2016 Gift Guide (Bags and Beyond)
Here’s just a few of the things that we’ll be giving as gifts this year, TOM BIHN and otherwise. Gifts that are Made in USA are designated as such.
If you’ll be ordering gifts soon in the hopes of receiving them by or on December 24th, we recommend consulting the holiday shipping guide of the company from which you’re ordering. If that’s TOM BIHN, you have until Thursday, December 15th to select UPS Ground for December 24th delivery. (Here’s our full Holiday Shipping Schedule.)
Faribault Woolen Mills blankets
Block Shop Textiles
Now a favorite shop of Darcy’s thanks to GoStanford of the TOM BIHN Forums (See more of the TB Forum members’ favorite things here). Block Shop’s mission is to make heirloom textiles that have high social benefit and low environmental impact. See their pillows, scarves, and rugs.
Floracopeia Essential Oils
Exquisite fair trade and organic essential oils made by people who live and breathe the work they do. Floracopeia offers most of their oils in tester/sample sizes, which make great stocking stuffers.
Seeds Trust is a 30 year-old family seed company dedicated to teaching folks to save their own seeds, grow a delicious home garden, and create stunning native landscapes. Their heirloom and native seed packets make great stocking stuffers.
You Do It Suet (Made in USA)
Feed the birds! The You Do It Suet® mold helps you to easily make your own vegetarian suet.
The Aeronaut 45 is everyone’s favorite travel bag: it fits more clothes, toiletries, and accessories than a rolling bag and weighs less, too.
Now available in two sizes (Small and Large), the Travel Tray has been a perennial favorite gift/stocking stuffer. Most folks start out by using the Travel Tray on a trip and then continue to use it when they’re back home to organize desk/craft projects.
National Park Checklist Map
For the National Parks or outdoors enthusiast in your life: a fun way to mark the places they’ve been and, perhaps more importantly, the places they have yet to go.
Tech and Games
Arduino Starter Kit
This Starter Kit is a great way to get started with Arduino, coding and electronics. The Starter Kit includes the components you need to make 15 fun projects following the step-by-step tutorials in the Project Book.
Getting Started with Raspberry Pi Kit
Raspberry Pi is a low-cost Linux computer that’s the size of a credit card. But don’t be fooled by the size! This small computer offers unlimited possibilities. Plug your Raspberry Pi into a monitor, attach it to a standard keyboard and mouse, and ta-da—you’re ready to code, experiment, and make. From creating your own video games to building electronics, the Raspberry Pi is a great platform whether you’re new to programming or you’re an experienced coder looking for some fun.
ACR PLB-375 ResQ Link Personal Locating Beacon (Made in USA)
Have a solo hiker amongst your friends and family? Gift them with this personal locating beacon and know they’ll be safe even if the worst happens.
Sprout Backpack with the 10 Essentials
A great gift for a 3-7 year old who is interested in hiking and the outdoors: pack a Sprout with the 10 Essentials and make a plan to go on an urban park or National Forest adventure where you’ll use your map and compass, learn about the contents of and how to use a first aid kit, have fun with headlamps, and stop for snacks to keep well-nourished and hydrated.
Darn Tough Socks (Made in USA)
We haven’t worn holes in our Darn Tough socks yet.
Little River Sock Mill (Made in USA)
Socks made in a wide variety of styles and colors. Made with Organic Cotton in Fort Payne, Alabama.
Stenlight Headlamp (Made in USA)
It’s the best headlamp out there, and it’s the one Tom carries with him on every hike.
Food & Drink
360 Cookware (Made in USA)
360 Cookware is made of multiple layers of high-grade metals that form a core of bonded aluminum that is not only on the bottom of the pan like other cookware, but is also carried through the sides and lip of the pan, creating remarkable heat conductivity. 360 Cookware also makes the only (to our knowledge) Made in USA slow cooker.
Robot Tea Infuser
For the robot enthusiast in your life. Matthew uses this Robert Tea Infuser and tells us it does its job quite well (and without feelings).
Birds & Beans Coffee
We plug Birds & Beans whenever we can; they roast great coffee, they’re great people, and through their business they help to save migratory birds. Our favorite roast: Scarlet Tanager.
Kitchen Imp Spice Kit
Kitchen Imp is a Seattle-based company that offers fair trade and organic spices. The spices, rubs, blends, and teas that they offer are incredibly fresh; try their cinnamon sticks and you’ll never buy them again anywhere else. Kitchen Imp offers a wide variety of Indian and Ayurvedic spice blends as well as unique and flavored salts and sugars. The Rub Sampler—six organic original spice blends with accompanying recipes—makes a great gift, as does the Vata tea (great for winter!).
Moveable Feast Reusable Grocery Bag (Made in USA)
Choose one of your favorite recipes that you know your friend or family member will enjoy and purchase all of the non-perishable ingredients for that recipe along with a bottle (or two?) of wine. Pack everything in a Moveable Feast and hand-write the recipe on a card tucked into a Medium Organizer Pouch clipped to the Movable Feast.
And how about Tom’s favorite salt and pepper shaker?
HDS Systems Every Day Carry Flashlights (Made in USA)
Still our favorite Made In USA flashlight.
Jade Yoga Mats (Made in USA)
These yoga mats are well-made, available in a wide variety of colors, and are designed and made in the U.S.A. What more could you ask for?! Wait, what’s that? A minimalist, ultralight travel yoga mat? They make that, too.
Skeletool CX (Made in USA)
Useful for everything from removing porcupine quills from your dog to opening a beer to truing a bicycle wheel.
Yeoman Duffel (Made in USA) packed with car emergency/comfort gear
Know someone who does a lot of driving and would appreciate a supremely practical gift that shows how much you care? Pack a Yeoman Duffel, Size Medium with two collapsible snow shovels, fire extinguisher, emergency rain poncho, flares, first aid kit, blanket, rope, crossword puzzle book, pen and pencil, hand warmers, extra gloves and hat, notebook, phone charger cable, water, and a few Lara bars. All they need to do is toss the Yeoman in the car and feel a little safer knowing you’re looking out for their comfort and safety. Tip: find the gloves, hat, and blanket at your local Army surplus store.
Spyderco Dragonfly (Made in USA)
Darcy’s pocket knife of choice. In bright yellow to make it easy to find inside of a bag or if it’s dropped.
Stanfield’s is still making wool socks and men’s underwear in Truro, Nova Scotia. Like the many Canadians who wear Stanfield’s, Tom swears by his.
To Benefit Others
This could be taken as the 2016 version of a lump of coal (or, uh, the opposite?) or as a thoughtful gift from someone that recognizes the recipients care for the environment, so tread carefully. For the right person, though, it can offset any holiday-related consumption guilt.
Everyone we know wants more time. Time to do nothing, time to exercise, time to play with the dog, go on a trip, learn to make pie crust, whatever. Think of something (babysitting, dog-sitting, helping out in the garden, or running errands) you could help your loved one out with that would give them more time to do whatever it is they want to be doing.
Second Aid Kit (Made in USA) + Charitable Donation
This is a clever way you can give that generous person in your life a thing while still making a contribution on their behalf that will benefit others. Gift a Second Aid Kit (could be paired with a First Aid Kit: we can best look out for others after we make sure we can take care of ourselves) filled with Second Aid items (ideas here and here) and make a charitable donation on your loved one’s behalf. Choose a charity you know they support or use Charity Navigator to guide you to organizations that are champions of specific causes.
This year various folks here at TB are making donations to:
Little Free Library
Human Rights Campaign
Doctors Without Borders
Vital Ground Foundation
Electronic Frontier Foundation
Over 100 million trees are cut down each year to produce our junk mail, and the vast majority of it ends up in the trash without having ever been opened. Catalog Choice’s mission is to stop junk mail for good; they send merchants your catalog opt-out request on your behalf. And it really works: Darcy signed up for Catalog Choice and stopped receiving most catalogs (except Pottery Barn Kids, which is the Freddy Krueger of catalogs). To give the gift of Catalog Choice, make a donation and gift the recipient with a card letting them know you’ve made a donation in their name and they can sign up for Catalog Choice at their leisure.
Tnees Teepee’s (Made in USA)
What kid wouldn’t love their very own teepee hideout? Made with care right here in the U.S.A.
The Sprout Kid’s Backpack (Made in USA)
See our idea for a Sprout paired with the 10 essentials in the Outdoor category above.
Dogs and Cats
Skookum Dog Camp Mat (Made in USA)
You can’t go wrong gifting a Camp Mat: it’s the go-anywhere (including into the washing machine) do-everything champion of dog blankets mats.
Skookum Dog Bat (Made in USA)
One of the (if we may say so ourselves) most beautiful Made in USA dog toys ever made—we’re almost tempted to put it in the Baby and Kids category! Read the story of the Skookum Dog bat here.
Skookum Dog Summit Bed (Made in USA)
This is the ultimate dog bed, and the versatility that we incorporated into its design has been essential as our dogs have been getting older—remove a bolster or two, and a dog with stiff joints or recovering from surgery can more easily walk into the bed.
The Vertical Cat’s 5-ft Purrsilla Cat Tree (Made in USA)
HomeSoulShop’s Cat Cave bed—works for puppies, too. (Made in USA)
E-Gifts and Last Minute Gifts
Etsy Gift Cards
We love Etsy around here. There’s so many incredibly talented folks in this world who make things—and we love being able to support that by buying their work. And the recipient of an Etsy gift card will be able to choose from such a wide variety of cool stuff: clothing, food, paintings, sculptures, knitted crafts, jewelry… the list goes on and on.
TOM BIHN Gift Certificate
There’s so many options when it comes to selecting a TOM BIHN bag for your friend or family member: briefcase, backpack, tote? And what about color? And organizational accessories? If you’re unsure, or you know the recipient would rather choose for themselves, consider one of our gift certificates. Worth noting: TOM BIHN Gift Certificates can be ordered 24/7, 365 days a year with instant email delivery to your recipient.
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