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Originally published Wednesday, December 1, 2010 at 7:04 PM

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Fluid ideas fit for gifts: bottle and flask for the outdoors

Dan A. Nelson reviews a stainless water bottle from MiiR, a fisherman's flask from Simms, and a coffee tumbler from Innate Gear — gift ideas for the outdoors person.

Special to The Seattle Times

Gift giving among outdoors-loving adults often ends up being an example of good intentions gone awry. To ensure your gift recipients truly appreciate the gifts you give, not just the thought behind them, consider the following fluid ideas.

Reusable water bottles continue to grow in popularity, with many great options of bottles available. But only one (that we've found) allows you to fully, and professionally, customize your bottles. MiiR's stainless steel bottles (available in 0.6- and 0.8-liter sizes) come in an array of brilliant enameled colors. But with each bottle purchased, you also get a "skin" — a durable sticker that fits neatly within a shallow frame around the bottle's exterior. This skin can be designed online using one or more of the many optional patterns, pictures, textures and designs. Or you can upload your own artwork to make unique, custom bottles. But your purchase also provides a gift to someone else. MiiR donates $1 from every bottle sale to clean-water programs. On average, that $1 provides clean water for a year to someone in a developing country.

The bottles themselves are food-grade stainless steel, sized to fit in virtually any automobile's cup holder, as well as in bike bottle cages. The caps (two styles) securely unfasten with just one complete revolution for easy access. The 0.8-liter size sells for $25; the smaller 0.6-liter goes for $23. Details available at

While everyone loves water, some folks (especially fishermen!) like to mix a little something with their water. For them, the new trout-inspired "Artist Series" flask from Simms Fishing Products will fill their wish list. The 6-ounce steel flask features the artwork of Derek DeYoung, a Montana artist well-known for his unique and colorful paintings of fish. Available for $29.95, the Simms flask slips perfectly in a fly-fishing vest pocket. See

For teetotalers, look no further than Innate Gear's Doppio Tumbler. This attractive double-walled steel cup holds a hearty double-shot of espresso or dry cappuccino while keeping the drink hot without scorching your fingers. A snug-fitting sip-lid allows you to take your caffeine on the road without worrying about spillage. The 6.5-ounce tumbler sells for $9.50. See

Freelancer Dan A. Nelson, of Puyallup, is a regular contributor to Backpacker magazine, and an author of outdoor guides with The Mountaineers Books. For the purpose of review, gear manufacturers lend products, which are returned after a typical use of four to eight weeks. There is no payment from manufacturers and they have no control over the content of reviews. Contact Dan with gear-related questions at

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