As we move into the holiday season, Nevada Outdoor School is counting every blessing! We deeply appreciate the support we have received from the community. It’s truly a gift to get to serve and connect kids 0 - 99 with our natural world.
Getting outside and exploring is a gift you can give yourself no matter the season! However, the holiday season is an excellent opportunity to give the outdoorsy people in your life the gift of being prepared for any outdoor adventure they might take.
The first principle of Leave No Trace is “Plan Ahead and Be Prepared”, making sure you are equipped with the right information and supplies to have a fun, safe and minimal impact outdoor adventure before you ever leave your house. The 10 Essentials, formalized by the Mountaineers, outlines 10 essential systems needed for a successful and safe outdoor adventure whether you’re hiking 1 mile or 50. It also serves as an excellent holiday shopping guide for the outdoor enthusiasts in your life!
You can easily remember the The Mountaineers Ten Essentials list with this fun limerick by Steve McClune:
With first aid and knife on the run
Bring fire and shelter
Extra food is a helper
But water and clothes weigh a ton
Still wondering what specific gifts might do the trick? Here are some ideas:
1. Navigation- Tech savvy electronic devices like GPS units and smart phones offer knowledge to the unskilled navigator, however, failure and non-connectivity rates are high. For this reason, purchasing non-electronic tools like maps and compasses for your outdoor adventurer adds a level of safety.
2. Headlamp (Light) - Sometimes an adventure takes longer than planned. A light source like a headlamp or a flashlight allows your loved one to find their way back to the trailhead even after sunset. Reusable batteries and a battery charger to keep these light sources charged and working throughout the year is also a great gift idea.
3. Sun protection- Even in winter the sun is harsh. Sunscreen is a great stocking-stuffer. Fun, cool, and functional hats, sunglasses and UV protective clothes are usually a hit with outdoor enthusiasts.
4. First Aid - Allergic reactions, bee stings, and minor scrapes and falls are common occurrences. It’s important to be prepared to treat these ailments if you spend a lot of time in nature. Foot care products to help prevent blisters like moleskin, insect repellent and small First Aid kits are great stocking stuffers.
5. Knife (and Repair Kits) – A knife is a helpful for first aid, food preparation and repairs. Even the best equipment eventually fails. Zippers break, chipmunks eat holes in your backpack, and pants rip. A small multi-tool or roll of duct tape are perfect for this!
6. Fire - Having a plan to start a fire in the case of an emergency is key. A lighter or other fire starter is a great gift idea. Looking for something a little bigger? Consider a campstove or lightweight jetboil.
7. Shelter - The most common mistake people make is assuming they will be back as planned. Being prepared to bivouac (stay) through a storm or even overnight by having an emergency blanket or large plastic contractor bag is a good idea and could save a life.
8. Extra Food (Nutrition) – Dense calorie rich foods like energy bars or even candy bars are good stocking stuffers for your outdoor enthusiast to stick in their pack during their next trip outdoors. Does your love one venture into bear country? Maybe consider a bear-proof food storage container.
9. Extra Water (Hydration) - Adults need a half liter of water per hour of nonstrenuous activity in regular conditions. A water bottle or bladder-system helps with this need. Another alternative is a water filter, assuming there is water available in the area.
10. Extra Clothes - Weather conditions can change over time, and sometimes quickly! The proper clothing and the availability of waterproof, windproof and insulating layers in a backpack can help your loved one adapt and continue having fun in any condition.Wondering where to purchase these supplies? There are many reputable stores in our local area that stock these outdoor essentials. If the supply you desire is not available locally or you choose to shop online instead, consider using an online shopping platform such as goodshop.com, givingassistant.org, or smile.amazon.com to support non-profits. When you sign-up for any of these online charity programs you can select your charity of choice. If you do not have another local favorite, Nevada Outdoor School will happily accept your donation via shopping. Gear up and get outside, it is good for humans everywhere.