Thursday, November 26, 2015

10 essential gifts for the desert rat

The desert rat has different needs than the city dweller. Many are practical and specific to the terrain and lifestyle. If you're not sure what to get, these gifts are always appreciated. In terms of last minute shopping, many of these items can be picked up at any respectable truck stop.

#3: 50' of chicken wire
1. Bungie straps
High winds, bumpy roads, and ad hoc repairs require bungie straps. You can never have enough, and they don't last long out in the desert.

2. Prickly pear cactus
Keep your eye out for thriving specimens of cow’s tongue or pancake prickly pear. Classy people ask the owner before breaking off a hunk. Wrap loosely in many layers of newspaper to prevent accidents. They need to dry out at least a week before being planted so they won't be needing any water.

3. Chicken wire
If your loved one is a gardener they can never have enough chicken wire. Two feet tall will keep out most rabbits. A 50’ roll says you really care.

#4: OCD Magnet Rake
4. Magnet rake
Your OCD friends will never forget you. Magnet rakes are a delight for removing nails, screws, bolts, and other detritus from the sand in your driveway. Since these castoffs float to the surface of the sand over time this gift will keep on giving.

5. Folding directors chairsThese are folding chairs with little side tables that flip up. Spring for the one with the cupholder. They fold flat for easy transport to those desert nature events at which there are never enough chairs, let alone side tables.

6. A dozen wash cloths
Get them in dark colors. These are wonderful for dry cabins and camping trips. A thousand and one uses and they launder nicely.

7. BIG water bottle
Desert dwellers are horrible when it comes to disposable water bottles. We buy them by the case. A single liter-size SIG bottle will get a good laugh. A 5-gallon Coleman cooler will be truly appreciated, or spring for the Under Armour 64 Ounce Foam Insulated Hydration Bottle.

8. Collapsible entrenching shovel
Everyone knows they should have one for digging their car out of the sand, but no one I know has one. Remember to wipe for fingerprints after use.

9. Rocks
This may seem a little like selling coals in Newcastle, but desert dwellers have a strong affinity for rocks. Start collecting unusual or particularly beautiful rocks for gift giving and you’ll be surprised how difficult it is to part with any of them once you try.

10. Bug Vacuum and/or Fly Gun
Once you've been out in the Big Empty for awhile you'll stop caring so much about bugs, but these two gifts will keep visitors busy while you get back to doing nothing.