2011 RoverGuide Holiday Gift Guide

The first thing you’re probably going to notice is that none of the items on our 2011 holiday gift guide have anything to do specifically with Land Rovers. Sure, a brand new 2012 Range Rover Evoque would make a memorable gift, but it might be a little rough on the holiday budget. Therefore, nothing on our list has an introductory price that tops $50.00 and every item is usable, practical, and can serve for years to come. In addition, these are all items our Editor-in-Chief personally uses and can be found easily either online (e.g. Amazon) or locally. 

Charitable Giving

One more note. At the bottom of our 2011 holiday gift guide, we have included links to each of Land Rover’s Global Humanitarian & Conservation Partners. Providing volunteer time, monetary donations, or ‘wish list’ items to the humanitarian and conservation organizations listed below is always a great year-round gift idea.

Practical Holiday Gifts

A Good Floppy Hat (Safari Hat)

Outback Trading Company Canvas River Guide HatA few years back I bought my first safari hat and now I have a small collection. It’s one of those things you don’t think too much about until you have one, then you wonder how the heck you made it so long in life without. One warning: after you give one of these away, that person will likely become a ‘floppy hat connoisseur’ of sorts and you’ll also want one for yourself.

These hats are available in different sizes, cuts, and styles. For example, some are cloth and mesh (crushable), while others are canvas (cardboard-stiff). Additionally, some have snaps for the brim (handy on windy days if you don’t like the cord cinched up), while others do not. For about $40.00 you can get a high-quality hat that will last many years, but prices can approach $300.00.

Safari hats can be found at Gander Mountain and Cabela’s. 

Stanley Tripod LED Flashlight

Stanley Tripod FlashlightThere are few things more frustrating than attempting to repair something in the dark while trying to hold a flashlight at the same time. Finally fed up with regular flashlights, I picked up a couple of these tripod flashlights from Stanley; they are now my go-to portable lighting source. Of course, I also carry a high-powered spotlight in the LR3, but these AA battery-powered LED tripod flashlights are great for everyday use. 

The legs fold into the handle for normal use as a flashlight, the head has detents for different positions (including straight ahead and a 90 degree angle), and the flashlight has three levels of brightness. Even though it swallows up to nine AA batteries, the runtime is over 200 hours. Plus, they’re inexpensive at about $15.00 each. The only complaint is that this flashlight is not as bright as some of the competitors, but unfortunately that seems to be the price you pay for long battery life, an inexpensive design, and a lot of utility. You could also check out the Joby Gorillatorch tripod flashlights for a different spin on the same idea. 

These flashlights can be found Home Depot, Lowes, or online.

Portable Weather Radio

Portable NOAA Weather RadioThe RoverGuide garage is certainly not in tornado alley, but we get our share of unpredictable weather that ranges from the aforementioned tornadoes and floods in the summer to tree-destroying ice storms in the winter. Also, if you’re on the trail — or on the lake, or just traveling — you can have access to instant weather updates and active weather warnings at your fingertips.

The cost varies greatly, depending on how many bells and whistles you want. A good portable weather radio will run about $40.00. Some are available with crank-style recharging handles, base stations, built-in flashlights, and even cell phone chargers. My personal experience is that weather radios with built-in accessories are not as rugged or as long-lasting as the dedicated weather radios such as the one pictured.

Weather radios can be found online or locally at outlets such as Radio Shack.

Complete Tire Repair Kit

Tire Repair KitIf you have never experienced the joy of a flat tire, you can count your blessings. My last flat tire was right in the garage. Pulled in with the LR3. Got out. Heard that distinctive hissing sound. Prayed the sound wasn’t coming from the air suspension. Then watched as the wheel slowly sank to the concrete. Fortunately, I have a tire repair kit that includes pliers (for removing the obstruction), a rasp tool, an plug insert tool, rope-style repair plugs, and sealant. Top this off with a can of tire inflation fluid (or a 12-volt air compressor) and a driver can be back on the road without having to deal with the spare tire or removing the damaged tire. Tire repair kits start at about $10.00 for basic plug kits and go up to about $60.00 for a kit complete with a 12-volt air compressor. Whoever is on the receiving end of this gift will be thanking your profusely should they ever suffer from a punctured tire. 

Even if you have a tire repair kit, always carry proper tools for changing tires on your Land Rover. Carry a 1/2-inch drive deep well socket that fits the lug nuts of your Land Rover, a 1/2-inch drive breaker bar, and work gloves. Additionally, periodically check your spare tire and the winch mechanism that holds the spare tire in place, if so equipped. 

Tire repair kits can be found at almost any automotive parts store or online.

Dog Car Seat

Dog Car SeatNeed a gift for a dog lover with a small dog that likes to go for rides in the Land Rover? If you do, too, a dog seat can be a great gift. It keeps the micro-mutt secure and strapped in so the pup is safe and not interfering with the driver. The most common type is as pictured. It hangs from the seat’s headrest by a strap and is secured by another strap that goes around the back of the seat. This style of seat is typically rated for dogs up to 12 pounds and is fitted with a washable synthetic sheepskin liner. Not only is your dog comfortable, he can sit up high enough to look out the window.

Dog car seats start at about $25.00 and can go up to about $100.00. There are a variety of styles available, including the hanging seats, seats that strap to a console, larger styles that rest on the Land Rover’s seats (like a child seat), and even larger versions that span the entire back seat area.

Dog car seats can be purchased online and at large pet stores. 

Humanitarian and Conservation Partners

If you are a regular reader of RoverGuide, you’ll know that Land Rover is closely connected with six Global Humanitarian and Conservation Partners. All of these organizations rely on the monetary donations, material donations, and volunteers to pursue their respective missions. Here are links to each of their websites:



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December 4, 2011

RoverGuide

Articles, Buying & Ownership

Gift Guide, Holiday, LR3 (Discovery 3)

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