Written by: Jane Kastner
The countdown to Christmas has begun. Santa is busy in his workshop, reading letters, checking lists and making sure you've all been good RVers and Campers. To help everyone along, we've made a few lists of our own. Here are the best tried and tested gifts for the loved ones in your life who can't get enough of the great outdoors. Put a few if these things under the Christmas tree and not only will it be a very happy holiday, but also an exciting year ahead for camping and RVing in the great outdoors!
For the RVer
For the bookworm. A Kindle solves the age old problem of which books to bring RVing. There is never enough space, let alone bookshelves in an RV or trailer for all the books you want to bring along, and laundry room book swaps only go so far (unless you find a well thumbed 1987 edition of Reader's Digest riveting!) With a kindle you have millions of books at your fingertips. Hear a great recommendation over the campfire? No problem, just download it there and then. Our favorite is the Paperwhite Kindle with WiFi and 3G, so no matter where you are, you can sample and buy books on the go.
2. Solar Battery
For the boondocker. Sometimes it is nice to get off the grid. Many BLMs, COEs, National Forest and State Parks have rustic sites that offer limited utilities but their ruggedness and scenic beauty more than compensates. But just because you choose to be off the grid doesn't mean that you need be cut off entirely. Rather than firing up the generator or running the engine and disturbing the peace, we've found a Solar Battery that is a great way to keep cell phones charged for emergency use.
3. Off the Beaten Path
For the explorer. Interstates and highways can get so boring and monotonous. Lane after lane, countless exits with fast food joints and gas stations can be such a bore. For the passionate road warrior there is much more to explore across this beautiful country of ours. Off the Beaten Path promises more than 1000 scenic and interesting places that are still uncrowded and interesting. It definitely delivers! We've used this book countless times and their suggested routes are a great way to break up the long haul drives and help you to remember that it is the journey, not the destination that counts.
4. Gourmet Panini Press
For the foodie. Just because you're RVing doesn't mean you can't have gourmet sandwiches and paninis. One of the easiest way to jazz up leftovers from the the night before is to press them in a delicious sandwich. But why stop at bread alone, we've made pressed burritos using tortillas, melted cheesy sandwiches, and even used the grill for cooking up fish and meats. A great present for the foodie, which means everyone else gets to eat well too.
5. Back Up Camera
For the stunt driver. Backing up your RV or trailer is often a leap of faith. If you're lucky you've got someone standing behind, checking your rear and yelling out directions. Nevertheless, nothing beats an extra set of eyes in the back of your head. Or in this case hooked up to the back of your RV. We've avoided low hanging tree branches, navigated around campfire rings and picnic tables. A great little gift for the RVer who thinks he or she has everything!
6. LEGO Camper Van
For the inner child. Every RVer needs a stocking stuffer that reminds them of their passion. We absolutely love this LEGO Camper Van for young and old. Just make sure your kids or grandkids don't run off with it on Christmas Day!
7. RV Mattress Topper
For the homebody. The best way to make your RV bed even more comfortable than the one you have at home is to spruce it up with a RV mattress topper. Your body will thank you for years to come. This one is a little more difficult to wrap and put under the Christmas tree, but it will be a present that keeps on giving.
8. Vacuum Shark
For the neat freak. Being in the great outdoors means attracting dirt and dust. RVs seem to be a magnet for all things gritty, and that carpet never quite feels clean enough. We have had the same problem, especially with kid in tow. After trial and error we found that the Shark is the best model out there. It packs a punch on suction, then folds away so teeny tiny for storage in the outside storage units.
For the Camper
For the nightowl. No more tripping over guidelines, stubbing toes on rocks or even falling face first into a lake. Every camper needs a good headlamp. Strong enough to light the way, but not a monster, so that you are forever feeding it batteries. Headlamps are part of packing 101 for any camping trip and the perfect stocking stuffer for your happy camper.
2. Camping Lantern
For the light of your life. Sorry, we couldn't resist. Another camping trip essential, the camping lantern is one of the most used pieces of kit. Cooking dinner, pitching a tent, playing cards or even reading is never fun in the dark. A tough, rugged and bright lantern can make or break a camping trip.
3. Trangia Stove Kit
For the hardcore hiker. Want two pots, a fry pan and a kettle that weighs under three pounds? There is nothing better than a Trangia Stove Kit for hardcore backpacking in the wilderness. Cooking becomes a breeze with this stove kit. From a cup of coffee to gourmet noodles, we've found the Trangia to be up for anything.
4. Portable Hammock
For a room with a view. Think beyond the tent and sleep in a portable hammock. This is a great way for the camper in your life to enjoy the stars, shoot the breeze and get off the ground floor. Hammocks are the perfect gift for the intrepid camper.
5. Winter Sleeping Bag
For the snow bunny. Camping isn't just for the summer. Winter camping is increasing in popularity and a great way to see the outdoors in a different light. Don't let the cold weather hold you back. Your camping enthusiast won't even feel the chill in a good winter sleeping bag. With this gift they can cosy up to minus 20, without a problem!
6. One Person Tent
For the solo camper. One of the best things about camping is the ability to get away from it all. Solo camping our in the woods is a fantastic way to reconnect with yourself and recharge. Keeping it simple is key, so why pack more than you need? Give the gift of solitude.
7. Kids Camping Chair
For the little ones. It's not fair that adults have all the fun. Pee wees need their camping gear too. The Happy Giddy Camping Chair and Octopus Camping Chair are perfect for camping, and a great way to brighten up a campsite. Easy to pack and go, and lots of different styles to choose from. We love these for the little ones.
8. Swiss Army Pocket Knife
For the scout. Every camper needs a pocket knife. These little gadgets are so handy in the outdoors. Knife, scissors, file, toothpick, screwdriver, corkscrew and more. These little marvels are perfect stocking stuffers for the camping lover who should be prepared at every turn.
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