by Auntie Shelley
The following are some gift ideas for the backcountry mom. As we mentioned earlier, we are trying to keep our gift recommendations under the $100 mark. The following are just a few little things that the mom on your list might appreciate.
I think almost every backcountry mom I know loves coffee, so top on my list this year is the Stanley SS Vacuum Coffee System. When I showed this to Dan he thought it looked complicated and said that he would lose a part and then be in trouble. But since he never makes coffee on the trail, I’m not too worried (for the record, he does make me coffee every morning at home).
This system lets you brew and carry your coffee on the trail, comes in 500ml and 1L sizes, and will keep coffee hot for up to 15 hours. Seriously, it will keep coffee hot for 15 hours!!
Usually what happens when we're in the backcountry is I brew up coffee and just as I'm about to enjoy it, a little person needs my help. By the time I get back to my coffee, it's cold - even if it's been in an insulated mug. Well, this little thermos will give me 15 hours to get back to my coffee. My kids can't possible keep me busy that long can they?
Here's how it works:
To really enjoy backcountry coffee though, the mom on your list needs a nice seat. I have the Helinox Chair One and I highly recommend it. There's a reason why this chair wins awards. It's light, compact, comfortable, and stable. My kids put it to the test on our trips this past year and it held up to a lot of abuse. I don't just use it on trips either. It comes with me to the beach, the pool, the soccer field, etc.
I recently tried out the Therm-a-Rest Treo at Adventure Guide and it was on par with the Helinox in terms of comfort and stability. Actually, Dan thought it was more stable. I think the thicker legs probably won't sink into the ground as easily as the Helinox's do. An added benefit is that the legs fold up to make the carrying case so you don't have worry about losing the little storage pouch.
Just think how happy mom will be watching her children enjoy the wilderness from the comfort of her own special chair, nursing the baby in the chair, snuggling her bigger kids in the chair, reading a book in her chair, begging her kids to "please, please let me sit in my chair!" On second thought, maybe you should get the kids some chairs too. That way mom might actually get to sit in her chair and enjoy her coffee.
Of course, after a really stressful day in the backcountry, maybe what your mom really needs is to sit in her chair with one of these ;-)
If the outdoor mom on your list is a runner, hiker, snowshoer, cross country skier, etc., then a pair of Dirty Girl Gaiters would be a practical and stylish addition to her wardrobe.
And for the outdoor mom whose hair styling repertoire consists of a ponytail (yes, that's me) the Smartwool PhD Hyfi Training Beanie, or any other stylish beanie with a ponytail exit would be thoughtful.
Personally, I think winter hats are a great gift Why? Because they let me hide the fact that I haven't had time to do my hair.
A good winter hat transforms me from the disheveled mom who hasn't had time to brush her hair and is racing her kids to the bus into the stylish outdoorsy mom who's dropping her kids off at the bus on her way out for a run. Really the only running I'm doing is back to the house where I will finish my coffee (that's still hot because I left it in my Stanley thermos) and read outdoor blogs, but what the neighbours don't know won't hurt them.
Here are a few more of my favourite hat picks.
For the outdoorsy mom who likes to cycle around town you might want to consider a trendy purse/handle bar bag like this Sherpani Samba Handle Bar Bag. This is a good sized bag with enough room for diapers and wipes, keys, wallet, a phone, candy wrappers, random pieces of lego, special rocks, exoskeletons, acorns, and the odd pine cone. You know, all that important stuff that outdoor moms carry.
photo from mec.ca
Finally, if the mom on your list doesn't have a good knife, consider picking one up for her. If you want to splurge, a really good knife is something that she will keep for years, but it will cost you. However, there are a lot of decent knives out there for under $100, such as the Gerber EZ Out Straight Edge. It's easy to open with one hand, has a reliable locking mechanism, and the belt clip is solid. For the price (under $35), you really can't go wrong.
These are just a few gifts that the mom on your list might appreciate. If your outdoor mom likes to cook then you might find some more ideas in our next post - Gifts for the Backcountry Chef!