FLOOD Holiday Gift Guide: Travel and Outdoor

Stumped on what to buy someone on your gift list? Here at FLOOD, we polled the staff and put together our own picks for what we’d like for the holidays. Humble? Hm, not exactly, but here are a few helpful hints for the outdoorsy friend or traveler who has everything. And we brought along a couple of pals from the LA chapter of the Best Friends Animal Society to help us model some of the goods.


 

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1. YETI Tundra 35 cooler
It’s hard not to let appearances dictate the majority of your purchases, but usually when a product insists on an unadorned look, it simply means that it’s serious about doing exactly what it advertises. YETI Coolers out of Austin, Texas, adhere to this design principle, and they’ve succeeded in making some of the best coolers in existence in every size imaginable. Unless you’re looking for something big enough to haul away your own weight in fish from the lake, the Tundra 35 is the ideal match for any outdoorsman—particularly those looking to store about twenty cold ones on their next trip. But the real draw is its durability. These coolers were made to withstand an incredible beating, whether they’re called into service as a soapbox platform or are being used as a makeshift percussion instrument. And though we don’t recommend testing it, yes, the Tundra 35 is indeed grizzly proof. $300 at YETICoolers.com

2. Lumberlander Camp Blanket by Best Made Co./Pendleton
Hygge: the difficult-to-translate Danish word that refers to the sense of comfort and coziness that often accompanies the deep winter. Think a warm mug of cider, a gathering of close friends, and snow on the eaves (think extra hard if you’re in LA). There can be a magical tranquility to winter, and with most of the country now entering twenty-four-hour-blanket season, the time to secure a good covering is now. Pendleton’s blankets are so well made that their name might as well be the direct English corollary to that way they’re feeling out in Denmark. But New York’s Best Made Co. does them one better by marrying their own sense of style—and built-for-life guarantee—to Pendleton’s quality construction. Now quit hogging it. $188 at BestMadeCo.com

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Nuevo, a seven-year-old Mastiff mix, preparing to shred / photo by Justin Baker

3. Landyachtz Dinghy skateboard
You wouldn’t normally associate Canada with skateboarding, but those who can recall the opening scene of Freddy Got Fingered might remember that shredders such as Tom Green have actually been sprouting from our humble neighbors to the north for some time now. Helping spread the sport up there is Landyachtz—a Vancouver-based company nearing its twentieth year of making high-quality, nicely designed skateboards. The Dinghy board is a perfect addition to the lives of experienced rippers and newbies alike. Fast as a dream but smooth as silk, the only way you’re falling off this thing is if you forget to stop admiring it while you ride. $129 at Landyachtz.com

4. A trip to Honolulu for POW! WOW! Hawaii
Every year during the week of Valentine’s Day, over a hundred artists gather in Honolulu for POW! WOW!, an international festival of mural painting. The original event has created a global network of artists who throw gallery shows, organize lecture series, and present concerts. And while they’re expanding to include festivals in Taiwan, Long Beach, Israel, Singapore, and more, it’s always hard to beat the appeal of Hawaii. And let’s get real: do you want to be stuck on the mainland in mid-February, or do you want to be cruising around Oahu peeping fresh work from some of the world’s best street artists? Yeah. Us too. More info at POWWOWHawaii.com

 

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5. The Two Man Tent from Poler Stuff
Not every expedition is arctic, so why should your tent look like it’s ready for K2? Portland’s Poler Stuff specializes in camping gear and outdoors wear that doesn’t sacrifice style for performance. Their Two Man Tent has fully taped seams and a 3000mm waterproof coating to keep you and your gear dry, and its one-pole construction makes set up and tear down a breeze. And that distinctive pattern will help you stand out, whether you’re camping deep in the woods or in a field surrounded by 80,000 of your closest friends. $262 at PolerStuff.com

6. Lomo’Instant Wide Central Park Camera + Lenses
Stylish exterior and instant gratification. Isn’t that what we all want from life? Thanks to Lomography, you can get a little slice of the pie with the Lomo’Instant Wide camera. This analog dream—which comes with a bevy of different lenses for your ultra-artistic snaps—gives you the textured quality and happy accidents that come with shooting in film without having to wait a week for your photos to get developed. Take it on your next adventure and enjoy the memories before you get home. $259 at Shop.Lomography.com

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Pretzel, a nine-year-old Chihuahua mix, doesn’t particularly care whether you can see him or not / photo by Justin Baker

7. Hex Camo DSLR Backpack
Even though digital technology has revolutionized the world of photography, there’s still a remarkable amount of gear involved: extra batteries, cords, backup hard drives, multiple lenses. Luckily, the folks over at Hex have crafted a durable, stylish backpack made specifically for photographers on the go. With a large, reconfigurable storage area, zippered gear pockets, laptop storage, and a camouflage, water-resistant, wax-coated canvas exterior, the DSLR Backpack has everything a photographer needs—especially if they want their gear to stay well hidden in a forest setting. $199 at ShopHex.com

8. Garmin VIRB Elite action camera
These days, you’re probably being recorded everywhere you go whether you want to be or not, so it makes sense that more and more people are taking charge by simply filming themselves by choice. And if you plan on recording your own faceplant as you bike to work, you’re going to want that footage to be in high definition. Enter Garmin’s VIRB Elite action camera—a versatile, compact video device made to hang with you for all of life’s adventures and to capture every tiny moment in precise detail. Wi-Fi/GPS-capable and sporting a long battery life to boot, this is just the type of tool that you’ll want on you to make sure that if your life turns into 127 Hours, it’ll at least be entertaining later. $270 at Garmin.com

9. Big Agnes x Burton Camp Chair
Everyone loves camping, but let’s admit that we always like it a bit better when we’re comfortable. Roll that gnarled log away from the camp fire and take a load off—up to 320 pounds worth of load—with the Big Agnes x Burton Camp Chair. Sporting a cool print design and lightweight aluminum frame, this comfortable, rugged chair packs up in no time and will look good under the butt of you or any of your camping buddies. $105 at Burton.com


Best Friends Animal Society is the only national animal welfare organization focused exclusively on ending the killing of dogs and cats in America’s shelters. A leader in the no-kill movement, Best Friends runs the nation’s largest no-kill sanctuary for companion animals, as well as lifesaving programs in partnership with more than 1,300 rescue groups and shelters across the country. In LA, Best Friends leads the No-Kill Los Angeles (NKLA) initiative, which is focused on ending the killing of dogs and cats in city shelters by 2017, and it operates two centers: the NKLA Pet Adoption Center in West LA and the Best Friends Pet Adoption and Spay/Neuter Center in Mission Hills. Since its founding in 1984, Best Friends has helped reduce the number of animals killed in American shelters from 17 million per year to an estimated 4 million. For more information, visit BestFriends.org.

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