family of sailors

The Black Hole & Nomad Friendly Gifts

It’s Thanksgiving today for us and our fellow Americans (happy Thanksgiving). This is the first holiday season we’ve spent outside of the USA but certainly not the first time we’ve been away from family for a holiday or special event.

I especially enjoy Thanksgiving because its focused on sitting down to a meal with the ones you love and sharing all the many things we’re thankful for. It’s not about gifts but giving thanks.  We may be far from our family and friends but our hearts are filled with nothing but gratitude.

family of sailors

We tried to take a family photo, but this is as close as its going to get.

Oddly enough, after this wonderful day of feasts and giving thanks comes the next day. Black Friday. The day of mass chaos, consumerism, and all around madness. We suggest staying far, far away from any store, unless you’re morbidly curious and you want to get in some good people watching.

We always struggle with big shopping days like Black Friday and even Cyber Monday. On one hand, you can get some great deals and save a chunk of change on something you had every intention of buying before it went on sale. But, on the other hand, it’s all too easy to fall into the consumerism black hole. You know the one where you start buying things simply because the deal seems to good to pass up. Like a complete set of Star Wars DVDs even though you don’t own a DVD player anymore!?! You know what I am talking about.

In order to avoid the black hole and take advantage of the potential savings, we make a list. We have a short list of items we intend to purchase whether its for ourselves or our loved ones. We check the websites for those items the night before to see what the deals are and when they begin. Then, we stay focused and only buy what’s on the list. It’s worked well for us the past several years.

With all that said you might be wondering what’s on our list. Well, considering we’ve busted the bank and bought one helluva boat, not much!

However, each year we put together a short list of Nomad Friendly Gift ideas. It’s a combination of things on our personal wish list and those we found, loved and think any of our fellow travelers would enjoy.  You can always check out our Gear Store for more ideas and info on our fave gear but everything listed below is under $150 and most are under $50.


2016 Nomad Friendly Gifts


Let there be light

best sailing lightsMuch like burning man it’s not good to be a darkie when you are out in the wild (anchored out on a sailboat or wild camping on land). We have a few power friendly lights we have come to love.  All the lights below are waterproof, rechargeable and super durable.

  • Lucie Light:  These little inflatable lights are great mood setters.  We clip them onto our boards for nighttime paddles, bury them in the sand and we can place them almost anywhere on the boat.
  • Mantus Snap-On Lights & Headlamp:  We discovered these babies while researching our new anchor.  We figured they would be nice but we had no idea just how fantastic they would be.  The snap-on lights are super rugged, great for while underway at night (red light setting) and even better when we are anchored out in a dark area but want to make ourselves more visible. The headlamp is super bright and makes working in the dark narrow spaces on the boat much easier.  The headlamp is also a great night time paddling addition and it’s submersible for shallow dives.
  • Navisafe Tricolor:  I am amazed how many dinghy’s don’t have proper night time lights.  We like this one because it can be attached with a magnet or suction cup.  We keep it tucked away out of the elements and snap it on when we need it.


The traveling chef

best tiny kitchen giftsWe cook most of our meals in and rarely eat out. Not only is it budget friendly, we eat much healthier when we control what goes onto our meals. Here are two of my favorite cooking devices that prepare 95% of all of our meals.  If you’ve watched our videos, chances are you have seen me cooking with these.

  • Dash Griddle:  This is the newest addition to my kitchen and replaced our almost 10 year old griddler (he had a good run).  I like this new griddler because it is a wide surface area, has a lip to help keep food from spilling over and can be used open faced or closed.  Perfect for roasting potatoes, brussel sprouts, stir frying, pancakes, paninis, and anything else you would cook in a saute pan.
  • Central Oven:  I found this device a few years back and it continues to be my favorite kitchen gadget.  I use this as I would any oven.  It’s fast, efficient, a snap to clean up and doesn’t create the heat a traditional oven does.  Cookies, cakes, fish, rice, muffins, reheating leftovers…pretty much anything.


Foodies Delight

traveler friendly giftsYou can’t go wrong with good consumables…and we’re not talking space cakes (unless you’re in Colorado).  Craft anything is always a treat. Locally roasted coffee, chocolate, specialty brews, limited release wines, gourmet spices and the list goes on.  If you don’t have a locally made lovely something available near you, here are a few of our go to favorites:

(To our friends and family heading our way, if you’re reading this please bring craft brews in a can, small batch coffee, and chocolate! These things are like gold here in the islands.)

Clean Freaks Rejoice

best vacuum for sailboatIt’s no secret I like to keep things tidy. I wouldn’t call myself a clean freak but with two cats in a small space, I find the need to quickly vacuum high traffic areas daily (or more like 3 times daily!).  I don’t know what I would do without this small, crazy useful sucker.  The big deal here is the lithium battery…its what supplies the continuous sucking power.  With out that, it would just be another cheap vacuum.  I can easily tidy up the whole boat on one charge and the flexible hose makes getting into small spaces a breeze.


The Connected Adventurer

handbag for sailorsCell phones aren’t just phones anymore. They’re our camera, wallet, id, navigation device and messaging machines. Why not have a waterproof, floating protective bag for such a valuable device?  I have fallen in love with this little bag and now it is the only handbag I carry and own.


Future Spielberg

best action cameraOk, so you might not be making the next big blockbuster but it’s the creativity that counts. The super affordable SJCam is perfect for an underwater sequence, on ground action and above ground stunts.

  • Want the camera only, buy it from B&H: 
  • Want the camera and some goodies, buy it from  Use the discount code WYNNS and get these extras:  10% Off Entire Order, SJ4000 Action Camera, MicroSD Card, Adventure Monopod Selfie Stick, 4-Axis Suction Mount, Torque Tool and more.

Photographers side note, if you’re looking for cameras and electronics (such as our beloved Sony A6, A7 & Action Cams), make sure to check out B&H special deals, there are some big discounts on cameras, lenses and accessories happening for Black Friday and the holidays.


Hey Bartender!

best bar tender toolThe only thing we love more than a cold beer is a well crafted cocktail!  Of course fresh squeezed ingredients are always best but sometimes fresh can be hard to come by.  I always stock up on these mixers when I can (we are currently out, feel free to restock us if you come for a visit).  If you have a cocktail loving friend, they should appreciate these gems.


Provisioning Protection

best tote for provisionsWhether we’re on a mission for provisions or packing a picnic we have found these insulated bags to be a major food saver! They’re great for keeping things cold or hot and surprisingly they don’t leak when the ice melts.


For the furballs

traveling sailing catsWe don’t have dogs so you’ll have to fly solo there, but our traveling cats love these few things more than land:


We never recommend anything we don’t have personal experience with and love.  If you shop on Amazon, buy electronics from B&H or any other product listed in our Gear Store, please consider clicking through here on our website (there is an Amazon link at the bottom of every page). If you do, we get a small commission on any purchase you make in the following 24 hours. There’s no added cost to you, but it does make a big difference for us. Thank you for the consideration!

Most importantly, we are so very thankful to have each and every one of you here.  We feel as though we have a large group of extended family that’s a part of our journey.  Where ever you are in the world, we hope your holidays are filled with love, laughter and lots of adventure.

Hello there! I honestly don’t know what to say, so I am going to tell you a bunch of random facts instead. I'm a fish eating vegetarian who hates spiders and loves snakes. I almost never took vacations growing up. I wanted to be Pippi Longstocking (still do). I misspell about every other word I write and still struggle with grammar. I love splurging on a good high tea (which is really hard to find these days). And whatever you do, don’t tell me I can’t do something, because then I'll HAVE to do it!

Comments (28)

  • Christy Hicks / Rixanne

    Hey peeps! Broken link to the gear: Use the discount code WYNNS and get these extras: 10% Off Entire Order, SJ4000 Action Camera, MicroSD Card, Adventure Monopod Selfie Stick, 4-Axis Suction Mount, Torque Tool and more.

  • Some of the product links go to mostly blank pages on your website. We’re thinking of picking up one or two things. If you get something if I buy one of these with the right link we will wait for a week or two for an updated link. You are in essence selling it, so you deserve a piece of the pie.
    And a beer.

    • Curious Minion

      Thanks so much for wanting to help out Tom! Our computer guy has been working on the gear store problem and will hopefully have it fixed in no time. Please hang on if you can.

    • Pie and Beer…now you’re talking our language. Make it ala mode and we’re BFF’s 🙂

  • Deborah Kerr

    Cute picture!!

  • Sarah

    Hi Nikki,
    Your website is very well done and you provide so much helpful information. Thank you! My husband and I are planning on taking off on our own sailing journey in a couple of years with our soon-to-be son (he’s due January 4th!) You’re videos and blogs have been an inspiration to us.
    We decided to buy the Sony a6000 camera per your recommendation from B&H website. I wasn’t sure how to ensure you get some credit/commission for the sale as I believe you have an arrangement with them, so I emailed them through their website to let them know that we bought the camera from them based on your recommendation.
    Keep up the good work and love your view on life and how to life it to the fullest!
    Happy Holidays,

  • I saw the vacuum on the nav table and was wondering what the heck it was and what does it have to do with navigation. Makes complete sense to me now.

  • Roger

    We have three Luci Lights that we take RVing. You are the first, that now I know, have Luci Lights. They are the grertest.

  • Jerry & Laura Rittenhouse

    You two are an inspiration to all who dream of traveling! Love all your video’s and look forward to more! We have watched your land travel’s and now excited to see your sailing! We are in north West Michigan and spend our Summer’s on our power boat on Grand Traverse Bay and Lake Michigan! Have been going to the Key’s since the early seventies during the winter and love the marina’s and island’s! Ever hear of the Great Loop? It would be a great voyage for you two! Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Holliday’s. May the wind be at your back and your sailing smooth!

  • Doreen Colnaghi

    Love the photo! Very impressed with you two living your life your way. We learned lots from your blogs and have been traveling in our ahem-3rd RV in two years! Think we are good now, Bounder, Excursion, Discovery. Lol. Saw your old Bounder at Fleetwood in Decatur Indiana last summer. Wish you the best in your new adventures, even though we wish you were still on the road.

  • Martin

    Love all of your adventures, especially with the motorhomes. We just bought one and watch your videos regularly. We see that you’ve been to Canada with the RV, so now it’s time bring up the boat ! A visit through all of the Great Lakes would be an amazing adventure to describe to your followers.

  • Ken Hollis

    Enjoy your beautiful life, thanks for sharing.

  • Kevin Hurd

    Have you had any Conch chowder from Green Turtle Cay yet?

  • Happy Thanksgiving guys – I enjoy watching your adventure, from Sunny Cape Town.

  • Peter Tarantola

    Happy Thanksgiving. Love your adventures! Happy travels!

  • Brian

    Happy Thanksgiving. Fair Winds and Blue Skies. Hope you had a great day. Love watching your adventures.

  • Happy Thanksgiving, and good post. I sort of wish I hadn’t already purchased a mini vacuum as this one looks much better… oh well!

  • Sandra n tim

    Happy Thanksgiving you two! Be safe on the high seas and know you are making me green with envy when i see warmth and color as northeast in full swing into winter early..already search net for carribean vaca for spring lol.

  • Lynn Dirk

    Wow, this was awesome! Nicely done. Hope wherever you four are its calm and warm and your Thanksgiving was the best. Someday I’d love a video on how you stay stylish, healthy, groomed, etc while traveling. I loved the photo btw, my first thought was that it was real and tender.

  • John Schretlen

    Not your best family photo, but I do love the background.

    Thanks for doing this again, you always have some new and interesting ideas for gift giving.

  • Pamela Mederos-Streetz

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  • Philip

    Affection. Ahhh… finally.

    —- Happy ? Thanksgiving

  • Terry and kelly

    Thanks for sharing the info on the ovens. We seen when you showed them on one of the vedios..sence then we been looking for one. It wasn’t real clear the name when you said it. But now we got it. Thanks again. . Happly Thanksgiving!


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