Bargain gifts for the outdoor adventurer

Affordable goodies to thrill the backpacker, snowboarder, skier or cyclist on your list.

Published December 4, 2008 7:45PM (EST)

Fill the adventurer's soft, cozy wool hiking sock ($19.95) -- er, stocking -- with  eco-friendly supplies, like Burt's Bees'  chemical-free sunscreen and travel kits ($13-$30). Send your favorite beach bum a supply of  fish-friendly surfboard wax ($4), or these waterproof cases ($34.99) for passports, cameras and phones.

For the nostalgic surfer, you can buy great collections of movies from the '60s and '70s as well as the original "Surfing Guide to Southern California" ($12) from San Francisco's Mollusk Surf Shop. I like its funky, water-worshipping T-shirt designs ($20-$30), too!

What  wine-loving picnicker wouldn't appreciate this wine bottle holder ($14.49), which keeps a bottle secure on uneven ground? The stainless steel structure plugs right into the earth. You can upgrade this present, of course, by throwing in one of your favorite bottles.

Whether your adventurer is going snorkeling in Belize or helicopter skiing in Austria, send them on their way with these hip, colorful luggage tags ($7-$17) and passport covers ($20). (If you're feeling extra generous, remember that you can always gift your frequent flier miles and help your favorite explorer fly farther afield for less.)

Where bicycle accessories are concerned, simple is best. So why strap a chunky Day-Glo bag to your machine, when you could get one of these sleek babies? The Bento Bako ($14.95-$15.95) sits serenely on your top tube next to the handlebar stem. The small version -- which I prefer -- is just big enough for a power bar, a map, my iPhone and a chunk of Irish cheddar. Instead of having to dig around in my jersey pockets or under the seat when I need these items, I just dip into the Bento Box. No need to stop pedaling since it's sitting right at hand. The boxy shape, topped with a soft mesh cover, keeps my belongings organized. And it looks good -- well, as good as any nylon and Velcro item can -- on my beloved Lemond. The grande version holds more of the same, plus a paperback, for those who like hauling around more stuff.

By Caitlin Shamberg

Caitlin Shamberg is a former multimedia editor at Salon.

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