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Holiday gift guide: Outdoors photographer

November 30, 2016

It’s an affliction that every photographer suffers from, we love gear. It doesn’t matter if it’s a camera lens or a headlamp, we’re like dog fur to the back of a car with it comes to gadgets.

For me and a ton of other photographers, it’s not just camera gear we lust after, it’s the other stuff we use out shooting. Whether it be on the 20-mile hike to that epic sunset location, or killing time during a lengthy airport layover there is always something that can make you more comfortable. For me, considering most of what I do takes me far from civilization here’s a few things I’d be stoked to unwrap this year.

Columbia Outdry Ex Diamond Shell Jacket Small Hyper Blue

A good rain jacket can be the difference between an awesome day out and a really shitty one. Columbia has shaken up the way we look at waterproof materials by moving the membrane to the outside with its OutDry Fabric. With the waterproof membrane as the outermost layer, there’s no DWR treatment or face fabric to wet out. I’ve just purchased one of these myself and so far it’s been FANTASTIC!

Goal Zero Sherpa 50 Silver/Black Solar Recharging Kit with Inverter

Whether it be an expedition or an epic road trip there are always batteries to charge. The smaller Goal Zero kits are awesome if you’re just charging phones and tablets, but I always have a dead laptop, camera batteries and ungodly amounts of rechargeable AA’s that need some juice. Being able to utilize a three-prong plug is vital to what I do and what’s better is this system only weighs 2.8 lbs (1.27 kg)!

UE ROLL Wireless Mobile Bluetooth Speaker 

Sometimes a campsite or a day at the beach needs some tunes, and the UE Roll is a compact reachable Bluetooth speaker. It’s water resistant (IPX7) and sees and elastic band on the back so it can be attached to a backpack strap or beach umbrella. What’s better, they can be piggybacked and music can be streamed to multiple speakers from one device to truly get the party started.

Garmin Fenix 3 GPS Watch

Garmin’s Fenix 3 is the ultimate Ron Swanson approved manly smart watch. It does everything a watch does, but with built-in GPS, and ABC(alto, barro, compass)  it can record you hike, help you navigate both directionally and topographically and let you know if there’s a storm coming. The watch is also Bluetooth enabled meaning you can export your activities to Strava wirelessly and download apps from the Connect IQ store, there’s everything from detailed weather forecasts to sunrise and sunset times. It’s like a swiss army knife for your wrist.

Petzl – REACTIK+ 300 Lumens Headlamp

Petzl’s REACTIK headlamp, along with a space blanket and pocket knife are all things that never leave my camera bag. Being outside you never know when you’re going to get stuck in the dark, and having a decent light source on hand has saved me more than once. This little light packs a 300-lumen punch and can be set to change its brightness based on the ambient light to maximize battery life. You can also connect it to your phone to see remaining battery life and change the light mode in real time.

Mons Royale Men’s Hold em Boxers

Bear with me when I say merino wool undies are one of the greatest things on earth. No only does the soft material cradle your undercarriage nicely, they don’t chafe or smell. An especially nice feature after three or four days camping or a long haul flight from Dallas to Brisbane. They’re a little pricey but worth every penny!

SPYDERCO Delica 4 Lightweight Blade Combination Edge Knife

A high-quality pocket knife is something everyone should have. Once you get an EDC knife, you’ll be amazed how often you actually use it and wonder how you got by without it! Spyderco knives are bomb proof and the half serrated blade makes the Delicia 4 series of knives extremely versatile.

Backcountry Access BC Link Group Communication System

When traveling in the backcountry or on a shoot walkie talkies are invaluable, both from a safety perspective and in terms of efficiency. BCA’s BC Link radios are awesome because the Lithium Ion battery isn’t severely affected by the cold, all the controls are on the mic and are easy to use with your gloves on.

Patagonia Black Hole 60L Duffel Bag

Patagonia’s Black Hole duffels are nearly military grade. Whether it be remiss baggage handlers, or dogs who’re confused what’s a chew toy and what’s a bag, this duffel will keep your belongings safe, dry, and organized. I’ve got one and after a rough life, it still looks brand new!!

AeroPress Coffee Maker

There are few things better in this world than crawling out of a tent and brewing a hot cup’o Joe. The AeroPress system is like a french press but way more portable and makes fantastic coffee in a couple of minutes. What’s better it’s super portable and easy to clean.

Jetboil Flash Cooking System

When climbing out of said tent and brewing that cup’o Joe, you’re going to need to heat up some water. Jetboil’s portable stoves are the industry standard for a reason and do exactly as advertised.

Snow Peak Double Wall 450 Cup

Now you’ve got your coffee brewed and the scenery is sorted you’re going to need a receptacle to drink from. Snow Peak is a Japanese outdoor brand known for making ultra lightweight titanium camping gear. As the name states, this is a 450ml double walled mug, it only weight 118g, has a retractable handle, and is double walled so your coffee won’t burn your hands and will stay warm for ages too.

Don’t forget to check out my 12 Gift ideas for photographers

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