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Gift Ideas: A Treasure Trove of Tiny Things

    Life is made up of small pleasures.
                                                    —Norman Lear

The items presented below are indeed small. Yet the braininess invested in their designs is pretty substantial. Their common thread: to make life in the outdoors more pleasurable. A worthy goal.

So let’s connect the dots: You need a gift for an outdoor person, and you want it to be small, lightweight and, like you, brilliant. Smart thinking. Here’s a choice list of small and ingenious outdoor things:



The GoPro HERO3 Wide-Angle Helmet Cam is a certifiable hit, but check out this super small action camera, the Liquid Image EGO HD Camera (above). It’s just 2.5 inches tall, weighs a mere 2.7 ounces, is Wi-Fi-equipped and can send live action to your smartphone (iPhone and Android). Shoots up to 30 frames per second in 1080P HD.

UrbanEars Bagis Earbuds: Well-engineered headphones aim to reduce noise transmitted through wires. When not in use, earbuds snap together to form a single strand that can be worn as a necklace. More details in video below:


MSR MicroRocket Stove: Weight: 2.6 ounces, fractionally lighter than the much-loved MSR PocketRocket (3 ounces). Height: 5 inches (see right). Boil time for 1 liter of water: 4 minutes 29 seconds, according to MSR. Hinged pot supports offer a stable platform. Detached, hand-held piezo gets the fire started. Good flame adjustability, we're told.

Gotta go tinier, lighter? The Esbit Titanium Folding Stove, cousin of the widely adored Esbit Pocket Stove, weighs just 0.4 ounce and, when folded, is a 3.3 x 1.1-inch widget. It burns solid fuel tablets (0.5-ounce each, 12 minutes burn time per tab). For your fave minimalist. Available online only.


Mammut S-Lite Headlamp: Weight: 1.7 ounce. Uses a single AA battery with 60 hours of run time on low (10-lumen) setting. Max light output: 20 lumens. Elastic headband. Dimensions: 2.75 x 1.5 x 0.6 inches. Small, but can you go smaller?

Petzl Zipka 2 LED Headlamp: It doesn’t offer a headband, really; it’s more like reusable a zip-tie for your head. While small (2.25 x 1.6 x 1.6 inches), at 2.4 ounces it’s a twig heavier than the S-Lite, but it offers greater light output (40 lumens). Estimated run time for its 3 AAA batteries: 90-120 hours.


Petzl Zipka Plus 2 Headlamp (enlarged image above): Basically the same physical package as Zipka 2, but the Plus throws a mightier beam (70 lumens), adds a red-light option for night viewing and, Petzl says, can run up to 155 hours on its 3 AAAs.

Petzl e+LITE Headlamp (see left): The pick for size-and-weight fanatics. Weighs just an ounce (0.95 ounce, officially) yet still offers 26 lumens of output. It saves weight by operating on a pair of CR2032 lithium batteries (included). Run time: up to 70 hours. Red bulb included.

Black Diamond Spot Headlamp: Not too far out of the weight league of headlamps previously mentioned, the 3.1-ounce Spot offers 90 lumens of output and numerous extras (such as a locking feature that prevents accidental switch-ons) that make it a worthy option for anyone not obsessed with fractions of an ounce.

Fenix E11 Flashlight (see right): Weighing less than 2 ounces, it’s not much bigger than the single AA battery that powers it. Max light output: 105 lumens. Makes a savvy backup light inside your pack.


Leatherman Micra Tool (see right): The guess here is that the Micra came into being when the folks at Leatherman challenged themselves to dream up the lightest tool with the most commonly used functions: scissors, knife blade, tweezers, nail file, bottle opener, ruler, standard screwdrivers (medium and small) and a flat screwdriver blade that uses 2 slots to engage Phillips screws. Weight: 1.75 ounce. Folded length: 2.5 ounces. Whoa.

Victorinox Classic Swiss Army Knife: Stainless-steel scissors, knife blade, screwdriver, nail file, tweezers and a toothpick, all for 1.3 ounces. Concise, compact, classic.

Topeak Alien II 26 Multi-Tool (for cyclists): More than 2 dozen tools, including a universal chain tool and 7 Allen wrenches, inside an envy-inducing, 9.5-ounce case.

Other Possibilities

Utensils, such as a bamboo set (including chopsticks) from To Go Ware or a fun-to-say spork. “What did you get this year?” “Oh, I got a spork.” “A spork?! Dude, you are so lucky.”

Lightweight first-aid kits, which make smart gifts since outdoor types routinely forget to purchase or assemble one on their own.

Waffles in a wrapper: Tasty to-go energy sweetness: the Honey Stinger Energy Waffle. You can't miss with this one.

Posted on at 11:00 AM

Tagged: camera, earbuds, gifts, lights, lightweight, multitools, small, spork and stoves

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good idea of gifts, I thinks. good recommendation.

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