This post is not sponsored by any of the products, brands, or websites mentioned. We just love sharing our favorite finds with you!
Welcome back for part 4 of the Adventure Gift Guide! We’re halfway through the series, but there’s still so many fun finds to share with you from your MW Ambassadors, all for $25 and under. Throw on your favorite Christmas sweater, tacky or otherwise, and let’s dig in!
The Ten Essentials
As a refresher, we’re running through our gift guide with a 10 Essentials theme. The 10 Essentials ensure that we're prepared for emergency situations in the outdoors, so we can have the safest and most fun outdoor adventures! To recap, the 10 Essential systems are:
Today we’re packing on the miles and covering Knife, Fire, and Shelter, with some fun extras thrown in! These categories tackle a few items that *hopefully* you’ll never need to use. But if you do find yourself in a tight spot, they can mean the difference between survival or not. Here we go!
Silverware or Survival? – Knife
Knife – silverware or survival? Hopefully you already know the answer to that one ;) Knives can be an invaluable tool to have, both for survival needs and for practical, everyday use. Whether you need to strip sticks for kindling, cut up clothing to use as bandage wraps, or you just really want to eat your trail apple in slices, or get the caked dirt out from under your fingernails, you need a good knife on hand!
There are TONS of amazing knife manufacturers with great quality products. Some are perfect for those on a budget, others may cost more but will tackle your most intense adventure needs. We’ve picked out a few faves to get you started!
Leading off are a couple of great picks from Gerber. If your adventures are usually quick, close to home, or you need to pack light, the Gerber Mini Paraframe Knife might be just the perfect fit, $13. For a step up, check out its big brother, the Gerber Paraframe I Knife, $26. Both of these knives feature serrated stainless steel blades, as well as stainless steel ergonomic handles that are both lightweight and strong.
Next up is the Ultimate Survival Technologies ParaKnife FS 4.0, $15. This is a fixed-blade knife that includes a magnesium firestarter, 6 feet of paracord, and a protective sheath. A bit heftier than the Gerber knives, this knife features a half-serrated 4 inch blade with a black-oxide finish.
Finally, we’re rounding out our knife picks with one that may speak a little more to the Tom-Hanks-in-Castaway part of you. Check out the Ultimate Survival Technologies ParaCuda Fire Starter Machete, $19. While this one certainly isn’t practical to bring along on every adventure, we know first-hand that some intense adventures really do require intense gear. We’d like to take a moment to shout out all of our Guam friends who trudge through swordgrass on the reg, and taught us that trail machetes really are a thing – you the real MVPs.
Warm it up – Fire
When the weather outside is frightful, or you really need to cook that trout you caught in the stream with your bare hands, you need fire. One of the most important factors in survival is the ability to make fire. It can keep you warm, boil water for you to drink, cook food, and more. Fire comes in many forms, so whatever you choose to carry, make sure it’s ideal for your environment and that you know how to use it!
We’re kicking it off with the SOL Mag Striker, $12. This small-but-mighty little tool includes a steel striker, flint rod, and magnesium, plus a handy little bottle opener to celebrate with a cold one when you get that fire going. This fire starter is equipped to start more than 100 fires, and the magnesium flakes it ignites can burn as hot as 5,400°F – plenty to get your tinder going.
Second, we’re going the match route with the UCO Titan Stormproof Match Kit, $10. These long-burning wind- and water-proof matches burn up to 25 seconds and will light in some of the harshest conditions. The kit includes 12 matches, 3 strikers, a waterproof case that floats.
Lastly, let’s check out the XIFEI Refillable Fire Starter and Bottle Opener Keychain, $14. While not the most practical for true survival purposes, this gadget is a fun addition to keep with you in the car, on day hikes, and other small adventures. The keychain features a flint lighter and absorbent cotton core that can withstand as many as 10,000 clicks. It also includes a refillable fuel compartment for the match, a bottle opener, and a carabiner clip.
Gimme Shelter – Shelter
If you’re caught in the wild and the mountainside’s full of rolling stones (too punny y’all?), you don’t want to be caught without some form of or tools to build a shelter. If you’re well-versed in survival techniques, that machete up there might just come in handy for more than swordgrass. But if you’re like most of us – aka NOT a structural engineer – or you’re adventuring in a landscape that doesn’t have trees or other materials to build with, you’ll need to think outside the box.
Enter the SOL All Season Blanket, $17. One of the simplest forms of shelter, this emergency blanket is durable, practical, and super user-friendly. SOL’s All Season Blanket is a thermal blanket that’ll keep you warm. It’s crafted with polyethylene laminate fibers, so it’s waterproof and won’t rip or shred. Equipped with four brass grommets, this blanket can also be rigged as a tarp, gear cover, material hauler, and more. Its neon orange color also makes you more visible to rescuers. At 16 oz and 7x5 feet, it’s a great tool for camping, backpacking, and general emergency preparedness.
Next up is the SOL Emergency Bivvy, $17. Perfect for ultralight hiking and backpacking, as well as general emergency preparedness, the SOL Emergency Bivvy is perfect if you’re forced to spend an unexpected night outdoors. At just 3.8 oz, the bivvy packs down smaller than a soda can and is super lightweight and compact. It’s also powerful enough to reflect up to 90% of your body heat. The bivvy can be used either as a sleeping bag or emergency blanket. It’s both wind- and water-proof, and made of that same neon orange material that’s easy to see even in bad weather.
Of course we can’t leave ya hanging without a few fun bonuses too! First up are these Nathan Reflex Slap Bands, $12. Perfect for runners, hikers, and bikers, these hi-vis yellow bands are reflective up to 400 feet and will increase your visibility on the road and the trail. They’re easy to strap onto your wrist, ankle, backpack strap, stroller, or bike frame.
Wrapping us up (that dad joke wasn’t even intentional y’all) for today’s list is the HotHands Variety Pack, $12. Whether you’re packing on the miles, hanging at camp, cheering on your favorite football team, or watching that bobber for a bite, cold hands and feet shouldn’t hold you back. A long-standing fav, HotHands are long-lasting and so easy to toss into a bag or pack. This variety pack includes 5 pairs of Hand Warmers, 5 pairs of the larger-size Body & Hand Warmers, and 3 pairs of Toe Warmers.
Head back tomorrow for Part 5 to take on Extra Food and Extra Water for your wildest adventure!
PS: Did you know that your online shopping can also support rad nonprofit organizations like Military Wild? If you're stocking up for that holiday feast or ordering gifts for family and friends, check out AmazonSmile! When you shop through AmazonSmile, 0.5% of your purchase is donated to a registered charity of your choice, at no extra cost to you.
Be sure to shop through the AmazonSmile site rather than the traditional Amazon site. At login or checkout, search for and select Military Wild (or a number of other incredible organizations) to receive your donation. We're so thankful to be a part of this military family and it brings us so much joy to continue supporting you through this wild ride with the help of donations!