Lifestyle, Reviews

6 Perfect Christmas Stocking Fillers…

Ok, so it is now December and it seems legitimate to start thinking about Christmas.  I did a festive-themed post last year which was well received so I thought I would jump on the bandwagon again this year!

My family often bemoan the fact I’m difficult to buy gifts for.  They know I’m very particular about my equipment choices and feel they have no chance of getting me something that I actually need or want.  I concede it is hard to know where to start, so I thought I’d stick my neck out to come up with a short list of relatively inexpensive items that I imagine most people who spend time in the outdoors would be glad to receive…

1.  LuminAid Packlite Nova USB (about £20)  Such a versatile device I think everybody could find a use for one.  A solar charged (or USB charged), flat folding, lightweight, waterproof, bright LED lantern.  I have the old model, the Halo, and have used it for everything from lighting up a tent in the Atlas mountains to hanging from the awning on the Dub for atmospheric lighting on a summer’s evening.

2.  Aquapac Trailproof Phone Case (about £15)  So your phone says it’s waterproof eh? Er, have you checked the standard for IPX7 – ‘protected against immersion for 30 minutes to a depth of less than 3ft/1m’.  My friends and I can confirm that IPX7 devices do not reliably stand up to use in paddlesports and to be safe you are still better off using a waterproof case…

3.  Alpkit Clippers (£6-£10 per pack)  These are so useful that I have loads and use them all the time, for, well, clipping stuff together!  All of my rucksacks, waterproof cases and SUP boards have these bad boys dangling from them ready to clip more stuff on…

4.  Alternative Toiletries (£8-15)  Sometimes a bottle of bubble bath just doesn’t cut it.  For the general, out in all weathers outdoor sports fan either Pro Balm designed for climbers, or Rowers Hand Rub, is awesome for dealing with damaged, weather beaten hands.  And for the cyclists, once you’ve started using chamois cream you’ll never look back; my favourite is Paceline Chamois Butt’r, which even comes in a ‘for her’ version too.

5.  BTR Flexi Mount for Phone/GoPro (£15)  A friend recommended this to me and since I bought mine it mostly stayed attached to my GoPro and goes with me on every adventure.  Great for capturing action shots when there is nobody to hold the camera for you!

6.  Changing Robe (about £30-£120)  There is rarely a changing room in the outdoors, but a changing robe is a welcome alternative.  Wild swimmers (or dippers!), paddlers, surfers or simply soaked through mountain bikers and hikers will all appreciate a robe offering instant warmth, a place to change, a way to get dry and temporary protection from the elements.  Dryrobe are the market leaders offering a range of robes from super luxury to basic towelling robes, but Palm offer versions called the Poncho and Poncho Grande and basic towelled robes are widely available at prices from about £30.

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Changing robes add welcome warmth even when it is proper chilly…

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