What a frickin' year, huh? With everything going on in the world right now, this holiday season is going to be very different than anything we've ever experienced. Which means that we're all going to have to get a little more creative - both with how we connect with our loved ones, and with how we purchase and give our gifts.
This holiday season is more about meaningful, thoughtful gift-giving then ever before. And when it comes to putting a smile on a friends face, it's less about how much you spend than the thought behind it. And so for this year's TREW Holiday Gift Guide, we're switching things up a bit to cater to this new 'normal' that we're living in. As such, we have broken this gift guide into two sections: make it yourself, and small(er) items.
'Tis the freaking season, now get gifting!
Part I: Make it yourself
DIY crafts and fun projects are the name of the game this year, since we all have some extra time on our hands and many people's purse strings are on the tight end. As with many craft and at-home projects, you will likely have to buy some supplies to get going...but nothing on this list should surpass $50, unless you really want to splurge.
1. Homemade shot ski
We can't even fathom a snow brand's gift list without a shot ski somewhere in the mix, so let's jump right in and do it right. There are plenty of tips and tutorials online, but we really enjoyed the way Thrillist took on the task. All you really need is a wooden-core ski that you're not riding anymore, a drill with the right bit, glue, and shot glasses. It's much easier to make than you might think, and it makes for an awesome gift for anyone in your life who enjoys skiing and beverages.
The one qualm with this gift is that it does not necessarily ship well, and we suggest making this for someone who lives locally to you so you can just drop it off rather than package it up. Snowboarders, you can always make a shot snowboard - you just might have to limit it to 2-3 shot glasses.
2. Knit a hat (or a scarf, neckie, mittens)
So maybe not the coolest gift, but we promise that that lucky someone on your gift list will love whatever you make them (dropped stitches and all) and it will mean so much more that it was made by you. Never knitted before? Who cares! With the help of our good friend YouTube, you can do anything. Our personal favorite hat pattern, both for first-timers or veteran hat makers, is right here.
If you don't already have knitting supplies, you can buy them relatively cheap. Going with a bigger knitting needle and bulkier yarn will make this even easier on you, and soon you'll be cranking out hats for everyone you know.
3. Frame a favorite mountain or range
Maybe there's a peak or traverse that you and your buddy have been talking about getting after, but things haven't lined up yet. Or maybe you and your family enjoyed the absolute BEST vacation in that secluded hut years ago. Well, it doesn't really matter where or who or what - all you need is a picture frame, a map or image, and maybe some imagination to sprinkle on top. Add some doodles, route ideas, or other personal touches to really bring it home!
Frames and framing materials can start getting pricey as you scale up the size of your map, so a more affordable option for going big is to back your map with cardboard or poster paper.
4. Whip up a batch of delicious skintrack snacks
Everyone loves home-baked goodies. And with snow accumulating in many areas across the Northern Hemisphere what better time to spend some time in the kitchen baking up some nutritiously awesome snacks for the backcountry.
Now this may look different from person to person, as food allergies and preferences will range. So check in with that special someone before turning on the oven to make sure you're on the right track with your recipe.
Here are some of our personal favorites, both packing a punch of fuel for the hike up and hitting all an array of delicious flavors:
- Cherry Power Cookies
- No-bake PB&J Energy Bites
- Homemade beef jerky
- And last but not least, a classic GORP to round it all out
Part II: Support small + shop
Now for the second portion of this gift guide. For the gift-giver without a crafty bone in their body, or for the time-crunched who may or may not have run out of time to DIY something...here are some just-as-awesome gifts that you can purchase online.
If your family and friends enjoy frolicking through and sliding around on snow as much as we do, then they are sure to love at least one item on this list - if not every. single. item. It doesn't matter how much you have to spend - $5, $10, $25, or all the way to $50 - there is something here for every budget that is bound to wow.
We've gone out of our way to include small businesses and independent artists/makers in this list as much as possible. Shop small, support local!
Sailcloth Shopper from TRUCE Designs
Whether you're grocery shopping in the city or packing up your mountain gear for a day on snow, this tote bag will be your new indestructible best friend. "Made from hardy Dacron or Kevlar®/Mylar fabric, these bags are simple, compressible, and comfortable to carry." Bonus points for this bag being hand-sewn by Luke in the TREW basement! | $50
Nano Tour Pro Fit Compression Socks from Dissent Labs
Classic Gloves from Give'r Gloves
The most versatile glove we've ever worn, making it the best for that resort-to-backcountry ripper on your gift list. Make a pair even more special by adding the custom monogram. If your loved one runs cold, don't fret - Give'r also has their 4-Season Glove and Frontier Mittens with extra coziness included. | $44
Backcountry Bandana from Final Switchback
Possibly one of the most underrated item any outdoors person can have, a bandana is perfect for just about anything. Face covering, food wrapper, emergency tourniquet...the list goes on. And Katie Reim, a Portland local artist and adventurer, has made some beautiful USA-made 'danas that make for an awesome gift. | $28
Adventure Belt from Arcade
Pants always falling down, or just want to gift some style to that friend of yours? Go Arcade. You won't regret it, and your friend will forever owe you. Or just tell them to get some bibs ;) | $26
Tour Neckwarmer from Skida
Like your normal everyday buff, but way better. A real smorgasbord of patterns and colors, all made with love in Vermont. Bonus: the tour fabric is thicker than your standard buff, and makes for a great face covering for your socially distant adventures. Buy one for a friend, then buy one for yourself. | $22
Face Mask from us TREWly, TREW Gear
It was bound to happen sometime, so here's our shameless plug for some lower-priced TREW Gear. Our best-selling Face Masks, available in both Paprika and Funky Fern, are sure to bring a smile (and then conceal that smile) to the faces of your favorite people. Plus, 50% of proceeds go to Oregon Community Fund. Stay safe out there, folks! | $21 while supplies last
Quick Wax from mountainFLOW Eco-Wax
Good wax, good ingredients. It's that simple, and it makes for a killer stocking stuffer. Your bases will thank you. | $15.95
Infinity Sticker from Hydrascapes
You may or may not already be familiar with Gretchen Leggitt's work. If you're not, consider this your introduction. most known for her massive mountain-scape murals, Gretchen has launched a new endeavor in Hyrdrascapes where her infamous art is scaled down and ready for your skis, snowboard, water bottle, cooler, or any other surface looking for a boost of color. | $15
Bamboo Spork Set from Bambu
Whether the giftee in question is a snow enthusiast or not, this perfect stocking stuffer will suit anyone on your gift list. Skin track lunches to urban picnics, this spork keeps up with you and your favorite snacks where ever you end up. | $10.50
Strap On from TREW
Okay, okay, just one more awesome gift idea from our own collection...but I think you'll thank us for including this one. Our new Strap On Voile Straps are the same rugged ski straps that you know and love, with a TREW twist. Chose from the classic Black and Orange, or get a little funky with our Pink Coalition Snow Strap On. | $6.99
Fun Garment Patches from Noso Patch
Maybe not the sexiest gift, but these little things rule and it never hurts to be prepared the next time your friend or family member goes tree skiing. Noso Patches are the unofficial TREW choice for patching up and repairing your technical outerwear....just sayin' | Starting at $4.99
A damn good book from The Mountaineers Books
Whether it's a nail-biting work of adventure non-fiction or a backcountry educational piece, there's bound to be something at The Mountaineers for every outdoors lover.
Donation to a non-profit in their name
A gift card to a local outdoor store
Is there anything better than having a few bucks burning a hole in your pocket and taking a trip to your local shop? We think not. Support local, shop small - and that goes double during the holidays.