Just this morning, one of my run buddies had asked if anyone in our group had started their Christmas shopping. The question was met with a response of everyone being shocked that Thanksgiving was this week. Needless to say, no one has started to fill their tree with gifts just yet.
I am rarely one to prepare for Christmas by shopping months in advance. Actually, I usually wait until the week before. Had we been super thoughtful in our travels, we could have picked up gifts along the way for everyone. But we didn’t. To be honest, it would have just taken up space in the Airstream so it’s probably a good thing we didn’t. Sorry friends and family who are reading this!
It can be challenging enough shopping for loved ones, but even more so for the ones who live in less than 200SQFT and are constantly on the move. It’s hard to get them “stuff” because they don’t have room for it and gift cards might even be a challenge since some stores aren’t nationwide.
That is why I am putting together a list of things that can be super useful to folks who live full time on the road. I know I know, this could just be a ploy for our parents to see what we want for Christmas, which would have been awesome as a kid, but we have most of the items I am going to list so the selfishness is a bit removed.
Gifts for people you kind of like:
- National Parks Pass ($80). Each park costs roughly $35 per entry so if you hit more than three parks a year (or the same park multiple times) then you have exceeded the cost of the pass. We didn’t purchase our pass until our third National Park so in all, we spent a hefty amount of entry fees. But hey, we are happy to support the parks.
- National Parks Map ($40+). There are a few things I love about this map. For one, it’s aesthetically pleasing. Second, you’re supporting a small business by purchasing through sites like Etsy. And lastly, it’s a lot of fun to map out which parks you’ve hit and the ones you with to visit in the future.
- Hiking Pack ($59+). When setting out on long day hikes, you usually need to bring some snacks, camera, and an extra layer in case the weather changes, and it will. The hiker will want something lightweight and bright in color.
- RV Club Memberships (35+). There are a variety of RV club memberships you have sign up for save you on campground fees. They usually are only valid at private RV parks so keep that in mind if the one you are buying for nomads who leverage the state and national parks more. There is a neat membership that allows RVers to stay for free overnight at various wineries, breweries, farms, and museums. It’s called Harvest Host and they are gaining traction amongst the RVing crowd.
- Bear Spray ($50). While this gift may not be super exciting, it’s very very very useful. One thing we heard A LOT while on the trail was, “It’s too expensive so we didn’t buy it”. WHAT! Do you know how expensive reattaching a limb is? Or reconstructive surgery? OR A FUNERAL!? Anyway, it’s something that should be a part of any hikers, beginner to advance, day pack.
Gifts for people you really like:
- GPS Watch ($$-$$$). For serious adventurers, a GPS watch can help guide them successfully through any hiking, biking, or kayaking trips. Sure, you could use a compass, but what is the fun in that? Some can even measure elevation which can be very helpful to determine how much further one should proceed. Another option is to use an app on your smart phone, but most of the places we have been seeking adventure are places cell service doesn’t reach.
- Kayak ($-$$$). If the nomad in your life has the proper transportation setup for some kayaks, they can be invaluable to them. There are plenty of lakes, rivers, and oceans that have great little islands where you can explore but you can only get there if you have a mode of water transportation.
Foldable Solar Panels ($$-$$$). This is actually a very tricky gift because you have to know what the nomad’s battery set up is like in order to purchase the correct panels. This shouldn’t even make the list.
- GoPro ($$). Capturing the places your nomad friend adventures to could be a great way for them to share their journey with you. A GoPro is a good option because it’s easy to use, takes high quality photos/video and it is small enough to carry or wear without it getting in the way.
- Goodyear Gift Card ($-$$$). Tires are probably the least exciting thing to purchase but when you are putting tens of thousands of miles on your vehicle (and trailer) per year, but new tires are something that creep up on you quickly. There is no better feeling than fresh rubber under your house when you’re cruising up the interstate.
To take this gift giving guide one step further, you could even purchase some (most) of these items from a mom and pop shop nearest to you. Not only are you scoring some sweet gifts, you’re helping a small business.
Happy Thanksgiving, y’all!