These are good times for hiking, camping and other outdoor pleasures. Among our gift ideas, we have many tempting tools and indulgences, from a Griffith Park guide to a session with a hiking coach.
Whiskey Peaks hand-blown glasses
Bottoms up! To appreciate the magic of these hand-made glasses, you have to finish whatever’s inside (and it doesn’t have to be whiskey). Staring back at you from the bottom is a finely crafted 3-D replica of Mount Whitney, the Grand Tetons, Half Dome or the Grand Canyon. They’re available in U.S. or international mountains. The glasses are a gift peak-baggers will relish — for the drink and the memory of their adventures.
$65/set of 4 glasses | 👉 Purchase here
Thrupack build your own fanny pack
This company was started by a guy who’s hiked the Appalachian Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail, so he knows a thing or two about the outdoors. This durable fanny pack is form *and* function. The best part is that you get to design it yourself. Choose from several colors and patterns (cats! doughnuts! rainbows!). Decide what kind of strap you want and if you want a pocket (of course you want a pocket).
$Starting at 35 | 👉 Purchase here
Good and Well Supply National Park candles
National Parks. Relaxing scents. Really pretty labels. These candles are a crowd pleaser. There are 30 parks to choose from, including some of our favorites: Joshua Tree, Yosemite, Grand Canyon and Yellowstone.
$25-36 | 👉 Purchase here
L.A. Times guide to Griffith Park zine
Earlier this year, we published our Guide to Griffith park online. Now, you can hold it in your hands — in the form of a limited-run zine made by our creative design team. As our guide says, Griffith Park is the perfect place to “reflect on the city and get away from it at the same time.” If you’re a big fan of zines, check out our three-pack which includes a zine for houseplant lovers and a zine for those looking to master fundamental cooking techniques.
$10| 👉 Purchase here
National Park Service America the Beautiful Pass
A whole year of access to the most beautiful spots our country has to offer. With this pass, visitors can enter more than 2,000 federal recreation sites — including national parks — without paying any entrance fees. As a bonus, all proceeds go to improving visitor services.
$80 | 👉 Purchase here
Wild Sam travel guides
On their site, Wild Sam says: “We seek out the real and rooted things, what’s truly authentic, and share the pathways to deep connections and wonders in the world, for travelers and locals alike.” You can feel this ethos when you’re flipping through one of their many guides. Some options include guides to Los Angeles, California, Desert Southwest, New Orleans, Hawai’i and the Moon.
$20 | 👉 Purchase here
Mokuyobi Dreamscape checker bike barrel bag
This stylish bag was made right here in Los Angeles. It attaches snugly to your bike and is foam insulated, which means you can bring along a nice cold drink and snack on your next bike ride. It also comes with a 46-inch detachable strap, so it can double as a crossbody once you get to your destination.
$75 | 👉 Purchase here.
Sanuk Lil Walker Grateful Dead slip-on shoes
These slip-on shoes, sized for bigger and smaller kids, are soft, lightweight and waterproof. And all around the soles you’ll find dancing bears, a designed inspired (and licensed) by the Grateful Dead. Sanuk, part of Decker Brands, is based in Goleta.
$36 | 👉 Purchase here
Birdwell 311 board shorts
These iconic nylon surfer trunks, famous for drying fast, have been made by Birdwell in Santa Ana since 1961. Available in navy blue, federal blue, red, black, camo and (for a few pennies more) customer colors.
$79.95 | 👉 Purchase here
The North Face Etip recycled gloves
These gloves, made from recycled polyester, are thin enough to allow all-conditions touchscreen functionality. The North Face is based in Denver now but called Alameda home for decades until last year.
$45 | 👉 Purchase here
Churchill Makapuu swim fins
These old-school fins, favorites of body surfers and body board users, are two-toned and triangular, patented in 1940, and priceless when you’re one swift kick away from a moment in the Green Room. Also, they’re all natural gum rubber, so they float. Churchill is based in Carson.
$49.99 | 👉 Purchase here
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Filson Summer Packer hat
The people at OutdoorGearLab.com, who take their outdoors gear very serious, tested 17 “promising” sun hats earlier this year and decided this one from Seattle-based Filson was best. Fedora style. Desert tan or otter green. Water repellent with ventilating grommets. Easily rolled up.
$70 | 👉 Purchase here
Los Angeles Horseback Riding reservation
Experience the wilder side of Topanga with an LA Horseback Riding trail ride. You’ll be treated to sweeping views of the Valley and peeks of the ocean as an expert guide leads you and your horse into the Santa Monica Mountains.
$100 | 👉Purchase here
Selk’bag wearable sleeping bag
Hate crawling out of your sleeping bag on a cold morning? Now you don’t have to. Selk’bags are wearable poly-filled sleeping bags shaped like people (think of a big puffy onesie or a Snuggie on steroids). One tester tried it walking around the house (it came with zip-on booties too) and reported that it was comfy cozy. #Vanlifers will love this.
$99.99 and up | 👉 Purchase here
ThermARest Lite Seat
There’s nothing like taking a break on a tough hike, but where’s the best place to park your posterior? If you have a good seat pad, it doesn’t matter. This seat pad seems to smooth out the pointy edges on rocks and keeps us dry at a creek-side perch. It’s lightweight and cushy, with just a bit of inflating needed.
$24.95 | 👉 Purchase here
Guide to Griffith Park
Take a deep dive into L.A’s wildest park with “Discovering Griffith Park: A Local’s Guide” by Modern Hiker’s Casey Schreiner. Discover new routes and views, without getting lost. The park became particularly important during the pandemic as an escape valve for Angelenos. Schreiner shows us just how dear it is.
$18.95 | 👉 Purchase here
Coalatree Kachula Adventure Blanket
Sometimes a blanket isn’t just a blanket. Eco-product maker Coalatree teamed with Utah whiskey-maker High West to create a limited-edition blanket made from recycled materials. The blanket folds into a pouch to become a pillow; it also comes with a hood so you can use it as an emergency poncho. And yes, you can spread it out as a picnic blanket or as a cover-up when you sleep under the stars on a warm night. ($30 from each sale is donated to the American Prairie Reserve.)
$83 | 👉 Purchase here
LastTissue reusable handkerchiefs
If you’re looking to stop mucking up the planet with single-use tissues, take a look at LastTissue. It squeezes six sturdy all-cotton reusable tissues — dare I say handkerchiefs? — into a handy silicone pack. They’re smaller and softer than using bandanas when you’re on the trail. One little pack can save you from using 3,100 throw-away tissues, the company says. Reason enough to give them a try. You get to choose what color case you want too.
$24 | 👉 Purchase here
Kula pee cloth for women
Stop laughing. Pee cloths for women are a great way to cut down on the use of toilet paper you sometimes see along well-used hiking trails. They’re pretty too, in the shape of a pot holder. Use the antimicrobial side to wipe, then snap it onto your pack to let it air dry. It’s no harder than that. Kula was started by a former park ranger and backpacking instructor who got sick of seeing bits of TP in alpine areas. It’s a good zero-waste gift to the planet.
$20 and up | 👉 Purchase here
Thru-hiking coach Zach Davis
Thinking about walking 2,653 miles from Mexico to Canada on the Pacific Crest Trail? Zach Davis knows what it takes. He was bombarded with questions requests for advice after writing books about the PCT and the Appalachian Trail. (Davis completed both and now works as a guide.) That led him to hands-on consulting and coaching people on what it takes to finish. “The psychological, mental and emotional preparation, in my very candid opinion, is 80% to 90% of the battle,” he says. His session run an hour — and you can call him from the trail when you’re thinking about giving up.
$100/hour | 👉 Purchase here
LifeStraw water filter
LifeStraw started out as a simple pipe-shaped filters to help rid the world of Guinea worm disease, which affects people in remote parts of Africa. Now its devices that clean contaminated water are good for all kinds of uses. For outdoors, the Lifestraw Universal filter fits in your water bottle and screens out bacteria, parasites, chlorine, dirt, sand and other things. Yep, you can drink from a puddle. Newer models feature a stainless steel water bottle outfitted with a filter. Good for outdoors, travel and the gym.
$34.95 and $59.95 | 👉 Purchase here
Walker Noble Griffith Observatory print
Walker Noble’s limited edition signed print on museum grade watercolor paper captures the Art Deco landmark.
$40 | 👉 Purchase here
Rachel Schnalzer and Amy King contributed to this list.
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