Some suggestions to stuff the stocking of your favorite adventurer
If you aren’t one of those everything-must-be-done-by-Thanksgiving shoppers, there is still plenty of time to get some great gifts for the person in your life who loves biking and camping almost as much as they love you. In no particular order, here are 5 of my favorite suggestions for stocking stuffers and small gifts.
1. Snacks — you just can’t go wrong with snacks in a stocking. Don’t feel like you have to stick to the same old tired Clif Bars though. This year my new favorite snack has to be Half-Pops (http://www.halfpops.com). Half-Pops are half-popped kernels of popcorn and they are deliciously addictive. They are also most likely available at your favorite outdoor retail store. Moon Cheese (http://www.mooncheese.com) is another great snack alternative. It’s cheese that’s been “crunchified” as their website claims. It’s shelf-stable and provides protein too! You can find this at lots of retailers, from outdoor stores to drug stores.
2. Buffs — I got a Merrell buff this year and I love it! I don’t tend to wear it as a top or skirt like some “Survivor” contestants, but I have used it to keep my ears and neck warm while biking these past few months. You can find wool ones or some made from a polyester blend in a variety of colors. Pricing starts around $20. These fold up to fit nicely in a stocking too!
3. Luci Lights — Luci Solar Lanterns were introduced to me this summer on a camping trip. They’re inflatable and therefore pack down really small when not in use. You let them sit in the sun during the day and then at night inflate them and put them wherever you need light at your campsite. They’re very bright and in fact we set two in a nearby tree to just provide ambient light for our campsite one night. They’re available in a variety of colors and both “warm” and “cool” lights. They’re inexpensive and, if you have a big stocking, you can fit one in there! Otherwise this might have to go under the tree.
4. Bike Lights — There are a myriad of different bike lights out there, depending on what you want to use it for. Flashers are available for your evening commute home, and high-powered lights can be found for night mountain bike rides too. The good thing though, is that they almost all will fit in a stocking! So if someone you know has been contemplating night rides, or even early-morning fat bike rides, a new bike light could be just the thing!
5. Gift Cards — I’m not kidding! I know some people think they’re impersonal, but I love gift cards. If you get someone a gift card to their favorite outdoor store or apres bike restaurant, they really know you care. They know you know them. This way they can go buy the bike shorts they want or the new saddle they’ve had their eye on.
Other ideas that are a bit different and might be appreciated:
A bike clinic or private lesson — if you know your significant other would greatly benefit from a bike clinic and you know they wouldn’t be insulted if you signed them up for one, then do! It might be a great and nice surprise for someone to unwrap a clinic registration or even private lesson receipt.
A set of sessions at a yoga or pilates studio — in the winter it’s harder for us to get out and mountain bike like we want to. A great way to stay in shape in the off season might be with some sessions at a local studio like ROKBarre on Main Street.
Of course, if you really want to go crazy, just get them a new bike! Whatever you do, make sure you find time to GET OUT and enjoy winter!