on tin. One sip and you’ll swear you’re in a speakeasy—until you’re jabbed by your armrest-stealing seatmate.
5. Crumpled City Maps, $15
The funny thing about most travel maps is that they lack all the traits that make something portable. Fragile and unwieldy, unless you’re keeping it a bulletproof binder as you walk, it will disintegrate into a million pieces by the time day one of your trip is over. Enter: Crumpled City Maps. These waterproof, tear-proof maps are meant to be scrunched in balls, jammed in pockets, dropped in rain, and generally abused as you go about navigating streets and eating all the things.
Made from the tough-as-nails nylon that parachuters count on to, you know, not plummet to their death, this hammock is probably the sturdiest way to be suspended in the air and rocked like a baby. I actually own one and after using it on camping trips, I have seriously contemplated chucking the bed in my apartment and erecting this in its place. Set it up anywhere and bask in swaying that brings you back to the womb.
No campfire is complete without beer. But if you’re venturing further into nature than cars will allow, you’d probably rather make room in your backpack for warm clothes than beverages that make you feel funny. Luckily, Pat’s BackCountry Beverages eliminates the need to choose. Leave beer cans at home and just tow the magical carbonator bottle. When you’re ready to party, add the activation packet, shake, and voila! A nice cold brew in the middle of no where.
8. Scrubba portable wash bag, $55
If you’re a seasoned traveler, you know to avoid overpacking because you’re not Beyonce and you don’t have someone whose sole job is to haul your luggage all over the London subway. The catch of packing light? Trying not to lift your arms when you’re wearing the same shirt for a 3rd time. That’s where Scrubba comes in. Throw dirty clothes in the bag, add water and soap, and rub the bag for 30 seconds. Hang-dry garments and spare noses from here to Timbuktu.
This all-in-one-tool can do so many tasks, it’s basically a personal assistant (who can’t manage your emails…or dry cleaning…but still). With 7 functions, you’ll turn into MacGyver, doing everything from tying knots to fighting off bears. Ok, it’s not expressly made for bear-intimidating, but it’ll make people think you’re capable of it when you whip it out. Plus, it’s from a company based in Portland, so you know it’s hip.
You’ve posted a map of your travels to your wall–your Facebook wall, that is. But when you’re done making your friends jealous of your Italy trip (you’re so #blessed!), how about adorning your real walls? This stately map looks like it belongs in a library that smells of leather-bound books and rich mahogany–but even if you’re sporting an Ikea table and your mom’s old couch, it’ll class a place up. Once you’ve visited a spot, just scratch off the foil and mark your territory.
11. Vintage city and world map wallcoverings by SwagPaper, $36 & up
Love the idea of travel but can’t manage to skip your daily Starbucks enough times to get the cash for a ticket? Just buy one of these chic, old-world-looking maps and pretend you’re in the coolest coffee shop in Paris. With historical maps that span a variety of locales, you can turn your room into a Restoration Hardware showroom—without having to sell organs on the blackmarket to pay for it.
12. Instagram book, $17.99 & up
Once you get back from your trip, you’ll want to #humblebrag about your adventures for the rest of eternity. One of the best ways to showcase your travels is with an Artifact Uprising coffee table book full of photos. Hey, even the lamest of destinations look epic with a filter, right? And now you’ll have a high quality print of that selfie that you took in front of the Eiffel Tower (that’s mostly just a really good picture of your face).
13. Travel journal, $10
My mom always tells me to write in my journal when I’m traveling (so when I’m senile I can remember the good ole days)! But alas, it’s one thing to PLAN on writing, and another thing to actually do so. Assuming you tend to write one entry and then don’t touch the journal for 5 years, maybe you’ll be more likely to stick to the plan if your journal looks totally awesome, like this one, hand-stamped with a one-of-a-kind image.