How to choose a kayak
Outdoor Activities | May 19, 2023
November 25, 2022
Outdoor enthusiasts can be difficult to buy for. After all, they know what they want and can be quite selective about the gear they use. Fortunately, the SAIL team is here to help! Our experts have compiled a list of the best gift ideas for hikers, campers and wild adventurers who can’t wait to go out and explore the great outdoors, whatever the season.
In this article, you will discover our best gift ideas for outdoor enthusiasts:
Most hikers already have a few pairs of hiking socks. But do they have the kind of plush, warm socks that provide maximum comfort while also wicking sweat away at the same time? When it comes to base layers, nothing beats natural fibres such as merino wool to retain body heat and keep moisture away from the feet. Smartwool Mountaineer socks (made using a blend of sustainably sourced merino wool and recycled nylon) do just that, which makes them the perfect present!
Winter hiking can be extremely rewarding. From ghostly snow-covered trees to beautiful frozen rivers, the views are often breathtaking. And let’s not forget the mandatory hot chocolate afterwards! But walking in the winter is demanding and winter boots or snowshoes are not always adapted to the kinds of icy terrains outdoor enthusiasts may encounter. Ice cleats, on the other hand, can handle any tricky ice patches or steep slopes they may stumble upon. Treat someone to a pair of classic Hillsound crampons so they can tackle any trail, whatever the weather.
If you would like to find out more on how to choose winter crampons, read the article on the SAIL blog.
The most important piece of equipment for any hiker! Hiking boots and shoes protect the feet against any obstacles the trail throws in the way, whether that’s branches, rocks, mud, water, snow or just about anything else. What’s more, having dry feet can be the only difference between a memorable hike to the top of the world and a miserable cold time. Choose between hiking shoes, lighter and more versatile, or hiking boots for added ankle support. Keen has some great boot options, including the Targhee II Hiking Boots (available for men and women). When it comes to shoes, Merrell’s Moab 2 (for men and women) provide both sturdy protection and good breathability.
If you’re not sure whether you should pick hiking boots or hiking shoes, have a look at the SAIL blog for guidance.
Unfortunately, winter also comes with shorter days and dark evenings, which could put an early stop to someone’s winter outdoor pursuits. Unless, that is, they have a headlamp! Whether you are buying one for a runner who wishes to keep pounding the pavement, a cross-country skier who would like to glide on the trails at night or a camper who just needs to find their way back to their tent, a headlamp is the perfect gift. You may want to find out more about its intended use before purchasing, as runners will require something light that will stay firmly on their forehead, while those exploring the woods at night will focus on maximum brightness. Have a look at brands Black Diamond and Petzl for some reliable models with plenty of lighting power.
Hiking poles can sometimes be viewed as cumbersome and get left behind. However, serious hikers will tell you they are an essential part of their gear kit. Walking for long periods of time with a backpack can take its toll, so giving a pair to someone who may not have otherwise considered them can really make a difference to their back, knees, and leg muscles. There are a few factors to consider when purchasing hiking poles, including (but not limited to) their total weight, how comfortable their grip is and the material they are made of. To find out more about how to choose hiking poles, read our blog article. Otherwise, have a look at the different types of poles offered by staple hiking brand Black Diamond, or in SAIL’s own range.
Let’s be honest, most outdoor enthusiasts already have one (or several) water bottles knocking about in their cupboards. But do they have the kind of luxury insulated water bottle that will keep their drinks at the perfect temperature for hours on end? Go further than the usual plastic bottle with an insulated travel mug or tumbler for that much-needed pre-hike morning coffee, or a stainless-steel bottle that will keep drinks cold or hot on long journeys. Brands Yeti and Hydro Flask are both staples when it comes to making sure outdoor enthusiasts have a nice drink to take along on their summer or winter activities.
Have a look at our blog article on how to pick the perfect hydration system for hiking.
A microfibre towel is the gift that keeps on giving. Campers, hikers, backpackers and anglers could all use one, whether it’s to lie on the beach, to do yoga, to towel off after a camping shower, to wipe their hands in the boat after handling a slippery fish or to clean their camera lens after snapping beautiful outdoor shots. Microfibre towels pack small, but are extremely absorbent, making them the perfect accessory for backpackers conscious of every gram they add to their backpack’s load. Make sure you find out what it will be used for so you can pick the right size. Take a look at brands Packtowl or SAIL for a wide choice of materials, lengths and colours.
When you’re alone in the wilderness, being able to get in touch with someone can be crucial. Make sure your loved ones are equipped with a solar charger to keep their phone alive and kicking, even in the most remote places. Some of Biolite’s products can even be chained with multiple other solar panels to collect as much power as possible!
Do you know any outdoor lovery who want to up their game and get into orienteering? A compass is the perfect gift. Give them the only thing they’ll need to keep exploring uncharted terrain and get safely back home afterwards. There are many features to look for when choosing a compass, as these can range from extremely accurate tools designed for experienced hikers and adventurers, to easy-to-use compact compasses. Brands Silva and Sunnto are experts in this field and manufacture models for every type of orienteering enthusiast
The most important item in a backpacker’s gear kit! Since it can be an expensive purchase, giving a backpack to a loved one can be the ultimate gift. First, determine the type of adventure they are likely to go on so you can choose the right size. Are you shopping for someone who goes on day hikes nearby? A camper who loves a good camping spot on a fully equipped site? A minimalist backpacker leaving on a multi-day hike through the wilderness? Once you’ve settled on the right bag size and type, look for backpacks with breathable fabric on the back and plenty of adjustable straps, such as those offered by brand Osprey.
We all know someone who loves being outside but doesn’t love the cold. SAIL has the perfect present for them! From clothing gear including heated insoles, hand warmers and heated vests, to heated and padded camping chairs, there is a wide range of items available to make winter that much more fun. Browse our range of heating accessories, fill someone’s stocking, and make the cold season just that little bit warmer.