Pocket knives and tools
Two of my favorite pocket knives are the CRKT Squid, and the Kershaw Cryo. The squid is compact, light, and inexpensive, yet strong enough to stand up to daily use. I’ve been carrying and using this little knife a lot, and it comes in both a black stonewash, and stainless steel versions. The blade is a mere 2.25″ long, but it’s not thin and weak by any means. The Squid weighs in at a mere 3.34 oz. The Cryo is also light and strong, and comes in Blackwash and Titanium versions, as well as a version with a Tanto blade if you like that style, so there are a number of options for you. The Cryo has a 2.75″ blade, and if you want something a little bigger, you can try the Cryo II.
The Smith’s Pocket Pal is a nice sharpener for a quick edge on your pocket knife. I don’t think it will do as good a job as a good sharpening stone, but it puts a respectable edge on a knife, and it can touch up an edge quickly whe you need a fast fix for a dull blade. It also has a tool for sharpening up serrated blades.
The Gerber Combo Axe is great to have around the campsite. I’ve been using one of these for a year or so, and they are great for making kindling for a campfire, or just general cleanup around the campsite. It has a small knife tucked away in the handle as well.
A camp mess kit will always come in handy. I have one of these, and have used it quite a bit. It’s got a cook pot, a pan, bowls, and a mesh carry bag. Great for cooking over a small camp stove.
My son and I have also used collapsable cups similar to these regularly for 2-3 years now. They are really handy because they fold down to NOTHING, and they have lasted very well.
And for your camp cook, a dutch oven will be a great gift that will last for YEARS. I have reviewed the Camp Chef dutch oven that I use regularly on this site. And once you get one, check back for some tips on cleaning and care.
Last summer I found these travel towels. Showering at camp, or swimming, and then hanging your towel to dry and waiting for it to dry is a real pain. Sometimes it gets dry before you need it again, sometimes not. And towels take up a ton of space when you pack. These towels are like Sham Wow’s. Thin, light, super absorbent, and they dry really fast. These are now an indispensable part of my camping gear.
A good first aid kit is another essential camping item. It’s a good gift, because even if someone has one, chances are they have had it for a while, and at least some items are expired. Or if you have two, one can be left in the car, and one added to your camping gear collection.
And I’ll wrap up the list with a good flashlight. Specifically a headlamp. I’ve lost and wrecked many headlamps, but they are a necessity for camping. They provide a great hands free light source for setting up equipment in the dark, making a trip to the bathroom in the night, or just going on a hike after dark.
I hope you enjoy the holiday season with your family and friends. And I hope you can get outside and camp!!