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Easy, Meaningful Gifts: Outdoor Experiences

Posted by Loren Drummond at Dec 06, 2019 06:09 PM |

How to DIY a last-minute gift that embodies your values, makes memories, brings joy and can be done on a budget.

There are lots of reasons to give experiences as gifts: you're tight on cash, you're bad at crafts, you're trying to reduce your environmental impact, you (like me) are a known procrastinator. But the other reason is just that experience gifts last.They make memories and create adventures. They are fun to personalize, and they create joy.

Plus, you can pull them off last minute. On a budget. And live your values in the process.

Here are a few ideas for turning your gift into one that looks like you've been planning it all year long.

artist point double rainbow by Deb Culver.jpg
Will you ever forget that time you saw a double rainbow? Photo at Artist Point by Deb Culver.

Plan a hike

Give someone the gift of an outdoor adventure, one they don't have to plan or research. And if it is a gift, make sure it is a pleasant experience. Pack extra clothes to keep them warm and dry, and do something to make it extra. Turn it into a proper on-trail boozy brunch picnic, or take them out for some delicious fare post-hike.

Pair with: Make it more meaningful by combining it with a gift membership to WTA. You'll be giving your friends and family the sense that they are giving back all year long. Plus, they'll get our member magazine four times a year to stay inspired and, if you support our work at the $100+ level, then we'll throw in a pair of these sweet hiking socks from our friends at From the Ground Up. (It's up to you whether you keep them or share them. Make your gift donation by Dec. 12 for shipping before Christmas.)

Drinks by Karen Wang.jpgHot drinks on trail can make a rainy, cold trek much more enjoyable. Photo by Karen Wang.

Create a full on adventure plan

Know someone who really longs for more outdoor adventures in their life?

Make your gift an adventure plan, one where you've already nailed down the logistics or time on their calendar. Pre-plan one adventure a month, commit to hikes after work on summer Wednesdays, rent a cabin or a yurt or build a plan around a theme, like next year's meteor showers and great places to see them.

Pair with: A journal, a hand-drawn map or itinerary, an annual parking pass or gift certificates to state park cabins and campsites. Or, combine it with one of these awesome books for inspiration.  

Beach (9 of 1).jpg
Combine a hike at Cape Disappointment State Park with a stay in a yurt or cabin. Photo by WonderSmash.

The basics + Skills

Nothing shows your loved ones you care about them like a first aid kit. You can even put one together with a quick cruise through the pharmacy.

Pair with: Add a class or course to help them deepen their skill set: wilderness first aid or first responder courses are on offer all year long. There are also a number of winter skills courses and guided snowshoe trips to improve your winter and avalanche safety skills. Our friends at the Mountaineers also offer quite a few courses.

Or, if your loved one has a musical soft spot, stuff a First Aid Kit album in with their first aid kit.

A riff on the same idea pairs a map set with a navigation course or navigation event.

Personalize your first aid kit, and take stock of it at least once a season. Photo by Erik Haugen-Goodman

Share your ideas

Are you DIYing an outdoor-themed gift package? Share your ideas and creations below, in case someone else is scrambling.

Comments

Muledeer on Easy, Meaningful Gifts: Outdoor Experiences

Here's one I've done, guidebook, Nalgene, bandana (homemade w/PNW theme)really good chocolate bar, maps of areas close by, Forest Pass.

Posted by:


Muledeer on Dec 09, 2019 10:32 AM

Posted by:


Loren Drummond on Dec 09, 2019 10:34 AM

Artemesia on Easy, Meaningful Gifts: Outdoor Experiences

I bought a winter seasonal sno-park pass at the Washington State Parks website, which will be mailed to me but a temporary pass came in the meantime, and then I called Whittaker Mountaineering and bought a Mount Tahoma Trails Association MAP from them via phone order, which was sent priority mail and arrived the next day. last year the newly updated map for the MTTA trail and hit system
Sold Out early in the season, so this year we wanted to be sure to have our special car pass and area map set to go. With any luck from the snow gods these two under-the-tree gifts will become a family Boxing Day (December 26th) outing. But seriously, the MTTA map and sno park pass guys. XC ski, snowshoe and sled your happy little snow-loving hearts out guys!

Posted by:


Artemesia on Dec 11, 2019 07:56 PM

Artemesia on Easy, Meaningful Gifts: Outdoor Experiences

I bought a winter seasonal sno-park pass at the Washington State Parks website, which will be mailed to me but a temporary pass came in the meantime, and then I called Whittaker Mountaineering and bought a Mount Tahoma Trails Association MAP from them via phone order, which was sent priority mail and arrived the next day. last year the newly updated map for the MTTA trail and hit system
Sold Out early in the season, so this year we wanted to be sure to have our special car pass and area map set to go. With any luck from the snow gods these two under-the-tree gifts will become a family Boxing Day (December 26th) outing. But seriously, the MTTA map and sno park pass guys. XC ski, snowshoe and sled your happy little snow-loving hearts out guys!

Posted by:


Artemesia on Dec 11, 2019 07:57 PM