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RV Holiday Gift Giving Guide 2013

I love the holidays!  I love the twinkle lights, the music, the gift giving, and of course receiving lots of gifts (wink wink)!  Holiday shopping on the other hand typically leaves me saying far worse things than BA HUMBUG (insert choice words here)!  Don’t get me wrong, the joy of giving that super awesome and perfectly appropriate (or inappropriate) gift leaves me feeling all warm and fuzzy inside but the process of thinking, searching, bumping elbows and shopping carts just makes me want to poke my eyes out with candy canes.  And I have the sneaking suspicion I am not the only one who feels this way or who has impaled themselves with striped candy on occasion.

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So, we have put together some of our favorite finds of 2013 to help you avoid such behavior.  As for me, I am just going to try and stay away from the candy canes.

If you have a wondering friend or family member (or you’re buying yourself a gift this year), and you have no idea what to give, fear not, we’re here to help! Our annual gift giving guide is filled with our favorite gidgets, gadgets and all things for living life on the go. Finding the perfect gift for an RV’er, backpacker, hitchhiker or the luxury traveler can be a real brain drainer, here’s a few items that have made our travels a little more enjoyable this past year.

The prices are estimated, arranged from least expensive to most expensive and the links are to the best prices we’ve found on Amazon (oh…and we weren’t paid to recommend these products, it’s stuff we really use and if you buy from Amazon, they throw a few cents our way, think of it as your gift to us)

For the Eco Minded: Solio Classic2


Cost: $50
Why we like it: Small, Portable, charges in less than 5 hours of sun, and has a large enough battery to charge our smartphone from dead to full. We like this one because it folds small and opens up like a 3 prong sun dial, also I love the silver/white body. There’s a regular setting for most electronics and a special setting for the mac lovers out there (the Apple products of course have to be different). Here’s the link: Solio Classic2

For the Lite Packing Hiker: Camelbak All Clear

camelbak all clear

Cost: $70
Why we like it: There’s something about taking a long hike to a waterfall, then dipping our bottle into the water, and drinking that mountain fresh liquid…it just seems to make the payoff even better! With this compact bottle and UV light we can clean any clear water source, keeping our backpacks lighter for those long hikes through the mountains: Camelbak All Clear

For the Park Lover: America the Beautiful National Parks Pass

America the beautiful

Cost: $80
Why we like it: Free entry into all National Parks, Monuments and any federally operated recreation site across the USA. From BLM camping, to National Forest hiking this pass has literally saved us hundreds of dollars this year: National Park Pass

For the Soda Pop Gang: SodaStream Source

soda stream

Cost: $100
Why we like it: On a warm sunny day nothing beats a fizzy, tasty, and healthy homemade soda! We use a generous squeeze of lemon, lime and a couple mint leaves from our on-board organic herb garden…yum! It works great for creating fancy cocktails too! Biggest benefit is never having to worry about HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) or wasteful plastic bottles: SodaStream Source

For the Constantly Connected: Wilson Sleek 4g-V

wilson sleek

Cost: $105
Why we like it: To run a business and keep up with fellow travelers and friends we must be connected at all times…even when we’re out in the middle of nowhere Wild Camping. The Sleek is the best and least expensive way to boost our 4g and cell signal, and helps us stay connected in places that would otherwise have zero cell signal: Wilson Sleek 4G-V If you want to go all out and spoil the one you love make sure you upgrade the antenna, it boosts the signal even more: Magnet Mount Antenna 301125

For the Water Hater or Lover: H2O Labs Portable Water Distiller

water distiller

Cost: $220
Why we like it: We like to drink plenty of water…but we don’t like water that tastes horrible! This small water distiller can turn 1 gallon of any water (and I do mean ANY pond, lake, rain, ocean…) into clean, safe and great tasting water. If you’re consistently on the move and you demand pure water, a distiller is a must: H2o Labs Water Distiller

For the Snowbird: On The Go Portable Water Softener


Cost: $300
Why we like it: We began this year in Lake Havasu City, AZ. I was told by another RV’er to make sure I flushed the calcium build up out of our hot water tank monthly….WHAT?!?! Come to find out hard water is extremely damaging to the hot water tank, all faucets, all fittings inside the plumbing, and more! Hard water is a major issue for RV’s that spend an extended amount of time in the Southwest…plus hard water tastes like crap (ok, not literally but it’s bad). After a little research and some in-depth conversations with other snowbirds in the know, we ended up with the “double standard” portable water softener (We have the double which costs $375), and we can’t thank our snowbird friends enough: Portable Water Softener

For the Cooker (and the looker!): Solar Oven

solar oven

Cost: $300
Why we like it: Uses the power of the sun to cook food…and it works way better than our convection oven and microwave. Other bonus: foods stay more moist, keeps the RV cooler by not running oven, clean up is better for Wild Camping and it forces you to go outside! By far one of my favorite gadgets of 2013: All American Sun Oven

For the Directionally Challenged: RVND 7720 LM

rv gps

Cost: $300
Why we like it: We’ve been using the Rand McNally brand GPS units since they were launched and we absolutely love them. This year we finally upgraded to the 7720 and it’s even faster than previous versions. As usual it keeps us off those illegal routes, out of the restricted tunnels, and saves us from the low clearance bridges (even in Canada). We think an RV GPS is a must for every RV’er…yes, even if you still like to use the old paper maps this GPS is worth the investment: RV GPS

For the Adventurous Documentarian: GoPro Hero 3 Black

go pro

Cost: $330
Why we like it: This camera can take a beating, and ours definitely does. Video, Photography, Timelapse, SCUBA, Suction cupped on the windshield at 70 MPH, dropped while hiking, and somehow it still survives. If you don’t have a GoPro yet I’m not sure what you’re waiting for: GoPro HERO3: Black

For the Solar Dabbler: Go Power! Portable Solar Kit

cat solar

Cost: $550
Why we like it: A “Zero Install, No Commitment” way to add solar power to your RV. There’s multiple sizes but we have the 120 watt panel and we love it. We like to call it the “gateway drug” for solar ’cause once you get started you’re gonna wanna go all the way: Go Power! 120W Portable Kit

For the Crappy Friend: Nature’s Head Composting Toilet

composting toilet

Cost: $910
Why we like it: No More Black Tank! Enough said! Best part is they will think of you every time they “go”. Seriously if you buy this for someone for Christmas please let us know, because you (or they) must have a great sense of humor! Nature’s Head Composting Toilet

So…Happy Shopping! If you’re out there searching for that perfect gift for us here’s our wish list: Good Beer, Local Spirits, Tasty medium-roast coffee, fancy chocolate and a $500 gas card (x 10)!

If you want to see our favorites from previous years we’re full of opinions and happy to share 🙂

Famous for my "how-not-to" videos, and typically the man behind the camera, sometimes I’m forced to be here in the “spotlight”. When you see my face you’re probably reading something more technical than adventurous, but either way I do my best to tell it like it is and infuse my opinions into the commentary…after all this is a blog and not MSN.

Comments (18)

  • Simonne

    Hi Nikki & Jason,
    I was looking for your water distiller, because I thought that would come in handy with our boondocking lifestyle.
    I was warned however, by friends of us, that drinking distilled water in larger quantities can be hazardous to your health.
    Looking in to that matter, I dicovered they were right.
    So, I skipped that idea alltogether…

  • Fran Gardiner

    Does you kitty ever decide to take a walk on the wildside and leave you waiting and hoping he comes back SOON?

    • Not really. We usually walk them on a leash and only let them run free when we are Wild Camping and only when we are with them outside.

  • LOVE that distiller and this entire list in general. I’ve never even considered a distiller until now — it just makes sense. Thank you !! xoxo

  • Tracy

    I am looking for a GPS for my RV. Several reviews seem to prefer the Garmin RV 760LMT over your RVND 7720/7725. Does anyone have any input that can help me choose one?

  • Rick Clements

    A more RV friendly solar oven.

    • That is interesting Rick… Honestly, I think I still prefer my sun oven for certain meals but I think I would like one of these too!!!

  • Mary. Van

    I guess this means you have all of these great gadget? And what would you buy for the RVer who has it all?

  • That is a great guide. If I was a full timer…I think I would just copy you guys. 🙂 lol

  • In case this is being monitored by the powers that be (who are we kidding… of COURSE Santa follows the Wynns!), we want to make it clear that we have been very, very good this year. 😉

    Seriously great list. We’re currently en route to the desert SW (where we spend most winters) and can attest to the “crap” water, which we suggest really DOES taste like crap. So the water softener is on our short list, along with that sweet new Hero 3 Black.

    Oh, and Santa… don’t forget the Rode Shotgun Mic! 🙂

  • al ciauri

    great gift ideas, love the cats. Its amazing that they stay so close to the coach. You guys are great love your posts. Keep it up and stay healthy and happy.

  • Great suggestion you Wynns! and not just for RV’s!

  • You have no idea how happy that picture of your cat made me!!!! Sooooooo cute!!!!!!! Anyway great list. I’m still so intrigued by your solar oven.


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