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Christmas gift guide for the outdoor lover!

Rochelle, myself, and our families are lovers of the outdoors year-round. Including those -25 days on the prairies. Because of all of our outdoor winter adventuring we have discovered some amazing items that make the snow and cold so much more enjoyable. We have put together a list of our favourites into a guide for you, this season. We know that some of you have bigger budgets for gift giving then others so we have created 2 lists; a low cost and higher cost list.

 

All of the items listed we have used ourselves. If we have mentioned a brand name it is because we really love it, but please know we are not affiliated with any of these brands and will receive nothing from the brand if you decide to purchase it.

 Lower cost gift idea's and great stocking stuffers!

  • Little Hotties Toe and Hand warmers: My kids don’t ski or skate in -15 Celsius (or colder) without these in their boots, ski boots, skates, or mittens. Here is a tip for getting the toe warmers into the ski boots and skates, without bunching: With the ski socks already on, and pulled up (no bunching socks) take the backing off the toe warmer. Apply the toe warmer with its sticky backing to the child’s foot (on top of the sock). Really push it on well. Then open the ski boot or skate as wide as you can, while the child slides their foot into the boot. The last 3 winters my family has skied over 60 times with the kids and this trick is the best we’ve found for preventing the toe warmer from bunching. Comfortable and warm toes for the skiing win, all season.

 

  • Vaseline: Keep your head out of the gutter here folks. Vaseline is a great barrier for any exposed skin. I learned this trick when running many freezing cold Resolution Runs on New Year’s eve in Calgary. Simply apply Vaseline to any exposed areas of the skin. Focus on places like  around the eyes, nose, mouth. This is a great inexpensive gift to help your favourite winter runner prevent chapped or frostbit skin. 

 

  • Balaclava: As you continue with this list you will see Rochelle and I love merino wool for keeping warm. Balaclavas are no different. They are thin enough to fit safely under a helmet, while still keeping the user toasty warm. Smartwool is my favorite. They have various weights depending on the winter adventure you are about to partake in. 


  • ICETRAX: Keep your loved ones from falling and bruising their ego – or worse. Ice tracks are a great edition to any shoe or boot, when walking on icy terrain. They are a simple studded grip you can add to any shoe or boot.

 

  • Tea. Coffee. Hot Chocolate. You know your outdoor lover the best. Consider a little stocking stuffer of their favourite tea, coffee, or hot coco. There is nothing better (indoors or outdoors) on a cold day, then a mug of a nice hot beverage. Up the gift giving game by adding in an insulated travel mug. Yeti brand should definitely be on the higher cost list, but truth be told any insulated mug when gifted from the heart works in a pinch. I mean who takes 12 hours to drink their hot chocolate on a cold day outdoors anyway?


 Our last 2 low-cost gift ideas are truly gifts from the heart.

 

  • If you have the skill, why not knit or crochet, a toque or scarf for your active outdoors person? We promise they will think of you every time they put it on. Plus there is no better way to match their outdoor gear!


  • Slow Cooker Meals: 2 ways to do this. Make a fresh slow cooker meal before you head outside for the day. Or pre-make some slow cooker meals and freeze them. Either way, throwing a meal into the slow cooker in the morning, and coming home to a hot meal at the end of the day will warm any outdoor lover's heart and tummy. The fact that you have made it for them, is even better!

 

Higher cost gift list:

  • Heated socks: the best winter investment I have ever made. Lenz socks might be a bit pricey, but having happy/warm feet while skiing all day is priceless. I just started my 3rd season with my same Lenz socks. The battery connects to your phone via Bluetooth and an app, making it easy to adjust the heat setting, without digging through all of your perfectly placed layers. The battery on level 4/9 lasts me 6-7 hours, and is rechargeable. Lenz also makes heated mitts, vests and more.  


  • Merino Wool Socks/Long Underwear: My family is a Smartwool family. I wear Smartwool socks year round. Ankle socks for spring/fall, and taller socks for winter. I have converted my kids and husband, now they wear them all winter too. We also wear the Smartwool brand long underwear. These just like the balaclava and socks can be purchased in a varying of weights. Thicker for really cold days, and thinner on warmer days. Merino wool is nice because it isn’t itchy, is not bulky, yet it is so warm, and it dries quickly if you accidentally get a boot full of snow! 


  • Oslang Boots: Canadian made for Calgary’s wacky winter weather. The sole of the boots has built in spikes that can be flipped down or up depending if you need the extra grip or not. These are especially great when you don’t bounce back up like you did when you were in your 20’s. They come in lots of different styles, perfect for every occasion.


  • Hot Stone massage. Rochelle and I would recommend a massage for any active person on your list, anytime of year. Hot Stone massages are an extra little treat in the winter, for some added warmth. Muscle recovery is key for those tight well used muscles. 


  • Does your outdoor lover have a 4-legged friend who loves to adventure with them? Why not consider buying their 4-legged friend some booties too? Mitts For Mutts are my dog, Scout's favourite boots. Fleece, with a little grip, and elastic Velcro is great for keeping the boots from falling off in the deep snow. Just make sure they are tight around their ankles or you will be trekking back through the snow to find the lost one from your walk.


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