It’s time for the much-anticipated Fordsbasement 2015 Gift Guide!
Once again, I’ve curated a hand-crafted collection of wonderful things that make great gifts for all the adventurers, expeditioners, beer lovers, and coffee connoisseurs in your life. Enjoy.
Filson Oil Tin Cloth Vest
All Filson gear is built to last, and this vest is no exception. It’s wind-resistant, abrasion-resistant, and water repellent, plus it has a lot of pockets to hold a wide variety of tools, pens, and notebooks. All that makes it the perfect vest for any adventurer to wear whether they’re in the shop, on the trail, or at the campsite.
Sunski Headlands Sunglasses
A few years ago, two gents revived this vintage Australian brand via a successful Kickstarter. These days they make a number of different styles, but I’m partial to the Headlands — great sunglasses that won’t break the bank.
Lewis & Clark Compass
Any good expedition needs a good compass, and this replica of the compass Meriwether Lewis & William Clark and their Corps of Discovery used on their epic journey is an excellent choice. To learn more about one of the greatest epic adventures in the history of epic adventures, I suggest Stephen E. Ambrose’s excellent Undaunted Courage.
Once the destination is chosen and the journey is underway, someone should record the events of the adventure — and for that, the Adventure Log, produced in partnership between Word.Notebooks and outfitter Bradley Mountain is a great way to record all those notable events. A 3-pack of these 48-page notebooks is a great addition to any expedition.
Not only is the Semi-Horned Oblong Versatile Eating Ladle one of the best spork/foon tools ever devised, it also comes with a serrated knife and a bottle cap opener (on the semi-horn), as well as six feet of red paracord that wraps around the titanium handle. If it looks familiar, that’s probably because I previously profiled the open-source, all-purpose spork.
Kaufmann Mercantile EDC Kit
This compact, light weight Everyday Carry kit contains everything an adventurer needs to have on hand without bulking up the pockets. It comes with a pry bar, Phillips and standard screwdrivers, a pair of precision tweezers (known as Uncle Bill’s Silver Gripper), and a waterproof lighter — all attached to a durable titanium key ring. All together, the whole kit weighs less than two ounces.
Goal Zero Lighthouse 250 Lantern
This compact (just over one pound) lantern gives off a solid 250 lumens of bright LED light — perfect for brightening up any dark tent, campsite, or crawl space. It’ll last between two and 48 hours (depending how bright you run), and it’s from Goal Zero, so it easily recharges with the power of the sun via an external solar panel like the Nomad 7 (sold separately) or via the built-in USB port or its integrated hand crank. Not only does it give you light, it’ll charge your handheld devices from the ever-useful USB port.
Microbrewer One Gallon Home Brewing Kit
This super cool kit from Box Brew Kits contains almost everything you need to brew one gallon of beer in the comfort of your own kitchen, including a recipe book with 25 recipes, a brewer’s log, and a full set of instructions. Choose from IPA, Vanilla Porter, Oatmeal Stout, Amber Ale, Red Ale, Hefeweizen and more. Doesn’t include a cooking pot (you’ve probably already got one) or bottles (but these are pretty easy to come by).
Harry’s Winter Winston Copper Shave Set
I recently gave Harry’s a try and found that it’s a pretty fantastic way to shave. During this holiday season, Harry’s is offering a special Winston Shave Set that comes with a really classy limited-edition copper handle. And for an extra $15, you can personalize the set with custom engraving (up to three letters) on the handle.
How to Make Coffee
This is just a well-designed, informative book packed with good knowledge about the art of making a great cup of coffee, no matter which process you prefer. An excellent companion to How to Brew the Perfect Cup of Coffee Every Time.
59 Illustrated National Parks
For fans our outdoor spaces and beautiful vistas, this 160-page book, made by father-and-son team of Joel and Nathan Anderson to honor the 100th Anniversary of the National Parks, features an in-depth look at each of America’s 59 National Parks. Accompanying the profile of each park is a gorgeous full-color travel-style poster as well as 12 original oil paintings. This 9“ x 12” hardcover is the perfect coffee table book for any fan of the great outdoors.
Peak Design CapturePRO Camera Clip
This fantastic piece of gear from Peak Design holds any camera — from big DSLR rigs down to the most compact and point-and-shoot cameras — securely during strenuous physical activity yet provides ready access for those quick shots. It attaches to any strap up to three inches wide (like a backpack strap or belt) and can handle up to 200 pounds of force. Great for anyone who needs two hands and instant access to their camera.
A Comfortable T-Shirt
Like this John Muir Trail T-Shirt from Anywhere Wild. As they say: Finally a commemorative JMT T-shirt you actually want to wear! Buy two and get free shipping!
Something for the adventurous soul on your list from the Fordsbasement Adventure Library, perhaps?