With Christmas coming up (and the celebrations starting earlier every year!), you may be wondering what to get that special someone for Christmas: well, I’ve compiled a list of the best (and most useful + sustainable) gifts for travel.
A 35mm film camera.
Whilst digital cameras are getting more and more advanced, they are still far from creating the colours and quality of photos shot on 35mm film. Films such as Fujifilm C200 and Kodak Colorplus have a timeless vibe that a digital camera just can’t replicate. In addition, you can pick up a film camera and a sharp lens for dirt cheap (I bought a whole camera kit cheaper than a disposable camera off eBay!), and the feeling of loading your film and the delayed gratification is reason to get a 35mm camera just in itself. The reason I suggest a 35mm camera over medium format is because medium format is quite a bit more expensive, and the cameras are a lot bigger and heavier, making it tough to travel with.
Another great reason to get a film camera is if your camera is nicked on the beach, you only lose at max 36 photos and a pretty cheap (although quality) camera, while when it comes to digital you can lose 100s of photos on your memory card and a £1000+ camera, which is very frustrating.
A Gandy rucksack.
No, this isn’t sponsored by Gandy. For Christmas last year, my Mum gave me a navy-blue Gandy rucksack, and I have brought it on every adventure since then. It matches a timelessly aesthetic design with functionality, and I absolutely adore it. I brought it on a school skiing trip, and it held up remarkably well , surviving multiple falls, and more importantly keeping the insides dry. When traveling, secure pockets to hold passports and visas is a must. With a pocket at the part of the back which rests on your back, this bag is about as secure as it gets. It can sometimes be a bit tricky to take clothes out of, and otherwise is a fantastic option for a present.
Swiss Army Knife
If you haven’t already got this, it is an absolute must. I cannot stress the importance of a Swiss Army Knife, from freeing yourself from tangled ropes when sailing to cutting pieces of wood for a fire, this knife is a necessity that every traveler, regardless of your journey.
Last year, when I went camping in the UK due to the international lockdown, it came in clutch when I used the saw module on it to cut down some firewood for a fire to cook my food. I also use it in my regular day to day life to cut my nails with the sharp scissors that also fold into the knife.
If you want more details, here are all the modules that fold into the knife:
Big knife, small knife, saw, scissors, toothpick, ballpoint pen, tweezers, corkscrew, phillips screwdriver, flathead screwdriver, bottle opener, reamer, tin opener, multipurpose hook and stainless steel pin, and this is just on the model I have! You can buy some with far more tools including a fish scaler and chisel.
“Why get a notebook when you can just use an app on my smartphone now?” I hear you ask. Well, notebooks have a timeless aesthetic that an iPhone just can’t replicate. After a hard day of adventuring, it is incredibly rewarding to sit back and write down how you’ve felt, what you did and the people you met. I always bring a notebook with me when traveling to other countries.
It is immensely fulfilling, after a few years, to pour a steaming cup of tea, lie down on your bed, and read your diary entries from when you were in the Savanah in Africa, climbing the alps, or trying Vietnamese street food for the very first time.
Hope this helped you find the right gift!