Sunday, December 5, 2021

2021 Gift Giving Guide!


Wow.. hard to believe we are in December, and on our way to Christmas!  I love this time of year so much..   hope you do too! 

I know the blog has been a bit quiet for a while, much like my running and training!  But, I am slowly and working on getting back into it,  and I hope you are too! 

Anyway, this year I thought I would put together a gift guide for this holiday season.  I'm sharing some of my favorite things, both new and old, in case you were looking for some ideas on what to get that hard to shop for loved one! I've spent a bit more time in the last year or so just being outdoors camping and backpacking too, so sharing some great gift ideas in those areas. 

Sorry.. couldn't resist! It's an old meme, but still cracks me up   Anyway... check out these cool gifts, and if you have any questions or comments, let me know!

First up is a great stocking stuffer!  Sea to Summit is a great outdoors gear company based up the road in Boulder, CO, that has grown into a successful global brand. 

They were kind enough to provide one of their X Mug's, which is an awesome collapsible mug for camping and backpacking. As I've gotten more into backpacking, I'm understanding better how weight and space in a pack is tricky, so this is a great tool!

Needless to say, this cup is awesome!  I questioned the use with hot liquids, but the ribbing on the outside keeps it really comfortable to hold, and I love that inside are measurements on up to 1.5 cups. For $12.95, this would make a great gift.  Click HERE to check it out. 

For the best in thermo-nuclear protection for my eyeballs, I love my Switch sunglasses.  Perfect for trail running as they offer great wind, sun, and sharp branch protection!  And you can quickly swap out various lenses for the conditions.  I love the Rose Amber for snow running!  I've been an ambassador for Liberty Sport for a number of years now, and they are just a great company with great products!

So this year, I've been out in about in two styles.  The Highlander's are fantastic for more rugged outdoor adventures. They include eye cups and foam padded inner frames to block out wind, rain, and sun, and a great neck strap. I LOVED them backpacking in the Colorado high country.

The Tenaya Range's performed outstanding with their easy switch out lenses and super durability. Again, I love the low light amber lenses, but the dark polarized are fantastic for the bright, high altitude Colorado sun. 

Anyway, please check Switch out HERE, and Liberty Sport (for RecSpecs) HERE. The last sunglasses you'll need to buy! Well, unless like me, you want all the styles!

Next up is BioLite!  I fell in love with this company a few years ago when I tried out their Headlamp 330. It was a great little headlamp, and the newer 750 is really awesome. Both would make fantastic stocking stuffers.  Also, a good friend uses their solar lighting system (SolarHome 620+) in his off grid cabin, fantastic!  Better yet, check out what they do globally to deliver clean energy by clicking HERE..  so awesome. 

Anyway, this year they were kind enough to provide me with a few new products to try out.. check it out..  

The Alpenglow 250 lantern is so much fun.  It's small, lightweight, and powerful! Plus it has a ton of different modes with colors and fades..  just click and shake to start the party!  Additionally the Charge 40pd is one of several available battery packs. I love the compactness of this one and portability.  As much as its awesome to be off grid, recharging a phone several times is really handy!  Anyway, these would make awesome gifts.. check out BioLite HERE.

Ok, now for another fun stocking stuffer... how about a reusable 32 oz bottle?  How do you fit that in a stocking??

It's easy when its a a 100% medical grade silicone rubber bottle from Bubi!!  They come in a lot of colors and sizes, are completely collapsible and can be rolled up, AND they can be turned inside out for washing.  So cool!  They come with an insert for drinking and pouring out of, as well as a optional flip cab with a tube for easy drinking on the run or hike.  Check them out by clicking here and grab a Bubi!.. well.. a bottle I mean..  :-)

Next up, another new to me product, and an excellent stocking stuffer for any runner, walker, hikers you know that want an extra level of safety.  I've been harassed by dogs a few times, but fortunately not more than that, however I do like to run with a small canister of pepper spray just in case.  Sabre Brand safety products are great, and they provided me with two cool products to try out

The first on the right is the Runner Series Pepper Gel. It's  maximum strength gel, in a small container with a convenient velcro strap for easier carrying and quick access.  

At $12.99, these would make great gifts..  you can check them out, and see the other colors by clicking HERE. 

The other item I tried out is frankly, quite awesome!  I'm talking about the Smart Pepper Spray system.  Check it out: 

So what makes it Smart?  Combined with a free Sabre App, if I ever deploy the pepper spray, an immediate alert is sent to my selected emergency contact notifying that person that it was deployed AND delivering a geo tracking pinpoint location of where it was when deployed.  How cool is that!  And for a monthly fee, you can even connect that alert to 9-1-1.   What I also appreciated was that it came with a "practice" canister so that you can get a feel for the distance it sprays and how best to aim it.  

Anyway... very cool products.  To see the Runner Series click HERE, and HERE for the Smart Pepper Spray.  


Ok.. that wrap up the new brands I've tried out this year, but I would be remiss not circling back to those fantastic companies I am proud to represent.  And the first in that line up is Xeroshoes..  my first experience with minimalist sandals and running, and they have not stopped producing cooler and better products each year. 

This summer I fell in love with the Xeroshoes Aqua X-Sport.  Designed as a lightweight, packable shoe that is ready for water, I ended up using this shoe for everything!  Not sure what it was about it.. perhaps the easy on/off with tensioning laces, the great grip, the light weight and breathability, but whatever it was, I ended up wearing these in all sorts of water, hiking, every day wear, and even a 3 day backpacking trip in the mountains of Colorado!  Just part of a new batch of models released last Spring, by far one of my favorites... check out all the Xeroshoes offerings (and sales) by clicking HERE. 

Speaking of minimalist shoes, you know I can't do a review with mentioning my hands down favorite trail/ultra running shoe...  Carson Footwear of course!  

Picture above are my all time favorite pair, the Stingers with the 12/12 sole and rock plated insole. I broke 1,000 trail miles in these before finally having to retire them.  This will be the same model I'll choose here shortly as I start running more.  I've reviewed Carsons from the very beginning (Iguana Racer), and they continue to be what I consider the best trail shoe out there :-) Check them out HERE. 

Go Sleeves!! What I can I say, I fell in love with the calf sleeves the first time I put them on.  Check out my review of the calf sleeves HERE and the knee sleeve HERE.   If you aren't familiar, Go Sleeves basically combines compression with built in kinesiology tape.  I love them because they work so well, and save me having to tape.  

.So, I haven't been running much, hence I haven't needed the sleeves, BUT.. my son who play high school Ultimate Frisbee has swiped them and has fallen in love with them as well.  At the onset of summer and long practice sessions, he was plagued by shin splints.  Along with resting and icing, I told him to give the Go Sleeves a try... bingo! They provided him the exact relief and performance support he needed.  Above are some shots from the Colorado State High School Mixed State Championships, where is Orange Crush team took first after going undefeated over two days of play.. go Crush and Go Sleeves!!  And use my link to get 15% off!  

Another company that I've been with since start...   They make some of the best hydration packs and trail running accessories out there.  I've been running with Orange Mud gear for more than 5 years now, ever since my first review of the Hydraquiver Single Barrel. 

I still get comments on runs and races about my "jet pack" VP2 Vest...   perfect for ultra-distance races or just a hike in the hills.   Check Orange Mud out by clicking HERE, and use code "barefootinclined" for 10% off!

Ok...  if you are looking for stocking stuffers, Prevail Botanicals is the way to go!  Prevail is an amazing CBD salve that works incredibly well.  It's saved my legs on a number of occasions, both during a race, and as a post-run relief, or just about anytime you need some relief!

I know there seems to be a plethora of CBD based products out there, but you have to be careful and do your due diligence.   Many don't have the listed concentrations of CBD (or none at all!) and have suspect ingredients.  Prevail Botanicals provides a super high-quality product, with natural ingredients, and it works!  Not just for runners either.  I recently did something wrong loading a ladder, and bam... there goes my back. A hot shower and a good rub in of Prevail and I'm doing much better!    Anyway, check Prevail out HERE, and use code "GALLUP20" for 20% off your order!!

Ok.. last but certainly not least, this last recommendation is for those of you local to Colorado Springs. As a family, we've learned that we all do much better when we avoid gluten, dairy, and other common allergens in the foods we eat.   So when we first met Elizabeth at a farmers market and learned what she was doing with allergen-free baking, we were really excited!  And yes.. she is the sweetest :-)  

We were very sad when in March 2020, they were forced to close here in the Springs, while trying to keep their business going in Florida.  Fast forward to summer of 2021 and Elizabeth and her family are back and we couldn't be more excited!  They are working hard to reopen here on Uintah, right by Mountain Mama and hopefully open soon!

 Not only is everything allergen free, but vegan as well.  They make the absolute best donuts and treats, and are 100% vegan and gluten free.   They also offer awesome mixes that can be ordered online as well!

Check them out at  or on Facebook!

Ok!   Hope that provided some ideas for the gift-giving season.  As always, please let me know if you have any questions or comments, either below, via email, or on the Barefoot Inclined Facebook Page!

Thank you, and I wish you and yours a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a safe and beautiful New Year... 2022 here we come!



Disclosure of Material Connection: I received the Bubi water bottle for free from Deep Creek Public Relations in consideration for a gear review. Additionally, I am proud to be a Xero Shoes affiliate and may receive compensation for referring the Xero Shoes. 


  1. Wonderful assortment of stuff! My Orange Mud double quiver and Carson Iguanas are grrrreat!

  2. You always have such a great list. Thanks for sharing.


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