The holidays are upon us! After stuffing yourself with turkey, sweet potatoes, and pie, it’s time to get in the festive spirit. Snow is falling, wreaths are being hung, and a slew of holidays are lined up for people to celebrate. It’s the season of snowmen, gingerbread lattés, and of course, exchanging gifts.

As the avarice takes over, remember that it’s called the season of giving. Think about your friends and loved ones, as well as the less fortunate. One of the best gifts you can give is a smile. However, we all know that’s not what people are writing on their lists this year. As you’re buying a blender for your brother who likes smoothies, remember your outdoorsy associates getting geared up for the next camping season.

 

Camping Wishlist

Tents get rips and holes, coolers get busted zippers, and lord knows what that smell is coming from your hiking pack. During the season of giving, you might want to invest in the experiences, and make sure they’re pleasant. Buying the newest gadgets and trendy doodads for the outdoors is always fun, but the essential items wear down. Nobody wants to kick off the warm spring weather in a leaky tent. Whether you’re shopping online, or visiting brick and mortar establishments, you can find good deals on what you need for when the ground thaws.

 

Check Your Gear

For your own wish list, check what you need to repair and replace in your stockpile. Examine the fabric of your tent, including the seams and mesh, and look for holes and heavily worn areas. Are the tent poles bent, or is the fiberglass shaft starting to crack? Some of the damage can be patched and repaired, but you might just need to update it. Maybe you’ve got kids going with you now, and that three-person model isn’t enough space to suit your needs.

Your other gear needs the same care and consideration. Check the zippers, fabric, and stitching to make sure your gear is in performance condition. What can’t be repaired can be replaced, and you’re in the right season for restocking your collection. While some stores might not have an overflowing inventory of camping equipment lining their shelves, there’s online and specialty stores. Outdoor retailers and online stores will have plenty to choose from. Some will have off-season markdowns and clearance, so you can catch a great deal.

 

Share the Experience

It’s fun to shop with friends and family, but even better when your gifts are a shared experience. A fun idea is to plan a camping trip ahead of time, and you can get and give the equipment needed for it. This can include a luxurious stay at a national park for Memorial Day weekend with all the bells and whistles. A spacious tent, full camp kitchen setup, and cold drinks and fresh food can make it a comfortable vacation.

Make a note of your group’s favorite outdoor activities, like hiking, bird watching, or swimming. You can build an agenda for your trip and buy gifts that’ll suit the activities. A nice daypack with built-in hydration can take the hassle out of a romp through the woods. Binoculars allow you to view the scenery and wildlife, while a headlamp makes nighttime trekking and spelunking easier. The idea is to get gear that will enhance the experience.

 

This can be the most wonderful time of the year for many reasons. Whether you’re going to parties, sipping a peppermint mocha with friends, or just staying in enjoying a seasonal movie, the holidays can bring us together. It’s a season of giving, and not every gift comes in a box. While you’re wrapping that blender, think about giving your time, your voice, or even a hug to show you care. For some, a kind word and a smile can truly make the season bright.