Your mom is right: Everybody actually does need more wool socks. So get your favorite outdoorsy type a pair or two of those, but also consider the stuff below—they're some of our favorite gifts under $50.
For the world traveler: A TSA compliant multitool? It’s true—such a thing exists. Leatherman’s Style PS has spring action pliers, needle nose pliers and wire cutters, scissors, flat and Phillips screwdrivers, tweezers and nail file, a carabiner and bottle opener all hidden in a stainless steel body with a glass filled nylon handle. It’s 2.9 inches closed, and it weighs less than two ounces. Best of all, because there’s no blade, it won’t put you on the no-fly list. $25, leatherman.com
For the hairy: Rapha's Shaving Cream blends natural ingredients and essential oils to soothe the skin and leave it feeling supple and hydrated, wherever you're combating stubble. It smells great, like you're riding through Provence, and works just as well on normal dudes' faces as it does on serious roadie's legs. $20, rapha.cc
For the optimistic: Is there someone on your list who swears they'll be back before dark, but often isn't? Petzl's e+Lite could save their adventure from becoming an epic. It's waterproof to one meter, works in extreme temps, can be stored with batteries for up to 10 years, and at less than one ounce you should have one in every pack and your car. $20, petzl.com
For the foodie: Picnic in style with Snowpeak’s Chopping Board Set M. This 10”x8” wooden cutting board folds in half on stainless hinges for easy stashing in your pack or picnic basket, and includes an extremely sharp and sturdy (hycarbon vanadium stainless) knife. Rubber stoppers prevent slipping if you actually use it on a table, not a rock. $35, snowpeak.com.
For the skier: For the carver of winter corduroy who is just discovering that there's more terrain to be found beyond the chairlift's reach, SwarmEffect makes The Goat. It’s a low profile, low bulk ski-carrying strap—small enough to stuff in the pocket of your ski jacket—that frees up your hands for poling up steep sidecountry slopes. Bonus: it's made in Boulder, CO from reclaimed materials. $49.95, thegoatski.com.
For the winter wanderer: Stoic's Merino Boxer Briefs are the secret weapon: they'll keep your boys roasty toasty when the weather outside is frightful, whatever that means for you. They're designed for an active lifestyle—with moisture and odor management and a little stretch. $45, backcountry.com
For the bike commuter: Time slipped away, you got involved in a big project, and now you're riding home in the dark. The Princeton Tec Push will keep you safe. This handlebar mount light has 100 lumens and screws on in a flash. You'll be able to see the road—it runs for 63 hours on three AAA batteries. And cars will see you back thanks to side light pipes that make you 260°visible. $50, princetontec.com.
For the cyclist: Sick of wrangling unwieldy cable locks? The Kuat Bottle Lock will make your day. It looks like a waterbottle and fits in a bottle cage, but inside is a five-foot-long, internally-coiled 8mm cable that pulls to unwind and locks to itself once you've threaded it through your bike. The top of the bottle turns to rewind the cable around an internal spindle. And the bottom of the bottle opens to store keys or other small items. Brilliant! $34, kuatinnovations.com
For the thirsty: Stanley has been around for 100 years, and for most of that time it’s been making the Classic Bottle, a double-wall vacuum-insulated hammered-green two-quart bottle. Now, Stanley's Classic Bottle is available in sleek and sexy hammertone Stainless. It's insulated to keep your drinks hot or cold, with a heavy duty handle and an eight ounce cup that's also the lid. $40, Stanley-pmi.com
For the music lover: Buy a song, benefit the environment. Patagonia has teamed up with iTunes and hundreds of artists to create the Patagona Music Collective. The site contains an impressive collection of eclectic and exclusive releases from bands like Tinariwen and Sun Kil Moon and emerging artists like Red Wanting Blue. At least 60 percent of the proceeds from every sale go to environmental action. From $0.99 for single songs to $9.99 for an album, patagonia.com