Even on a good year January is always a difficult month. She is the whore of the calendar (sorry to those with birthdays in Jan. Sorry Kirstie). Bank accounts are struggling, livers are strained thanks to Christmas, thanks to an obscene amount of Gavi. The weather is generally shite, it’s wet and windy and pretty meh’. Our social media feeds are full of ‘influencers’ attempting to ‘influence’ us to live our best lives, but lets face it we’re so over it. Even Joe Wicks has given up trying (if you’ve somehow missed fart gate, please take a moment & redirect to Google).
Things are a bit scary out there in the world at the moment aren’t they. The Furlough scheme is still going strong (thank goodness) and the UK economy is still proving we can get shit done working from home. BUT its a fucking lonely time isn’t it. Its 2021 and despite a new year, we’re still missing our families, we’re still worried about loved ones, and we’re still waiting for this awful virus to do one. One thing I do know though, is that it WILL pass. We have to look after eachother, we have to check in, we have to make those calls and send those letters. The end is on the horizon. In a good way, I mean. Not in an end of days type of way.
This week, we finally put the Christmas decorations back in their boxes. Though I’m yet to put them back in the loft. I figure I’ll need something to do next week. I’m still caffeine and sugar-free much to my surprise. However I have well and truly fallen off the Dry January wagon, because frankly what else have we got to do in lockdown 3.0? I found a box of my father-in-law’s vintage cameras that I’d forgotten we have. I spent hours pouring over each one, even finding some with film still inside. I’ve begun cleaning them up and plan to put them on display around the house, even bring some back into use. Apart from camera refurbs, I’ve decided to finally begin upcycling a single wardrobe I bought off of FaceBook Sales back in December. I’ve dragged it in the house and got it ready to start on, along with my chosen paint – Sulking Room Pink by Farrow & Ball. In the midst of all that I’ve also spent hours on Pinterest, planning adventures for when we’re able to travel, and by travel I mean leave the neighbourhood. Anyone else spending an unhealthy amount of time planning imaginary trips?
Anyway, this week’s blog post is a round-up of lovely things for those who like spending time outdoors. For those who love exploring. For the adventurer. So if you know someone who has wonderlust, read on. I hope you like it. We’re all in lockdown, our 2020 plans out the window. Thats not to say we can’t make plans for the future, and explore the great outdoors whereever we are.
Whether its pounding the pavement or hiking the hills of your local nature reserve for now. I’ve pulled together the perfect gifts for the andventurer in your life. Either in the wilds or down the local park. We may be past the point of Christmas stockings, but when it comes to fuelling wanderlust in 2021 you’ll find something to get you excited to travel again this year (bastard covid permitting). Whether you’re treating yourself or gifting a loved one, whomever receives these will be skipping off the grid in style in no time.
Every adventurer needs a great backpack. Millican backpacks are designed and made in the UK. Beautiful and tough – these bags will be with you for life. Responsibility at its core. Single-use plastic is a growing global issue that we can’t ignore. The Core fabric is made from 100% post -consumer plastic waste; recycling discarded bottles and remaking it into a bag for life – plastic with purpose. Internal laptop sleeve (up to 17″), external bottle pocket and key loop, all aluminium hardware – no plastic, vegan friendly.
KeepCup Reusable Mug from £20
Over 2.5 billion coffee cups are disposed of every year in the UK: enough to stretch around the planet 5 times! Aside from saving the planet, using your reusable cup will save you a little bit of cash at most coffee shops. KeepCups are BPA free, recyclable, and non toxic. Perfect for coffee in the wild, or simply walking the dog. I’ve shared this product in previous gift guides and cannot recommend it enough, it is one of my all time favourite things and I take it everywhere.
Fisheye No. 2 Caspian £49.50
Are you ready to get hooked on an amazing analogue adventure? This gorgeous gold-toned camera will twist your field of view to shake up your perspective. Get experimental – lose yourself in glowing long exposures and mix and match your scenes with unlimited multiple exposures. I have the original Fisheye from Lomography and have so many amazing photos and memories of exploring with it. With easy controls and simple yet ingenius design, this camera is perfect for someone new to analogue (you kids today) or simply someone who wants to inject a sense of fun back into their life!
Perfect for the person who loved Free Solo so much that free soloing was all they talked about for the subsequent six months. This book by climber Mark Synnott is part memoir and part a history of climbing, with a focus on Yosemite. Shortlisted for Biography of the Year and Adventure Travel Book of the Year 2020.
Gone are the days of ugly bland microfibre towels. Presenting Tesalate’s original sand-free beach towel. YES SAND FREE! Ultra-absorbent, super-compact and rapid-dry tech for simply better beach days, these towels repel sand, meaning no more soggy, bulky, sandy towels after a day at the beach. They have a wide selection of gorgeous designs to choose from too.
While most things are better outdoors, it’s especially true of wine. But that simple pleasure demanded some serious engineering to ensure no tent, beach or boat is hampered by broken glass. The 10 oz. Wine Tumbler is the YETI®answer to the wine glass and available in a selection of colours. Now, enjoying your wine in the wild doesn’t have to involve disposable cracked plastic cups.
Poler Reversible Napsack from £67
The Napsack is officially the world’s coolest sleeping bag. It has zippers at the shoulders, so you can stick your arms out, and a cinch at the bottom, so that you can open it up and stick your legs out. Hike it up to your waist, cinch it, and wear it like a puffy coat around the campfire, and then crawl right back into your tent without ever having to leave the warmth of your bag. Perfect for summer trips, camping, jumping into after snowboarding, surfing or any other activity that brings your core temp down.
The husband has these and is never without them when we go away. They are hands down the absolute best for travelling. Bose’s highly-renowned QuietComfort 35 headphones have been been around for a while and they’re still the best in the game in my humble opinion. They’re super easy to connect via bluetooth and oh man are they great for blocking out the sound of crying babies and annoying fellow passengers with their epic noise cancellation. Music is deep, powerful, and balanced, every note crystal clear. Perfect for those adventure podcasts, as you walk repetively around your neighbourhood.
Travel Note Book £15
Covered in vintage maps dating back to the early 20th Century from the British Isles. Sukie’s travel note books are the ideal vehicle in which to draw up adventure plans for when we can finally hit the road again. Even though it will likely be a while before you embark on your next trip, journals are also a great way to jot down your thoughts.
I’ve had my eye (no pun intended) on one of these for a while now. Designed to block out any unwanted light, giving the best possible sleep time to invigorate, restore and repair. With a dome design, SMUG sleeping masks leave space around the eye area removing any disturbance or friction, making them completely ‘eyelash friendly’. Perfect for napping on the go, riding shotgun.
Chillys Series 2 £30
Who knew that the Chillys bottle could be made any better than the first time around. Series 2 has been lovingly considered and ticks boxes we never knew existed. Still faithfully keeping cold liquids cold for 24 hours and hot liquids indeed hot for 12, now including a carry handle and rubber bottom for extra functionality. Either at home or out and about, I am never far from mine.
Simple, durable, stylish and handmade. The Stroppa Camera Strap allows you to carry your camera comfortably, no matter if you’re carrying a pancake or a telephoto. Aimed at mirrorless cameras, it can easily handle a medium-format beast. Stroppa boast that they “want photography to be uninterupted by unnecessary gear”. Personally I find the “less is more” style refreshing – standing apart from brand-heavy popular culture we see so much of at present.
Effortlessly stylish. The Pendo sunglasses frame is two-tone cream and brown Italian biodegradable, plant-based acetate. Polarised anti-glare and anti-scratch lens, these shades offer 100% UVA/UVB protection. Brighton-based Pala gives back to Vision Aid for every pair they sell and every pair comes with a sustainable case woven from recycled plastic waste.
Travel with a taste of home. We’re long standing fans of Weber. They are true experts of their craft. Whilst longing to spend days on the way to somewhere else, the Go-Anywhere portable charcoal barbecue goes with you. It’s compact, lightweight and just right for two people. I particularly like how the lid can hang off either long side and it can double as a fire pit after a sunset BBQ.
Oceanographic Magazine Subscription (plans from) £8
Inside every issue of Oceanographic you’ll find a collection of captivating ocean images from around the world, both beautiful and arresting. The publicaiton is a mix of compelling story-telling and stunning photography, with contributions from some of the most talented journalists and ocean photographers out there. You can choose between paper and electronic subscriptions, meaning you can get up to date whereever you are.
Fed up with seeing plastic bottles littering the slopes, Olympic athlete and snowboarder Jussie Oksanen founded Mizu with the simple aim of making quality reusable gear with a sense of style. The D7 is a hardy stainless steel insulated flask, perfect for keeping your coffee hot whilst out in the surf or off on a hike. Single use is no use.
Urban Rambles £8.49
Whether you’re a city-dweller who wants to explore your home turf, or a keen country walker who likes the idea of venturing somewhere different, or a discerning weekend breaker who wants to get under the skin of a city in a day or two, Urban Rambles is the book to inspire you to get out and explore your nearest city on foot. Filled with aditional info on green spaces and architectural gems, recommended cafes, pubs and independent shops.
The Zero Waste Travel Box – a lovely treat for yourself, or a friend who loves globe trotting. Each box is packed with treats to help you to cut down on waste while on the go. The travel boxes are sent using biodegradable, plastic free packing materials, and all include a welcome leaflet printed on 100% recycled paper – filled with interesting facts and figures on how each item can help reduce waste.
OS Tour Maps £4.99
Step away from Google Maps and as Oliver Hudson says, get OTG (off the grid). Leave your phone in your pack and brush up your map reading skills! OS Tour maps will be your best friend for your next trip. Perfect for exploring – including key landscapes, enlarged town centres, as well as hidden treasures. The OS Tour maps are perfect for day-tripping and longer explorations. Be sure to check out their shop for a wide range of maps covering the whole of the UK, as well as other items such as waterproof map cases and compasses.
Walk on the wild side! I swear by my Timberland boots – they can literally handle anything, whether its clocking up 10,000 steps around the city, or plodding round the park with the dogs in the rain. These chunky hiker boots feature animal printed environmentally responsible leather upper, shock-absorbing EVA midsole and a high rebound bio-foam footbed for optimal comfort. These babies are currently in the sale, down from £165!
Simultaneously a sustainable travel buddy and a mini declaration of war against ocean plastic. The climate neutral and vegan All Natural Travel Minis set. Consisting of solid shampoo, conditioner and face & body wash. All are water-free, meaning they won’t impact your carry-on allowance. Based on purely natural, biodegradable ingredients, they also boast packaging made of recyclable paper.
Ideal for jamming all of those unneccessary outfits into for a weekend away. Patagonia’s water proof weekend bags are eco-friendly too, made from 100% postconsumer recycled polyester. Patagonia is on a mission to save our planet, appreciating that all life on earth is under threat of extinction. 1% of sales (not profits, take note) goes to grassroots environmental groups all over the world who work to reverse the tide.
Lonely Planet Epic Hikes £22.99
With stories of 50 incredible hiking routes in 30 countries, from the UK to New Zealand, plus a further 150 suggestions, Lonely Planet’s Epic Hikes of the World will inspire a lifetime of adventure on foot. From one-day jaunts and urban trails to month-long thru-hikes, cultural rambles and mountain expeditions. Organised by continent, each hike includes trip planning advice on how to get there, where to stay and what to pack.
Stylish, practical, a sophisticated gift. This engraved gold hip flask is made from hard-wearing stainless steel. Perfect for sipping port from on those wet and windy walks on the beach.
Stay warm this winter with Woolly Gloves. Made from wool-free 100% soft acrylic, it’s a great one-size-fits-all gift that will match any outfit. If you haven’t heard of Vegan Outfitters, check them out – their site is filled with gorgeous vegan clothing, homewear and gifts.
First crafted in 1897 there has been only a few upgrades to this epic knife. With a life time warranty, it is considered to be the best for sharpness and feel, ideal for both indoor and outdoor activites. The husband uses his to cut saucisson every time we roadtrip to France. Opinel have a wide range of different blades – from the classic shown here, to oyster knives. A chic addition to any collection.
Wanderlust Europe £34.95
From the temperate climes of the Spanish islands, to the summit of alpine peaks, Wanderlust Europe points the reader in the direction of the continent’s most awe-inspiring routes. Offering expert knowledge on how best to experience nature’s majesty, this stimulating manual for hikers of all skill levels covers far-reaching places of breathtaking beauty and wonder. Perfect for coffee table reading.
The classic unisex DM boot that’s 100% vegan. Can you bloody believe it! The boot is still Doc Martens through and through, with grooved sides and best of all, their iconic yellow stitching. Thoroughly mainstream but still fully worthy of our attention, theres a reason why they’re still around. This chunky boot goes with absolutely everything. Perfect for exploring cities on foot, as well as dragging the dog round the block.
J-Pillow Travel Pillow £24.95
When the husband (then humble boyfriend) and I went backpacking MANY years ago, one thing I learnt was how fecking uncomfortable buses and trains and come to think of it, most hostel and guesthouse beds were (not to mention unhygienic). Cut to a few years later when I spent an unnatural amount of time researching travel pillows (first world problems I know). My thought process was that I deserved a decent travel pillow and money was no object. I was torn between the Ostritchpillow and the J-Pillow and concluded that the latter was the better option becuase a) its smaller and compact for traveling, and b) I won’t look like a complete idiot wearing it.
The Recycled Plastic Bottle Beanie. One of the most sustainable products yet. Made exclusively from recycled plastic bottles this beanie helps to reduces global waste and repurposes it into a beautiful cosy winter beanie. Intricately crafted in a chunky-stretch soft material, featuring a ribbed construction to lock in warmth, finished with a Wes Anderson-style logo patch, you’ll be fighting the January chill in style.
Travel Wash Bag, Komodo Pink £36.75
Made out of vegan leather and with 100% recycled plastic lining, this stylish toiletries bag makes the perfect travel companion. Designed so you can see all your cosmetics through the clear window, saving you from single-use plastic at airport security. It includes a reusable, clear liquids bag. Detachable from inside with easy release magnets. Packaging is biodegradable, recyclable or made from recycled materials. Whats more, when your plastics bag gets worn out you can return it to One Nine5 and they will recycle it. This washbag is the ideal travel companion for trips away.
I am IN LOVE with the almost neon colour of these fingerless mittens! Designed in Paris and crafted with 100% recycled wool and sheepskin recovered from luxury brands. Toasties create vibrant and functional accessories with a focus on eco-conscious, ethical style. A fabulous accessory for those winter walks.