2022 Holiday Gift Guide

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Winter Scene

Happy Holidays

The holiday season is here and I’ve put together a gift guide that includes a ton of local Minnesota businesses, and a few from Wisconsin, and North Dakota! This gift guide is filled with products and companies I love and fully support. Additionally, as a special thank you for supporting Expedition Kristen, I’ve worked with many of these awesome local businesses to pull together exclusive discount codes just for you. Most discount codes are good through December 31, 2022, unless otherwise noted below. Thank you for shopping small and local this year!

Click the link below to jump to a section:

For the Fashionista

For the Outdoor Adventurer

For the Foodie

For the Dog Lover

For the “Experiences over Things” Friend

For the Homebody

For the Shoe Lover

For the Traveler

For the Bookworm

2022 Holiday Gift Guide

For the Fashionista

1. Birds Kept North

Founded by a local Minnesota mother back in 2012, Birds Kept North offers a variety of original designs for the whole family. This woman-owned small business creates small batches of printed hats, t-shirts, windbreakers, onesies, and more right in Lakeville, Minnesota. Each item is uniquely designed with midwest images like bison, loons, Paul Bunyon, and Babe the Blue Ox. Shop the Etsy store here and use code KRIS25 for 25% now through 12/31/22. 

2. Chill Boys

Based in St. Paul, Minnesota, Chill Boys creates comfortable moisture-wicking, sustainable, high-performance, and eco-friendly boxers, boxer briefs, sweatshirts, and long johns. Chill Boys’ mission is to make wearers always feel like Saturday morning on the lake… cool, calm, and relaxed. Materials include bamboo for unmatched softness, cooling, and stretch, and performance fabric for cool, moisture-wicking, quick dry, micro-mesh fabric. Shop online here and use code Kristen15 for a 15% discount now through 12/31/22.

3. Great Lakes Co.

Great Lakes Co. creates clothing for making memories on the water, in a boat, around a bonfire, or at the cabin. As a small, homegrown Minnesota business, they’re focused on creating clothing you can feel relaxed in whether you’re at the lake or just dreaming of being there. They also offer a variety of cozy and colorful mittens, hats, sweatshirts, coasters, and candles. Enjoy 25% off the entire site now through 11/29/22, and then the Days of Deals from 12/1/22 through 12/8/22, no code necessary.

4. Northmade Co.

Northmade Co. was founded in 2012 by Minnesota-based husband and wife duo with the original name of MPLS / STP Clothing. Northmade Co. creates their own designs and works with local artists to make those designs come to life. Here you’ll find sweatshirts, tanks, glassware and mugs with fun and colorful designs of loons, pontoons, sports teams logos, and Viking ships. Shop online here and use code KRISTEN15 for 15% off your entire order now through 12/31/22.

5. Sota Clothing

Sota Clothing is known for their clean, finely designed Minnesota apparel. With a unique beginning, the logo and designs were born out of a college graphic design course. After the founder, Spencer Johnson, received a great deal of support from his classmates, he decided to press on and make Sota Clothing a reality. Here you’ll find cozy sweatshirts, colorful beanies, plaid scarves, beer glasses, fanny packs and more. Use code Kristen2022 for a 15% discount now through 12/31/22.

6. Up North Trading Co.

Up North Trading Company is a family-run business started by two Minnesotan brothers. Inspired by their love for the unbridled freedom nature provides, and the industrious spirit of the people who choose to call this land home these siblings set out to make their way in the world by providing clothing that embodies the values of the land they treasure. Their clothing is hard-working yet relaxed, enduring yet endearing, earnest yet enjoyable. Up North Trading Co. dares to live up to the standards of the great “Up North”. Shop online here and use code EXPEDITIONXMAS for a 30% discount now through 12/31/22.

2022 Holiday Gift Guide

For the Outdoor Adventurer

1. Heat Hog

Heat Hog, a portable propane heater developed in Minnesota is perfect for hunting, fishing, camping, tailgating, backyard parties, or cold mornings on the dock. Heat Hog runs on 1-pound propane cylinders, is both indoor and outdoor safe, and doesn’t require any electricity. Heat Hog comes in three sizes, plus it has a handle for easy transportation across a frozen lake, or across a parking lot. Shop here to learn more.

2. Fleet Farm

Fleet Farm, with its headquarters across the Mississippi River in Wisconsin, is a great place to shop year-round for hunting, fishing, lawn care, clothing, home improvement projects, and more. Fleet Farm is an especially great place right now because of its huge selection of ice fishing gear. They offer a wide variety of lures, rods, and reels, shelters, and augers. Shop here and use code Kristen10 for $10 off any purchase of $50 or more now through 12/31/22.

3. Mission Boat Gear
Based out of Plymouth, Minnesota, Mission Boat Gear creates thoughtfully-designed outdoor products so you can fully immerse yourself in the moment. Mission’s gear endures the test of time, withstands years of fun, and forges moments you will never forget. Some of their most popular items include the compact and highly absorbent TUKO towels by Missioncoolers, silicone wine tumblers, and gear totes. They also sell the hugely popular floating, inflatable REEF mats in a variety of sizes. Mission is running incredible deals on all their gear now through the end of 2022. They almost never run sales and they often stock out of their popular products during the summer months so snag it while you still can at a great discount!
4. Paddle North

Based out of New Brighton, Minnesota, Paddle North is known for its ultra-light, high-quality, and stable paddle boards, kayaks, and utility dock swim platforms. They also sell apparel you’ll need while on the water, like hats, water bottles, sunglasses, and wetsuits. Shop here and use code Kristen30 for $30 off standup paddle boards, kayaks, and docks now through 12/31/22.

5. Rumpl

Rumpl’s blankets are awesome and should be a must-have for all outdoor enthusiasts. They are made from 100% post-consumer recycled plastic and can be tightly packed for easy storage. I have a Rumpl blanket and a fleece-lined poncho, and they are my outdoor travel essentials. Shop Rumpl blankets and ponchos here and read my full review on Rumpl blankets here.

6. Scheels

Scheels is headquartered in Fargo, North Dakota, and has locations all over the midwest. Here you’ll find what you need for snowshoeing, snowboarding, sleds, ice skating, and hunting. Scheels also sells all the accessories you need to stay warm and dry outside, like boots, gloves, and hats. Shop online for current deals, or head to the Eden Praire store to shop in person.

2022 Holiday Gift Guide

For the Foodie

1. Froth and Cork

Froth & Cork is a popular spot in Hastings for coffee, scones, and bagels in the morning, or wine and sandwiches in the afternoon. Grab a seat inside the beautifully decorated space with fancy chairs, couches, and chandeliers, or in warmer weather enjoy the patio decorated with string lights and a great view of Hastings City Hall. Bring a friend and enjoy a peppermint Grinch Chiller or the coffee flight with flavors like gingerbread vanilla, and spicy mocha, or purchase a gift card here. Be sure to use code FROTHY KRISTEN for .50 cents off one coffee drink now through 12/31/22.

2. Honour Cafe

Found by two local brothers, Honour Cafe sits in the heart of Northeast Minneapolis. An inviting space with sunlight pouring in and plants seemingly everywhere, Honour Cafe offers coffee, lattes, cold-pressed juices, sandwiches, pastries, and more. In addition to clean ingredients in their juices and food, and ethically sourced coffee beans, Honour Cafe offers a renewing collection of skincare and morning essentials such as orange peel exfoliating scrubs, coffee bean oil shave cream, and Moroccan neroli flower oil moisturizer. Shop for juice subscriptions, skin care products, and gift cards here, and use code Kristen15 for a 15% discount in-store or online now through 12/31/22.

3. North Mallow

North Mallow is a fun, local company started by two former camp counselors, and husband and wife duo, who realized there was a better way to enjoy this popular campfire treat. With square-shaped marshmallows and unique flavors like vanilla bean, chocolate chip, and a caramel swirl, combined with delicious locally-made chocolate bars and cookies, this classic food item just got a whole lot better! Purchase holiday s’mores and hot coca kits here, and use KRISTEN10 for a 10% discount.

4. Two Shakes

Two Shakes is a woman-founded and locally-owned company making it easy for you to create incredible handcrafted cocktails at home. Current cocktail kit offerings include the Pop Lock & Drop It with lime, coconut, and basil, and Harvest Moon with cinnamon, rosemary, honey, and more. Order your cocktail kit here, then add the liquor of your choice!

5. Up North Coffee Co.

Up North Coffee Co. roasts their beans right here in Minnesota with one mission in mind, make the best-tasting cup of coffee in The North. Their ethically sourced, 100% organic coffee beans come in flavors such as Lake Lover and Blizzard of ’91. In addition to quality coffee beans, they sell cozy sweaters, mugs, gift cards and holiday gift boxes. Shop online here and use code KRISTEN10 for 10% off your entire order now through 12/31/22.

2022 Holiday Gift Guide

For the Dog Lover

1. Alpine Sisters

Alpine Sisters provides outdoor gear focused on women and their dogs adventuring together. You’ll find fanny packs with separate compartments for your phone, dog treats and poops bags, eco-friendly reusable dog food bags to bring on your next adventure, a waterproof fleece dog blanket, a sleeping bag for your pup, a trail dog medical kit, and much more!

2. Bubbly Paws

Bubbly Paws is a self-service dog wash and full-service dog grooming salon with locations all over Minnesota and the USA. They also sell dog-friendly products like Up North bandanas, shampoo, and conditioner. Find a location near you, or purchase a gift card here.

3. CuddleMutt

Based in Alexandria, Minnesota, CuddleMutt offers a collection of high-end locally handcrafted dog blankets, bandanas, scarves, and collars. Plus, every time a fleece dog blanket is purchased, another blanket and 20% of the profit on all other accessories are donated to local dog-friendly businesses including Secondhand Hounds, Wags and Walks, Rescue Network MN, and many more. Shop online here and use code ExpeditionKristen for 20% off your order now through 12/31/22.

4. Kong

Kong creates a variety of dog toys such as rubber bones and frisbees, treat dispensers, and crinkle plush squeaky toys. Our 100 lbs Newfoundland, Ole, loves his Kong toys and many Kong products are able to stand up to his aggressive chewing habits!

5. Sidewalk Dog

Sidewalk Dog is a woman-founded and owned business that I rely on regularly to learn more about dog-friendly events, restaurants, and shops in the Twin Cities.  The Sidewalk Dog Brewery Pass includes one free pint at 47 dog-friendly breweries across Minnesota, 5% of sales go to the Animal Humane Society. Shop online here and use code GIFT5 for a $5 discount on your brewery pass now through December 31, 2022.

2022 Holiday Gift Guide
2022 Holiday Gift Guide

For the “Experiences over Gifts” Friend

1. Big Rock Creek

Did you know that nestled just a few miles north of Taylors Falls is one of the most historic pieces of property in Wisconsin? Big Rock Creek has nearly 1,000 acres of beautiful fields and hiking trails, plus cabins, yurts and a geodome. Over 37 acres are currently covered in millions of lights for the Miracle Christmas light festival. With over 15 unique themes and special vignettes, local artisans and kids’ activities plus carolers, Santa, food trucks, sledding hills, wagon rides, fireworks, live entertainment, and crafted holiday-themed cocktails, this event is not to be missed! Miracle runs from November 25, 2022, through January 1, 2023. Grab your tickets here.

2. Cuyuna Cove

The Cuyuna Cove cabins are incredibly cozy and inviting. The five tiny cabins on the edge of Cuyuna Country State Recreation land are stocked with fire starters, grill seasoning, champagne flutes, and Hygge books. The property is lined with string lights and in fresh snow, it’s absolutely mesmerizing. Relax from your cabin and take a nap as the sun shines into your room, or enjoy the sauna and snowshoes provided to all guests. This property has easy access to 5,500 acres of Cuyuna Country State Recreation land, 50+ miles of red dirt mountain biking trails, and 15 crystal clear mine lakes. It’s also located just a few blocks from downtown Crosby, which is bustling with gift shops, restaurants, coffee shops, a brewery, and more! Book your stay here.

3. Duluth Entertainment Convention Center

The Duluth Entertainment Convention Center (DECC) manages over nine venues including the Duluth Haunted Ship, Symphony Hall, and more. On December 3 – 4, 2022 the DECC is hosting the Duluth Winter Village Event, an incredible outdoor holiday event filled with shopping, dining, bonfires, carolers, ice skating, and more! Learn more about the Winter Village event here, and more about all of DECC’s events here! 

4. Ely Cabin Collective
Unplug and enjoy nature at your private Northwoods cabin rental in Ely, Minnesota. Ely Cabin Collective has three cabins each with its own unique style. Enjoy star gazing and hiking around the Ely Cabin Collective’s secluded 40 acres, or take a quick drive into town and enjoy coffee shops, a spa, and great restaurants. Use code Expedition10 for a 10% discount now through January 30, 2023, when you book here.
5. Glensheen Mansion

For an incredible step back in history, visit the Glensheen Mansion in Duluth. The Congdon family wasn’t just wealthy, they were brilliant, creative, kind and so far ahead of their time in terms of their ideas and accomplishments. Plan to spend at least 1.5 hours taking the tour throughout the house and walking around the property. A few fun facts about the home: Glensheen was built from 1905-1909 and has 39 rooms, 10 bathrooms, and 15 fireplaces. It’s 32,000 sq. feet and cost $855K to build, which is roughly $24M today. Purchase tickets here.

6. Ham’s Haus

Located in Lutsen, Ham’s Haus is a spacious, and modern home made from shipping containers, but you’d never know it! With giant windows overlooking Lake Superior, a cozy gas fireplace, a spacious kitchen and so many beautiful modern touches, it’s the perfect place to stay for a cozy trip up north. Ham’s Haus is nestled amongst the pines in between Lutsen Mountains and downtown Grand Marais, making it a wonderful spot to go out and explore, or stay in and read by the fire. Book your stay here.

7. Hope Glen Tree House

If you’re looking for a truly unique experience, check out the Hope Glen Farm Treehouse in Cottage Grove. With a unique past that includes a visit from the infamous gangster, Machine Gun Kelly, this property is a charming place for a weekend vacation or a wedding venue. With heated floors throughout, a gas fireplace in the living room and bedroom, a giant tub with jets, and multiple decks, this luxury treehouse is a very special place. There’s even a hidden room for those looking for an adventure! Book your stay at treehousefarmlodging.com.

8. L’Etoile du Nord BNB

Duluth’s newest rental property is quite incredible! Located inside the same building at Hoops Brewing, this stunning, massive, and modern rental property sleeps ten with three bedrooms, five beds, and two bathrooms. Located in the heart of Canal Park, this vacation rental is within walking distance of some of Duluth’s most popular restaurants, breweries, and coffee shops. Book your stay here.

9. Minneapolis Institute of Art

The Minneapolis Institute of Arts is an incredible museum located in Minneapolis. The Botticelli and Renaissance exhibit is running now through January 8, 2023.  This is an incredible exhibit with artwork that’s on loan from Florence, Italy and it’s only making one stop at MIA! In addition to the incredible art on display, MIA’s gift shop has locally made and Botticelli-inspired jewelry, books, and gift items. Incredibly, many of MIA’s exhibits and programs are free. To support the art community, consider becoming a member. Learn more about the benefits of becoming a member here and purchase tickets for the Botticelli exhibit here. 

10. Radisson Blu at MOA 

Radisson Blu Mall of America is a gorgeous hotel attached to MOA via skyway, making it a super convenient place to stay any time of year. Radisson Blu MOA was rated one of the top ten hotels in Minnesota and has a restaurant on-site called FireLake Grill House & Cocktail Bar. Start with a cocktail or a nice glass of pinot noir, then enjoy pork, steak, salmon, or pizza and finish the meal with a slice of cheesecake. Fun fact, several of their dishes and cocktails use honey from Blu’s Bees, a honey bee colony that the property supports through the University of Minnesota Bee Squad. Learn more here!

11. Tuscarora Outfitters

Winter is a great time to plan the coming summer’s Boundary Waters trip as dark, long nights are the perfect time to cozy up with your maps and trip-planning resources. Tuscarora Outfitters will make your experience in the BWCA stress-free, whether you’re a beginner or have been many times. Tuscarora Outfitters obtained our permit and recommended the best locations for an entry point, campsites with sunset views, and best routes for fishing, and provided general advice on where to go (or not go) based on current conditions. The information on their website lists exactly what is includedin each package. Start planning your trip here!

12. Vista Cruises

Vista Cruises, located in Duluth includes both the Zenith Adventure paddle board rentals and the Vista Fleet boat tours. Grab a Vista Fleet season pass that includes sightseeing for two adults and four children per cruise plus 50% off additional tickets, 25% off purchases in the gift shop, food and drinks purchased on board and private event charter rentals. Another great gift is the Admiral’s Club Dining Package, which is perfect for multiple date nights or a group looking to dine on the water. You’ll get six dining tickets, dessert, champagne, wine, or sparkling cider, 20% off additional dining tickets, 50% off sightseeing tickets, and 25% off purchases at the gift shop. Lastly, the paddle pass is a great option for those who want to have a paddle adventure on Lake Superior. The paddle pass includes six daily standup paddle board rentals or guided tour tickets, plus 25% off additional rentals and tickets.

13. Voyager Camper Vans

Voyager Camper Vans has a variety of van sizes for you to plan your next road trip. no matter how many people or dogs are joining! Their Minneapolis building is surrounded by blocks of free street parking so you can leave your car for days while on your #vanlife adventure. Be sure to use code expkristen10 for a 10% discount now through 12/31/22 on your next two-person reservation.

14. The Wilderness
The Wilderness is an inclusive fitness and coworking space for individuals and companies who want a healthier and happier work environment. The Wilderness is located in Minneapolis and is packed full of plants and natural light. Spend a few hours working, then take a mid-day yoga class, or pop outside to the back patio when you need fresh air. Purchase a five-day pass as a great gift for someone who works remotely and could use some time at a workspace that nurtures their mental and physical health. The Wilderness is currently running a deal that includes a five-day pass for the price of four.
2022 Holiday Gift Guide

For the Homebody

1. Bachman’s

When you think of Bachman’s you may think of flowers and garden care. And while you’re right, it’s so much more than that. Each season Bachman’s completely transforms its retail space. Currently, Bachman’s is filled with giant Christmas trees, poinsettias, home decor, blankets, ornaments, cookbooks, wreaths, and decorative hand towels. Additionally, they offer workshops and seminars and have a cafe onsite for grabbing a cookie or latte. It’s a great place to find the perfect holiday gift, or give a gift card so your friend can pick out something special for themselves. Shop online here, or use the store locator to find a store near you.

2. The Big Lake

The Big Lake is a unique art and gift shop located in the heart of downtown Grand Marais. It’s the perfect shop for finding a gift that reflects the wild beauty of the north. With jewelry and paintings, to books, candles, and home decor, The Big Lake is a shop I always make time for when I’m up North. Use code EK10 for a 10% discount now through 12/31/22.

3. Excelsior Candle

Excelsior Candle is locally and BIPOC family-owned. Excelsior Candle creates 100% soy candles with sustainable, reusable, and lead-free containers. Many candles include something special that is uncovered as the wax melts, such as gold flecks, clear rocks, or dried lavender flowers. Shop here and use code Kristen30 for a 30% discount now through 12/31/22.

4. Faribault Mill

This Minnesota-based company has been making incredible woolen blankets since 1865. The throw blankets and bed blankets make for stunning and quality holiday gifts. Additionally, the Faribault Mill is running a campaign called “Spread the Warmth.” For every bed blanket sold, the Faribault Mill is donating a blanket to a nonprofit serving homeless youth at 13 nonprofits nationwide. For a unique experience, sign up for a tour of the mill in Faribault, Minnesota, and shop online here.

5. Lakehouse Candle Co.

Lakehouse Candle Co. is a local Minnesota candle company that hand-pours 100% soy wax, and crackling wooden wick candles. Shop for unique and seasonal scents like Mulled Cider, Fireside Flannel, and Lake of the Woods here. Use code Kristen15 for a 15% discount when you shop here.

6. Sarah’s Cottage Creations

Sarah, owner of Sarah’s Cottage Creations is a local flower farmer based in Stillwater, Minnesota. With several acres of flowers, Sarah and her team create incredible floral arrangements and provide landscaping services. You can also purchase a  subscription for a new arrangement to show up on your doorstep every few weeks or months. When you buy flowers from Sarah’s Cottage Creations, you support a small and local business with fresh flowers that are responsibly grown, and you give a thoughtful and unique gift for the holidays! Shop here.

7. Wild North Co.

Wild North Co. is a Minnesota-based company that believes in hiking through pine filled forests, soaking in lakeside sunsets, spending long weekends at the cabin, and enjoying everything that makes the north so great. Everything they sell is designed in Minnesota, and they give 5% of every purchase toward protecting our great state’s land, water, and wildlife. Here you’ll find stickers, pins, home decor, and headwear. Currently, they’re selling a great holiday gift, the 12 Days of Stickers with one special sticker to unveil each day. Shop here and use code Kristen20 for 20% off now through 12/25/22. 

8. Winnie Lu

Winnie Lu is a locally and woman-owned business. Winnie Lu is known for creating thoughtfully curated gift boxes with quality home decor and lifestyle products. They include beautiful items such as candles, lotion, artwork, chocolate, coffee, mugs, and water bottles. Shop the pre-made gift boxes, or pick out a few items to create your own.  Shop here and use code KRISTEN10 for 10% off all orders now through 12/25/22.

9. The Wilder Woodshop
The Wilder Woodshop is a woman-owned wood shop based in Grand Marais, Minnesota offering unique and handcrafted cutting and charcuterie boards. You may see her beautiful work in stores like the North Shore Winery in Lutsen. Or, shop online here and use code EXPEDITION10 for a 10% discount. You can also follow The Wilder Woodshop on Instagram at @thewilderwoodshop.
2022 Holiday Gift Guide

For the Shoe Lover

1. Merrell

I’ve loved Merrell for years and have a variety of styles and colors. These shoes are built to last and can handle the rough elements of a Minnesota winter. I have a variety of styles from lace-up walking shoes to waterproof hiking boots to shearling lined slip-ons. Merrell is always running great deals and discounts on their website too! Shop here.

2. Minnetonka

Founded in 1946 in Minneapolis, this company gets its name after the incredible Lake Minnetonka. Here you’ll find high-quality shoes, sandals, and slippers for men, women, and children, plus accessories like socks, hats, and keychains. They have a newly launched Minnesota-themed slipper called the Minny with plaid and faux fur. Shop here and use code ExpeditionKristen-15 for a 15% discount and free shipping over $50.

3. Red Wing Shoe Company

Founded in Red Wing, Minnesota, during the 1970s, the Red Wing Shoe Company has an incredible history built around long-lasting and traditional construction mixed with a timeless design. While the Red Wing Shoe Company is best known for its leather boots, they also offer accessories, like leather wallets, belts, gloves, and slippers. For a fun weekend idea, visit the Red Wing Shoe Company flagship store and museum to snap a photo with the world’s largest boot, which is a size 638 ½ D (US)! It was built with the same style and process as their original boot, which they identify as classic style number 877. 

4. REI

REI is a one-stop shop for running shoes, hiking boots, slippers, and sandals. You’ll find brands such as Chaco, Adidas, Birkenstock, Merrell, and much more. REI also sells a ton of other great travel and outdoor gear in addition to footwear, such as hiking backpacks, rock climbing gear, kayaks, tents, and more!  Shop here!

2022 Holiday Gift Guide

For the Traveler

1. Apple Airpods

The Apple AirPods Pro are a must-have for any travel. They are noise-canceling and compact, making them great to pack up and bring on a trip, whether it’s a plane, train, or long walk. Apple AirPods Pro makes it easy and seamless to switch around from music to a podcast, or to answer a call.

2. Apple Watch

I love wearing my Apple Watch to track my steps and heart rate, but it’s more than that. I love being able to quickly reply to texts, check the weather, take a photo, open my email or ask Siri a question. It’s especially useful when my phone is not easily accessible.

3. Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones

I love my Bose Noise Canceling Headphones, especially during long flights. They’re comfortable and won’t start hurting your ears after hours of use. And the noise canceling really works!

4. Canon Camera

I’ve had the Canon Alpha 6000 for about a year now and I love that it’s lightweight and performs much better than my iPhone. It also has a WiFi connection so I can easily share images to my phone, to quickly upload to Instagram.

5. GoPro

I love my GoPro camera because it’s so durable and records great video and sound. I also have a waterproof case so I can bring mine on underwater adventures. I’ve brought it horseback riding, snowboarding, rock climbing, water tubing, and kayaking.

6. Thrifty Traveler Subscription

The experts at Thrifty Traveler, a Minnesota-based company, work to find quick flash sales, price drops and mistake fares that other platforms may miss. Sign up and get all the deals straight to your inbox so you never miss out. For more detail, check out my blog post on 8 Reasons to Love Thrifty TravelerUse code “KRISTEN10” at check out for $10 off your Premium subscription. Sign up here thriftytraveler.com/premium.

7. Vera Bradley Toiletries Bag

I love this compact toiletries bag for short weekend trips or when I just want to bring the essentials. It’s small yet has several pockets inside to keep everything organized, and I love the bright beautiful colors.

8. Waterproof Phone Case

This waterproof phone case is one of my favorite purchases ever! I take this case with me when I kayak, swim, or hang out on a friend’s pontoon. Not only does it keep my phone dry, it also takes really great photos underwater.

9. Yaktrax Traction Cleats

I finally purchased Yaktrax Traction Cleats a few winters ago and I don’t know why I hadn’t done it sooner. I walk my dog every day so when the roads are icy or we go hiking in the spring and the trails are covered in packed down ice and slush, these are a must-have to prevent slipping and falling.

2022 Holiday Gift Guide

For the Bookworm

1. 123 Ice Fishing

Written by Jenny Anderson, 123 Ice Fishing was created for the outdoor-loving parent and child. In this adorable lift-the-flap counting book, a little bear and mama bear head out to a frozen lake for a day of ice fishing. Your kiddos will learn how to count from one to ten while also discovering ice fishing terminology and gear. 123 Ice Fishing is available on 123icefishing.com as well as on Amazon. Use code EXPEDITIONKRISTEN for free shipping on a signed copy if purchased through 123icefishing.com.

2. A Walk in the Woods

Written by Bill Bryson, A Walk in the Woods takes us on Bryson’s hilarious and honest experience hiking the Appalachian Trail. After 20 years in Britain, travel writer Bryson returns to the United States where he decides to reacquaint himself by walking the 2,100+ miles of the Appalachian Trail, which stretches from Georgia to Maine. He writes about his adventure and the astonishing landscape he sees along the way.

3. Hidden Gems of the Northern Great Lakes

Written by Madeline Marquardt, Hidden Gems of the Northern Great Lakes: A Trail and Paddling Guide is a hiking and adventure guidebook covering the Northwoods of Michigan and Wisconsin, The North Shore of Minnesota, the Apostle Islands, and Isle Royale National Park. With everything from family road trip routes to backcountry adventures, here you can find the best hikes, waterfalls, and paddling routes in the Northern Great Lakes Region. This book is available on Kindle and in print on Amazon, and as part of a collection of hiking and adventure ebooks in the Hello Stranger Newsletter.

4. How to Travel the World on $50 a Day

Written by Matt Kepnes, How to Travel the World on $50 a Day is intended for budget travelers. This book will teach you how to travel longer and smarter for less so you can save money and have richer, more fulfilling experiences. Kepnes is the hugely popular travel blogger behind nomadicmatt.com, a travel resource I depend on regularly for travel advice, finding flight deals, and much more.

5. Ten Years a Nomad: A Traveler’s Journey Home

Written by Matt Kepnes, Ten Years a Noman: A Traveler’s Journey Home is a memoir about the ten years Kepnes spent traveling and backpacking the world. He shares lessons learned, unforgettable encounters, and advice from everything he experienced over the course of a decade.

6. Wild

Written by Cheryl Strayed, Wild is about Strayed’s journey along the Pacific Crest Trail when she was just 26 years old. She is in search of a fresh start after the death of her mother, going through a divorce, and struggles with drug use. Along the way she finds herself having a life-changing experience. This book was made into a hugely successful movie in 2014 with Reese Witherspoon portraying Strayed.

Snow Forest

Have a Happy and Healthy New Year

I wish you all a happy and healthy holiday season! For more cold weather inspiration, check out my blog posts on 26 Things to Do for Winter in Minnesota, 5 Unique Minnesota Winter Events, 9 Reasons to Visit Crosby During Winter, Cozy Winter Getaway to Stillwater, Minnesota Winter Survival Guide, or 12 Great Twin Cities Parks of Cross-Country Skiing.

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