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Best adventure travel gifts for intrepid explorers

December 21, 2016
Gifts for Adventure Travelers

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Everyday travelers are good and well, but what about the adventure traveler in your life? Whether we’re talking international jet-setters, courageous couchsurfers, or brave backpackers, these travelers have extra-specific needs: after all, when there’s no corner store to stock up at, you have to be more prepared. Here are some of the best adventure travel gifts for your favorite explorer.

Make water safe to drink: LifeStraw Go Water Bottle

This water bottle has an integrated “LifeStraw” filter, used by backpackers, hikers, and travelers worldwide to safely drink water, even when there’s risk of bacteria or parasites. The filter uses a special membrane to filter out bacteria and protozoa that can make you sick. Plus, it also reduces chlorine and other minerals to reduce bad taste in water that’s been chemically-processed.

You can fill the water bottle up from streams, rivers, or sinks – even use it in countries where you aren’t supposed to drink the water. So long as you drink through the straw, it filters the water. It’s pretty remarkable!

The straw that’s included is effective for 1000L of water and you can buy replacement filters as well. I’m so excited to use this water bottle for my upcoming trip to Morocco, and I’ve heard great things about it from friends who use it for adventure travel and backpacking galore.

Stay safe on the go: Adventure Travel medical kits

There are a lot of bogus travel medical kits being sold on Amazon – I know this because I’ve been researching them for a while. My goal: find something adequate for two travelers for an extended period of travel – think several months to a year. Well, ends up it’s tough to find ones that don’t have tons of fake reviews or shoddy products.

Adventure Kits is known for making great travel medical kits. Incidentally, they’re the only brand that’s sold both on Amazon and REI. If REI carries them, I’m more likely to trust their products to be good. Additionally, their medical kits are well-organized and contain the right mixture of tools and medicines.

For example: a lot of kits I researched might have bandages and scissors but no ibuprofen, water purification tablets, or rehydration salts. I wanted a good mixture of medications and first aid tools, which these seem to have.

I really like their medium-sized “Smart Travel” medical kit, which is good for two travelers for up to a week. It’s a good size – 1.1 lbs and about 6 x 5 x 4 inches – not too big to throw into a suitcase or backpack. It contains a variety of tools, including blister and burn care, wound dressings, painkillers, stomach medications, rehydration salts, and medical information guides.

However, depending on who you’re shopping for there are some other good options: they have a smaller one-person first aid kit (small enough to tuck into a purse) and a larger “World Travel” kit that’s great for larger groups or longer trips. 

Depending on which kit you get, you may want to add some supplementary items, including a blood clotting sponge for wounds, extra GlacierGel (for burns and blisters), and, if you get a one-person kit, small tweezers or TSA-approved scissors.

Patch it up: RediTape Travel Duct Tape

Sometimes your backpack gets a tear, or your shoe gets a hole… or you feel a blister forming and you’ve run out of Moleskin. What do you do? Use duct tape!

Need more visibility when you’re trekking out at night? Orange duct tape will do the job there, too.

A big roll is too heavy to travel with, but these flat, travel-size packs are perfect for packing light, and they also make a great stocking stuffer. 



Fix (almost) anything: Leatherman – Style PS Multi-Tool

An adventure traveler is almost guaranteed to run into something that needs fixing, and this TSA-approved multi-tool is the perfect gadget for the job. There are a lot of multi-tools on Amazon, but some aren’t TSA-approved, while others have fake reviews or are just weird (some reviewers said one comes coated in an oily residue… um, no thank you?)

I especially like that this comes from a trusted brand and is compact (at just 3″ and .3 ounces)  but powerful: it’s got everything from needlenose and regular pliers, wire cutters, and scissors, to a flat/phillips screwdriver, tweezers, nail file, and bottle opener. Handy!


Never forget your towel: Set of 3 XL Turkish Cotton Bath Towels

When Douglas Adams wrote “A towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have”, he may as well have been directly addressing adventure travelers. And if he was talking about any towel in particular, he was probably talking about Turkish towels. In fact, they’re so beloved that Apartment Therapy did a post dedicated exclusively to them.

Why all the hype about these towels, specifically? Turkish towels are thin, soft, absorbent, large, compact, and extremely fast-drying. These properties make them phenomenal for travel. They’re also perfectly multi-purpose: large enough to even double as a shawl or airplane blanket if you get cold. As with many items on Amazon, though, it’s hard to find well-rated ones that don’t have a ton of fake reviews. I love this 3-pack because they’re high quality, the reviews are real, and they come in a beautiful variety of colors. 

What are your favorite adventure travel items?

When I think of the adventure travelers I know, I think about needing to prepare for a variety of contingencies, whether it’s broken gear, dirty water, injuries, or just needing a dependable towel-blanket combo, just like Douglas Adams would have advised. These are some of the items on my list… what are some of yours?

Best adventure travel gifts for intrepid explorers | Travel Travel Tips

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