Every year between Black Friday and Christmas, the holiday shopping season is in full effect. And while it can be stressful trying to figure out what to give to a loved one, we’ve come up with the top 5 waterfalling items to put on the Wish List for 2020 (in no particular order) to reduce some of that stress. This is especially true if you have a Nature Lover (let alone Waterfall Lover) in the family!
Full Disclosure: All of the items in this list have affiliate links. Of course, I wouldn’t be referring them if I didn’t like them myself so I have no problems recommending them to you in this post.
Over the years of waterfalling, I’ve developed a love-hate relationship with my tripod.
On the one hand, I need it to take long-exposure pictures of waterfalls or to autonomously take family pictures without having someone else do it (especially important given the COVID-19 pandemic).
On the other hand, the tripod is not light, it’s not easy to pack (let alone access) while hiking, and it takes an annoyingly long time to set up (and put away).
Even since I learned about this product from one of the webinars that attended, this has been on my wish list ever since.
On a recent pre-Thanksgiving trip to the Northern California Coast, I wound up using my tripod exactly once over the six days we were away from home.
Garmin Fenix 6X Pro Solar
The Garmin Fenix 6X Pro Solar would be an upgrade to the Garmin Fenix 6X Pro Sapphire that I currently own.
The reason why this is on my wish list is that battery life on the watch is a major concern if I have to go on multi-day backpacks.
So the watch’s ability to charge itself through its solar cells would at least buy me perhaps another 50% more time without needing to do the old-fashioned plug-in charging (which is not available in the backcountry).
Aside from that, I’ve been pretty happy with my Sapphire version of this watch thanks to its embedded topographic map, which gave me the ability to see where I am and where I’m going at-a-glance.
I’ve written an in-depth review of my experiences with the Fenix 6X Pro Sapphire, which you can read about here.
This isn’t the cheapest item, but you generally get what you pay for.
Gaia GPS Premium Membership
This item technically isn’t a physical product, but the info conveyed in it is invaluable for any waterfaller.
When I first started using the Gaia GPS App on my iPhone, I was immediately sold on the benefits, especially with respect to trip planning and navigating.
While I would love to see this app working together with my Garmin Fenix 6X Pro Sapphire, the easy-of-use you get with its intuitive interface on the iPhone is worth bringing it around as a backup.
It’s kind of like how this has now replaced those moments where I would stop to bring out a paper topographic map.
However, now I just whip out the phone (while it’s also trip logging, by the way), assess my location and where I’m going next, and then put it away where it’s easily accessible (like a velcro or zippered pant pocket).
I’m putting this on the wish list, however, because to get the best out of this app, I have to be a premium member.
This allows me to download map layers, including premium ones like those from Trails Illustrated (they used to cost me $100 per US State!).
Black Diamond Alpine FLZ Trekking Poles
Trekking poles have come a long way since the ones we’ve been using throughout our 20+ years of waterfalling.
Like with tripods, we also have a bit of a love-hate relationship with them, and I’ve written an article about their usefulness.
However, on our recent Northern California Coast trip, both Julie and Tahia fell into water while trying to stay dry on each of the many unbridged stream crossings in Fern Canyon.
That convinced me that we should have brought our trekking poles, in hindsight. However, that means we’d have to put up with tying up our hands by holding them during our hikes.
And that’s where the latest designs of this particular trekking pole comes in handy.
Indeed, speed, convenience, and functionality are what we look for when it comes to trekking poles, and had we used something as compact and as quick to set up as this pair of poles, then that Fern Canyon experience would have been much more enjoyable.
So that’s why this is on my wish list, and I’m keen to give it a go on our next wet hike where we wouldn’t hesitant to bring these poles on our trips and worry about that annoyance factor that kept us from bringing them in the first place!
Tamrac 5627 Pro Digital Zoom Camera Bag
You may be wondering why a discontinued camera bag is on my this wish list.
Well, it turns out that sometimes you don’t mess with a thoughtful and functional design, and that’s the case with the Tamrac 5627.
In fact, I’ve found that most camera bags these days have taken steps backwards from this product, which has key features like…
- hip belt loops to keep the weight on the hips
- over-the-shoulder sling strap for natural carrying without a day- or backpack
- flip top buckle fastening option in addition to zippered fastening for quick access and good workflow
- pockets for batteries, memory, wipes, etc.
- water resistance
Besides being discontinued, perhaps the only thing that keeps this from being the perfect camera carrying solution is that it’s not waterproof (as I’ve seen new ones that make this claim) and it’s not durable as the buckle and clips are prone to breakage.
However, I’m always on the lookout for this bag because I refuse to get any of the new ones until they go back to what this one does right.
Thus, it will always be on my wish list until we finally get a camera bag that caters to active travel photographers who want to travel light.
To this day, it seems like manufacturers find profitability in the extremes – i.e. professional photographers carrying lots of gear at the high end or cheap consumer bags on the low end.
What did you think of our list? Anything you think we missed, or that you think would be particularly useful as a gift for that waterfaller in your circle of friends or family?
Let us know and keep the conversation going by commenting down below…
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