American-Made Stocking Stuffers for Outdoorsmen {Giveaway}

Today, I welcome Amy Hatch with Garage Grown Gear to the blog. We first heard from her here back in March when she shared her favorite independent outdoor clothing companies. Y’all liked that post so much I invited her back to share her top picks for USA-made stocking stuffers.

And, it’s good timing. She just launched Garage Grown Gear’s online store, featuring independent, early-stage outdoor brands. The story of Garage Grown Gear’s brands follows a similar thread: someone thinks, “Wouldn’t it be cool if …” This individual – often an engineer or designer – begins tinkering in the garage, basement, or attic. Prototypes are handed out to friends, refinements are made, and before long a business is born.

Several – though not all – of the gifts Amy mentions below are available on Garage Grown Gear.


1. Good To-Go Backpacking Meals

Good To-Go meals - Garage Grown Gear

Finally, someone figured out how to make delicious and healthy dehydrated meals for the backcountry. That someone is Jennifer, a former New York City chef. Her and her husband, David, combined their love of food and the outdoors to launch Good To-Go. They opened for business just this year and already they’re getting (much deserved) recognition. Their Thai curry won the Editor’s Choice award from Backpacker magazine. The Thai curry also happens to be my favorite. But you won’t go wrong with their options either: classic marinara with penne, smoked three bean chili, and herbed mushroom risotto. Also, extra points for Good To-Go, because the New England style house that serves as their headquarters is just darling!

Good To-Go House - Garage Grown Gear

{Side note: there will be a review on these meals in the coming weeks!}

2. Enlightened Equipment Booties, Mittens and the … Hoodlum

Enlightened-Equipment Accesories - Garage Grown Gear

For years Tim Marshall and his team over at Enlightened Equipment operated out of his Minnesota basement, making damn fine ultralight backcountry quilts. Just this year, the operation moved to a building of its very own, just down the road from Tim’s house. With the expanded space has come expanded product selection. New on the scene, and truly great stocking stuffers: sleeping booties, insulated mittens and the Hoodlum, an insulated balaclava. Like all of Enlightened Equipment’s products, each of these can be customized to meet your exact needs; you choose the color and warmth.

3. Skida Hats, Headbands and Neckwarmers

Skida - Garage Grown Gear

Skida is one of those companies I just can’t say enough about. It makes hats, headbands and neckwarmers in Vermont that are both uber comfortable and seriously stylish. The patterns are bold, elegant, unique and feminine. And the stretchy fabric makes for a great fit, covering ears and accommodating all head sizes. Skida also has a pretty rad men’s line that tends to fly under the radar. My husband loves the camo pattern Skida hats. Best of all? The company was started by a gal who at the time was in high school, showing that age has little do with dreaming and achieving big!

4. Ragged Edge Carbon Fiber and Kevlar Wallet

Ragged Edge Gear - Garage Grown Gear

It does exist … industrial strength wallets made of carbon fiber and Kevlar. My husband got a Ragged Edge wallet for Father’s Day and six months later it still looks new. The company is not kidding when it says its wallets are designed to last for years. All of them are sewn by a family in a tiny workshop in Virginia. And, if you want to give a gift with an extra special touch, check out the Design It Yourself wallets offered by Ragged Edge.

5. Farm to Feet socks

Farm to Feet - Garage Grown Gear

When it comes to USA-made, Farm to Feet doesn’t cut corners. The wool for its socks is sourced domestically. So is the packaging. As is the ink on the packaging. Listening to the drawl of the good folks who run the North Carolinian operation even feels American. This results in truly awesome socks. I’ve been wearing Farm to Feet socks for a close to a year now, with little sign of wear and tear. After a load of fresh laundry, they’re always the socks that get worn first. I’m particularly fond the Women’s Multisport Greensboro Low style that comes in the colors rouge red or mint leaf.

6. Good Ol’ Heat Factory Hand Wamers

Heat Factory

Each family has its own Christmas traditions. In our family, we could count on Santa filling our stockings with hand warmers. I never exactly thought these were the cat’s meow … until they really saved the day one terribly frigid January. Maybe it’s because my circulation is not what it used to be, or maybe it’s because I’m spending more days than ever backcountry skiing, but now I really look forward to my annual resupply of hand warmers. A quick Google search revealed there’s one company making them in the great US of A … it’s Heat Factory.

7. Hyperlite Mountain Gear Ultralight Stuff Sacks


Do you have someone on your list who loves backpacking? Have they dabbled with – or perhaps jumped with both feet into – ultralight gear? If so, then Hyperlite Mountain Gear should definitely be on their radar, and therefore your radar. The Maine company is known for its packs and shelters, but its accessories should not be overlooked. The company’s stuff sacks are lightweight, water resistant and come in multiple sizes. I even use mine for backcountry skiing in the winter. One stuff sack for food, a second for an extra hat and pair of gloves.

8. Kate’s Real Food Energy Bars


Kate’s Real Food bars are delicious, energy packed and made to fuel long days in the mountains. And, I’m not just saying that because Kate is one of my favorite gals to climb and ski mountains with, though she is! Check out this photo of us from September on the Middle Teton. I’m in the right, Kate is to the left and our friend Abby is in the middle.

Kate, Abby, Amy - Garage Grown Gear

Kate’s Real Food sells five flavors of bars. Kate’s favorite is the Stash Bar because she’s a huge peanut butter fan. She also likes the Tiki Bar for a change (that’s the company’s gluten-free bar). My favorite is the dark chocolate Grizzly Bar and cherry-infused Handle Bar. While in Jackson Hole, the original Tram Bar far outsells the others. If you’re unsure which to get, try the 12 bar mixer box, perfect for distributing among stockings.

9. Colorado Backcountry Ski Books from Giterdun

Giterdun - Making Turns in CO Front Range - Garage Grown Gear

Your success exploring new areas often hinges on good beta. Veteran ski mountaineer Fritz Sperry shares his knowledge of Colorado’s backcountry in his two books: Making Turns in Colorado’s Front Range and Making Turns in the Ten Mile/ Mosquito Range. While there are many great guide books out there, Fritz gets extra props for not succumbing to Amazon. He published both books under his own company, Giterdun Publishing, and sells exclusively through independent stores. I’m unsure whether the paper and ink is sourced from the US, but Fritz definitely has the USA made spirit.

10. Dirty Girl Gaiters

Dirty Girl Gaiters - Garage Grown Gear

I’ve used Dirty Girl Gaiters for nearly a decade, and they work. Rocks, sticks and snow stay out of my shoes, preventing blisters. The ankle-high gaiters designed for use with shoes have loads of style, personality and flare. It might depend on your mood, or how far you are into a trail race, as to whether you deem the flashy, brightly colored patterns on the gaiters inspiring or obnoxious. Patterns include “Hot to Trot Purple,” and “Lime Gaiterade Hurl.” But, if you must, scroll all the way to the bottom of the store, where you’ll find mundane black. The gaiters are made in Arizona and all profits from the company are donated to “worthy causes, charities and athletes.” A word of caution: be careful what you type into Google when searching for this company.

So now that you’ve heard my recommendations, I’d love to hear from you! What didn’t I include that should be on this list of USA made stocking stuffers for outdoorsmen and women?


Garage Grown Gear offers many of the stocking stuffers mentioned in this post. We’re hooking one lucky reader up with a $50 gift card to Garage Grown Gear. Use it to buy for others, or yourself! To enter the giveaway, use the entry form below. {Enter your e-mail address below to unlock bonus entries for the giveaway. We promise to use your e-mail address only to contact you if you win.}






  • Reply Gretchen at

    I don’t see the entry form?

  • Reply steph at

    we have some great things here in the south!

  • Reply Meg at

    Awesome post Heather! I love those Skida hats — they are so cute! x

  • Reply Justin at

    A 3-piece set of boars hair climbing brushes from Crimp Crusher

  • Reply Kim Daly at

    Action Wipes a must in any outdoorsman’s stocking. These all-natural, antibacterial, extra large wet wipes are super for anytime you need a good wipe down in the outdoors or elsewhere.

  • Reply Kovas - Midwest Multisport Life at

    Great list – I love the Hoodlum!

  • Reply Natalie Ford at

    This are so many “new to me” things on this list! I’m especially excited to try out the meals!

  • Reply Paige c at

    Wet wipes/sport wipes or hand sanitizer!

  • Reply Josh Mcnair at

    Great post, there are lot of fun ideas on this list!

  • Reply Beth at

    I LOVE Farm To Feet’s Greensboro Low socks. I LOVE THEM.

  • Reply Kelsey at

    Oh I’m totally getting some of these things for people on my Xmas list!

  • Reply Lindsay at

    Check out:

    Voormi out of Pagosa Springs, CO

  • Reply Chirstine @ Love, Life, Surf at

    Love this and I love learning about small businesses and all the amazing companies and products out there. Thanks Heather and Amy!

  • Reply Sandra Laflamme at

    Great giveaway! I love Garage Grown Gear and they feature some of my favorite companies: Skida and Dirty Girl Gaiters!

  • Reply Sarah Sanderson at

    Instant coffees from Java Cabana – they are great!

  • Reply Diane Richards at

    Compression Socks and Sleeves from Crazy Compression.

    An American Supplier & Maker of Compression Socks and Compression Sleeves with an added touch of design. All made in the USA.

  • Reply Meg at

    Nalgene water bottles! If every other outdoor enthusiast is like me, they probably already own one (or three) but can always use another.

  • Reply Chelsea Michael at

    Smartwool neck gaiter. I dont leave the house without mine in these cool seasons!

  • Reply Karen Ung at

    Love everything! Some other cool made in USA mitts are the Plunge Mitts by Duluth Plunge Mitts!

  • Reply Brittany at

    Anything from Western Mountaineering (San Jose, CA) would be great. Great list nonetheless!

  • Reply Daniel Oates at

    Hummingbird hammock. Small, lightweight, and a start up company here in the US.

    • Reply Amy Hatch/ Garage Grown Gear at

      Wow – just looked Hummingbird Hammock up … that’s right up Garage Grown Gear’s alley. Thanks for sharing! Can’t wait to reach out to them.

  • Reply RFC at

    Maple syrup always makes a good stocking stuffer. Who doesn’t like waffles and pancakes? Three cheers for Vermont 😉

  • Reply Fritz Sperry at

    Thank you for the kind feature. All of our books are printed here in Colorado. Looking into where the paper and ink came from.

  • Reply Andrea Taivalkoski at

    Anything Merino wool!!!

  • Reply Helen L. at

    Fun stuff!

  • Reply Rebecca at

    I love my Fox River socks!

  • Reply Trisha P. at

    Are there any good trail crampons made in the USA? Would be a great stocking stuffer.

    • Reply Amy Hatch/ Garage Grown Gear at

      That’s a good idea. Love my Kahtoola trail crampons. This is what their website says:

      Nearly every one of our products is designed and developed in-house, but we take it one step further – a large portion of our production is also kept in-house as well.

      Here’s the link:

  • Reply Lisa at

    all of these sound like great ideas!

    thanks for the link, good to go!

  • Reply All Geared Up - Fairweather Runner at

    […] found out about Farm to Feet when reading a guest post on Heather‘s blog. Once I heard “sourced domestically” and “North Carolina,” I […]

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