Solio Bolt Charging Phone

Nomad Friendly Gift Giving Guide

I don’t know about you, but for us it seems like it was Spring just a few days ago! Now that I think of it, I haven’t heard Jingle Bells but once, how can that be?  Maybe it’s the fact we haven’t been shopping…and inundated with Michael Buble’s latest holiday mix.

Nomad Gift giving guide

In general we prefer to focus on spending time with the people we love and less on the gift giving part of the holidays. However, we still exchange some gifts and this means it’s time to get down to travel gift giving business.

If you’re still reading, it means you probably have a wondering friend or family member and you have no idea what to give them.  Finding the perfect gift for an RV’er , backpacker, hitchhiker or the luxury traveler can be a real brain drainer.  Even more draining is figuring out what gift they will actually use, and even worse what gift might fit in their limited space lifestyle.  Never fear, we have listed our favorite gidgets, gadgets and all things for living on the road.  Here are a few items that have made our travels a little more enjoyable. (oh, and we weren’t paid to recommend these products, we really like these things and would be happy if you decided to give us another! Ha!)

For the Coffee and Tea Lover: French Press
Cost: around $20 – $40
Why we like it: A French Press can be used for coffee or loose leaf tea; we love anything that’s dual purpose! A French Press is one of, if not the best way, to get maximum flavor from all your leaf and bean drinks. It’s easy to use, electrical power isn’t necessary and you get rich flavor. You can prepare hot or cold press coffee / tea, it’s simple cleanup and eco-friendly. We recommend a double walled in stainless steel, it keeps drinks warmer longer and you don’t have to worry about glass breaking. For the on-the-go drinker try the stainless Bodum Travel Press….we have 2 (thanks mom)!


For the Sweet Blooded Outdoor Adventurer: ThermaCELL Insect Repellant
Cost: $34-39
Why we like it: Bugs bite and Nikki is a magnet for them…and that’s what makes this one of our favorite outdoor accessories. It’s portable, provides a 15 x 15 foot coverage area and its effective against 98% of mosquitoes, black flies (the worst) and no-see-ums. Seriously this thing really works! We purchased ours when living off the cord in Virginia and the no-see-ums attacked at full force. No more deet laden sprays and no more bug bites! If you’re short on space get the ‘portable’ version, for us we bought the LED lamp version and we use it all the time for soft light at the campsite (don’t forget rechargeable batteries).


camelbak all clear
For the Hydro-Maniac: Camelbak All Clear
Cost: $99
Why we like it: Drink water safely…anywhere! This UV light kills most every type of bacteria so you can literally scoop up water from an old gross pond, click the button, and drink! Now we’re not saying it’s gonna taste great, but if you’re in an emergency situation you can safely drink any water! We want one so we can carry less water when hiking, especially when we’re doing a river crossing, or ending at a waterfall! There are other brands like SteriPen if you want to compare the specs.

For the Eco Minded: Solio Xcellerator
Cost: $100
Why we like it: Solar panels are expensive and not every day is sunny. The Xcellerator provides a rapid charge even in low light conditions. Our Solio Bolt charges 2x faster with the flat Xcellerator attached.
The Xcellerator comes with a small 2000-mAh HUB battery pack but it also charges other solio models that have a battery pak. If your cell phone, e-reader, camera, etc runs out of juice just plug directly into the USB port on the solio and voila! You have instant charging power ANYWHERE! Great for the traveler who forgets to charge up before heading out, and the perfect gift for the eco-minded.

For the Sedentary or the Active: Personal Activity Tracker
Cost: $75
Why we like it: We don’t have one of these….yet. Love the idea. It’s like a pedometer on Crack! You can track your movements, sleep patterns, set goals, document food intake, and most models offer some sort of motivating social ‘badge’ interaction and progress reports. Coolest feature: a buzzer that reminds you to move if you’ve been still too long! There are several brands offering a similar take: Nike FuelBand, FitBit Zip & One, and the Jawbone. Not sure which one we’ll get, but we totally want one! (hint, hint) 🙂

The Word Lover: E-reader or Tablet
Cost: from $79-$150
Why we like it: Between the two of us we have an e-ink reader and a tablet and love them both. With the Tablet we can store all of our books, magazines, movies and more all in one device! It satisfies all of our multimedia desires and then some. When we feel like diving into a good novel we pick up the e-ink reader because it’s easier on the eyes for long periods of reading (it’s not a backlit digital screen). They’re both light weight and no more magazines and books taking up the very valuable storage space! Yeah for more space and less paper! It’s a no brainer.

sony cam
For Those who Capture Every Moment: Human Proof Camera
Cost: $200 – $400
Why we like it: When you live on the road you never know where you’ll end up, or what the weather’s going to be like. When you arrive at that National Park and it happens to be snowing, are you really going to leave your camera in the car? Panasonic, Nikon, Go Pro, and several other brands now make Waterproof, Shockproof, Freezeproof, and Dustproof cameras that capture crystal clear photos and HD video no matter what the weather’s like outside your door. So go on, take that camera into the waterfall with you and ‘click’ away!

For the Directionally Challenged Road Warrior: RV GPS
Cost: $325
Why we like it: While we haven’t had the opportunity to test out this exact unit, it’s on our wish list. We have the 7710 and love the long list of built in options like campgrounds, Boondocking BLM locations, rest stops and more points of interest than we’ll ever need. The updated 7720 LM now has all of this plus WiFi, weather, video and a fuel log. It’s the all in one ultimate RV gadget!

For the Music and Movie Lover: Amazon Gift Cards
Cost: Any amount you want!
Why we like it: Most every traveler I know relies heavily on music and movies to keep them entertained on long hauls. It’s easy, no in store shopping required to redeem and especially perfect for anyone who won’t be around to unwrap a gift with you (no shipping), and a great ‘green’ option: consider the paper and fuel saved! Hooray Mother Earth!

We’ve hyperlinked with Amazon shopping so that you can 1-click and buy. If you click from our site we do receive a small commission and we thank you for helping keep us on the road.  Happy Shopping!

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 (19)

  • John Schroeder

    Have you seen this before? It looks like a perfect RV coffee accessory. I am tempted to ask for one for Christmas to get my coffee fix in the morning while we are in the RV.

    Uniterra Nomad espresso machine

  • Great list guys!! Wish we have found this earlier.
    This year we got each other nothing 🙁
    Don’t have a lot of room in our bags to carry stuff around.
    The Itunes and Amazon cards are a great idea. 🙂

  • Mary. Van

    Lots of great ideas! Thank you! One for you, one for me. Someone told me this years ago so when I shop for family and friends I usually will pick up something for myself.

  • Suzy

    Just ordered the Water Purifier with a pre filter. I would never have thought of that. Thank you, We do a White Elephant every year and I know this gift will be the hot item of the year.

    • Suzy, we love ours and if we were a part of your white elephant we would be all over it! Happy Hollidays!

  • Suzy B

    Very well thought out gifts. I am putting them on my 2013 wish list. My 2 top items you discovered is the Bug light and water purifier. I have some prepers on my list. The Camera wish I had known about that sooner. We took our first trip to the Caribbean and purchased a waterproof camera specifically for that trip. Got some great pics however as soon as we hit the water, it died. Went completely black. We were snorkeling for the first time in the BVI’s . Camera broke my heart. Great suggestions. Happy Holidays to you and you Kitty’s.

    • Suzy B
      To be perfectly honest our first Panasonic splashproof camera died a little after 2 years of use. Our GoPro has lived through many adventures and is still going strong. I love the idea of these lifeproof cameras, even if they aren’t going to last forever.

  • Ibrey Woodall

    Didn’t know about the Fitbit. Pretty cool. I might have to ask Santa for one of those. Thanks for heads up on it.

  • we are so not ready for Christmas. Its the first time ever that we have not thought about what gifts to buy. We don’t even know where we will be leaving Mackay to head to Bundaberg to spend time with family cause we are so busy with renovations. Your gifts are a great idea for nomad travellers.

    • Well, Lisa we’re right there with you! We haven’t purchased a darn thing yet! ooops.

  • Dean

    The RVND 7720 LM is going for a special price reduction of $100.00 off the price if you give them any old gps! Good deal at 249.99 with the exchange!

  • Irene

    Great ideas, even if you’re not a road warrior. I just love it that you two keep us informed on a variety of subjects. Your posts are so informative and FUNNY that I can’t wait for the next one! Merry Christmas!

  • Churchie

    Yes, some new, very interesting ideas. going 2 keep my eye out For the Directionally Challenged Road Warrior: RVND 7720 LM

    Thank U

    Churchie 10 – 7

    • You’re directionally challenged too? I tell everyone GPS has saved my marriage! Nikki hates reading maps and I hate getting lost…

  • Donald Johnson

    Put in links and make money from an article like this!

  • Renee

    Great ideas. Thanks


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