As a professional outdoorsman, proper equipment is essential to my survival. Consider them tools of the trade.
So for those last-minute shoppers among you, here's my gift guide to get you started:
1. Chaco Z/2 Yampa Sandal
You might think $100 is too much to pay for shoes that you can't wear to a black-tie event. But Chacos are guaranteed to get you there and back again. The Z/2 features a wrap-around toe loop that keeps your feet secure in the footbed. Adjustable straps create a custom fit and the polyester webbing dries fast. The non-marking Vibram outsole provides good traction and durability on land and water. www.chacos.com
2. Aussie Breezer Hat by Henschel Hat Co.
My favorite hat for hiking and backpacking, the Aussie Breezer offers a comfortable fit, excellent air flow and an outdoor style Indiana Jones would love. These hats are made in the United States. Price: $30. www.henschelhats.com
Tilley Outback Hat TWC6
My favorite paddling chapeau, the Tilley, has a broad, down-sloping brim that offers great sun protection with a UPF of 50-plus. The cotton fabric, with its waxed finish, takes on a leather-like appearance. Tilley hats are guaranteed for life. Price: $70. www.tilley.com (Not pictured on this page.)
3. Go Puck 5X Portable USB Charging Kit
Smart phones have great GPS, maps and up-to-date weather. Keep it charged with the GO PUCK, an ultra lightweight charger that fits in the palm of your hand. The Go Puck 5X can recharge your mobile phone 3 to 5 times on a single charge. Price: $99.
4. SingleNest hammock
A man's got to relax, even when adventuring. For $59.95, this light-weight hammock from Eagles Nest Outfitters is ideal for backpacking. It holds up to 400 pounds and packs small and weighs only 16 ounces. Add the suspension strap for $29.95. www.enonation.com
5. Helinox Ground Chair
At a $109.95, this camp chair may appear a bit pricey, but before you pass judgment, sit in it. The Helinox takes outdoor comfort to a new level. Compact, ultralight and simple to assemble, even minimalists watching every gram will want one. The chair weighs 22 ounces but holds 300 pounds. www.helinox.com
6. Sawyer Mini Water Filtration System
Finally, an ultralight water filter (2 ounces) that doesn't cost as much as a backpacking stove. . Price $24.99. www.sawyer.com
7. Optimus Crux Lite Solo Cook System
Finally, an ultralight backpacking stove that costs less than most, old-school water filters. This three-piece Cook System combines the Crux Lite stove and Solo Cook Set. Price: $59.95. www.optimusstoves.com
8. Luci Inflatable Solar Lantern
An elegant, inflatable and waterproof solar lamp. Luci functions as a task lamp and a lantern and has three light levels. Price: $14.99. www.mpowered.com
9. ParaHatchet by UST Survival
Made of 5mm black-oxide-finished stainless steel with a handle wrapped with 8.2 feet of heavy duty paracord, the ParaHatchet's blade has multi-sized hex tool and rope cutter. Price: $29.99. Also check out the Hammer Beast Multi-Tool and its smooth face hammer, pliers, nail puller, file, flathead screwdriver, phillips screwdriver, saw, knife blade, wire cutter, wrench. Price: $19.99. www.ultimatesurvival.com
Products supplied by Bill Jackson Shop for Adventure, Pinellas Park.