Roads Aren't for Everyone
The fact that you prefer paved roads and don't see speed bumps as fun obstacles doesn’t mean everyone thinks like you. So for that driver on your list who prefers dirt to pavement and forest to highway, here are some great gift ideas to keep him bumping along, such as: books and classes to hone his skills, a GPS to keep him on track, and an on-board camera to record his exploits. You'll be sure to secure you an invite on his next off-road ride – just remember to secure your seatbelt, too.
-- Produced by Alex Davies
Rollover iPhone Case
Unfortunately for most off-roading lovers, they have to spend most of their time on regular streets. But that doesn’t mean they can’t display their pride for the way they really love to drive. This iPhone case from CafePress reads, "I taught my dog to roll over. I didn’t know my Jeep was listening." Roll bar and laugh track not included.
(Rollover iPhone Case, $25)
The title of the book goes straight to the point of what it is certain drivers love so much about off-roading. It's not just crashing around muddy trails and jumping over natural obstacles willy-nilly, there's an art to it.
Author Brad DeLong covers everything the off-roader in your life needs to know about heading off the beaten path in this book that's especially relevant for those new to the sport. It includes gear and equipment lists, driving techniques, and how to properly care for one's ride. It's perfect for beginners and diehards alike.
(4-Wheel Freedom: The Art of Off-Road Driving, $14)
Portable Air Compressor
If your friend isn’t blowing tires, he’s not off-roading. If he is, make sure he’s ready to get back off the road as soon as possible by buying him a reliable air compressor.
Similar to a portable version of an air pump at a gas station, the HyperFlo model pumps air using a tank of pressurized CO2, making it much more efficient than those that run on the car’s battery.
(SPORT SERIES HyperFlo MAX SOURCE™, $399.99)
Off-Road Driving Class
Whether you’re shopping for a newbie or an expert, lessons are always a great call. Located in Nevada or California, Off Road Experience, which has been in business for more than 20 years, offers courses for everyone, from beginner to advanced drivers, as well as a Geocache event and private courses. Is your giftee a family man? Try the night expedition for families.
(Off Road Experience Introduction Course, $300)
If your friend loves heading into unknown territory, do your best to see that he makes it home with this GPS from Garmin. The Oregon 400T has a tough, touchscreen display, topographic maps, 3D map views, and a built-in barometric altimeter and compass, so it’s never lost. And if he happened to be in Oregon, your buddy can even share his favorite trails and routes with other local users.
(Garmin Oregon 400T GPS, $250)
The Ultimate On Board Camera
Is your friend always worried that you don’t buy his stories about climbing 70 percent grades and crashing through raging rivers? Give him the chance to back himself up with the HD HERO2 camera from GoPro.
Built especially for motorsports, the HERO2 is waterproof and records 1080p video and takes up to ten 11-megapixel photos per second. It can be helmet-mounted, but your friend will be mounting it on his dashboard. So get ready to spend a lot more time watching his off-road escapades -- at least you know they'll be high-quality, even if the driving isn't.
(GoPro HD HERO2 Camera, $299.99)
Off-Road Racing Game for iPad
No matter how much he denies it, the off-roader you're shopping for can't spend every waking minute of his day with his foot on the gas. But you can step in and fill the gaps when he actually finds himself sitting on a couch instead of a driver's seat, with the 2XL ATV Offroad racing game for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch.
Whether in single-player mode, taking on the computer, or multi-player, challenging his buddies, your giftee will have a great time racing 16 different tracks and freestyle levels. Maybe he'll even pull off some tricks he's not quite ready to try out in the real world.
(2XL ATV Offroad, $4.99)
Hitchsafe Key Vault
It's no secret that things can get a little wild off-roading; it's part of the appeal. But the last thing you want to have to do on a Saturday afternoon is drive several hours into the middle of nowhere to rescue your stranded friend, who somehow lost his car keys.
Make sure your weekend's safe with the Hitchsafe key vault from Du-Ha Storage, which slides into a 2-inch trailer hitch receiver. So if the regular set of keys finds its way to the bottom of a river, its owner can just punch in his four digit combination and retrieve the spare set he has stashed away.
(HitchSafe Key Vault, $65.99)