My holiday list is full of golfers. Is there a harder group of people to buy gifts for?
You can’t just go to a sporting goods store and pick out a nice looking 3 iron, wrap it up, and shove it under the tree.
No, golfers have a special relationship with their equipment… one far too specific and personal for a third party to get involved in. Strange bunch, they are.
On the other hand, those of you who are shopping for the outdoor adventurers in your life… the hikers, skiers, climbers… should consider yourself lucky. Your holiday shopping is a breeze!
At least it can be.
There are a lot of small, (relatively) inexpensive, basic gifts you can get them… “staple” gear, so to speak… and it is stuff they actually need and use and will LOVE to get.
Here are a few suggestions.
Patagonia Capilene – Performance Base Layer
Seriously, unless the person you are buying for has an underwear factory in their basement, I guarantee you they can use a few more pieces of this stuff.
Patagonia Capilene is the Cadillac of performance base layers. Sure it costs a little more than other brands, but is totally worth it and you will be the holiday hero if you give it. It comes in 4 “weights”. R1 through R4, with 1 being the lightest, and 4 the heaviest. This allows you to pick and choose based on the activities you are buying for. Skier? Winter Hiker? Pick an item from 3 or 4. Is it for someone who mostly enjoys summer activities? Go for 1 or 2. If not sure, the lighter stuff is more versatile, so stick to that.
Skiers can get away wearing regular athletic socks, but ski socks are made specifically for the demands of that activity and are much more comfortable. If you have a skier in your life, consider getting them something like the Smartwool PhD Ski Sock.
Hand and Foot Warmers
While hand warmers get all the attention, for my money foot warmers are the real super stars. They are specifically designed to fit comfortably in your footwear, be it a hiking boot or a plastic ski boot, and do a wonderful job of keeping your piggies from freezing. They come in two versions, a full footbed insert and a smaller patch that concentrates on the toe area.
Outdoor Food and Snacks
If you are looking for something a little less ordinary, my personal favorites are an energy gel by the name of “Gu” and a line of products from a company called Honey Stinger. The latter makes organic honey based treats, including these Energy Chews that received an Editor’s Choice award from Backpacker Magazine.