20 Stocking Stuffer Ideas for the Outdoor Enthusiast in Your Life
# 1 Nalgene Water Bottle
So a Nalgene bottle might be a tight fit for a stocking, but it’s definitely a must have item for any outdoor enthusiast! Beyond liquid measurements being labeled on the bottle (makes measuring water for rehydrating food easy), they are both cold and hot liquid safe! That’s right – you can put boiling hot water in these babies. Great for hot beverages, of course, but equally useful as a heat source to stick into your sleeping bag! You can find Nalgene bottles at various department and sports stores.
#2 LUSH Toothpaste Tabs
Okay, we’re not going to lie, these tabs have a different texture that takes some getting used to, but they taste great and are a fantastic alternative to conventional toothpaste. They don’t take much space in your pack (nor add much weight at all!) but there’s also zero of them freezing on those winter expeditions and ski trips! Pop into LUSH to check out all the flavours!
#3 Ecocube Plant
Ecocubes are a perfect way to bring the outdoors indoors! You can get various plants from herbs to fruit to flowers and they all come in a compact little box (seed and soil included!). The best part – they all come with timelines and instructions on how to promote the best growth from your specific plant! (So, you’re sure to have success growing your eco plant!) You can find these at your local Chapters or Indigo.
# 4 Roots Cabin Socks
The first year I got these in my stocking was the year I stopped making jokes about getting socks for Christmas.
These things are no joke. They are thick, warm, incredibly comfortable, and Canadian-made. I have worn them for hiking and they are durable enough to resist being worn down at the heels. The best part is that you can dress them up or down; they look good as good in Timberland’s as they do poking up from a nice pair of black leather boots.
They come in both Men’s and Women’s, with quite a few different styles available, but all of them definitely have that “cabin” look and feel.
I now look forward to a fresh pair of these every Christmas!
Check them out in stores during the winter season or shop on their website.
# 5 CLIF or Lara Bar
You may already know that CLIF bars taste good, but did you know that the CLIF Bar company goes beyond ethical sourcing and sustainable production of their bars? They financially support community projects that promote conservation, community wellness and sustainable food production too!
# 6 DIY Protein Balls
You can’t go wrong with a protein bar, but what about protein balls?! Perfect for a quick snack on the go, for a pre or post workout or even activities such as heading to the mountains. Protein bars can be fairly costly, so instead, make some protein balls, package them up nicely, and voilà! There are a TON of recipes out available on the Internet. Here is one that worked for me. Follow the recipe here and your gift will be unique, healthy, and yummy Even add some Christmas bling, or taste to your protein snack such as chai/ pumpkin spice, with chocolate protein.
#7 Thermos® Stainless Steel Food Jar, 710-mL
Thermos is so underrated. The brand is widely available and you can scoop up their products at any Canadian Tire for a decent price.
I chose this food jar because one day I bought it as an afterthought and it surprised the heck out of me. The marketing on it says it will keep things hot for up to 7 hours, which is less than what other brands claim – but when they say hot, they mean HOT.
I have warmed up soup in the morning, kept the thermos with me while working outside on a cold day, and when lunchtime came, I unscrewed the cap to a steaming, hot, burn-your-mouth kind of soup. As if I had just boiled it.
The design is compact and holds up to 24oz of food or liquid, which I find to be an excellent size, as most thermoses and insulated mugs hold around 16 – 20 oz. The design has a groove in it as well that feels ergonomic and makes it easy to grip while wearing mittens.
A good thermos is seriously a game changer for any chilly outdoor excursions.
#8 Pre-made Dehydrated Meals
If you have a friend, relative or ANYONE for that matter going on an over night or several day hike dehydrated meals are perfect. Not only are they great, you’ll save their back from carrying extra unnecessary weight and money, as they are costly. One meal can range from $15-$30. When I hiked the Juan De Fuca Trail, all our main dinner meals were dehydrated. To name a few, Mac and Cheese, a Mexican chilli bowl, a Chicken alfredo and, as shown in the photo above, we treated ourselves to a Dark Chocolate Cheesecake that we enjoyed on Sombrio beach.
These items are more specialized, and you can’t find them in your local grocery store but you can purchase from outdoor shops such as Campers Village, Mountain Equipment Coop, or Cabella’s. If you want to get adventurous you can even package your own dehydrated meals and wrap it as a stocking stuffer!
Lush Handmade cosmetics has shampoo bars that will last you longer than any shampoo bottle and is much more environmentally friendly!
- These bars will outlast 2 to 3 bottles of shampoo – 1 bar = 80 washes
- Stuffed full of essential oils and fresh ingredients to leave your hair looking beautiful, healthy, and good-smelling
- Scents for men and women
- Skips the plastic waste!!
# 10 STANCE ALL MOUNTAIN SNOW SOCKS
These snow socks are great for participating in outdoor activities such as skiing, snowboarding, x-country and backcountry skiing, snowshoeing, hiking…you name it! They have key reinforced areas (toe and heel) to provide extended comfort and warmth winter after winter.
- Men’s and women’s sizing/colours
- Smooth flat toes (seamless) to provide optimal comfort and prevent chafing and blisters
- Added arch support to reduce foot fatigue
- Not your regular mountain socks – awesome designs and colours!
#11 RCR Card
Photos by RCR
RCR cards are more so membership cards for skiiers and snowboarders in the Canadian Rockies. This membership provides members with discounts ranging from rentals to dining to accomodations. On top of discounts, the member gets to enjoy their 1st, 4th and 7th day out on the mountain for free! Can be used at the following RCR resorts:
- Fernie Alpine Resort
- Kicking Horse Mountain Resort
- Kimberley Alpine Resort
- Nakiska Ski Area
- Mont Sainte Anne
#12 Ski/Board Wax
You might have to do some digging to figure out which type of wax you need, but your effort will be worth it! Ski and board wax will surely be appreciated by anyone who skis or boards! Available at various sports and ski stores. Visit our post on where to shop in Calgary for suggestions!
#13 Outdoor Themed Playing Cards
Perfect to bring along on any camping trip, these playing cards have various themes to pick from. Even if you’re not headed out camping, these cards are great to play with at home to help you learn about the wild such as animal prints, wilderness survival and edible flora. Available at CribbageWorks (in Crossroads Farmer’s Market) or at Maptown (off 4th St & 6th Ave SW)
#14 Camp Brand Goods Toque
Camp Brand Goods is a local company dedicated to providing high quality clothing for fellow outdoor enthusiasts. With toques available for men, women, and children, there’s one for everyone! Ofcourse, you can shop online, but we recommend popping in the Livery Shop to find the perfect item; an incredibly cool shop located in Inglewood (seriously).
You can’t go wrong with handwarmers; literally everyone could use them! Perfect to keep tucked inside your mitts, these handwarmers stay warm for hours. Although no one should be relying on their handwarmers for warmth, they come in handy on those extra chilly days.
#16 Light My Fire Knife
The Light my Fire Knife is an incredible multitool. The blade itself is high quality and a fire starter is included at the base of the handle. With this, you can have one tool that can do many jobs. As worded by the producers themselves; “you can gut and clean a fish, split kindling and light a campfire with one single handy tool”. Above all that, the fire starter is also safe and efficient to use for lighting campstoves and barbecues!
#17 4Ocean Bracelet
There’s a good chance you’ve heard of 4Ocean. If not, let us fill you in: 4Ocean is an organization dedicated to cleaning our oceans. With the plastics and other pollutants they retrieve from the ocean, they actually make these bracelets. (Every bracelet equals 1 pound of waste!) On top of their strenuous efforts to clean the oceans, they are determined to increase awareness of pollution impact on our oceans.
#18 Chaos Merino Wool Headwear
This headwear is extremely comfortable and versatile. I couldn’t help but get myself a second one! Opposed to other headwear that are designed to fit extra tight, this material is soft and stretchy. One can wear it as a classic headband, but it can also be worn as a neck warmer or even as a partial balaclava.
#19 Smartwool Liner Gloves
These gloves are primarily made with an acrylic and wool blend: wool for warmth and water repellency, and acrylic for durability. They provide a sufficient amount of warmth and can be warn on their own, but can be warn as an actual liner under another pair of gloves for those extra cold days, or for those activities that really expose you to the elements. As a bonus, the fingertips are touchscreen friendly; making these gloves perfect for around the city!
#20Tube Park Tickets
A fun and different way to hit the slopes! Close and conveniently located in the city, WinSport’s Acura Tube Park is open seasonally! With entrance as little as $10.99 on week nights, there’s no reason not to check it out! Various ski resorts also have tube parks; consider trying one of them out on your next trip to the Rockies! (Mount Norquay, Lake Louise, Nakiska & Panorama)