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Jonathan Roldan – BAJA BEAT

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Wednesday, November 07, 2018
As it should be
Thursday, December 20, 2018
Can’t have too much

My hundred buck Christmas
These days, it’s kinda hard to stuff a stocking for under a hundred bucks. At least, to buy something meaningful and practical that isn’t a gag gift or gets re-gifted or donated to the church’s white elephant sale.

So, here’s my list. All under a hundred dollars and hovering around fifty bucks. So, all good, right?

1. Waka Waka Power Lights


FOR LESS THAN $100, the solar-powered Waka Waka Power Light will light your night and juice your phone.

No, this has nothing to do with Shakira’s hips. But, it’s pretty hip, nonetheless. About the size of a cellphone, you charge it from the sun. Leave it on the dashboard like I do, or the window. Always ready to go.

Once it’s charged, you can use it to charge your other devices when a plug isn’t handy. But wait… it’s also an adjustable reading light, table light or flashlight that can be used in a number of configurations. They gave these to kids in impoverished neighborhoods in third world countries that had no electricity so kids could read and families could function!

2. Safe and Secure


THE TRAVELSAFE pacsafe anti-theft portable safe pouch beats hiding things under your hotel room sink or under the mattress.

It’s a crazy world out there. And all it takes is one idiot. One moment of carelessness. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of pain and nothing truer than when you’re on vacation and vulnerable.

A number of companies make security backpacks that not only have secret compartments, but also have secure zippers and closures to thwart pickpockets and sticky fingers. Moreso, many are slash-proof so they cannot be ripped open by a knife or sharp object.

And for rooms, something like the TravelSafe anti-theft portable safe pouch beats hiding things under your hotel room sink or under the mattress. It’s not only slash-proof, but you can lock it to something like the clothes rack in the closet or other handy attachment.

3. Zip-lock Style Bags Are OK but…

Time to get a big-boy bag to keep your stuff dry. They come in all shapes and sizes. Custom fit for things like your smartphone or computer pad, but also just general sizes for just about anything else you want to stuff. And you can buy them just about anywhere these days including Walmart, Target or sporting goods stores. And, of course, online.

4. The Cold Bag Revolution

YETI and a couple of great companies started the soft-sided cold bags as an alternative to their popular ice chests. And, they are darned good. Like a Mercedes or Land Rover.

But, I can’t afford 300 bucks for a cold bag and this article is about keeping it under $100. I’ve been a fan of American Outdoors and Norchill for years. They make a variety of bags, but I especially like their soft-duffle bag styles. They’re not rigid and I’ve kept things frozen for up to 3 days in them. And they’re relatively cheap, under 100 dollars.

Leakproof and airline rated too. Great on a boat. My newest is the AO backpack version, but everyone borrows it from me. /


Pieces of paper under the Christmas tree are a bit like getting underwear for a present, but whoever gets these will surely be grateful.

On vacation, you never can tell what might happen. Getting refunds, especially in Mexico, can be pretty difficult if not impossible.

Trip insurance is cheap and a great safeguard in the event of something as big as your whole trip getting ruined because of bad weather or a cancelled flight or as small as getting sick and missing a day of fishing, a bad room or, heaven forbid a medical emergency.

In the event of a big catastrophe… serious medical… insurrection… volcano… tsunami… and you need the cavalry. Global Rescue comes to get you. And gets you out. Seriously. We’ve had a running policy for years, but you can purchase it economically for a single trip.

This is not insurance. No claim to file. Blow the bugle and they evacuate you with the best medical, military resource and get you home. (Yes, military!) Not just the nearest safe place. Home. No other charge.

And while you’re at it… a Mexican Fishing License! Don’t be looking over your shoulder. Online:

6. Something for the Library

Still one of my favorite Baja authors and my predecessor columnist at Western Outdoor News is Gene Kira.

His book The Baja Catch is always on my desk as an incredible reference to pretty much anything in Baja.

Kira’s other book is called King of the Moon. Trust me, for a fictional Baja book, it’s fine enjoyable reading and is based on folks you probably know. Check Amazon.

And don’t forget Tom Gatch’s great book, Hooked on Baja.

7. Buy ’Em a Satellite… or a Personal Spotter Plane!

Well, not quite the actual satellite or plane, but the usefulness of one.

Terrafin SST has been around for years. Utilizing hi-tech, your fisherman will now be able to pull up current sea-temperatures in any area in detailed satellite imaging graphics. Handy as heck and a true time-saver they’ll appreciate.

Jo! Jo! Jo! (Spanish style!)

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