Holiday Gear Gift Guide


It's kind of crazy to think that Christmas is right around the corner! I was thinking back to a few years ago when my sister and my uncle put their heads together and hooked me up with a ton of awesome backpacking gear. I'm not usually big on Christmas gifts (or gifts in general) but that year was by far one of my favorites. I realize that some of these gifts I've recommended are a bit pricey but sometimes you need to shell out the $$$ to get gear that's durable and that lasts. If you're asking for this for yourself, consider asking your whole family to pitch in for one item or if you're buying this for someone else, consider asking others to pitch in too! The top section of gear has more of the pricey items so if you want some smaller suggestions, scroll down! Below the gear section, Michael and I have both chosen a few pieces of gear that we both have (or want) and why we love them. Happy Shopping!!!


Jess gear.jpg
  1. Alo Yoga Moto Leggings | ON SALE!! $82.46 - I love working out and switching up my routine. From running to hot yoga to spin classes these leggings work for everything. And of course they're amazing for hiking and backpacking. Even after 10+ miles your skin and legs will be feeling great.
  2. Salomon Quest Prime GTX Hiking Boots | $190.00 - I bought these boots over a year ago and they're my favorite brand/pair I've owned thus far (and I've owned A LOT of hiking boots). They're extremely lightweight, durable and you can really stomp out some miles in these things. They keep your feet dry and at the end of a long day you're feet feel great! Usually after about a year I need to get a new pair of boots but these are still going strong. I love them!
  3. SunCloud Polarized Glasses | $49.95 - I picked up these glasses while in a fly shop down in the Smoky Mountains. They were cheap (only $50!) and they're a really great pair of polarized sunglasses. They have grip pads on your nose so even when you're sweaty from hiking they don't slip off and they're incredibly lightweight so you barely even feel them on your face. I love these glasses and wear them hiking, backpacking, fly fishing, etc... basically whenever I'm outdoors!
  4. Garmin Forerunner | $350.00 - I have my eye on this as a little Christmas gift to myself (cough MICHAEL cough). I love keeping track of stats. My friends know I keep lists of hikes, mileage, etc. The reviews on the website are pretty solid and I've always wanted a fitness tracker watch. I threw this one in for fun!
  5. Patagonia Nano Puff Bivy Pullover | $219.00 - I recently bought this for myself for a few reasons. First and foremost, Patagonia products come with a life-time warranty. They care SO much about making clothing that is sustainable and that will last a lifetime. Secondly, I needed a lightweight, warm jacket for fly fishing and hiking in the winter that I could layer under my thick outer shell without it being too bulky. This jacket is incredibly thin considering how warm it keeps you even in below 0 temps. I love this jacket and I HIGHLY recommend it. I have the color Elwha Blue and I really love how it pops in pictures!
  6. Salomon Trail Running Shoes | $160.00 - Another Christmas gift I'm eyeing for myself. I like to go running and the great thing about Richmond is you can run straight to some fun trail out on the river. Michael has a pair of Salomon trail runners and he wears them all the time for hiking and other activities. It would be great to have a shoe that I can put some miles on and also take out on the trails.
  7. Turtle Fur Neck Warmer | $19.99 - You all know I looove Turtle Fur and their neck warmers. I think they're stinkin' cute and they keep you SO warm. They have a ton of different thicknesses so you can really bundle up or just throw on something light to take the chill off. These would make a great stocking stuffer or little gift! I highly recommend anything by these guys!
  8. HydroBlu Water Bottle | $21.95 - I LOVE this water bottle (we did a gear review HERE). You can throw it into any backpack and fill it up anywhere. the straw in the bottle filters out all bacteria and viruses so you can safely drink water from any source. You can get 10% off any HydroBlu product if you use promo code "BESTJESS" at checkout!!

for my favorite beauty products I use to repair my damaged skin and hair after adventures go here! (they make great gifts!)


Michael's Picks:

  1. Arc'terxy Rain Jacket | $279-400 - Michael has invested in quite a few Arc'teryx jackets and I give him crap for it but they really are amazing jackets. The quality is amazing and even in the hardest downpour you're left bone dry underneath. The jackets will last a lifetime with proper care and can seriously take a beating.
  2. Sunday Afternoon Sun Hat | $42 - He wears this hat all the time when we're outdoors. Fly fishing or hiking, he's got it in his pack and he whips it out whenever the sun is out. It protects his face and neck from harmful rays... I'm getting on for myself next spring too!
  3. Osprey Manta Hydration Pack | $175 - Backpacks are so essential while we're outdoors. We lug so much gear around, especially when we're fly fishing. This pack is great because it comes with a pocket for a reservoir and tons of space and pockets for gear and snacks.
  4. Darn Tough Hiker Socks | $17-24 - Everyone should have some durable socks. While Michael has a vast collection of all different kinds and brands, Darn Tough are some of his favorites.
  5. Lowa Renegade Hiking Boot | $230 - Michael got these boots well over a year ago and they've hiked through Iceland, Montana, Wyoming, the Canadian Rockies and all over the east coast. He's packed some serious mileage onto these boots and they're nowhere near ready to replace. They're durable, waterproof and keep your feet feeling great. The only downside is they're a bit heavy.
  6. Chaco Z2 Sandal | $105 - Michael needs these bad. I don't know how he's lived so long without a pair of sandals he can wear while fly fishing in the summer (he's more of a barefoot kinda guy) but sometimes you really need something that will grip slippery rocks. Chacos are great because they have an anti-slip foot bed even when they're wet.
  7. Patagonia Baggies | $49.00 - Michael wears these 100% of the time we're outdoors when the weather permits (not freezing). They're incredibly durable shorts that are comfortable and dry quickly when they get wet. They can double as a bathing suit and can slip across rock surfaces and not get a hole. He has a few pairs and I have a few pairs too, we really love them!

* If you have any questions about Michael's recommendations shoot us an email and he can answer them. I wanted to get this post up before he had time to write out his own review for each item.