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How did it get to be mid December already?? Where has the year gone? It’s almost Christmas and I’ve nothing done!!
I love Christmas, I love the atmosphere, the build-up, Santa and the general spirit of giving, but there comes a point when even thinking about shopping brings me out in a cold sweat. That time is now. And it’s also getting a bit late for online shopping…. Cue full on panic!!!
Wait! Wait!! There is an alternative! What if I told you that you could go Christmas shopping for your outdoor nut (or anyone really) with really easy car-parking and surrounded by mountains? Sounds like bliss right? Hell, get the assistant to help you choose and you can even squish in a walk or a run.
Well, get yourself to adventure.ie’s mountain store in Laragh-Glendalough for the most serene Christmas shopping experience you will ever have. Promise! They’re also online and can ship to you in time for Christmas if you have your order in before midday on the 18th. (Ireland). You can browse online at store.adventure.ie and use the click and collect option if you feel anxious about delivery at this stage.
Here are some ideas for items they may not already have. And something here to suit all budgets, from under €10 for those work Kris Kindles and that little bit more for someone special.
Baabuk Yves Slippers. €69.95
Beautifully and ethically crafted in Nepal, each pair of slippers takes 3 days to create. Sustainable, warm and naturally antiseptic, these felted wool slippers make the perfect fabric for around the house.
Gerber Multi-Pliers. €69.00
We can think of about 600 reasons why this much-applauded Gerber MP600 Multi-Plier tool belongs on your belt. Fail-safe performance, rock-solid design and construction. One handed opening and 14 additional tools. Comes in stainless steel and black stainless steel.
Inspired by the legendary Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc race, Black Diamond’s Mont Blanc Gloves are designed to shed light weather and breathe efficiently during ultra-races and other high-energy endeavors.
The lightweight stretch fabric features a weather-resistant finish protecting you against unfavourable conditions, while the textured grip palm provides a firm grasp on trekking poles, bottles and other essentials.
The Mont Blanc also features digital fingertips that allow you to use your phone without baring your skin to the cold – essential for getting the social selfies to prove your craziness.
Firepot Food. From €7.50 per meal
Surprisingly delicious, nutritious, dehydrated slow-cooked meals – all are lactose free, and many are also gluten free or vegan or both! That’s a bonus for me. Being coeliac means that going on any expedition has a whole other level of stress entirely related to food. So now, even if I have to carry it myself, at least I know I will be well fed. The good people at Firepot have also spent ages developing a compostable bag. So you can now choose between compostable bags (which require a pot to cook in) or the standard waterproof cook-in-the-bag pouches. Regular sized meals cost €7.50. Extra Large portions are €9.95.
MSR Trailshot Microfilter. €54.95
The runner or hiker in your life will love you for getting them one of these. They can safely refill their bottles from streams and even puddles along their route. This saved my butt in The Alps this summer on a ridiculously hot day when only stream left with any water in it was a dusty trickle.
TheTrailShot made refilling our bottles a cinch. It also proved immensely useful at home in the Wicklow mountains – there were a lot of dead deer carcasses decomposing after a tough winter and harsh Spring. The filter sorted out that water, getting rid of the bad stuff.
Darn Tough Socks. From €22.95
Be warned: Buying these socks may mean you run out of ideas for presents in the near future. They come with an unlimited lifetime guarantee – if you wear them out, DarnTough will replace them!!
An amazing 600 lumens oflight turns night into day and the incredible, rechargeable battery life meansit’s eco-friendly without compromising on quality. Two models are available tochoose from. The MH10 which has already become a legend in its own lunchbox as lightest and brightest headtorch in its class. The NEO10R, on the other hand, ever so slightly heavier has been designed with runners in mind. The battery-pack is less likely to slide and it comes with an chest harness for running in foggy conditions. You might even win one in the 12 Days of Christmas competition run by store.adventure.ie if you’re lucky!
Contigo Thermal Mugs. From€31.95
These thermal mugs havebeen around a while now, but with the whole Keep Cup Revolution, these thingsare getting more attention and use. These guys are still the best in my humble opinion. They keep stuff hotter longer than cheaper versions partly because ofthe AUTOSEAL feature, which means the mug only opens when you press the button on the front – when it’s in your mouth. No more coffee down your front on your morning commute.
I still have my original one in fact, and still use it, it still works perfectly after all the years of use and abuse. Admittedly the paint has begun chipping off, but that’s my fault entirely because I’ve chucked it in the dishwasher so often (ok to do with stainless steel variety, but not the best idea with the painted version if you want your mug to stay pristine).
I’ve recently treated myself to this 300ml Pinnacle version which can fit under most coffee machines (as you know, I am a coffee-a-holic and because my old Contigo didn’t have the locking mechanism onthe lid. A super useful feature to avoid unwanted spillages in bags and allowsyou to use the thermal mug as a flask.
This is an invaluable little gift for your adventurer buddy. Every outdoor person should have one of these in the bottom of their rucksack or stuffed in a pocket. When standing around at belays, marshalling a race, watching your kids play a match or skiing or hiking in cold, rough and windy weather conditions, owning one of these bad boys will be the best gift they ever received.
Smidge. From €6.50
Okay, so it’s not the right time of year from them in Ireland, but maybe your mate is heading off to better climes. Developed and tested in Scotland by midge experts in the harshest conditions – seriously – if you’ve ever seen a Scottish midge, you’ll understand that if this stuff can sort those out, their Irish cousin and mozzies are a breeze!! And best of all, Smidge is DEET free so it’s suitable for everyone over the age of 2 (including pregnant women)! The pocket version is 18ml of credit card sized handiness at €6.50,with better value at €8.95 for the standard 75ml spray bottle.
OR Surge Running Gaiters are what any smart thinking trail runner will reach for when seeking on-the-run protection from rocks, scree, and trail debris such asheather, bracken, gorse etc. That means no more laces catching, no more having to stop toget that increasingly annoying tiny but sharp pebble out of your shoe. And they come in nice colours too….. 😀