Gifts for the Wild at Heart: Bush Smarts


Whether you would use a flask around a campfire, or for a sneaking a nip on the subway, Bush Smarts crafts rugged gear for the outdoors that can also make city living a little easier. Founded by New Yorkers John Davison and Kevin Sterling, the two have a combined 40 years of camping, bushcrafting, backpacking, and trekking between them. Together they scour the globe for obscure gear and high-quality source materials, then put their own twist on existing, hard-to-find gear, or they design and manufacture cool tools themselves (sometimes in their own apartments). Everything they offer is approachable for those just getting into the outdoors, and super functional for seasoned pros. Below are five of their many gift-worthy tools and kits that will make someone a very happy camper. Be sure to check out Bush Smarts’ special selection of holiday gifts, too.

1. Hip Flask: Sleek and durable, the classic Finnish design of this Hip Flask comes in handy no matter where you need a nip. The thin profile and rounded corners make it easy to pack for the backcountry or sneak out of your jacket while braving the NYC streets in winter. And unlike metal flasks, Bush Smart’s flask weighs nothing and won’t freeze to your lips. The leather fob, made in NYC from durable oiled leather, will slip on any belt or belt strap and you can customize the flask with up to four letters. $35

2. Bush Knife: This Bush Knife makes for an heirloom quality gift that is rugged enough for the bush but sharp enough for a fine morning shave. The ultra high carbon (UHC) edge, made by hand in Finland, has superior cutting properties and holds up longer than ordinary steel blades. You can also customize the durable leather sheath with up to four letters. $185

3. Travel Kit: Bush Smarts’ version of the quintessential DOPP Kit is a no frills, no fuss, travel kit for the outdoors, though you’ll be tempted to take it on the road, too. You can hang this burly, riveted bag from any tree or hotel door, and it’s hand-made in Brooklyn from waxed, ripstop cotton milled in California. $45

4. Happy Meal Gift Set: This tasty gift set, perfect for the outdoorsman in the office or your family, will make a delicious breakfast in the woods and leave you with some very functional gear afterwards. The Flat Pack Bowl takes up little of your precious backpack space and instantly converts to a fully watertight bowl when you need one. The BPA-free, dishwasher safe Bush Bottle carries .5L of water (hot or cold) and has a wide-mouth construction so you can easily fill and filter it. And the delicious, sweet potato Frontier Flapjacks require only water to make, so it’s easy to mix at camp or in your poorly stocked kitchen. Bush Smarts can also fill in the “To” field with the name of your happy camper and send it straight to them. $25

5. Hiking Socks: Bush Smarts’ durable, comfy Hiking Socks will keep your feet happy even if your longest slog is a midtown commute. Made in the USA with a Merino wool blend to keep you warm and wick away any moisture, it’s got terry knit padding in the sole for extra cushion and a Jackalope print on one sock to remind you to alternate feet–which will make the pair last longer overall (who knew?). Bush Smarts will even hand stitch the trim if you like a little more pizazz in your step. $18-$28.

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