Christmas shopping is done throughout the year to save time and stress, but luckily for us, the girls are easy to shop for. For two years running, the girls have requested the same single item of Santa: a candy cane! This carefree attitude gives us free rein to get outdoor gear we were planning on getting anyways (but better stuff because we’re not wasting money on toys!).
Stocking Stuffers (up to $25)
Gift card to local fishing shop: A fisherman/woman’s dream! And seriously, do you know what kind of flies to buy for that creek? In Calgary, try the Iron Bow Fly Fishing Shop, Hanson’s Fishing Outfitters, Cabela’s, or Bass Pro.
Dark chocolate: Best trail snack ever… if it makes it out of the house!
Emergency and Safety Gear: Nothing says “I love you” like wilderness survival gear – gear that will keep your loved ones safe while adventuring. If you follow my blog on a regular basis, you will know I am as BIG on safety as I am on fun. I’ve featured four itemsevery hiker should carry. For the top 10 pieces of wilderness survival gear your child should carry, please see this post.
- Paracord bracelet – Whether you buy it or make it, this bracelet is a handy way to carry a few metres of paracord! The cord has so many uses from riggin a shelter to fishing line (inner strands)! Paracord and buckles are available at Michael’s if you’d like to make them yourself.
Paracord bracelet in pink camo
- Whistle – When I was researching whistles, the UST JetScream stood out because it is one of the loudest available, pealess (will work when wet and has no moving parts to freeze up), and compact. It is very reasonably priced too! Every member of the family should have one. Enter to win one below! Available from Mountain Equipment Coop, Amazon and other retailers.
UST JetScream Whistle – tiny but amazingly loud!
- Firestarter kit – Another essential for outdoor adventurers! The ideal firestarter kit is waterproof and contains a fire ignitor and tinder like the UST Firestarter Kit 1.0! Enter to win one below! Available from Mountain Equipment Coop, Amazon and other retailers.
UST Firestarter Kit 1.0
- First Aid Kit – You can never have too many first aid kits! I keep one in my purse, one in my pack, one in the house, and one in each vehicle. My kids carry their own mini first aid kits too (in case they are ever accidentally separated from us)! UST Brands and Adventure Medical Kits make high quality, lightweight first aid kits in several sizes to suit your needs. Enter to win one below! Available from Mountain Equipment Coop, Amazon and other retailers.
- Pro Tip: Add needle-nose tweezers and Polysporin To-Go spray (with local anaesthetic) to your first aid kit. My kids think the spray is magic because it takes the ouch away!
UST FeatherLite First Aid Kit 2.0 – 125 pieces of peace of mind
- Compact Lantern – It’s always good to keep a light source in your backpack or vehicle. We prefer lanterns and headlamps over flashlights so we can be handsfree. Backpackers will appreciate the collapsible silicone Spright Lantern from UST Brands. Collapsed, the lantern’s dimensions are only 2.75” x 3.5” x 3.5” (70 x 89 x 89mm)! Its LED bulbs provide 3 levels of brightness: nightlight setting – 10 lumens, low – 50 lumens & high – 100 lumens. Available from Mountain Equipment Coop, Amazon and other retailers.
|Spright Lantern Closed|
|Spright Lantern Opened|
Gifts For Kids
Kid’s Hydration Pack: Our kids were always trying to sip from our hydration packs, so we got Uncle to get them their own. Now they feel like “real” hikers! For younger children, get a small bladder (1 L) so it won’t be too heavy. We like the MEC Fountain Jr Hydration Pack. The Camelbak Kid’s Mini-M.U.L.E. is also highly rated. MEC Hydration Pack Available at Mountain Equipment Coop.
Pro Tip: If you already have a good kid’s backpack, save money and buy the hydration system without the pack!
|MEC Fountain Jr Hydration Packs in Action|
Sled: A sled is a must-have in a snowy place. For towing kids and gear around the nieghborhood, we love the classic Pelican Mega Snow Glider sled as it’s sturdy, light, and large enough to fit 2-3 kids.
This style of sled is also safer than the fancy ride-on type sleds and scooters that have handles sticking out (a cause of spleen punctures according to my nurse friend at the Children’s Hospital!). Available at Canadian Tire.
Skates: Skates are another fun purchase. For the tiniest skaters, consider bob skates (double blades that attach to boots). For ages 3 & up, real skates should be ok. Although we started our girls on top end Bauer skates, they now have adjustable princess skates (can adjust from size 9-11). They are adequate for beginner recreational skaters and a good value as they will last a few years. You don’t need to go too expensive to have fun, but more experienced skaters should get better quality skates. Available at Canadian Tire, Sport Chek, and Atmosphere.
Technical base layers: This is the ideal gift for someone who’s always cold. Technical base layers are made of wool blends, silk blends, or synthetic materials to wick moisture and provide extra warmth in cool weather. High quality brands layer well and are easy to move in. I wear them under jeans, fleece pants, or snowpants! We have been longtime fans of MEC and Patagonia base layers, but have recently have become acquainted with Terramar Sports Base Layers and are very happy with them (Disclosure: I am a Terramar Sports Brand Ambassador). The materials are high quality, comfy (my Cloud 9 stuff is super soft!), and made for athletic builds. The leggings fit perfectly over my meaty legs and have a cool pattern too. I think I could get away with wearing them as pants! The kids’ stuff is pretty sweet too. Best of all, Terramar Gear is reasonably priced. Stay tuned for an in-depth review! Available at these select retailers and on Amazon.
Enter to win 2 sets of Terramar Sports Technical Base Layers below.
To win Base layers for the whole family, see this post for details on the HUGE #ThankfulForFamilies Instagram contest!
|Terrramar Sports Cloud Nine Full Zip Top – love the full zip, thumbholes, and super soft material|
|Terramar Sports Power Play 2-Piece Set – so cute!|
|Nutcase Bike Helmets – The coolest helmets out there!|
Snowshoes: For fun, try the Tubbs Snowglow Snowshoes that light up with every step (available at Canadian Tire). For serious snowshoeing and excellent traction, go for the MSR Tyker Snowshoes. For a complete review of MSR Tyker (available at MEC), Atlas Sprout 17 (available at MEC) and Snowtrek SS 14 snowshoes, see this post.
|MSR Tyker Snowshoes – Our Top Pick For Safety and Value!|
Gifts For Her / For Him
Stormy Kromer Cap & Scarf/Mitts Gift Set: If you want something special and made in America, shop at Stormy Kromer! Stormy Kromer still makes their legendary caps in Michigan, by hand, and has expanded their product line to include shirts, jackets, accessories, and bags! I am stoked to represent this family-run American heritage brand (established 1903). Stormy Kromer cap and mitts/scarf gift sets are available for the holiday season in a variety of colours and styles. I’m partial to the Harris tweed cap and raspberry Ida gloves shown below. Available online and at select retailers.
Enter to win a $99 Stormy Kromer Gift Card below. To enter to win a Cabin Blanket, see this post for details on the HUGE #ThankfulForFamilies Instagram contest!
For more details on the company and its products, please see my writeup here. (Disclosure: I am a Stormy Kromer Brand Ambassador.)
|Stormy Kromer Cap and Mitts (and jacket!)|
Siltarp: This was on my wishlist forever and we finally bought one this year. Sturdy and compact, the Siltarp can be used to make an emergency shelter, rain cover, or sunshade. Keep it in your pack just in case! Available at MEC.
|Siltarp in action|
Potable Aqua PURE electrolytic water purifier: For the backpacker! Have you ever clogged your ceramic filter with silt or had the batteries in your Steripen die? Either way, you need a Potable Aqua PURE device. The solution the PURE creates kills everything, and the long battery life and solar panel ensure you will always be able to treat water when you need to (just be sure to keep some table salt with you). It is tiny and weighs less than 4 oz so it’s perfect for lightweight backpacking! You can also treat up to 20 litres of water at one time, so it’s effective for families. For a full review, please see this post. Available at select retailers.
(Disclosure: I am a Potable Aqua Brand Ambassador.)
|Potable Aqua PURE electrolytic water purifier|
Therm-a-Rest Treo chair: This is still on my wishlist, but too cool not to recommend. It folds down to only 4.5″x10.5″! At 2 lbs 4 oz, I wouldn’t take it backpacking, but I would definitely take it camping or to the beach! We have a small vehicle and weren’t able to bring 4 camp chairs on our 3.5 week road trip, but would definitely be able to fit 4 Treo chairs! Available at MEC and Atmosphere in Canada. Available at REI in the US.
|Therm-a-Rest Treo Chair|
KEEN Gift Card: For the person who has everything, get them a KEEN gift card! They have a huge selection of high quality footwear from hiking boots, winter hikers, backpacking boots, and sports sandals to casual shoes and boots. I love my Durand waterproof hiking boots! Available from KEEN, MEC, and select retailers.
To enter to win any pair of shoes or boots from the KEEN Canada website (open to Canadian residents only), see this post for details on the HUGE #ThankfulForFamilies Instagram contest!
(Disclosure: I am a KEEN #FollowYourFeet Campaign Ambassador. To learn how you can earn a #FollowYourFeet patch, see this post.)
|KEEN Durand Mid WP Boots|
For the person who has everything, get him/her the gift of experience! Cool options in the and around Calgary include:
- Ski Resort Loyalty Cards (RCR Rockies Card, Lake Louise Plus Ski Card, Sunshine Card)
- Gift cards for Winsport – Luge, Skiing, Mountain Biking, or Zipline
- Calgary Zoo, Heritage Park, Calaway Park, or Telus Spark day/annual passes
- $99 Stormy Kromer Gift Card – Open to Residents of Canada & US
- Technical Base Layers for Two from Terramar Sports (2 adult sets) – Open to Residents of Canada & US
- UST Brands – Spright Lantern, Firestarter Kit 1.0 – Open to Residents of US only
- UST Brands – JetScream Whistle, FeatherLite First Aid Kit 2.0 – Open to Residents of US only
The giveaways end at midnight on November 25, 2015. Winners will be notified via email after the drawing is over and need to respond within 48 hours to claim their prize. This giveaway is not affiliated with Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Google+ or any other social media.
- I am a Brand Ambassador for Stormy Kromer, Potable Aqua, and Terramar Sports. I am also a #FollowYourFeet Campaign Ambassador for KEEN Canada. I have received free products to test, but all opinions are my own.
- UST Brands kindly sponsored the giveaway because I’m a big fan of their great gear!
- I have not been paid to endorse any of these products.
More Gift Guides & Giveaways!
- Rain or Shine Mamma – Holiday Gift Ideas for the Outdoorsy Kid + GIVEAWAYS
- Family Adventures in the Canadian Rockies – Holiday Gift Guide for Winter Hiking and Snowshoeing (with GIVEAWAYS)
- Rockies Girl – 2015 Gift Guide for Outdoor Families
- Outdoors Mom – A Gift Guide For The “OutdoorsMom”
- Wild Tales Of – 2015 Holiday Gift Ideas for the Young Traveler and Outdoor Adventurer
- Tales of a Mountain Mama – Gift Guide for Outdoor Families 2015 + Giveaways
- Play Outside Guide – Outdoor Lovers Holiday Gift Guide & Giveaway
- AdventurousParents.com – 5 Gift Ideas for Outdoorsy and On-The-Go Toddlers
- Brave Ski Mom – The 2015 BSM Holiday Gift Guide for Skiers and Snowboarders
- Go Adventure Mom – The Big Holiday Giveaway
- Mountain Mom and Tots – Best Gear of the Year + Links to Holiday Gift Guides
- OutdoorsyMama – 15 Things Your Outdoorsy Mama REALLY Wants for the Holidays! Gift Guide
- RockiesChick – Holiday guide for the little explorers
- Wilder Child – Unique and Handmade Holiday Gifts for Your Little Nature Lover
- Nature for Kids – Rad Gifts For Outdoorsy Kids
- Moms Who Hike- Holiday Gear Guide
- Hike Like A Woman- Holiday Gear Guide
- Midwest Basecamp – Get Outdoors Gift Guide 2015
- Currently Wandering – Holiday Gift Guide Plus Giveaways
- Adventure Tykes – 2015 Outdoor Gear Gift Guide For Kids