With all the Christmas adverts on the telly box, the town Christmas lights sparkling away, and all this talk of sales and delivery deadlines, you can’t blame me for turning my attention to the gifts I might want to give (and maybe also receive…) this year. So I thought I’d join in with the festivities with my second annual gift guide for outdoor lovers. And why not?! Just a few suggestions – mostly small gifts and socking fillers – that might make someone smile this season.
1. I’ll start with a big ticket item that would make a great “main present” for a family member. If you want to treat the outdoors lover in your life to something really special, a down vest or jacket is a great idea. There is nothing warmer. I adore my The North Face Nuptse Vest, one of my best outdoors purchases, it gets so much use. And if you’re not sure about real down (or want something easier to wash), there are some fantastic synthetic alternatives these days too.
2. I love my over-ear Sennheiser headphones for at home or when travelling, but they aren’t really suitable for when I’m hiking or pottering around outside. These Motorola Verve Rider+ headphones* connect to your device via Bluetooth (so no cable to get tangled in), and are waterproof; they have good sound quality too so are great if your outdoors lover enjoys spending some time in their own little musical world on occasion. I’m really impressed with these and so am planning a review post on these in the near future, but wanted to include them here as they would make a great Christmas gift.
3. If your outdoors loving friend doesn’t have a decent compass then why not?! Combine a traditional Silva compass with an Ordnance Survey Explorer map of their local area (or a subscription to OS Maps) and this would make a fantastic Christmas gift.
4. Any adult who enjoys camping, gardening, Scouting and the like needs a decent knife. Mine is probably over 20 years old now and still going strong, but this one from Victorinox is super nice if you have a bit of money to spend, or there are simply thousands of designs out there so you can get something that is just right for the person you are buying for.
5. The problem with enjoying being outdoors in winter is that you nearly always need to carry a torch with you thanks to the short days. And when camping, a source of artificial light is usually vital. Something like this “indestructible” torch and super handy lantern from VARTA* would make great gifts or stocking fillers.
6. In the winter, a beanie hat like this one from Regatta* is definitely one of my first loves. I often wonder if my boss would mind if I wore one in the office all day; I suspect that wouldn’t be appropriate. Never mind. The good thing about hats is you can never have enough colours or styles and so it doesn’t matter if you’re not sure the person you’re buying for already has one. I love the warm grey of this one, it goes with everything.
7. Anyone who enjoys hiking or any other outdoors activity knows the importance of snacking. I for one never leave the house without some kind of snack bar in my bag, and these 9 Bar are one of my current favourites. They might not look like a great gift on their own, but you could buy a subscription box so your friend or family member gets a selection of bars every month for the whole of 2017. Now that’s a good way to encourage them to continue getting outdoors next year!
8. I don’t need to tell you I’m addicted to these neck tubes; the perfect companion for any hiker, cyclist, climber, or anything else -er. You can get them with pretty much anything on them, too, so you’re bound to find one to fit the personality of the outdoors lover you’re buying for. The ones pictured are this one from Buff* and this one from Ruffnek (which actually has a map of Snowdon on it – cool!).
9. Waterproof cases for phones and other devices can be very expensive and you need to buy the specific one for each device, but a pouch like this TrailProof case* from Aquapac makes a great alternative. I received mine in my Outdoor Bloggers weekend goody bag, and it’s so useful; no “faffage” getting my phone in and out, and clips easily to my bag so I don’t have to rummage in my bag to find my phone.
10. There are loads more fashionable power packs available but I would absolutely recommend this one from Tecknet if you’re looking for something that’ll keep the photograph-taking gps-using outdoors lover happy when they are inevtiably away from the mains. It’s basic looking but super functional; mine charges my iPhone 6 several times with juice to spare. I love mine so much I reviewed it here.
11. Notebooks and journals make great gifts for anyone who likes to plan adventures, note down routes, write a diary or draw what they see when out and about. I get mine from Moleskine (via Amazon!) because I love the size, shape and quality.
12. Know someone who loves Jelly Babies to help them keep going on endurance events? There is only one thing better; Percy Pigs – and these ones have Santa hats on! A great stocking filler for anyone really 🙂 Available from any M&S near you!
13. The problem with enjoying the outdoors is you end up with a whole load of stuff to cart around with you – even for a day out. A decent holdall is therefore always going to be useful. I was sent this super fun and good sized Adidas holdall with bananas all over it* by Get The Label, I shan’t lose that in amongst the piles of kit shall I?
14. If you know any girl (or boy, probably, but I can only really speak for the girls) who wears hats or helmets, bung some Batiste and a Tangle Teezer in their stocking and they’ll thank you – I know I would.
15. And last but by no means least, don’t knock the socks! Get your outdoors lover some great hiking socks like these mid weights from Hi-Tec* and they will definitely thank you. Happy feet = happy hiker! Oh and by the way, I have actually worn the ones I got in my Outdoor Bloggers goodie bag pretty much daily since I received them – they are just SO comfortable, and with two pairs coming in under £20 they won’t break the bank either.
If you’re looking for more suggestions then last year’s gift guide still stands and might be useful, or it might be worth checking out my latest Currently Loving for more ideas. And if you’d like any more information about the things I’ve mentioned here, give me a shout as they are all things that I love and use!
What’s on your Christmas list this year? Any of these things take your fancy?
A number of companies got involved with my gift guide this year by making suggestions and sending me samples to try out with a view to including them here. None of them required me to include them and so you can be sure they are real ideas from me to you, but to be super clear I have marked anything I received for free with a * in this post (oh, and no money changed hands either, no sponsored bits here). The other things I already had and wanted to include.