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Thoughts, ideas, comments, diatribes, and rambles. A subjective take.

Guaranteed Gear: 8 Holiday Ideas That Don’t Suck

We’re passionate about sharing our stories and motivating you to get outside. It makes everything that we do here worthwhile when we run into one of you in the flesh and you tell us that our articles got you excited to plan trips of your own. It’s amazing, humbling, and drives us to work harder.

Still, we’re not rich, and running this site costs hundreds of dollars. To make up for it, we work in some advertising and we get a small cut when you use our links to buy gear. This week I’m doing something a little different and offering some gift ideas for your most beloved gearhead. Unlike what you find on, ahem, other sites, I make you a promise: these things DO NOT SUCK. These are pure wins that I or someone close to me have beaten to death out of love. They’re guaranteed to please.

So enjoy! Help support Mountain Lessons by clicking our links and shopping for some gear. We’ll be here next year either way, because we love you. But it helps.


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Arc’teryx Cerium LT Down Jacket: A seriously warm jacket made with high quality down that packs small enough for daily carry while out skiing. It uses synthetic insulation in the hood and cuffs to keep you warm when it’s wet outside. It’s spendy because it’s just better than the competition.

 

 

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Snowpeak Kanpai Insulated Bottle: No insulated bottle compares. Not Stanley, not Klean Kanteen, not HydroFlask. This little gem keeps coffee hot for so long it boggles the mind. It seals completely so it won’t leak in your pack. It also carries one 12 oz can of malty soda perfectly.

 

 

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Tenkara Rod Co Fly Rod Package: A 12-foot fly rod that weighs 3.4 oz, packs down to under 2′, and costs less than $200. Are you kidding? The simplicity of tenkara makes it easy to fly fish, gets rid of confusing gear, and lets you spend more time fishing. Great for beginners and experienced alike. This kit has everything to get started.

 

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Arc’teryx Squamish Hoodie: I was asked the other day what jacket I wear while skiing. This is the one. It’s like a Patagonia houdini, but better. At 5.5 oz, it breathes on the skintrack and protects for the descent. You can run, bike, and bum around town in it. It’s not waterproof, but that’s kinda the point.

 

 

Screen Shot 2015-12-03 at 8.25.14 AMBackcountry Access BC Link Two-Way Radios: Sure, you could buy an airbag pack and help yourself if you end up in an avalanche, but maybe you should think about avoiding accidents in the first place. I started using these radios last year and it changed how I ski in the backcountry. Clear communication between party members, from the top to the bottom of the run, makes it easy to plan and coordinate. No more yelling and waving. No more losing your slow friends. These are built to be used with gloves, stash away in your pack, and even tap into weather radio channels. They’re a complete win.

 

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Pomoca Climb Pro Glide Skins: Hands down the best skins I’ve ever used. Durable, light, great glide, reasonable attachment system, and foldable. They beat similar offerings from Atomic, Black diamond, G3, Coltex, and more. I’m not going to buy anything else for my non-race skis.

 

 

 

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Icebreaker BodyFit Hoodie: Yes, I’m supported by Icebreaker. No, that’s not why this is here. The Bodyfit is a crazy-versatile baselayer. I wear it next to skin and it’s a great weight for active sports. I love having a hood (this one fits under a helmet) as insurance against being hatless. The fit is slim but not tight, and the length is long enough that winter wont come breathing up your back. And as with all merino, you don’t get the synthetic stink.

 

 

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Black Diamond Dirtbag Gloves: Simple, fleecy, leather work gloves. They’re cheap, fit well, and are warm enough for most days. There’s a reason that you see guides and ski patrollers using leather gloves. Treat yo’self.

 

 

 

Stocking Stuffers: A few gems to round out the deal…Voile Straps, Glop Stopper, Dermatone, Opinel Knives, Petzl Nao (ok, not really a stocking stuffer, but awesome).


If you really want to make your partner happy and go big on the holidays, then check out the complete ski packages from Skimo Co. Only a dedicated light and fast shop could put together such good deals at such great prices, and if you have any questions about what gear would be best, Jason is there to help you out.

skimo8-300-67

 

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