(Updated February 2023)
It is a week before Christmas and the panic has set in for many people. I on the other hand am feeling completely relaxed, because I have a little secret. I visit a store like MEC, SAIL, or my local outdoor shop, and it becomes a one-stop shop for everyone on my list no matter how hard they are to buy for.
The outdoorsy person, travel lover, or gear head become the easiest people to buy for because there are so many little gadgets to try out. Here are some of my picks this year:
Mountain House – These packets are perfect for the lazy camper or the ambitious backpacker! There are so many options that there is a meal choice for every picky eater. Average Price Range is $13-16CAD.
Lifestraw – The receiver will love you for this stocking stuffer. How could they not – you are trying to save them from getting a deadly disease! From travelling to countries with unsafe drinking water to hiking near a muddy stream, the Lifestraw will make contaminated water safe. $34CAD.
Smartwool Socks – As per Smartwool’s current social campaign, the older you get, the more you appreciate receiving socks for Christmas! I wear the PHD Outdoor Crew and I love them because they don’t bunch and they keep my feet warm. Plus when you are short of room in your suitcase or backpack, merino socks are perfect because you can wear one pair multiple times – they don’t stink and they are self-cleaning. They are not cheap but completely worth the splurge! Average Price: $25-$36CAD
Leatherman Style PS – Always be prepared for the unexpected. The Style PS is a travel-friendly, keychain-size multi-tool with spring-action pliers, scissors, tweezers and more. Since there are no blades and the scissors are smaller than 4 inches, you can bring this handy tool along with you through airport security – unless of course you get a cranky TSA agent who wants a tool for his or her self! Retail Price: $45.95CAD
Nuun Hydration – Electrolyte-replacing drink tablets in a little portable tube make great stocking stuffers. The tablets are great for endurance events, long bike rides and hikes, or any other event that requires a quick boost. I find that these tablets are also great when you are feeling under the weather and need a little bit of healthy energy. My favourite is the Tri Berry but there are plenty to choose from. $11CAD – Nuun Canada
Hydro Flask – The Hydro Flask 621ml / 21oz is my go to for travel, because it fits in my knapsack side pocket, and every airport now has water stations for easy fill-ups on the go. This means you can stay hydrated while travelling, and not have to buy disposable plastic bottles. Plus, the double-walled insulation keeps your colds cold for over 24 hours! Win! There are multiple sizes and 14 colours to choose from, so everyone on your list will be happy, and there will be no excuse for someone mistaking yours for theirs! 621ml – $42CAD at MEC
Lorissa’s Kitchen – These Premium Steak Strips make the perfect hiking snack to give you the protein you need. This is a tasty and gourmet alternative to those jerky treats that you can buy at the counters of every convenience store. I found these at my local grocery store and the Korean BBQ is my favourite of the four flavours. $6.29CAD (We used to buy it at Fortino’s but can’t find them in Canada anymore)
Ledlenser Headlamps and Flashlights – The headlamp is a must for those adventurers who like to do winter camping, backpacking, backcountry skiing, and everything in between. Headlamps are also great for the handy, DIY types who are always finding themselves in dark situations whether it be under the sink or under the cottage. My personal favourite is the MT10 Flashlight for one very small feature – the Strobe Light. As someone who is female and often travels solo, the strobe light becomes a safety feature that I can use to disorient unsavoury characters! MH10 Headlamp – $138CAD / MT10 Flashlight – $128CAD – Available online at Ledlenser.ca
I could spend hours in my local outdoor shop, and this list could go on forever, but I don’t want to ruin your fun. Get out there and find your own must-haves for everyone on your list! Share your list in the comments below, I would love to hear your go-to items!
*I do work with Hydro Flask and the Leatherman Tool Group through HT Designs, but they did not review this blog and all opinions are my own.*