It's been a slow week, not much going on outside and no hiking trips to speak of, so I thought I'd share some photos of a few funny little backpacking-related stocking stuffers that my wife bought for me this year. It's always fun to put things on my Christmas list that seem to make no sense at all. For example..
Heat Shrink Tubing - Not something I would normally want for day-to-day DIY projects and I'm not much of an electrician, but heat shrink tubing has dozens of uses for outdoors and backpacking. You can use short lengths of it on the ends of cord or rope to help seal the ends and the bright yellow or white tubing is perfect for making your titanium tent stakes high-viz without adding a lot of weight.
Bic Mini Lighters - What really needs to be said about these? Smaller and easier to pack than the standard size, reliable, brightly colored, and still relatively long lasting. Definitely something I like to stock up on when I see them on sale or for Christmas stocking stuffer suggestions for family.
Mini Jars - If you haven't checked out Lawson Equipment yet then you need to. Lawson only stocks a handful of items on his website, but those that he does are all of very high quality, made in the U.S., and perfect for UL backpackers.
These mini jars for example are very hard to find anywhere else, that I know of. They come as a set of four (1/4oz, 1/2oz, 1oz, 2oz) and are food grade and dishwasher safe. I like to use these for thick creams of lotions that I want to dip my finger into to apply to my skin, perfect for foot creams and better than dropper bottles for those types of things.
Mini Dropper Bottles - they may not be good for thicker lotions or creams, but mini dropper bottles will always have their place in the ultralight backpacker's arsenal. I've ordered several types of these over the years, but have never found them in these sizes (check out the tiny one on the right) or of this quality.
Another Lawson Equipment exclusive as far as I know, these mini dropper bottles are BPA free and dishwasher safe, although I would not recommend you put them in a dishwasher! They come in a set of four (3m, 6ml, 10ml and 15ml) and the smallest one is perfect for your AquaMira mix! Unlike other cheaper dropper bottles that I have bought in bulk, these have tight fitting dropper heads and lids - these will last a very long time.
Mini Vials - When you need to store small, dry items like medicines (tablets), lead shot for fishing, or sharp items, these mini vials are perfect. These are good for liquids too, I particularly like to use them for carrying olive oil or hot sauce for my meals because they seal/screw a little tighter than all of the other bottles and are incredibly strong. They each hold .25oz and come as a pair.
Line Locks - I have several small sewing projects planned for 2012 which will require these small line locks for them. These are pretty small and designed for use with 2mm or 3mm cord and 1/2" webbing for attaching to the material. These were $1.50 for a pack of four, so I ordered four sets to make sure I had plenty. I added these to my Christmas stocking myself (wink).
So there you have it. A couple of different small backpacking-related stocking fillers that I got this year. It's too late for them to be any use for you to use this year, but maybe these will give you some ideas for next year. I'm looking forward to 2012 and getting outside as much as possible. Happy New Year to all or my readers and happy trails!
Disclosure: The author either bought all of the items with their own funds or was given them as gifts by family members. These were not provided for free by any vendors..
Brian is a Charlotte based backpacker, gear junkie, runner, and CrossFit(er). Originally from Southampton, England, Brian has lived in the US for over 20 years, finally settling in North Carolina. He spends as much time backpacking as his busy work schedule and family life will allow.