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December 4, 2015. Sometimes you don’t know what you’ve got until … you’ve got it. Like these amazing things I got for the extreme and inconvenient conditions of my Mt. Kilimanjaro trek. Thought sure I’d never see them again after I got off that mountain.

Well, I’ve had to think again about these low-cost, high-value, amazingly handy things. Everyone you know could use these. Including you.

The Mighty Pocket-Size Portable Power Bank
Outdoor Tech’s mind-blowing Kodiak Plus, the small, light, pocket-size, everything-proof portable power bank that kept my iPhone and 8 GoPro batteries fully charged, day after day, all the way up and down Mt. Kilimanjaro. Totally wet with mist down in the rain forest, subjected to -20 F wind chill at the summit. It was always there for me. I will never leave home without this thing. Two USB ports to charge two things at a time. $99.95. There’s the smaller, lighter, equally cool Kodiak with 60% of the charging capacity for half the price. $49.95.

The amazing Hydro Flask thermos
This kept warm water warm through the 6-hour in-the-dark final ascent of Kilimanjaro. Way-below-freezing temps all the way. -20 F windchill at the summit. Kept me hydrated and warm inside when every backpack hydration tube on the mountain froze solid. They say it’ll keep hot things hot and cold things cold for 24 hours in more normal conditions. I believe them. Come back from a hot day on the trail or beach to ice cold water in a thermos that’s been locked in a car baking in the sun. Come in from the cold to hot chocolate that’s still hot. $20 for the 21-ounce insulated stainless steel Hydro Flask I’m carrying.

See in the dark when the lights go out
No more emergency flashlights and candles for me. Nope. This goes on my head and leaves my hands free for blackout emergencies and treasure hunting in the basement or attic. The incredibly light and bright Nite Ize Innova STS Headlamp that let me see the trail during that totally dark final ascent. And left my hands free. Its totally convenient swipe on-swipe off feature – no teeny buttons here – makes 7 nights in a tent brighter and more convenient than they should be. Super bright and energy-efficient LED lamps. $29. Batteries and head strap included.

Great gifts for the people who think they have everything.


Kodiak Plus charging phone & camera


Green & Purple Hydro Flasks stay warm while Hydration Tube freezes

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