It is that time of the year again, even if I see Advents Calendars, Spekulatius and Stollen already already since September in the stores. Time to ponder what is the best gift for hikers, armchair adventurers, climbers, and trail runners.
The Best Gifts are No Gifts or Services. Despite what follows, I strongly believe the best gift you can give your loved ones are non-tangible gifts, as in services and experiences. Go for a hike or climb together (or let him/ her go for one!), maybe eat out or a give a nice Spa visit. Also arranging time off for your loved ones, so that they could pursue what they’d like to do, are great gifts. They’re better for the planet, too =)
Gifts for The Hiker
High on the list of any hiker are gifts from his favourite cottage. Here is whats definitely worth getting for your hiking friend:
- You can’t go wrong with a Hyperlite Mountain Gear Mid. Light, spacious and easy to pitch, you also can find shelter under it when you head outdoors with your hiking buddy!
- Outside it is getting cold, so a warm down quilt from Trekking-Lite-Store.com will ensure warm nights during winter camps.
- Laufbursche Gear is coming out with four completely re-designed packs in 2014. There’s never such a thing as too many backpacks, so getting a brand new 2014 huckePACK is definitely something to wait for January 2014 and get!
- And as its cold and wet outside, a synthetic insulation garment would work well also in the summer. Warms even when moist, synthetic is the way to go in wet & cold environments.
- Finally, REI Gift Cards or e-Gift Cards are a one-size-fits-all gift for your favourite outdoor enthusiast. Don’t trouble yourself picking up the wrong gift - just give a gift card!
Gifts for The Climber
Ah, the climber. Divided into many sub-species - the Boulderer, the Sports Climber, the Trad Climber, the Mountaineer or the Alpinist - you hopefully know which kind of climbing the receiver of your gift is practicing. Because a boulder doesn’t do much with a pair of crampons!
- The ice climber will be giving you extra hugs and thanks for a pair of Petzl Nomic ice tools.
- Boulderers fall. That the fall is more soft, put a Ocún Paddy Dominator Crashpad under the tree for them - large, light and functions as a mattress in a pinch, this is a superb crashpad to fall on when the holds are just too small to hold on to any longer.
- The Sport & Trad Climber alike will welcome the gift of the DMM Classic Rope Bag for their ropes, be they single, twin or halfs.
- Alpinsts and Mountaineers need helmets for their adventures. At the moment there’s no lighter and fully certified helmet on the market than the Sirocco Climbing Helmet, and I can say out of experience that it survives falls just great!
- Scarpa climbing shoes will be a welcome gift for any climber. Instinct VCs for the boulderers & sports climbers, Scarpa Phantom Ultra Boots for the alpinists, ice climbers and mountaineers, Scarpa makes great shoes for all!
Gifts for The Urban Hiker
The urban hiker, also called Armchair Adventurer, would like to spend more time in the wild but finding enough time between family, work and other commitments proves difficult. You could make sure he has a free weekend for some hiking/ climbing/ packrafting/ cycling, and maybe consider one of these items for the everyday outdoor adventure:
- Is there a backpack which can do everything? Yes, it’s the GORUCK GR1. Wear it to work, go climbing, travel for a week and then head out backpacking, cycling to work. The GR1 does it all, and will last you a lifetime.
- ECCO shoes look the deal and will perform on the way to the office and for the after-work hike to the scenic lookout.
- Trousers. Some call them pants. Whatever you call them, with a pair from Outlier you will sport a functional pair that looks great in the city and takes you everywhere your bike and feet can take you, keeping you dry and warm in nasty weather.
- Again a late day at the office? A fine outdoor book is just what’s needed then. Sit down at home, take a dram and skim through one of these fine books to let at least the mind escape the urban environment. A good option is also a subscription to trekking Magazin.
- Also in an urban environment it is useful to know the time. And the barometric pressure. And where is north. That’s why a Garmin fēnix might be an useful gift for those that easily get lost in the city, and need to find their way back.
Gifts for The Trailrunner
The trailrunner is the kind of person who will head out in pretty much any weather. Snow? Extra fun! Rain? Where’s that hardshell? Cold feet? Run faster!
- You can not go wrong with a Vest from Ultimate Direction. Hands-down the best running vests, your trailrunning mate will run in happy circles around you!
- A second pair of his favourite trailrunning shoes. Chances are his first pair are at the end of the life already, so why not get her/ him a new pair?!
- Chances are your trailrunning gift receiver also is just now outside running, despite the weather being close to 0°C and it’s rainy. Time to get some sweet The OMM garments which will keep him/ her warm in this fresh weather!
- GU Energy makes top notch gels, and getting a mix of these will be the best running nutrition stuff you can get to keep him running.
- Running glasses create shade and keep wind, dirt and rain from the eyes, so that they can stay focussed on the trail ahead. Being able to change lenses is a big advantage - the light is different in the snow than in the desert!