Outdoor Adventures: Gift ideas for the outdoor minded
The gift-giving season is under way. From the slopes to the trails, there are a lot of choices for the outdoor-loving enthusiast. Here are some goodies that may be of interest. Some are local. Other’s aren’t.
Reading a good book by the wood stove is a winter rite in these parts. North Country writers Rebecca Oreskes and Doug Mayer have assembled a rich collection of interviews with outdoor icons in Mountain Voices: Stories of Life and Adventure in the White Mountains and Beyond. Previously published in the Appalachian Mountain Club journal Appalachia, the absorbing tales capture the soul and vigor of mountain luminaries from mountaineering to conservation. Pioneers like climber Rick Wilcox, explorers Brad and Barbara Washburn, and boot maker Karl Limmer tell stories in their own words. Mountain Voices (outdoors.org, $18.95) pays homage to those who helped make the White Mountains what they are today.
Ski weekends or holidays in the Granite State? Consider a Holiday 4-Pack from Ski New Hampshire (skinh.com). The transferable lift tickets are designed to save between $10-$26 off a holiday or weekend ticket at ski areas like Loon, Cannon, Dartmouth, Pats Peak, Ragged, Sunapee, Gunstock and others. Tickets must be selected from at least two different ski areas. There are various price categories. Purchases must be made by Dec. 20.
Ski Vermont? Try a Sugarbush Quad Pack. For $199, get four lift tickets to the Mad River Valley mountain with no blackout dates. The tickets are transferable and for sale only during November through sugarbush.com. Or, head to Stowe with an adult Seven Pack at $525, making it $75 to ski Stowe with no blackouts. Not bad considering the regular ticket window price is $92.
Take those tickets to ski country and walk on the moon without leaving earth, well sort of, with the Tecnica Moon Boot W.E. Duvet. The international company with offices in West Lebanon has been making the Moon Boot since 1970. Combining fashion and warmth, the storied boot features goose down and is a bit slimmer than year’s version. Take off with the Moon Boot (tecnicausa.com, $200), whether it be for a trip to the slopes or walking around the streets of a mountain ski town. Comes in white, black, blue and bordeaux.
Tecnica also serves up the Cochise Pro Light ($900), a backcountry ski boot with a light-weight liner that also wicks away moisture from the foot. The high performance boot also has a light shell for those who demand high performance.
With those boots, step into Blizzard’s light wood core Kabookie (blizzard-ski.com, $850). The sidecountry – that’s a cross between lift access and backcountry – ski has no metal but features a rocker tip and tail. There’s a bit of a camber underfoot.
Rescue bands are pieces of emergency gear worn as an accessory. Braided bracelet, necklace, key chain, pet collar and more, the colorful add-ons are handmade from durable paracord. The idea is to wear the bands and then unravel them when in dire straits. Outdoor addicts have used them as splints, to tie down camping gear when it fell off a car roof and as a spare lace (albeit a long one) during a running race. The bands come in various lengths, can hold about 550 pounds and are also available for fundraisers. Deploy the band (rescuebands.com, $8.99-$39.99) and tell the company about it, they’ll replace it free.
Winter’s icy grip often makes just getting out of the driveway a challenge, never mind hiking or running. That’s where MICROspikes (Kahtoola.com, $59) come in, an invaluable piece of equipment for many an outdoor adventurer. From shoveling the driveway to navigating wet, glazed rocks, pesky ice and hard-packed snow, Kahtoola MICROspikes fit over boots or shoes. In red or black, the simple-to-use accessory provides that needed traction for the world of winter. Get them at REI.
These ski poles have soul. Soul poles (soulpoles.com, $125) are old-school style bamboo poles made by hand in Park City, Utah. Those environmentally aware will appreciate the biodegradable shafts with grips and baskets made up of recycled plastics. For those who want more than a straight vintage look, there are styles beyond natural bamboo. Not a skier? They make trekking poles.
(Marty Basch can be reached through onetankaway.com).