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Sunday, May 19, 2024

2021 Holiday Gift Guide – Gifts Under $500

Photo by imaginima via iStock

At the time I’m writing this holiday gift guide, it’s late August. But before we know it, the holidays will be here. That means that it’s time to start thinking about gift ideas for the overlanding and off-roading enthusiasts in your life. Or, you might be wondering what you can buy yourself this year!

Below is a list of some of our favorite holiday gifts for overlanding and off-roading under $500. Check it out, see what strikes your fancy, and get an awesome gift for yourself or a loved one this year.

MC Ranch Overland Original Fire Reflector

direct the heat from your fire With cold weather coming for those of us in the northern hemisphere, a great gift idea for the overlander or off-roader on your holiday shopping list is the Original Fire Reflector from MC Ranch Overland.

This is an ideal cold-weather camping accessory because, as the name indicates, this gadget reflects heat from the fire back towards you. That means that as the temperature dips, you and your friends can still hang out by the fire without being cold.

It doesn’t get much better than a cold night, a warm fire, and sky full of stars! But you’d be remiss if you think that the Original Fire Reflector is just a fire reflector…

direct the heat from your fire 2 It’s actually one of the most versatile holiday gifts for overlanding on this list… It bounces ambient light back into camp, which means you can move around camp without having to use up the battery power in your headlamp, flashlights, and lanterns. Additionally, you get excellent fire control with the Original Fire Reflector.

classic campfire dishes With the reflector deployed around the fire, it will help manage wind and help you create a nest where you can get the fire going – and stay going. Plus, if you’re cooking over the fire, the Original Fire Reflector acts as a protective shield, that way you can tend the food without being directly exposed to the fire. It’s just a fantastic all-around gift for people that love to camp!

Learn more about the MC Ranch Overland Original Fire Reflector

The Schenk

The Schenk If you have someone on your holiday shopping list that loves camping and overlanding as well as cooking, then I’ve got the perfect gift idea – The Schenk.

This multi-purpose cooking tool is on this list of holiday gifts for overlanding because it offers all kinds of utility. You can use it to cook up some steaks on a grill. You can also use it to hang a cast-iron pot for cooking stews or soups over the fire. Heck, you can even hang your kettle over the fire to brew up some campfire coffee!

the schenk with fire pit bracket All of this is done with a single tool that’s comprised of an adjustable vertical rod. Bring the platform down low to cook with a grill (as shown above) or hang the aforementioned pot or kettle up high further away from the flames.

You can also get the Schenk with a firepit attachment for a sturdy cooking surface when the surrounding ground is too uneven or unstable to use the foot apparatus.

cooking over a fire with the schenk And since it’s made of food-grade stainless steel, you can rest easy knowing that it’s food-safe and durable for many, many years to come. It’s easy to transport, too, because it comes in a beautiful Wannigan box.

Add to that the fact that it’s super simple to set up and take down, and you have the makings for one of the most ideal holiday gifts for overlanding and off-roading.

Learn more about the Schenk

Turtleback Gear Bag

Turtleback Gear Bag When you’re overlanding, off-roading, or camping, having a gear bag to act as a catch-all is a great asset to have. In my case, I have the Turtleback Gear Bag, and it is one hell of a well-made overlanding accessory. It’s constructed with Heytex Vinyl, which is both incredibly strong and incredibly durable. It’s also weather-resistant and UV-resistant too.

Turtleback Gear BagAnd since it holds 25 gallons, it’s a big bag for storing all kinds of gear. You can even use it as a trash bin for around camp – mine attaches to the swing-out spare tire on my Turtleback Expedition Trailer using 7,000-pound straps. This enables me to keep camp clean and keep my trash neatly collected and out of the way.

The bag looks awesome, too. It has the signature turtle logo on it and you can personalize it with one of ten colored turtle inserts.

Whether this is one of the gifts for overlanding and off-roading you buy for yourself or others, it’ll be one of the most-used accessories around camp!

Learn more about the Turtleback Gear Bag

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ALP 1000-Watt Propane Generator

alp1000-3 Having a small generator like this on hand when you’re out camping or overlanding gives you peace of mind that you’ll have reliable, clean power in case your primary system fails. Of course, if you don’t have huge power needs, this little guy can be your primary power source too! Get a load of these specs:

  • 1000 starting watts; 850 running watts
  • Two AC 120v outlets
  • Two USB ports
  • Built-in emergency LED light
  • Parallel ports for doubling up on power
  • Pure Sine Wave technology
  • Weight: 28 pounds
  • Dimensions: 18” x 9.5” x 15”
  • Compatible with one-pound and 20-pound tanks
  • Three-hour runtime on a one-pound tank; 60-hour runtime on a 20-pound tank
  • 52 dBA ultra-quiet operation
  • One-year limited warranty
  • EPA & CARB Approved

alp1000-4 As you can see, this generator packs all the punch you need for having emergency power, charging your electronic devices, or running a small heater to keep your trailer or tent warm. And since it runs on propane, it’s much cleaner than gas-powered generators – both in terms of burning fuel and because you don’t have to worry about the fumes and leaks of gas cans!

It’s smaller than many of its gas-powered counterparts as well – at just 18” x 9.5” x 15”, this thing can easily fit in your vehicle or trailer without taking up a ton of space.

With quiet, clean, and long-lasting performance, this is one of the best gifts for overlanding and off-roading money can buy.

Learn more about the ALP 1000-Watt Propane Generator

Camp Chef Mountaineer Aluminum

camp chef mountaineer

When you’re overlanding, space is at a premium. You also want to travel light. This necessitates investing in gear that gives you a lot of bang for your buck in terms of its size and weight. The camp Chef Mountaineer does just that.

Being able to cook awesome meals while you’re on the road makes all the difference in the world. After a day of hiking, biking, rafting, or simply driving from one destination to the next, a great dinner can make the day all the better.

The Camp Chef Mountaineer gives you the space, functionality, and features you need to get your cook on…

You get two 20,000 BTU cast-aluminum burners with matchless ignition and appliance-style temperature controls. The stove also comes with a three-sided windscreen, a five-foot hose and regulator, and a 12.5 x 24 inch cooking surface. Throw in a one-year warranty for good measure too!.

closed camp chef mountaineer

Small, and lightweight, this grill tips the scales at just 16 pounds and measures 25.25 in x 13.75 in. x 5.25 inches when closed.

Part of what makes this stove so innovative is that it has a suitcase-style lid that latches. Combined with the carry handle, this makes this stove supremely portable. Add optional legs to the mix to make it a standing grill or use it as a tabletop cooking system – either way, the Camp Chef Mountaineer will be the camp kitchen that any outdoor enthusiast would love to have this holiday season!

Learn more about the Camp Chef Mountaineer Aluminum

Blackfire 500W Portable Power Station

blackfire 500w power station

When I’m camping, I have tons of electronic devices with me – my phone, my tablet, my son’s iPad, my wife’s phone…it’s a lot! So we need a small, portable power station to keep everything juiced up. 

My guess is that if you’re reading this, you need something like that too, or that you’ve got a special someone on your holiday shopping list that could use some portable power.

Well, I’ve got a great suggestion for us all – a Blackfire 500W Portable Power Station.

blackfire 500w portable power station

This little guy measures 11.8” × 7.5” × 7.3” and tips the scales at just over 12 pounds, which makes it ultimately easy to stash in the back of my truck or in the storage bay of my trailer for my family’s camping and overlanding adventures.

And while we mostly need something like this to charge the devices I mentioned earlier, with a 505Wh lithium-ion battery, it can be used to charge up a laptop, camera batteries, run a radio, power lights, and much more.

But don’t think that because this is a small portable power station that it doesn’t offer loads of flexibility in terms of how it’s charged and how you can use its power…

blackfire 500w power station for camping and overlanding

It can be charged with AC or DC power, and with an optional Blackfire solar panel, it can be charged using solar input as well.

The power station has two 120V AC ports rated at 500W with 1000W of surge power. There are also four USB ports – two Type-A, one Type-C, and one Type-C PD, to go along with a 12V DC output.

Like the larger 1500W Portable Power Station, this 500W rig also has a large front display that shows you input and output data, the time until the battery is charged or empty, and other battery information as well. There’s even a built-in mount for Blackfire’s BTSM1 Bluetooth speaker so you can bring some tunes with you on your adventures!

blackfire 500w power station for overlanding

As far as gifts with a ton of utility go, it’s simply hard to beat something like this power station. It’s a well-built, well-designed, rugged product that will give your favorite overlanding enthusiast years and years of service. After all, these power stations are made by Klein Tools, a well-respected toolmaker that’s been in business since 1857, so you can trust that they’ve brought all that experience to the table when designing and building this product.

So, this holiday season, surprise your loved one (or yourself!) with a gift that will literally keep on giving – a small, easy-to-use, and highly functional portable power station.

Learn more about the Blackfire 500W Portable Power Station

Camp Chef Guy’s Pro60X Bundle


If you want to give a gift that will impress now and in the future, Guy’s Pro60X Bundle from Camp Chef will certainly do the trick…

Out of the gates, this thing impresses with dual 30,000 BTU burners, matchless ignition, and a three-sided windscreen. There’s also a variety of mix-and-match 14-inch accessories to give chefs all the flexibility they need to cook a wide range of foods. Use the one-burner grill box, the one-burner griddle, the 12-inch cast-iron skillet, and the five-piece chef set to make anything from pizza to steaks.

This new and improved version adds loads of other features that make it an even better investment. There’s built-in leg levelers to ensure chefs have a perfectly level cooking surface. There’s also two side shelves so chefs get the prep space they need while having the flexibility of folding the shelves down when they aren’t needed.


The Pro60X also has folding steel legs to improve portability.

With a 14 x 32-inch cooking surface, the chef on your list can go to town and make great food in their backyard, at camp, and many points in between.

If this setup is good enough for world-renowned chef Guy Fieri, it’s good enough for the cook on your holiday shopping list!

Learn more about the Camp Chef Guy’s Pro60X Bundle

Tembo Tusk Skottle

adjustable kit
The Adjustable Skottle Grill Kit // Tembo Tusk

One of my personal favorite overlanding cooking accessories of 2021 is also one of my top choices for gifts for overlanding and off-roading: the Tembo Tusk Skottle. So what makes this a must-have for overlanding, off-roading, and camping?

For starters, it comes with a 10,000 BTU burner so you get all the cooking power you need to whip up awesome meals. Plus, since there are bans on open fires in many areas, having a gas-powered grill can come in handy.

Another benefit of the Skottle is that it makes cooking incredibly easy…

Skottle Grill Cooking The grill is pre-seasoned so you can begin cooking your favorite camp food right off the bat without worry that the food will stick to the grill. On top of that, the grill is 18 inches wide, so you have all the cooking surface you need without it being an overwhelming size to pack in your vehicle or trailer.

Additionally, the grill comes in two variations – one with a set of adjustable legs, the 18-inch Skottle grill, a 10,000 BTU burner, and a carry bag and another that’s billed as the adventure kit, which comes with the adventure Skottle grill, a GSI Glacier Camp 10,000 BTU burner, and a BlueRidge Overland Gear carry bag.

skottle grill leg table
Skottle Grill With Leg Table // Tembo Tusk

You can get other accessories too, like the leg-mounted table shown above. Any overlanding enthusiast would love to get one of these bad boys this Christmas!

Learn more about the Skottle Grill

KC HiLites FLEX Era 3 2-Light System

4wd lighting spot lights Another great idea when it comes to gifts for overlanding or off-roading enthusiasts is a solid set of lights for their vehicle.

My Jeep Gladiator is outfitted with several different KC HiLites, including these FLEX Era 3’s that are installed on the A-pillars of the vehicle (shown above, illuminated). I personally use them as spotlights for added light as I’m driving trails at night, but since you can change the beam pattern by swapping out the lens optics, bezels, and covers, they can be used as driving lights or fog lights if needed.

4wd lighting driving lights However you use them, they offer a 5,000K color temperature with 3,672 lumens of brightness. These lights are good for a beam distance of 607 meters with just 40 watts per light. And since they are so compact – just 3.6″ wide, 3.5″ tall, and 2.6″ deep – they can be installed virtually anywhere on an overlanding or off-roading rig without obstructing the driver’s view.

KC has been at it for decades, and there’s a reason why they have garnered so much respect from 4WD enthusiasts. Their lights are bright, powerful, easy to install, and durable. That makes these lights a great holiday gift idea!

Learn more about the KC HiLites FLEX Era 3 2-Light System

Overland Racks Ontario Flatpack Firepit

top ways to cook while overlanding overland racks ontario Sometimes, when you’re out overlanding or camping, you’ll be in a situation in which there isn’t a firepit readily available. That’s where the Overland Racks Ontario comes in…

As you might have guessed from its name, this firepit folds flat for ease of transport. But despite the fact that it’s easy to transport, set up, and take down, don’t think that it skimps on space or features to help you cook…

he firepit is 17 x 11.5 x 12.5 inches when it’s folded out, so you get all the space you need to cook up your favorite campfire meals. Helping matters is that the firepit comes with an integrated grill and griddle, so you can prepare more than one kind of food at the same time.

overland racks ontario flatpack An interesting aspect of this firepit is that it has plenty of air holes to feed the fire with the oxygen it needs to keep burning. That means a very hot fire for cooking and warmth!

And while the heat of the fire will make the metal droop a little bit, it will return to its original shape as it cools down. The fact that there’s a lip that goes around the grill helps ensure it returns to its original shape.

I’ve used this setup several times on my overlanding trips and it simply works great. That’s why it’s one of my choices for the best gifts for overlanding of 2021.

Learn more about Overland Racks Ontario Flatpack Firepit

Wouxun KG-1000G GMRS Radio


I just recently picked up one of these radios, and I have to say, I’m already extremely impressed.

At 50 watts, this is a very powerful radio that allows me to stay in touch with my fellow overlanding enthusiasts. And though I haven’t had to use it to call for help yet, I’m comforted knowing that I have all the power I can get to make the call if needed. The overlander or off-roader on your holiday list will feel the same way!


The radio has 30 GMRS channels and 8 built-in GMRS repeater channels in addition to FM radio capability and built-in NOAA weather channels.

It offers simultaneous dual mode operation and has three built-in speakers (two in the radio itself and another in the handheld microphone).

I appreciate that the radio and the handheld mic both have backlit buttons for ease of use in the dark. There’s a nice, big LCD display and voice prompts for the menu system which make this a really easy radio to use as well.

And at just $370, it’s well below the $500 price threshold!

Learn more about the Wouxun KG-1000G GMRS Radio

Exped MegaMat Max – Self-Inflating Insulated Sleeping Pad

Self-Inflating Insulated Sleeping Pad Obviously, one of the most important parts of overlanding or camping is getting a good night’s sleep. And you can certainly do that if you’re laying down to rest on an Exped MegaMat. This is by far the best sleeping pad I’ve ever used – certainly better than anything I had during my Army days! Self-Inflating Insulated Sleeping Pad It truly feels more like a legitimate mattress than an inflatable sleeping mat. It’s soft and plush, yet gives you the support you need to get a good night’s rest.

Likewise, it’s insulated so you won’t get the chills from sleeping on the ground. It’s designed for year-round use, though, so take it out in the spring, summer, or fall when you have to worry less about the cold ground.

This is a self-inflating pad, so you don’t have to get lightheaded inflating it yourself. It also comes with a carry sack, has easy firmness adjustment using the included mini pump, and it comes with a five-year warranty.

Learn more about the Exped MegaMat Max

Coleman Roadtrip X-Cursion Propane Grill

Coleman Roadtrip X-Cursion Propane Grill If the person on your holiday shopping list loves to cook while they’re camping, the Coleman Roadtrip X-Cursion Propane Grill will be a welcome sight. It’s easy to transport with collapsible steel scissor legs and wheels that enable you to pull it across the campsite with ease. The 285 square-inch porcelain-coated cast iron grill will give the camper on your list all the room they need to cook up all sorts of food. All they have to do is hit the Instastart push-button ignition and dial in the desired heat and they’ll be ready to cook!

Coleman Roadtrip X-Cursion Propane Grill Coleman even offers the ability to change cooktops, so the chef in the group can swap out the grill for a stove grate or a griddle. And since it’s a Coleman product, you know that this will be one of those gifts for overlanding that keeps on giving for years to come!

Learn more about the Coleman Roadtrip X-Cursion Propane Grill

EcoFlow 160 Watt Portable Solar Panel

41y ZvNv3QS.  AC SX300 SY300 QL70 FMwebp Why not give the gift of power this holiday season? No list of gifts for overlanders would be complete without a solar panel. After all, solar power is clean, quiet, and abundant – just what you want when you’re overlanding!

This EcoFlow 160-watt solar panel is portable, compact, and foldable, which makes it the ideal companion for overlanding trips. When paired with the EcoFlow power station, the panel converts around 21-22 percent of solar energy.

71vBdbOdClS. AC SL1500 The panel is waterproof and made of durable materials to provide long-lasting, dependable performance. Next time your loved one heads out for a weekend of camping, a portable solar panel would be a welcome addition!

Learn more about the EF EcoFlow 160-Watt Portable Solar Panel

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