Thursday, December 22, 2016

10 bomb-proof ideas - Christmas gifts for the outdoorsy him and her

Hi Ho Hi Ho -

Christmas is coming in a few days, so it's time for my annual last-minute Christmas gift ideas for the outdoorsy him and her. I'm calling this a list of 10 "bomb-proof" ideas because you can't go wrong with these gift ideas! They're proven to please!

We've got a true white Christmas this year not only in Boise but especially in the mountains all around us, so your friends and family will need to be properly outfitted for cold weather and playing in the snow!

Remember to support your local family-owned outdoor shops, too! All of these items can be purchased locally.

Here we go:

  1. Snowshoes - It takes a lot of time and money to master the art of skiing or snowboarding, but just about anyone who can walk can strap on a pair of snowshoes and do great! It helps to bring a pair of ski poles for balance. There are many different brands available. Price range: $50-$150 for snowshoe-pole combo sets.  
2. Ski gloves - It's nice to have several pairs that work for various tasks such as driving, xc skiing or snowshoeing (thinner weight), and alpine skiing (warmer). Another reason to have several pairs is because we all tend to lose gloves and mittens. Just part of life. I have found some of my favorite gloves for xc skiing and lightweight use in the work glove section of the hardware store.
3. Winter hats - Can't go wrong in this department, but it's always nice to find a winter hat that has personality! Similar with gloves, it's nice to have different winter hats for situations when it's relatively warm or you're working up a sweat (thinner weight), and when you need a bomber warm hat that keeps you warm in single digits or sub-zero weather. Remember that wool ultimately rocks in the warmth department. Another helpful item is a facemask for the really cold days on the mountain. I also love the smart-looking ballcap-style hats they make for women. 
4. Headlamp - For outdoorsy folks, it's about as easy to lose a headlamp as it is to lose a pair of socks. Especially if you're a family of outdoorsy folks ... everyone borrows your headlamp and it never comes back! You can snag a headlamp for $25-$50, and it has great value for your camping trips, night hiking, river trips, backpacking, even for use around the home! My favorite brands include Petzl and Black Diamond. Get a bright one and you'll appreciate it! My latest Black Diamond model runs on 4 AAA batteries and it's really nice and bright. 

5. Lift tickets, tubing tickets - Surprise your friends or loved ones with a free lift ticket or a date to go tubing at Bogus or the Activity Barn in McCall. Lift tickets everywhere are getting more expensive, especially at destination resorts, so it's a much-appreciated gift. Tubing costs $15 at either location ($18 at the Activity Barn on holidays). At Bogus, the tubing hill requires advance reservations so you really have to plan ahead. Smart thing to do at this time of year. 

Wendy at our cozy cabin in McCall. 
6. Rent a cabin or a yurt for a gift - Backcountry yurts are hard to get on winter weekends already, but there are still mid-week dates available. See my latest yurt roundup story in the Statesman for where to go and how to make reservations. You also could rent a cabin in Garden Valley, Cascade, McCall or Sun Valley for a romantic getaway. Check for rentals at vrbo.comAirBnB and InIdaho.com. Wendy and I rent our Cozy Cabin in McCall for weeks and weekends. Best price in town at $110/night! Sleeps 6. More information on my web site and vrbo.com. You also could check on a Forest Service cabin rental through recreation.gov, or a state parks cabin at the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation

7. Capilene tops, long underwear - For any outdoorsy person who's active, getting out and exercising several days a week, you can quickly run short of tops and bottoms after they get pitted out and pitched into the laundry. So it's nice to have a deep supply of different tops especially ... lightweight, midweight, expedition weight, etc. These items typically run $25-$75. REI and Patagonia make gear with lasting value. Take a look at smart wool, too. 

8. Bike light or bike lock - Help your sweetheart get properly geared up for bike commuting. It gets dark so early that bike lights are often needed for a safe and legal ride home after work. You can find a variety of bike lights at a reasonable price. You can find blinking red rear lights for less than $10. The front lights are more expensive. Get a bright one for a better ride and visibility. Bike lights are one item where the cost keeps coming down and the performance keeps getting better. I thought this Electra LED model looked pretty cool ... $29.95 retail. 

9. Hydro Flask - Previously known as a water bottle, the hydro flasks available today can be used for drinking coffee on the go, taking a long a nice hot cup of tea or hot chocolate on an outdoor outing, or actually packing plain old water. Hydro Flask is a brand by itself, but there are many other brands that make quality stainless steel insulated cups and containers. Pricing is in the $10 to $25 range or more. 

Gold Fork with Quinn and Drew
10. Book a trip to the Springs in Idaho City or Gold Fork Hot Springs near Donnelly - The Springs is much more upscale, with massage serves available, pool-side cocktails and food, and even overnight accommodations. Still, it costs only $16 to go soaking at the Springs. Go there after a day or xc skiing or snowshoeing. Advance reservations are required. Gold Fork Hot Springs is open six days a week except Tuesdays, and you can just show up and soak. The road into Gold Fork can be icy so take a good snow-worthy vehicle when you go. It costs $8 for adults and $6 for children to soak at Gold Fork. Always a good time!

*Bonus item: An outdoor guidebook from Stueby! Boise Trail Guide: 90 Hiking and Running Routes Close to Home, Owyhee Canyonlands: An Outdoor Adventure Guide, Boise Road Cycling Guide, the only road biking map available for the Boise Valley, Paddling the Payette, guide to 24 day trips on the Payette River, are all available on my web site and at most outdoor stores in the valley. My most popular guide, Boise Trail Guide, is discounted just for Christmas at $15.95. Let me know if you want to meet up and get a book signed! 

Hope everyone has a great Christmas and New Years holiday season!
- SS

2 comments:

Kathy Johns said...

These are great ideas but don't forget Roystone Hot Springs in Sweet, Idaho. It's 10 miles west of Horseshoe Bend on North Hwy 52. Call 584-3371 to reserve a private pool or hot tub session for your group at a very reasonable price or a non private swim for only $3.

Romilda Gareth said...

Thanks