Let's face it: at this time of year, almost everyone is a blithering basket case as the last days of the holiday season approach. If you've already done all your shopping, good for you; go have a hot toddy with the rest of the well prepared people you know.
For me, stocking stuffers have traditionally been the hardest category to figure out. After all, the items shouldn't be too big, and, unless you are going for a real surprise, not too expensive either.
If you have an outdoors-oriented person in your life, here are some great ideas for stocking stuffers to bring the smiles:
Black Diamond Gizmo Headlamp ($20)
With three LED lights, the Black Diamond Gizmo outputs plenty of light despite its small size. Compact and light, the Gizmo runs on three AAA batteries for up to 36 hours, and has three brightness settings. Great for those early-morning alpine starts on Fourteeners, or to carry as a backup in case your ski or hike takes longer than planned.
Heatpacks (price varies, usually $1 per pair)
For the person who always seems to have cold hands. A good addition to a first aid kit as well. Chemical heat packs are activated by exposing them to air and shaking them, and usually last four to eight hours. Sticking them inside your gloves or mittens is a great way to stay warm on super cold days.
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Toko Pocket Wax ($13-$15)
Designed to be easy to apply when at the base of the resort, the Pocket Wax kit comes with a universal temperature fluorinated wax, an applicator, and a polishing felt. Great wax to keep your skis or snowboard running smoothly in between full tunes.
Slope Meter ($23-$30)
Lifelink and Backcountry Access both make good slopemeters for the budding backcountry skier. Want to know if that slope you are eying falls into that classic avalanche slope angle of 35 and 45 degrees? Have a slope meter handy.
Gerber Suspension Multitool ($38)
This might be outside the price range of a stocking stuffer, but really, everybody needs a multitool, and this one has most of the classic tools, like needlenose pliers, saw, knife, scissors, and wire cutters, and still runs less than $40. Most of the Leatherman tools, which are admittedly nicer, start at $50.