It’s that time of year when we’re all bombarded with things that we should buy. I don’t want to contribute to the consumerism, but… I personally love buying gifts for people. So in the spirit of giving, this Christmas Gift Guide focuses on items that someone will actually use - gifts that I would love to receive and cherish for as long as they live - which should be a while! You can also buy most of these gifts from the comfort of your sofa, so you don’t have to endure the chaos of the shops at this time of year. Merry Christmas and happy sustainable, practical shopping!
Conquer Lake District Hiking Patches
I am a huge fan of the sew-on patch. A couple of years ago, I bought a beautiful wool Pendleton blanket when I was travelling in Portland, Oregon, and since then have collected and sewed patches from all over the world onto it. For me, a simple patch is the perfect memento from a place - instead of buying something you’ll use once and then forget about. I came across Conquer Lake District at Kendal Mountain Festival and loved the concept. They make patches for climbs in the Lake District, each with beautiful designs and colours. I really think these would be a perfect Christmas gift for anyone who loves hill-walking in the Lakes, or for yourself to remember those fun climbs you’ve done. They only cost £5 each so make the perfect little stocking filler.
This gift is a little more pricey, but I have worn it probably 80% of the time since I got it - and been asked about it - so I thought it was worth including in the list. The Snap-T is made from 80% recycled polyester, is Fair Trade certified, super comfortable, warm and looks great (I think, anyway!). The new season pattern that I’m wearing in the photo is inspired by Patagonia’s Save The Blue Heart campaign and I absolutely love it. I wear my Snap T for hiking, climbing, around town, around the house, basically everything. It’s undoubtedly my favourite fleece and one I will keep for life. A perfect gift for the outdoorsy fleece-lover, male or female.
You really can’t go wrong with a pair of wool socks, and RMBLR make the most beautiful ones. I like my RMBLRs because I can wear them either out in the hills on a hike, or day to day around town. My personal favourites are the Kinder Sheeps (pictured below) but I must admit I have one of each type and love them all. At £15.99, the RMBLR socks are a reasonably priced gift for someone who loves rambling.
A more practical gift that someone will actually use, while also being thoughtful and sustainable. I’ve recently fallen in love with Lush’s deodorant and soap bars; they smell so good, are zero waste, and I love using natural products on my body. Either a deodorant bar or a soap bar would make a great gift for someone looking to use less plastic. You can thoughtfully choose the type and smells you want, along with the size so you can spend as much or as little as you like. The two bars in the photo below were around £5-6 each, but last a really long time. I use the witch-hazel deodorant bar, and the sea vegetable soap.
rCup Reusable Coffee Cup
I talked about my new rCup on Instagram, as I was kindly gifted the cup by the company. rCup is made from recycled paper cups, is leak-proof, keeps your drink hot, and has a really interesting design. I have used my rCup numerous times and absolutely love it for long car journeys, commutes into work, walks in the hills and everything else. The cup is well-priced at £12 and would make an excellent Christmas present, something someone would actually use. I would highly recommend rCup if you’re looking for a reusable coffee cup.
Alpkit are renowned for making cheap but good quality stuff. I can certainly attest for that with this little titanium spork. No frills, it does exactly what it says on the tin - let’s you eat your food, and bends down so it can be packed away really small. It only costs £7 so would make a great gift for someone who wants to do more camping.
I’ve been a fan of Home of Millican for a few years now, and absolutely adore their rucksacks. They make the perfect bag to take you from trail to town - from rambling in the hills to sitting in your favourite cafe. They have a range of styles and colours so you can pick a bag that’s perfect for whoever you’re buying for. Or if your budget is small, they also do great travel accessories like wash-bags, travel wallets and utility pouches. Home of Millican make their bags from recycled materials and design bags for the conscious traveller. The bag I’m using is an 18L Fraser the Rucksack in Tarn, costing £115.
Women’s Adventure Books
I am endlessly inspired by adventurous women, and have read a few books I have absolutely loved that would make a perfect gift. For the climber, End of the Rope by Jan Redford follows a young climber through relationships, travel and climbing pursuits. It inspired me to start leading, gain confidence and strength. For the girl who loves snow, Unbound by Steph Jagger; a journey around the world skiing and breaking a world record. Another story that goes beyond just adventure and tackles emotions, relationships and life. And for the hiker, Wild by Cheryl Strayed; probably my all-time favourite adventure book about a woman who hikes the Pacific Crest Trail following the death of her mother and breakdown of marriage. Any of these books would make a perfect gift.
I’m pretty sure that Organic make the prettiest chalk bags out there, colourful, patterned and with a thick canvas material that makes them durable. The perfect gift for a new climber or someone in need of a new chalk bag. Pair with Friction Labs chalk for a perfect Christmas combo.
Though physical gifts are lovely to give, I truly think the best thing you can buy is an experience for someone you love - something you can share together. Canopy & Stars is a luxury camping and cabin company with beautiful locations across the UK and beyond. A night in one of these would be the perfect gift for someone who wants to get out into the wild but enjoy a little bit of luxury as well. You can gift whatever amount you want with a gift card and allow whoever you’re buying for to choose their cabin. I’m pretty much obsessed with all of them and think any would make a perfect night away.
So that’s my Christmas Gift Guide. I truly think that your loved ones will appreciate any gift you give them, so don’t let the festive season make you stressed or anxious. I love giving gifts, but more than that, I love the festive season as a time to spend with family, to relax, appreciate, and make plans for the new year.