I just unpacked from a trip to the Southwest USA, and am prepping to take off again to the Appalachian Mountains for the holidays. As I unpack to pack again, I realize that there’s certain gear that we take no matter where it is that we venture to. So, as the holidays’ approach and gift buying is in full mode my go-to gifts for friends and family are the type of items they can use. It’s the gear that we take no matter where we go, or what time of year we go.

I favor gift ideas that are small and practical. Let’s face it, everyone has their own taste, style, and storage capacity in their home. We’ve all gotten gifts that make us cringe, like the 4ft. x 6ft. random religious wall mosaic I once received, or large statues of foreign monuments that for some reason I have been gifted a few times over!

Ok yes… In New Mexico, I was pondering whether I should get the large Roadrunner art statue that I thought was cool at the gallery to gift, but… I caught myself and just had to laugh out loud – LOL! What was I thinking?! Please don’t tell me that it is just the thought that counts when gifting – because we wouldn’t gift crazy things if we really think of the person we’re buying for.

I like gifts that are useful, cool, compact & practical. Last year, a friend gave me this puff-ball cell phone power bank that I snapped onto my bag. This gift saved me many times on the go, to juice my phone. I thought of her and was grateful for her gift each time I used it! On the other hand, the gifters’ of the large foreign monuments that are sitting on a shelf in the corner, I remember each time I have to dust around them. 😉

The items that I am unpacking to repack again this week, are what I am going to gift this holiday. Items fit for every day and for everyone: the traveler, camper, festival goer, outdoor recreation enthusiast, and around towner. This gear is not stuff that you will use in your home. These are all things that are geared to make you happier or keep you protected or better prepared away from home.

So, whether you are looking for stocking stuffers, a birthday gift, or a checklist for your own suitcase here is some essential gear to get or to gift – all under $25:

Lightweight & Compact Backpack

Having an extra bag on hand when you are away is always useful.  These are the qualities that I look for to take with me: lightweight, compact, stylish, good size and versatility. Versatility is a key quality I look for in buying a gift. I think of the person to buy for and what their day is like, hobbies, etc. & pick a bag and color. I like this Zomake backpack style bag, it’s only eight ounces & compactly put in a small matching zip bag, available in a rainbow of colors.

Portable Wine Pouch

How many times do you want to take wine or other drinks along but can’t carry the glass bottles because they are too heavy or may break? I think this is great for traveling, camping, going to the beach, and concerts. The pouch type weighs nothing, empty ;-), no taste transfer noted either. This comes in handy on the go & doesn’t take up space to store at home.

Wipes for Everything

A convenient & practical gift. No one wipe cleans everything, and wipes for all things and body parts are great to have on hand when you need them.  I mean try to clean a pair of glasses or your phone with a regular wipe & you get weird streaks or a greasy film. We need another type for our face… or booty…get the drift? A company that knows wipes and has them for everything is Savvy Travelers. They have gift packs with wipes for hands, devices, glasses, face, mouth, booty, and beyond. Little individual packs take up no space and come in handy especially great for travel or to clean or freshen up on the go.

All-weather Cell Case

A waterproof, snowproof, dustproof cell phone case with armband and lanyard. For adventures where you want the extra protection and portability.  It’s way better to put your phone and other little items in this type of case to keep the sweat. sand, snow, water, and dirt away.

Earbuds for On the Go

We all want a few extra earbuds in our stash. The less-expensive but decent ones are usually what we want to take on the go with us traveling, to the gym, and around town. Sure our Apple Airbuds are awesome, but many times we don’t want to take them and lose them. An extra pair is a nice little gift and these Simpletech are decent, dependable, low price & have good Amazon ratings.

Small Power bank

You can never have too many power banks! I don’t know how but these things disappear, get lost, forgotten places, and so giving or getting one is always useful. I consider them a fashion accessory and like to think of the person and choose a special one for their likes. They have them to fit every person from the hardcore 4 port heavier ones in black,  to the Coca-Cola, or Hello Kitty fan. So make a personal selection, but choose one that works fast and gives at least one full charge before a re-charge.  I like this Lipstick size Anker power bank it’s small, stylish and dependable.

Collapsible Water Bottle

This is another good gift. Water bottles are another item that you can’t have enough of because they also seem to get lost everywhere. I really like the Hydro Flask and think they have great products. However, for traveling a lightweight, collapsible Nomader is great. It’s compact, foldable, BPA free and a good quality and size, and comes in a bunch of colors.

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