Fordsbasement 2017 Gift Guide
Gift Guide

The Fordsbasement 2017 Gift Guide

The much-anticipated Fordsbasement 2017 Gift Guide

For the fourth year running, I present to you, dear reader, the Fordsbasement 2017 Gift Guide, my list of life-affirming durable goods perfect for the adventurer or the adventurous at heart.

Space Jacket

Betabrand Space Jacket

Live the astronaut lifestyle with this slick insulated hooded jacket. It’s made for a super-light Tyvek shell and filled with Primaloft synthetic down insulation to keep you warm in even the cold vacuum of space. It comes with three patches that attach to strategic locations with a trademarked hook-and-loop closure system. The perfect solution for trekking across Mars or strolling around town.

Biolite BaseLantern

There’s no need to fear the dark with this ultra-packable 500 lumen edge-lit lantern. Not only does the BaseLantern provide a reliable source of illumination in a unique flat-pack design, it also features a powerbank battery and two USB ports to charge up your mobile devices. A pair of stainless steel folding legs raise the lantern off the table or can be used to hang it from a tree branch. Naturally, there’s a low-power Bluetooth app giving you access to the device’s sleep timer and proximity activation. Plus, as key component of BioLite’s NanoGrid, it offers two StarLight ports to use with BioLite’s SiteLights—sold separately, of course. A great device for car camping or backyard beer-drinking. Available in 7800 mAh (the BaseLantern) and 12000 mAh (the BaseLantern XL).

SOG Baton Q2

Billed as a urban multi-tool, this device has all you need to navigate the perils of even the bleakest city landscape. It features a 2.5″ blade, flathead screwdriver, LED flashlight, and—of course—a bottle opener, all wrapped up in a convenient 6.3″ conceal-and-carry rod. Plus it has a handy belt clip so it’s always at hand when you need it.



An essential piece of photography gear you didn’t know you needed. The Gnarbox is a portable WiFi hotspot wrapped up a small black box (5.3″ x 3.4″ x 1″ thick) that works with any camera and allows the travel photographer or videographer to backup, edit , and share photos (even in RAW format) and videos anywhere via a mobile device. It holds 128 GB of data, features transfer speeds of up to 4 GB per minute, and offers connections for USB 2, USB 3, Micro USB 3, SD, and microSD. Plus, it boasts a battery life of up to six hours. All that in a water-, shock-, and dust-resistant package that weighs just one pound.

Shady Ray’s Ventura Limited

Shady Ray's Ventura Limited

Long exposure to the sun can be harsh on the eyes. That’s why these ultra HD polarized lime green mirror lenses, wrapped in a sturdy acetate gloss black frame, are an essential piece of gear for all manner of outdoor pursuits. And with Shady Ray’s mission to provide 11 meals to fight hunger in the U.S. (through Feeding America) with every order, you can feel even better about your investment.

Kailash 1/4 Zip LS

Kailash 1/4 Zip

A great quarter-zip shirt suitable for all types of adventure. Named for the holiest mountain in Tibet and made from 65% yak wool (warmer than merino wool, they say) and 35% tencel (a eucalyptus tree fiber), it’s a perfect companion on any wilderness or urban outing. This slim-fit shirt features thumb holes to help keep hands warm and offset seams for extra comfort, and raglan sleeves for full mobility. Disclosure: I Kickstarted this in December 2016 . It’s been one of my favorite shirts since it arrived.



Dongles are an essential part of today’s connected lifestyle. I never leave home without my three favorites. 1) The $7 Plugable USB Charge-Only Adapter (which helps your device charge faster and protects from unwanted data connections). 2) The $8 Anker USB SD Card Reader (to easily get those camera photos onto a laptop or hard drive). 3) The $8 for two USB-C to Micro USB Adapting Dongle (making transfers of data from your phone’s USB-C socket to another device super-easy). Check out my full report about these dongles on GeekDad.

Think Tank Cable Management 10 V 2.0

Think Tank 10

When it comes to transporting various cords, cards, and dongles, nothing handles that job better than the Think Tank 10. In addition to providing a surprising amount of space to hold all manner of accessories, each Think Tank comes with three Red Whips—elastic wraps that are quite useful for keeping cables and other small items neat and tidy.

Rambler Mountain Arcade Belt

Arcade Rambler Mountain

Any good adventure needs a good belt, and the Arcade Belt Company has been crafting these durable elastic belts since 2010. Durable and versatile, these adventure-ready belts won’t let you—or your pants—down. Arcade has many styles—from the subtle to the outrageous—but I really like the look of the Rambler Mountain.

Adventure Books

Two Books useful for planning a JMT hike.

Something for the adventurous soul on your list from the Fordsbasement Adventure Library, perhaps?


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