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GIFT GUIDE :: HAPPY CAMPER

Let me begin by sharing that I have never been an outdoorsy kind of gal. Yes, I have always liked running and that typically happens outside. However, sleeping anywhere but my bed and listening to the birds while dodging bees has never really been my thing, until now. Seriously. It's such a strong pull that a quick run into REI this week had me yearning for a camping trip.

I'm a newbie to the Happy Camper life and I am loving it and all the goodies that come with it. So grab your hot cocoa, sit by the fire and check out my latest gift guide for items your favorite weekend warrior could put to good use.

1. Die Trying Chain Stitched Beanie :: Local and lovable, you'll want to browse their entire site. Get creative with this toasty topper - several beanie color options, thread colors and of course whatever name or phrase you want to use. Choose something serious or silly - either way this gift will earn you a bear hug. The price point on this level of personalization and utility is golden, like a sunset. $25. USEFUL, NOVEL & PERSONAL

2. Obuby Kids Walkie Talkies :: These sweet & colorful walkie talkies come in a set of THREE making them perfect for families with several kiddos OR give two to the kids and keep one near a parent for quick communication at a campsite. Heck, my little people even use ours around the house and yard. Adventure awaits. $32. USEFUL & NOVEL.

3. Radiate Portable Campfire :: I've read lots of great reviews on this handy item and can't wait to see for myself. This portable campfire is made from recyclable materials, leaves no mess, burns for 3-5 hours and is reusable. Pretty nifty. You technically don't even have to leave your backyard. Give this tin with graham crackers, marshmallows and some chocolate for an instant party. Bet you'll get invited over a lot s'more. $27. USEFUL & NOVEL.

4. SUP Paddle Board :: I don't have a specific SUP recommendation on this one because I don't own one (hint, hint Santa!) but I am gonna say - if you camp often, GO GET ONE or if you don't, GO RENT ONE. We'll have at least one 80-degree day in December in Texas. The inflatable versions are easy to transport. If your recipient spends any amount of time near water while camping, they'll surely treasure this gift. $Varies$. LASTING & EXPERIENCE.

5. Patagonia Baby Retro X-Fleece Vest :: Is it a bear cub? A beaver? A chipmunk? Noooo, it's just a cuddly babe wrapped up in this warm fleece vest. May induce naps. $69. USEFUL & LASTING.

6. Sorel Kinetic Caribou Boots :: If a legit hiking boot and a fashion sneaker had a baby, this would be it. I didn't invest in this brand until we moved to Washington (state, not D.C.), land of the never-ending drizzle. I was so impressed, I bought again since moving back to Texas. Sorel makes the prettiest and most durable, comfortable, waterproof boots around. $160. USEFUL & LASTING

7. Kris Nations Happy Camper Necklace :: Add a touch of sparkle to her flannel in the most perfect way. The moon, stars, mountains and desert are never far with this reversible pendant. Gold vermeil or sterling silver. $80. NOVEL & PERSONAL.

8. See Mystery Lights T :: Marfa, Marfa, Marfa. Don't order this one online, instead make the trip out West to Marfa and browse El Cosmico Provision Co. yourself. Soooo many treasures inside including this tee which you MUST earn by waiting until dark, venturing out and seeking the lights. While you're in town, stop by Marfa Burrito for a rolled up helping of yum. $30. NOVEL & EXPERIENCE.

9. MPOWERD Luci Solar String Lights :: Powered by the sun for nighttime fun. $40. NOVEL & USEFUL.

GIFT like ya mean it,

Monica