This year, the calendar was not kind to retailers; Thanksgiving came late, and that means that the traditional window of holiday shopping is shorter than usual. Of course, online shopping has changed traditions in oh-so-many ways, but what hasn’t changed is our penchant for procrastination and our anxiety over finding the perfect gift. If there are travelers on your list, perhaps these suggestions will help.
Overnight Bag by Urban Originals
The bag is the thing for travelers, even for those heading out for an overnight. Urban Originals offers this easily cleanable version in waxed canvas (“vegan leather”) that has three internal and three external pockets to hold all those essentials. Has both a handle and detachable shoulder strap. $128. https://uobags.com/collections/travel-bags. Also available: the Moon Overnighter, slightly smaller and made of soft nylon material with vegan leather trim. $108 https://uobags.com/search?q=moon+nylon
Collapsible Outdoor Cooking Pot
For backpackers, it’s all about weight, and this Collapsible Outdoor Cooking Pot by Bear Minimum will add little to the load. A marvel of engineering, the pot snaps together for cooking, then folds flat so you can carry
it in a pocket or backpack. The interior surface is durable Teflon and cleans easily, and the handle is fashioned of sturdy 550 paracord. Three sizes. Starts at $29.95. https://www.thegrommet.com/products/bear-minimum-collapsible-outdoor-cooking-pot.
Archer & Olive Travel Journals
Do something wild and retro next time you take a trip and keep a journal. Beautiful notebooks from Archer and Olive
are made for recording memories, thoughts and impressions. The journals come in various sizes and colors. Each has dot grid pages, a pen holder, a band to keep the book closed, and two ribbons to mark the pages. And perhaps best of all, the journals lie flat. https://www.archerandolive.com/collections/b6-signature-dot-grid-notebooks.
‘A Transcontinental Affair’
Novelist Jodi Daynard takes us along on a ride from Boston to San Francisco in 1870 on the inaugural cross-country train trip. Those who can afford it spend their nights in the Pullman Hotel Express, luxurious
passenger sleeping cars. Daynard gives us a sense of both the conveniences and dangers of 19th-century train travel through two women from different worlds who are brought together on this nine-day, history-making journey. The author has done her research and readers might do well to first read her notes at the end of the book. They provide helpful history that makes the story more meaningful. https://jodidaynard.com/books-2/a-transcontinental-affair
‘Compass of the Ephemeral’
Attending Burning Man is on my bucket list, but in case I don’t make it, there’s “Compass of the Ephemeral,” a beautiful collection of photos and essays about the annual August communing of 70,000-plus free spirits in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert.
Author, artist, environmentalist and Burning Man co-founder Will Roger details the event’s origins, growth and the herculean effort it takes to stage the intense-but-ephemeral convergence. Roger’s breathtaking aerial photos provide perspective on the building of a city, then making it disappear. Burning Man is a place where “everyone is human . . . there is no class, no color,” Roger says. “You become family: human family, world family, global family.” https://compassoftheephemeral.com.
Yes, you read that right. Wine Condoms are a funny but functional and effective way to protect that open bottle of wine when transporting it or just storing it in the frig. The 100%, food-grade latex covers make bottles spill-proof ,and the seal fits flush with the bottle to make for easier storage on the frig shelf. An unlike its counterparts, Wine Condoms can be used more than once. Boxes of six about $15. https://winecondoms.com.