Thursday, December 3, 2015

Gift ideas for the outdoors lover, 2015 edition

Posted By on Thu, Dec 3, 2015 at 9:29 AM

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Regardless of your faith or beliefs, this is the gift-giving season, and either you’re looking for a gift for your favorite outdoor enthusiast, or someone is looking for ideas for you. I wrote about gifts last year, but there's always room to add to it.

Starting with electronics, consider getting the hiker on your list a Personal Locator Beacon. When activated by the wearer when they become hopelessly lost or injured and cannot move, it summons Search and Rescue teams and directs them to the hiker. 

If you’re shopping for a cross-country or downhill skier consider an Avalanche Beacon. If you’re shopping for outerwear or equipment for your favorite skier, look for the “RECCO” label. RECCO equipped clothing and gear have a “reflector” permanently attached that allow special radios used by some ski resorts and search and rescue teams to find skiers buried in an avalanche. The RECCO system does not replace avalanche beacons, but instead works in conjunction with them. 

And external battery packs that plug into a cellphone or other devices come in a variety of sizes, weights and price ranges, and always make good stocking-stuffers.

Clothing-wise, “touch” gloves that allow the use of touch screen devices (cell phones, cameras, etc) without exposing fingers to the cold air are invaluable. It’s also important to protect ones ears from the cold, and earmuffs work well. For the person who likes to listen to music while skiing, snowshoeing or hiking, earmuffs with built-in speakers – either wired or Bluetooth – nicely serve two purposes. Disposable chemical foot and hand warmers that you insert into boots or gloves are also a great, inexpensive gift. This time of the year is as good as any to buy your favorite outdoors lover new socks, and you cannot have too many socks.

For the backpacker or camper on your list, a solar battery charger will keep things running when no other power is available. And a solar shower, basically a large bladder that heats water when left in the sun and comes with a hook to hang it and a hose that doubles as a shower head, can keep your favorite camper nice and clean while spending days in the back country.

If all else fails, how about a gift card to their favorite outdoors supply store? Or state and national parks passes?

Happy trails and happy holidays!

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