Outdoor Addict: Outdoorsy gifting guide of 2014

By Whitney Rhodes on December 1, 2014

My family keeps asking the only question I hate more than "are we there yet?"

"What do you want for Christmas?"

Ugh. So in an effort to appease my own family and provide inspiration for any outdoor enthusiasts in your life, here's a list that ranges from Trump style to starving student.

REI Adventure Travel Extravaganza

I've been coveting a trip to Bhutan for quite some time now. High in the Himalayas, Bhutan is a Buddhist country largely untouched by Western influence. They only allow a certain number of tourists per year and do not have a well-developed tourism industry, so going it alone is a little more than I can handle. Enter REI Travel. They organize amazing trips with excellent guides, local connections and know how to handle group dynamics. I mean come on; the trip is called "Festivals of the Thunder Dragon". How cool is that?! Anyone want to be my Santa baby and slip this under my tree?

14 day Festivals of the Thunder Dragon: $4,999

Local Check-That-Off-The-Bucket-List

So maybe your budget isn't able to handle Bhutan. No matter. You can still help your beloveds check stuff off their bucket lists. Everything from ice climbing to paddle boarding can be done in our own backyard. Personally, I want a snowshoeing experience. Or send them white water rafting this spring. How about snowboarding lessons? Or kayaking? The possibilities are endless and I promise they will love it more than that sweater you were about to grab desperately.

Whitewater: Riverrecreation.com 

Snowsports: Crystal Mountain

Snowshoeing that is practically free: Mount Rainier 

Kayaking: Kayak Academy 


Every adventure lover needs gear. My top choice for this category is something not on my Christmas list this year. Because I already bought it for myself and lovelovelove it: a Patagonia Black Hole Duffle Bag. These things are da bomb. They hold insane amounts of stuff, take a beating beautifully and are stylish enough to not make me self-conscious when I'm outside the Pacific Northwest. (Side note: have you ever noticed that? Leave here and suddenly you realize just how different fashion perspective are? Just me? OK.) Oh, and they make a backpacks too.

The "Cheap" Stuff

Anyone who is in to outdoor pursuits will tell you how much the little stuff adds up. For rock climbers it's chalk and tape. For hikers it's good socks. Skiers and snowboarders can never have too many hats and gloves. And everybody loves granola bars and snacks. Consider loading your favorite adventurer up with the essentials they need. They aren't glamorous but they'll be thoroughly enjoyed.