When Fisher isn’t studying or helping customers at our Asheville store, you’ll find him out in the woods or on top of a mountain, relishing all of Western North Carolina’s opportunities for outdoor recreation. As an avid backpacker on a student budget, he digs gear that’s functional and built to last, but still offers great value. Below are his picks for fellow weekend warriors.


Katadyn BeFree Water Microfilter$39.95 

No hoses or backflushing required!  This water filtration system is lightweight, easy-to-use, and will last 1000 liters before needing to change the filter.  The filter is integrated into the lid, so you can drink straight from the bottle. Comes in 0.6-liter, 1.0-liter, and 3.0-liter sizes.


Kelty Gunnison 1 Tent$159.95

Kelty makes backpacking more affordable with the Gunnison tent line.  These three-season backpacking tents set up in a snap and come with a footprint to prolong the life of the tent.  Tight on space? Use your trekking poles to convert the vestibule to an awning. 


Peregrine Altai Evo Sleeping Bag$139.95

This is the bag that our staff have been drooling over!  At 1 lb 12 oz, this 35 degree bag blends synthetic Primaloft and down. You get the best of both worlds – the lightweight and compression of down along with the moisture management and affordability of synthetic. A DWR finish offers some added protection from condensation, and the drawstring at the foot makes it usable for hammock camping!


Kelty Cosmic Mummy Sleeping Pad$49.95

Kelty again makes backpacking more affordable with this cushy self-inflating sleeping pad. It’s just over 2 lbs and under $50.


Pisgah Map Company Maps$14.00

The best maps are made by those who know the area well. This local map company out of Brevard, NC, makes maps that feature more detail than National Geographic Trail Maps and more accurate trails than a USGS quad.  


Suunto A10 Compass $19.99

I (try to) never venture into the woods without a map and compass.  Even a day hike can turn nasty quickly without these essentials. The Suunto A10 compass gets the job done.  (Need brushing up on your navigation skills? Keep an eye on our events calendar for upcoming clinics!)


Black Diamond Spot Headlamp – $39.95

I love the features of this headlamp.  It’s waterproof, has a red light (great for bugs!), multiple white light settings, and a lock function to keep it from turning on inside your pack.


AlpineAire Sierra Chicken Pasta – $7.43

I usually steer clear of freeze-dried meals because they are so expensive.  Not so with AlpineAire, these 2-serving meals are just $4-$9!

Unless you’re living under a rock, you’ve probably heard that it’s supposed to snow this weekend – a lot. The right clothing is the difference between making snow day memories and enduring a grumpy day of being wet and cold. But don’t worry, we’ve got your back with quality cold weather gear at prices so frugal that you’ll be saying “snowpocalypse, shmopocalypse” in no time. Below are a few of our favorite frugal finds for men, women, and kids.


Kids’ Snow Day Essentials:

  1. Arts of Ecuador Grey Wolf CapFrugal Price: $24.95
  2. Columbia Powder Lite Jacket Frugal Price: $59.99
  3. Northside Frosty Boots – MSRP: $35.00 Frugal Price: $28.00
  4. Buff Original Junior – MSRP: $19.00 Frugal Price: $18.99
  5. Patagonia Baby Puff Mitts – MSRP: $39.00 Frugal Price: $31.00


Men’s Toasty Layers:

  1. Patagonia Recycled Wool Earflap Cap – MSRP: $49.00 Frugal Price: $39.00
  2. Columbia Lake 22 Down Jacket – MSRP: $120.00 Frugal Price: $99.00
  3. Adidas Outdoor Knit Fleece JacketFrugal Price: $89.00
  4. Northside Braedon Boot – MSRP: $80.00 Frugal Price: $64.00
  5. Seirus Eclipse Glove – MSRP: $34.99 Frugal Price: $29.99
  6. Terramar Thermolater BottomsFrugal Price: $35.00


Women’s Cozy Adventure Finds:

  1. Columbia Fireside Full ZipFrugal Price: $59.99
  2. Sherpa Rimjhin HatFrugal Price: $34.95
  3. United By Blue Martel Wool Vest – MSRP: $158.00 Frugal Price: $63.20
  4. Northside Bishop Boot – MSRP: $65.00 Frugal Price: $52.00
  5. Purnell Nordic Snow LeggingsFrugal Price: $45.00
  6. Columbia Thermarator GlovesFrugal Price: $30.00

Frugal Backpacker Asheville crew member, Maggie loves backpacking and spends her free time exploring the mountains of WNC with her dog, Sprout. She’s known for being the sort of awesome coworker who brings chocolate bars to work (thanks, Maggie). And is easy to spot around Frugal, as she’s usually rocking her signature combo of mary janes and funky Socksmith socks.

Her favorite stocking stuffers combine practicality with a whole lot of fun, and match her personality perfectly. These pint sized presents are sure to delight all the outdoor lovers on your list.


Lucy Outdoor 2.0 Solar Lantern – $19.95

These solar powered inflatable lanterns are so versatile.  Use it as outdoor lighting in the backyard, an emergency light in a power outage, backpacking, etc.  The Luci Pro Outdoor 2.0 ($35.00) takes it a step further with a two-way USB charger, so you can use it as a power bank or solar charger for your phone!

Socksmith Socks – $8.00

Add a kick to your day with these fun casual socks! You can often see me sporting these around the store (my favorites are the unicorn and significant otter prints).  Available in Men’s, Women’s, and Kid’s, you can check everyone off your list with these stocking stuffers!

Adventure Med Kits 0.5 – $15.00

You can never have too many first aid kits. I’ve got the 0.3 in my car, the 0.5 in my day pack, and the 0.7 for backpacking trips.

Gear Aid Tenacious Patches – $2.99

It’s always a bummer to get a rip or a hole in a beloved and well-used piece of gear, but with these patches pre-cut into various themed shapes, you get to add a little flair to your repair!

Eno Echo Speaker – $34.95

This waterproof speaker can go anywhere!  Connect via bluetooth and listen in the shower, on the river, on a camping trip (it only weighs 4 oz), or around the house!

Ultralight Java Drip – $9.95

For those who can’t live without their morning cup o’ joe, the Ultralight Java Drip is a life saver.  Avoid the grounds at the bottom of your cowboy coffee with this super portable drip brewer.

Southern Swag Handle-It Cup Handle – $16.00

This bungee and paracord handle slides on to give your water bottle or tumbler an easy handle.

Funky Flames – $5.99

Campfires are always fun, but turn it up a notch with Funky Flames and turn that campfire blue, green, or purple!











Frugal Backpacker Asheville Crew Member, Julie is a true winter lover. For her, cold weather is an opportunity to get outdoors and put her many winter jackets to the test. She loves skiing, hot chocolate, and mountain biking. As a long time outdoor adventurer, her favorite items make great gifts for the experienced camper on your list. Check them out below. 

ENO Technest – $94.95

This new hammock from ENO is amazing! It is very lightweight and has many new features like lighter weight carabiners and a different style of pack up that is much more efficient.

Grayl Ultralight Filter Bottle – $47.95

This super easy to use filter is great for travelers and backpackers alike. It not only protects from bacteria and protozoa but also viruses! Amazing to have for traveling abroad or backpacking.

YakTracks – $16.95

Want to go hiking in the winter or know someone who does? This is the perfect gift for the outdoor person who won’t let the ice and snow keep them from playing outside.

Pelican 1010 Case – $18.49

Need a place to keep your gear dry while you kayak, paddle board, or play in the river? We have multiple sizes of these boxes that can keep your gear clean and dry.

Dr. Bronners Soap 8oz – $6.69

This is the soap that does it all. Wash your laundry, clean your face, brush your teeth- with over 12 uses this soap is an outdoor lovers best friend.

Kelty Essential Chair – $49.95

We have both the classic essential chair as well as the awesome love seat! The loveseat basically goes wherever I go and I use it all the time. It is great for camping, hanging out with friends outside, concerts, the list goes on.

Kelty Cache Box Medium – $19.95

These little boxes can do so much. There are multiple sizes that all fit inside each other and are great for storage.