Updated: Dec 21, 2018
This time of year always creeps up on us. Holding on to the last memories of summertime & warm weather, then suddenly Christmas is only a week away!
Boat-life has taught us to live with less & has driven us to reduce our waste drastically. So, when Christmas comes around we resist the urge to just buy, buy, buy & fight to maintain our low waste lifestyle.
This year we pledged to make most of our gifts and only buying things that serve a specific purpose, knowing 100% that the person will use & keep the item. How many times have you been gifted a random make-up set (I use make-up maybe once a year) or a little trinket that floats around your home for a while before landing in the Goodwill donation pile?
With our best intentions towards keeping our landfills low & our oceans plastic free, we have compiled some of our favorite & most used items on board SV Gemini.
If you are like us & find yourself running around last minute trying to find meaningful gifts for your friends & family, then this list may come in handy.
So, here are a couple of our favorite gift ideas for people like us: salty sailors & devoted zero waste warriors!
1. Stasher Bags: There's no denying that Ziploc plastic bags are very handy in the galley.
The problem is that even if you are devoted to re-using them over & over, washing & drying each one, you still find yourself dripping the veggie marinade out of some invisible hole in the thin bag. Stasher bags are re-usable food-grade silicone bags great for marinating meats/veggies & carrying snacks & sandwiches. We have 3 of them & continue to find new things to store in them!
2. Bulk/ Produce Bags: We call these bulk bags or produce bags, but they are way more versatile than that! They are simple drawstring bags that quickly become "everything bags"- baked goods, crafting supplies, undies & socks while traveling, candy, small tools, etc! You can buy all different types: mesh, cotton, you name it! If you enjoy crafty projects as much as I do, then grab an old sheet or pillowcase (any cotton fabric will do) and sew a simple square drawstring bag, any size you want!
3. Splicing tools: If you have a sailor friend or family member, then this is the gift for them! Learning to splice your own line on a boat is not only pretty simple & fun, but also important to know if you are out on the high seas. We love the app by Premium Ropes with step by step pictures on dozens of different splices.
Invest in quality splicing tools:
3. Mantus Marine Products: We left this one very general, since we have not found a Mantus product that we didn't LOVE.
We equipped our first boat with a Mantus 45lb anchor, the 3/8" anchor swivel & the headlamp. Each product they make is over-engineered, letting us sleep well while at anchor. The headlamp & rail clamp light are essentials onboard Gemini - boat projects w/out good lighting is means for disaster! A Mantus 55lb anchor & a new anchor swivel is definitely high up on our "Santa's List."
4. Solar Charger: This one is perfect for anyone who enjoys: hiking, camping, going to the beach, road-tripping, sailing, skiing..... Ok, you get my point - if you enjoy being outside, this solar charger is a great thing to bring along to be able to charge your devices while adventuring. We use it all the time one anchor in the Bay & it was invaluable on our sailboat delivery up from Mexico. Ours is waterproof, foldable & had 2 USB ports so you can charge your Mantus headlamp & a phone or GoPro at the same time! Just unfold it and let it soak up the sun. Here's the link to the one we own & love.
5. Handmade items made by yours truly! Here on SV Gemini we have tons of fun making things. We have an entire compartment on the boat designated for crafting supplies, not to mention the heaps of fabric & our Sailrite LSZ-1
Check out our Sailorgal Etsy shop, find a handmade gift for a friend & add a little to our sailing kitty! Take a peek at our recycled sailcloth bags, boat-made bees wrap or the recycled cotton crochet rugs, we love keeping things out of landfills & giving them a new life!
Two the Horizon Swag!
You can also support us by snagging some sweet Two the Horizon tees, tanks, long sleeves & sweatshirts! Check out our online swag store here.
Thanks for keeping this boat afloat!
6. BOOKS! Here's a list of some of our favorite books in our boat library. We added a couple that we don't own yet, but have heard rave reviews about.
- Anything by Nigel Calder. If you are into boating or want to understand basic marine systems, maintenance & design then these are for you! Some of his most popular ones are: Marine Diesel Engines and Boatowners Mechanical and Electrical Manual.
- Swell by Captain Liz Clark: Tales of a young adventurer mostly solo-sailing a Cal 40 in search of surf & human connection. Packed with stunning photos & artwork from her travels, it's high up on our wish list - I cannot wait to read this book!
- An Embarrassment of Mangoes by Ann Vanderhoof (a fellow Woman Who Sails!): A fun story of the Caribbean travels of a woman & her husband with hilarious & genuine moments where (as boating goes) everything goes wrong. Also, she included many tropical recipes discovered throughout her cruising adventures.
- The Sea Wolf by Jack London: Ok, this is a classic. Tales of times at sea on an old seal hunting schooner. Better yet, the first scene is set in foggy San Francisco Bay!
7. Handmade Candles: Who doesn't enjoy a delicious-smelling, warm candle once in a while? Beeswax candles are easy DIY craft projects & can be great gifts for this time of year. You can choose whatever type of container to fill with wax, our favorite method is scavenging unique cups, jars or tins so that each candle is different. Amazon has beeswax here, but it's best to find a local source - cheers to supporting local bee keepers while avoiding Amazon's excessive packaging!
It's the little things..
Sometimes, all you need is mood lighting, a delicious, handmade beeswax candle is perfect.
8. Gift a New Experience! Inviting someone to join you on your favorite hiking trail or beach, a cooking class or a beautiful sunset sail around the bay can be a memorable gift for this holiday season. If you are looking for a sunset sail or overnight in SF Bay, check out our friends with QM Travels, their boat Esprit it gorgeous & perfect for sharing memories on the water.
That's all, folks!
Thanks for reading & hopefully you have found something in this list for the eco sailor in your life. We only support products that we have tried & truly stand behind, always trying our best to reduce our waste & environmental impact. If you have a favorite eco-warrior product that helps you reduce your impact, share it with us & we can add it to our list!
Cheers & remember, stay salty!
SV Gemini & crew
Disclaimer: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
Basically, there is NEVER any extra cost to you and we get a small amount to help fund our sailing goals.
Although we definitely enjoy the couple of extra $ we make through Amazon affiliates program, we don't approve of the plastic packaging used to ship most items through Amazon. So, if you like the items listed above, see if there is a local source (with less packaging) to purchase from before buying here. After all, our environment is always more important than the monetary gain.