It’s that time of the year, where you’re looking for gift ideas for your friends and loved ones. If you’ve got a weekend warrior on your list, we’ve got you covered with ideas ranging from the great outdoors to gym time to relaxing and treating sore muscles after all the adventures are over!
Carhartt Rugged Flex Fleece Lined Shirt Jac: Admittedly, I’ve never met a flannel I didn’t like. For that matter, I’ve never met a fleece I didn’t like. So crossing the two has absolutely created my ideal jacket. It might be ideal for someone on your list, too. It’s the perfect jacket for in-between fall and winter, where you need a jacket but you can’t bring yourself to grab a parka. Prices start at $59.99, and there are a variety of colors and sizes available. It’s also got the typical rugged Carhartt design, plus a plethora of pocket choices — the inner one is deep enough that I was able to comfortably carry my son’s EpiPen in it!
Northern Lites Quicksilver 30 Snowshoes: Snowshoeing is really underrated as a winter activity. It doesn’t require a lift ticket, there are no lessons required, and unless something goes REALLY wrong, no one’s flying out of control down a mountain. Northern Lites snowshoes are billed as some of the lightest you can buy; they come with both sport and traditional binding, so however you’re comfortable strapping them to your feet, they’ve got you covered. Snowshoeing is an amazing workout and since snow is frozen water, it’s like you’re walking on water! $169 gets you outside enjoying the snow and looking damn cool doing it.
Pelican Go G40 Charge Case: There are pros and cons to bringing your phone with you on an outdoor adventure, though Outside recently made a very solid argument in favor of the smartphone as an outdoor tool. If you do bring your phone, though, you’ll want to keep it charged. No one wants a dead battery when it’s time to snap the sunset OR when you need to double-check the trail map! Meanwhile, in between using the phone you’re also going to want to keep the phone protected from the elements. Like PB&J, Pelican combines an IP67 box (basically, dust and water are not getting in without an invitation, photo ID, and background check), with a wireless Qi charger, so your phone is safe, dry, and topped off for emergencies. There’s an external USB if you need to also power headphones or other devices. You can’t put a price on peace of mind, but you can on phone protection and batteries — the Go G40 Charge Case is $99.95, which is probably cheaper than what a good dry box and external battery would cost when bought separately!
Personal Locator Beacon/Satellite Messenger: The outdoors are amazing, but they can also be very dangerous. One wrong turn on a hike, the wrong foot placement on a climb, a freak storm or avalanche … there are a million ways things can go wrong. If you know someone who spends time in areas where there’s no cell service or it might be more difficult to locate them, it’s worth investing in a personal locator beacon or satellite messenger. The idea is that if that worst-case “what if” happens, there’s a way to call for help, sending a signal to first responders that lets them act quickly without being stymied by unreliable cell phone GPS or triangulating from last known locations. These can run from $150-$300+, and some may require a subscription service, but better to spend a little and come out of an emergency safely!
Gift Cards: Look, sometimes you just plain don’t know what to get someone. That’s ok! If you’re shopping for someone who loves the outdoors, consider getting them a gift card from REI or Patagonia —both companies have made major pledges to protecting public lands and preserving nature for everyone, whether it’s fishing, climbing, hunting, hiking, or just sticking your head out of your car window like a Labrador. By supporting companies that support the outdoors, it helps take a gift card from “I couldn’t think of what to get you” to something that still has some thought and impact behind it!
Indoor and Home Workout Gear
TRX/Jungle Gym XT: Suspension trainers are no longer a new or novel concept-just about every gym in the country seems to offer classes on them these days! There’s a good reason for their popularity though, they’re compact, can be hooked up just about anywhere, and let you do anything from planks to lunges to rows and pulling work with ease. If you know someone looking to create or augment a home gym setup, or who wants a portable setup for travel, these are a must-own. There are a few different varieties, but we recommend either the tried and true TRX or the Jungle Gym XT system. There are two main differences: one, the TRX uses one anchor with two straps coming off it, while the Jungle Gym XT is two separate straps. The difference really comes down to which style you prefer, and whether you want to be able to control the width between the straps. In addition, the Jungle Gym XT is cheaper, at $99.99 vs $169.99. Both are excellent choices!
Kettlebells: They may look like little cannonballs with handles, but there’s an amazing amount of exercise you can wring out of a few kettlebells. Weight loss, muscle development, general fitness…whatever the goal, there’s a kettlebell program to support it. There’s a variety of books from Strongfirst and Dragon Door, and kettlebells can be found in most sporting goods stores, big box stores, and online. Look for single piece casting (in other words, it’s made from one continuous mold instead of welding the handle on after) if you’re using it for explosive moves like swings because no one wants to risk the handle breaking off mid-movement.
Adjustable dumbbells: There’s a lot you can do with a pair of dumbbells, and adjustable ones are great if you’ve got limited space. Look for ones that feel comfortable and solid-Bowflex makes a nice set, but they’re not the only option out there so shop around. Combine these with a book on home workouts and it’s the perfect gift for a fitness nut!
Sporthill Zephyr Hoodie: Look, a good hoodie goes a long way towards post-workout recovery. It’s just science. And you won’t find a better hoodie than the Zephyr. It’s made of a stretchy, breathable material that keeps you warm without overheating, and the side pockets are perfect for tucking in your hands and keeping them toasty. Most importantly, my significant other says this hoodie is very soft and encourages cuddling, so you should definitely get one for the special someone in your life. Zephyr comes in multiple colors for $89.95.
Power Plate Target Vibration: One of the best things to come out of cross-disciplinary workouts like CrossFit is that more and more people are embracing the idea of myofascial release, aka foam rolling and similar stretches. Power Plate takes it to a whole new level by adding targeted vibration to the mix. The idea is that your muscles get some tightness worked out and you get more out of a workout because your muscles got some TLC. Power Plate has a companion app that shows you how to utilize the vibrating rollers and get the maximum benefit out of them, and your muscles will definitely thank you. The prices range from $99 to $299, but that’s cheaper than repeat massages!
CBD Tincture and Muscle Cream: We’re not scientists and we don’t intend to wade deeply into the CBD debate. But anecdotally, several members of Gear Diary find CBD helpful for pain management and anxiety. Muscle cream works great for sore areas, and if you need more general treatment, a tincture is a good way to go as it eliminates any issues or concerns about vaping the product. Also, the Bananas Foster flavor of Extract Labs CBD is pretty damn tasty. Keep in mind that CBD is loosely regulated, so look for companies that provide lab reports-both Extract Labs and Green Grove CBD provide a great deal of transparency and allow you to see details of what’s in the product.
Stocking Stuffers and Small Gifts
Hydroflask: All this working out means you’re probably thirsty. Admittedly, there are a ton of options in water bottles, but I’ll give the nod to Hydroflask because I swear these are indestructible. I’ve dropped mine, left it unwashed for an embarrassingly long time, and generally abused the crap out of it. It’s dented, chipped, and covered in stickers, but it’s been going strong for 10 years and shows no signs of stopping. Plus Hydroflask comes with a lifetime warranty! Prices vary but figure the cost to be somewhere around $30ish dollars, which yes, costs more than buying one from Five Below, but a Hydroflask won’t melt the first time you run it in the dishwasher (I might be speaking from experience …)
NUUN Tablets: Sometimes your water needs to be a little superpowered. They’re little tablets that you drop into water to add electrolytes, caffeine, vitamins, and other extras, along with a pleasantly sweet taste that’s not quite at Gatorade levels of overpowering. The downside is that they can get pricey (a pack of 8 10-count tubes is around $40 on Amazon), but they’re great for recovery drinks or as a way to feel more motivated to drink enough water throughout the day! One pro-tip: certain flavors do not taste good when used as a mixer for whisky. We suffered so you don’t have to.
Reflective bands: You can find these at any outdoor outlet, and if you have a runner or cyclist on your list, pick some of these up. They’re inexpensive but also indispensable as a safety tool. Even if your favorite athlete already has some, there’s nothing wrong with making sure they have an extra or two, because you can’t always assume drivers are paying attention.
Honey Stinger: Look, these are basically just fancy athletic-focused cookies. But they’re tasty and deliver a solid wallop of carbs and sugar when you’re starting to bonk. Also, it’s super fun to say stroopwaffle. At $22.24 for a box of 15, you can spread the love and save everyone from a blood sugar crash.