Are you looking for a unique gift for a hiker, outdoor lover or traveler in your life? Why not give a gift that also supports small businesses in Minnesota? After much research, here’s my list of favorites!
*Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. That means that if you purchase through a link, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. This helps keep This Big Wild World up and running!
Anywhere Apparel | Website
From a successful Kickstarter campaign in 2016 to their recent feature in British Vogue, Anywhere Apparel is a travel apparel brand that you need to know about. I was fortunate to take part in their very early market research efforts and am so excited to see what this little seedling of an idea has become for founders, Kelly and Nick. Here’s more on the story behind Anywhere Apparel and why their brand makes the perfect gifts for hikers and travelers.
What motivated you to create Anywhere Apparel?
My husband and I love to travel. We love the outdoors, and we also want to immerse ourselves in local culture as much as possible. The problem, we found, is that no one was making stylish clothing built to withstand the demands of both. Fashion brands weren’t functional enough. But all the functional brands were too casual to wear to a nice dinner in the city. We saw a huge opportunity: smart, versatile items you could wear anywhere.
Why does every traveler and outdoor adventurer need Anywhere Apparel?
Freedom: The less you carry, the more you can experience because you’re not lugging around heavy luggage. All our items are designed around a carry-on mentality.
Access: From deep cultural adventure to the remote outdoors, gaining access to different experiences means looking culturally appropriate while staying comfortable in the elements.
Time + Money: Our designs can replace many items in your pack so you get more use and value out of your clothing. Plus our items work great for everyday wear.
What do you love about living in Minnesota?
It’s constantly changing. We get all four seasons which is rare and special. There’s enough population density and local pride to produce a great culture of entrepreneurs. You know you’ll always find something unique and new here. And that makes exploring your own backyard really fun and rewarding.
Clean & Lean | Website
I recently had the good fortune to hear Carisa Rasmussen speak at an event. She shared her story and belief that our wellness journey doesn’t start with the food we eat or exercises we do, but with what’s in our mind. This message resonated with me to my core. As outdoor adventurers and travelers we are constantly being pushed outside of our comfort zones. All the physical training in the world alone can’t prepare us for the most grueling hikes and unexpected situations if our mind is prepared.
Carisa shared how to strengthen your mind with positive affirmations. Here’s more from Carisa on the story behind Clean & Lean and why her affirmation cards, physical training products and courses make great gifts for hikers and travelers!
What motivated you to create Clean & Lean?
My own health journey! After losing over eighty pounds, I was inspired to create Clean & Lean as a weight loss company for women. I thought I understood what wellness was until I was diagnosed with PTSD and situational anxiety.
After that I realized wellness was far more about what we put in our mind and soul than what we put in our bodies. We first need to love ourselves, be inspired, feel encouraged, connected, appreciated and whole before we can truly be healthy. I still teach people how to workout correctly and eat well, but that’s not where I start anymore. I start by giving people simple tools to love themselves so they can have the desire to take care of themselves.
Why does every traveler need Clean & Lean?
Travelers take time to explore, to be more present, and to find inspiration. Those things are so important for our wellness (more than we realize). What I offer are things to enhance the experience and to quiet the voice that we might be running from while we travel. I also give tips on how to choose foods that give us energy, which we need while we travel.
All of my workouts were actually designed for travelers. I have two sets of equipment that are lightweight and fit in a small bag; loop resistance bands and disc sliders. They are easy to take anywhere. I chose these two training items because I was traveling a lot and needed quick and easy workouts to do on the go. I mean, who wants to spend their entire vacation in the gym?
What do you love about living in Minnesota?
I love that our state really takes care of its people. After my aunt passed from pancreatic cancer, I started a second company, Accessible Homes. We remodel homes for people with disabilities, working closely with the government. Through this work, I’ve realized that while we could always do so much more, Minnesota takes great care of its people compared to other states.
Related to the outdoors, Minnesota is the host to the country’s #1 authority on adaptive playgrounds, which is why you hear of so many outdoor spaces becoming more accessible for people with disabilities. Everyone needs the opportunity to be outdoors and, just as important, the opportunity to play!
Dessert & Discussion | Website
If you spend five minutes with Alex, The Love Engineer and creator of The War on Love game, her insatiable curiosity about how relationships work (or don’t) will be evident. She and I met fifteen years ago when we were both engineers and I’ve loved seeing how her education in solving technical problems has extended into her helping others solve relationship problems. What started as facilitated conversations about love, sex, and relationships has expanded into The War on Love card game. The Catch Flights & Feelings edition of the game makes a unique gift for hikers and travelers. Here Alex shares more about her small Minnesota-based business!
What motivated you to create the War on Love Game?
Through Dessert & Discussion, I host events that bring men and women together to talk about love, sex and relationships. A good friend of mine would often miss the events. She told me that I needed to figure out a way for people to take the events home.
So, I created The War on Love game as a fun way for people to have these conversations about relationships and love and sex that they really want to have but aren’t sure how to start. The game creates conversations that can be organic and natural; allowing you to reveal yours’ and understand someone else’s preferences, desires and interests.
Why does every traveler need the War on Love Game?
Because you have those travel moments where you’re with somebody and you’re bored or you don’t know what to talk about, so you’re scrolling through your phone.
This is the game that makes you put your phone down.
It allows us to connect, communicate, and discover new things about people; which is what we really want and why we’re traveling with someone anyway. What better way to discover new things about people than to ask fun questions? And then having them respond without judgement just makes for a really good time. The flights are really long and this is an easy way to start a conversation that can springboard into wherever you want to take it next.
What’s the number one thing that you see people do that is preventing them from finding their perfect travel partner?
That they have not defined what a perfect travel partner is for them. They are leaving it to chance and hoping somebody comes along that matches what they want without committing to what that looks like for them. If they have committed to what this looks like, then they often don’t believe that finding that person is possible. So, they end up just find what they’re looking for or, more importantly, they find what they believe is available. Most people don’t believe that what they really desire is out there and so they don’t ever find it.