First encountered this idea on Chris Ryan’s site, and thought it was pretty cool. So…

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Looking for some gift ideas/new toys?

Things I Like

I own, use, and like all of the items listed below. Some of these items are related to music, others are travel accessories, and others are simply things that are nice to have around the house. Click the links below and I’ll receive a tiny commission on your purchase from the Amazon overlords.

14 oz. French Press Travel Mug by Planetary Design

Easily one of my favourite gifts from the past five years. If you’re a coffee lover who travels, you owe it to yourself to get this mug–wonderful French press coffee wherever you go, with a compartment for extra beans in the bottom. Easy to clean, and very, very well made–has survived backpacking through Asia, and still going strong.

The glorious Aeropress coffee maker

Geeking out hard on this thing lately. Easy to use (and clean), reliable, and capable of producing all different kinds of delicious java, depending on what you’re going for. If you’re at all a coffee geek, you owe it to yourself to pick this up. Just trust me.

Porlex mini coffee grinder

(Last coffee geek accessory, promise.) The finest mini coffee grinder money can buy. Fits inside your new Aeropress, too–perfect for traveling.

Lewis and Clarke NSA approved Carry-On Toiletry Pouch

Breeze past surly airport security guards with this toiletry pouch designed for tiny shaving cream, hand lotion, toothpaste, etc. Sturdy and easy to clean, too.

Martin Backpacker Travel Guitar (with bag)

The perfect travel guitar. Lightweight and well built with a pleasant, sharp tone, it fits into overhead compartments on airplanes. Impress the ladies in the hostel with your acoustic rendition of “Sexual Healing,” and this guitar.

Timberland Wodehouse Chukka desert boots

I get compliments on these bad boys all the time. Very comfortable, and as long as you keep them semi-polished, you can wear them with just about anything. Thank me later, gents.

Olukai Mea Ola Men’s Leather Sandals

The most comfortable (not to mention classiest) flip-flops on the planet. Keep cool in the tropics without looking like a doofus. Not great for wearing in the rain, but other than that they’re terrific. I wear them everyday, and my feet never hurt.

The North Face Men’s Surgent Hooded Zip-Up Sweatshirt

Every traveler needs a quality hoodie–even the tropics can get chilly at night. This hoodie is comfortable, well built, warm (but not too warm), and stylish. I love it.

ExOfficio Men’s Give-n-Go Boxer Briefs

Did I just tell you what kind of underwear I wear? Seriously, though–these things are great for travel for all kinds of reasons. One, they’re comfortable like you wouldn’t believe, two, they breathe well and don’t collect odour like other underwear, three, they wash easily and dry in a heartbeat, etc. etc. Fellow men of the world, trust me–they’re worth it.

Kindle Paperwhite 6″

I resisted e-readers for years. I’m glad I finally came around–I have a library of nearly 1000 books on this thing by now, and it fits in my pocket. Beautiful fully-lit display, and it doesn’t keep you up at night–it doesn’t emit nasty blue light like most computers, so you can read in bed without a light, or a care in the world.

Bose SoundLink Mini II bluetooth speaker

You wouldn’t believe the sound quality of this little thing. Most of my friends can’t. And at this size, you can still travel with it. Best part: surprisingly rich and prominent bass, excellent for grooving to Barry White at 3 AM on a Friday night (less excellent for your neighbours).

Sennheiser HD 280 Pro Headphones

I’ve dropped, scratched, and generally tortured these things for several years over several continents. They seem to be just about indestructible. And the best part–they sound great. Good bass, some noise cancelation, attractive design, and not too heavy. Especially good for traveling. (That crying baby on the airplane? Slap on these cans, put on some Motown, and your worries will disappear.)

Blue Snowball USB mic

The silky smooth vocals you hear week after week on my podcast? Courtesy of yours truly, and this simple plug-and-play USB microphone. Highly recommended for gamers, podcasters, voiceover artists, or just better Skype calls. You can’t beat it for this price.

Zoom H1 Portable Digital Recorder with accessories

When I don’t have my Snowball, I record with this. Lightweight, and surprisingly good sound quality. Definitely beats an iPhone (or any smartphone) for field recordings.

Numark Mixtrack Edge DJ controller

I’ve since graduated to a Pioneer DDJSR controller, but this little rig is what got me started djing. Easy to use, lots of fun at parties, and small enough to travel anywhere (it’s a little bigger than an iPad). Highly recommended for the absolute-beginner DJ who wants something to play around with.

The Beatles LEGO Yellow Submarine

It’s the Beatles. As LEGO figures. With the Yellow Submarine. What more do you need to know?