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Gear Guy

Q:

What Are the Best Last-Minute Gifts Under $30?

Let your friends know you care (and didn't totally forget about them)

(Paxson Woelber/Flickr)

Let your friends know you care (and didn't totally forget about them)

A:

Low on cash and running out of time to get a present for the outdoor lover in your life? Here are six gear gifts that will stoke out the pickiest winter athlete without leaving a dent in your fun fund.

Voke Tab

last minute gifts gear guy gear shed joe jackson cheap gifts Voke Tab guarana berry
(Courtesy of Voke Tab)

Each chewable Voke Tab (two tins for $14) contains 75 milligrams of caffeine, about the equivalent of a cup of coffee. The caffeine comes from all-natural ingredients (mainly tea), and each disk is sugar-free.


Swiftwick Aspire Zero Socks

last minute gifts gear guy gear shed joe jackson cheap gifts swiftwick socks ASPIRE ZERO BLACK compression socks
(Courtesy of Swiftwick)

Yes, socks are the quintessential boring holiday gift, but there are socks and there are socks. The Swiftwick Aspire Zero ($13) falls under the latter category. These Swiftwicks are extremely breathable, quickly moving moisture away from your feet. They don’t bunch, and their ability to eliminate foot clamminess makes them one of the best blister-preventing socks we’ve tested.


Flag Buff Collection

last minute gifts gear guy gear shed joe jackson cheap gifts Flag Buff® Collection Original Buff
(Courtesy of Original Buff)

Buffs are insanely versatile cold-weather gear. They can also be stylish. We recommend the Flag Buff Collection (starting at $20)—show your USA pride, celebrate your tenuous Argentine heritage, or get into the 2016 Rio Olympic spirit. The seamless polyester face and head sleeve wicks moisture away from your skin and doesn’t freeze up as you breathe through it.


Skratch Labs Exercise Hydration Mix with Apples and Cinnamon

last minute gifts gear guy gear shed joe jackson cheap gifts exercise hydration mix apples and cinnamon skratch labs
(Courtesy of Skratch Labs)

Skratch Labs uses real fruit with very little added sugar to flavor its hydration mixes. The result: a delicious drink ($19.50) that you can consume all day without feeling ill. The apple and cinnamon flavor is meant to be served hot—perfect for an early morning ski tour.


Icebreaker Anatomica Briefs

last minute gifts gear guy gear shed joe jackson cheap gifts Icebreaker merino wool wool underwear Anatomica Briefs
(Courtesy of Icebreaker)

Icebreaker’s Anatomica Briefs ($30) are supportive without feeling restrictive, and they move well enough that I can run in them comfortably. They’re sewn from a soft, high-quality merino that mitigates odors and feels super cozy next to skin.


Portland General Store Wood Super Thick Hand Cream

last minute gifts gear guy gear shed joe jackson cheap gifts WOOD Super Thick Hand Cream portland general store vetiver grass
(Courtesy of Portland General Store)

If you’re a climber, ski mountaineer, or paddler, your hands are your most important tools—and they can get hammered in the winter. A thick healing cream ($14) like this one from Portland General Store will prevent your hands from turning into cracked, bleeding, angry claws. Wood Super Thick Hand Cream smells like cedar and hiba wood, just like a good toolshed.

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