This site has limited support for your browser. We recommend switching to Edge, Chrome, Safari, or Firefox.


3ROC Holiday Gift Guide - Jason's Picks

Posted by Jason miller on
3ROC Holiday Gift Guide - Jason's Picks

The holiday's are about connecting with the people you love and finding that special gift. While I don't believe in buying something for the sake of buying something, there are some great gifts that outdoorsy folks typically won't buy for themselves. So, this is a great way to get a gift that folks may not have considered or have never been willing to buy themselves. Here's a list of gift ideas, hand picked by 3ROC's co-owner, Jason. 


Timber Bike Bell
timber bell

I volunteer with Trail Pittsburgh and see more "behind the curtain" of what it takes to manage a recreational space. Bike bells are one of the best ways to minimize conflict between trail hikers and bikers and keep everyone safe. Park systems that adopt them and promote their use see a reportable difference in user conflict and it's a great way to share the trails. It's a minor inconvenience for the biker except for when people gladly get out of your way when they can actually hear you coming! Stay safe, keep others, safe and remember the battle is against those who want to take away public spaces and outdoor recreation, not between hikers and bikers.

Timber Bike Bell (Jason's favorite)


Trail Maps & Guidebooks
purple lizard map

I love map and compass navigation!  Need I say more?  Ok, well, maps are one of the 10 essentials for backcountry travel, they work without batteries, without service, and allow you to actually connect with the place you are exploring and immerse yourself in nature. Try it sometime. Or ask me and I'll help you. Get yourself a map of everywhere you travel, throw it on the picnic table at camp and plot your adventure for the day with a group of friends. Get off the phone and disconnect, that's the joy of being in nature. More still? You can find places you may never find without using a map because you're eyes can wonder curiously across the map.  You'll learn to actually appreciate what is uphill and downhill.  Maps will help you find your place in the world and appreciate how immense the world is. Purple Lizard is a PA business, so let's support local with more local. Still more? Let's grab a beer....

Purple Lizard Maps


Garmin InReach
garmin gps

Ok, so my previous pick was about reducing technology, disconnecting and blah blah blah.  But one of the few pieces of technology that make sense is the ability to communicate with others in places without service.  This includes many rural areas in PA.  My wife and I frequently gravel ride in Mercer County where you aren't far from a paved road but without cell service. It works more than just SOS, it can say, "Hey, I've flatted my bike and really don't want to walk the 20 miles back home past the farm with the crazy dog, so pick me up, and bring me chocolate." 

Oh ya, don't hit SOS if you forgot a sandwich, the AMRG folks will appreciate this.

Garmin inReach Mini 2


UltrAspire Lumen WaistLights

I like running with my Lumen 800 waist light.  They give off a lot of light, diffuse it well across the trail, and aren't hanging on my head. Not everyone seems to take to the idea. This is why they are a great option for someone who runs a lot, since they may not buy it for themselves but will learn to like it once they have it.  I won't call them downsides, but they are designed for long trail runs and not necessarily meant for hanging out at camp. But that's the way of the world, items are either designed and built with a specific purpose, or attempt to balance many aspects and therefore are not great in any (the old Jack of all trades, master of none). 

UltrAspire Lumens



Buffs are a great piece of gear!  They keep your head warm in the winter and can be worn in a variety of manners. They can keep the sun off your neck and forehead in the summer. Make for rags and dishcloth when camping, and can also function as a mask. A brightly colored one can be waived around when bush-whacking in thick brush or when you really, really need someone to see you.



Beal Escaper
beal escape

When I came across this product in our inventory, I was intrigued. It strikes me as a great "gadget" for the climbing world. While I myself don't climb a lot (have climbed, do climb, not enough to be a legitimate climber), the reviews on the product that I've seen are positive and some call it the essential piece of gear that all [multi-pitch] climbers should have. Some may disagree, but again, the Beal Escaper is a great gift as few climbers will buy this for themselves, but may take it out and learn to love it. It may not get used on most climbs, but it seems like the perfect option to carry along.

Beal Escaper


Biolite Headlamp

Perfect for being an active person but also in everyday life. Have you ever thought to carry a headlamp in your backpack or day bag? What happens when you are out with a friend who's teaching you how to rappel on the swing set in Anderson Playground so you can be safe climbing at Seneca and it gets dark? You can either be left fumbling in the dark to clean up your gear or pull out your headlamp that you always carry and quickly get back to the car before class (thanks Paul, great life lesson!).

Leave one in your car, in your backpack, where you need so you don't get stuck not being able to see.  Perhaps I was traumatized as a child, but I'm afraid of the dark. I always carry two headlamps (one primary and one backup) on any overnight trip.

Biolite Headlamps


Grayl Water Filter
grayl filter

We can debate the details of water filtration separately.  Why I like the Grayl as a gift is again, someone may not buy it themselves, but for folks who either travel or enjoy pure water they are a great complement to life that you can take into the backcountry. Use the Grayl to get filtered water while stuck at the airport instead of buying another plastic bottle. Don't hydrate yourself in Mexico on Coca Cola since you don't trust their tap water, bring a Grayl. It may not be the lightest water filtration system for those in the ultralight backpacking world, but it works well at camp, in the office, on the trail and can double as a Nalgene.

Grayl Collection


Gift Cards

gift cards

I might have a personal bias here, but seriously, let's build the outdoor community in Pittsburgh. That's why I got involved with 3ROC and that's what we need... more folks locally engaged in outdoor recreation. Let's turn Pittsburgh into a place with more jobs in the outdoor industry and make Pittsburgh an outdoor town.  We need more dollars spent to encourage politicians and people to invest in our state parks, conserve land, and promote healthy lifestyles. Let's support our local economy, we can do it together. Want to chat more about this - email me directly and let's discuss. 

They also make great ways to say thanks with personalized messages that we provide when we prepare gift cards for pick-up or mailing.

Gift Cards


← Older Post Newer Post →