Black Sheep Adventure Sports Annual Christmas Special – Stocking Stuffers
Well, it’s that time of year again. The warm and sunny fall rock climbing trip is over and the cold winter ice climbing season is just beginning… if you’re into that kinda thing. I have a love-hate relationship with ice climbing personally, I love the climbing and hate the barfies. Anyway, if you have a climber on your Christmas list and need a few ideas then you’re in the right place. Without further adue, here’s our Stocking Stuffer Guide for 2019.
1. Petzl Multi-Hook
This new V-Thread hooker from Petzl is a little reminiscent of Grivel’s offering, just a bit more finessed and thought out. As one would expect coming from Petzl! The V-thread hook is at the end of a rigid metal arm which folds into the plastic body of the unit when not in use. Much like a pocket knife. Speaking of knives, there’s a small serrated blade on the base of the metal hook arm for cutting v-thread cords. Lastly, an eye is provided on the end of the body so it’s easy to clip to a harness. A very simple but well designed and functional piece of equipment. Even better, it’s brand new to the market this fall so it’s unlikely anyone will have one yet.
2. CAMP Foldable Crampon Bag
Basically the best crampon bag I’ve ever come across! It features a folding design that securely holds any crampons in what seems like an indestructible bag. And as the crampons are wrapped up tight, they don’t take up any extra room in a pack. The corners of the bag don’t seal allowing any melting snow to drain out so the crampons don’t rust in a pool of water at home. Simple but functional, the CAMP Foldable Crampon Bag is also inexpensive with an MSRP of $17.95 USD. A great gift for any summer mountaineer or winter ice climber.
3. MSR Cable Picket
Not all pickets are created equal and mid-clip cable pickets, like the new MSR Cable Picket, are in an entirely different league. Especially when compared to the old, simple snow stakes every mountaineer seems to have kicking around in their gear room. These new mid-clip pickets from MSR are incredibly easy to place & remove. Even better, they’re more secure than a t-slot of the same depth or an old-style non-cable picket. Since testing a mid-clip style a few years ago I promptly upgraded all my pickets despite the fact that they’re a little heavier. The ease of placement and improved strength is more than enough to make up for a small weight increase. If you want to impress a mountaineer with a game-changing snow anchor then this is it!
4. Outdoor Research Splitter Crack Gloves
Some people call it cheating, I call it prudent. The longer I can go without scraping the skin off the backs of my hands, the longer I can climb! And while there are a few offerings on the market, my personal favorite are the OR Splitter Crack Gloves. I won’t go into great detail on the gloves as I’ve already written a few articles about them, suffice to say that they’re a fantastic low-profile crack glove that provides good protection while still allowing the feeling of the rock to come though.
5. Joshua Tree Climbing Chalk
Climbers are always in need of more chalk: summer or winter, indoor or outdoor, boulderer or big-wall enthusiast. What’s even better, the stuff is relatively inexpensive! This makes it a great stocking stuffer for just about any climber. However, if you really want to up your game you might think about grabbing a bag of scented chalk from Joshua Tree Herbal Chalk. Yes, you heard me right, it’s scented. Gimmicky? Yes. But still a ton of fun and sure to put a smile on the face of any climber.
6. Mammut Alnasca Chalk Bag
A chalk bag is another inexpensive item that’s fun to give. I find that a lot of climbers seem to skip chalk bags when upgrading their equipment leaving them with grungy old units. Now there are a few directions to go with this gift. You can give a technical, lightweight unit like the Mammut Alnasca. A great gift for sport climbers and an even better gift when combined with the Alnasca harness. Designed to work together, the chalk bag actually connects directly to the harness. Another option that’s best suited to climbers that love to multi-pitch is the Mammut Multi-Pitch chalk bag. Obvious given the name right! It’s basically a fanny-pack / chalk bag cross that provides a little extra storage on a long route. Lastly, you can get a crazy, off-the-wall type chalk bag that’s more of a fashion statement than a piece of technical gear. A great gift for a gym climber.
7. ClimbOn Skin Care Ointment
After using a bunch of chalk, scented or otherwise, climbers’ often end up with a variety of cuts, scrapes, abrasions, cracked finger tips, hang nails, gobies and flappers. Half preventative maintenance, half treatment a little ointment can go a long way towards protecting a climbers’ hands and healing old battle wounds. My typical go-to is ClimbOn, an inexpensive and easy-to-find ointment that works well. There are a number of other options on the market if you wanted to try something different though.
8. Edelrid Mission Extendable Draw
Extremely lightweight, these extendable draws from Edelrid are an absolute pleasure to use and would be a welcome addition to almost any climbers rack. They feature two very well designed, color coded, lightweight carabiners with a smooth and crisp action and a matching 60cm Dyneema sling. I bought a rack of these guys this summer and have absolutely loved them. They weigh almost nothing but are easy to use, winter or summer, trad or ice climbing. I know I’d be psyched to see a few in my stocking.
9. AeroPress GO Travel Coffee Press
A great gift for any coffee lover that likes to camp and travel really, not just climbers! This new AeroPress features all the amazing capabilities of the original in a new, compact, travel friendly package. This means that it brews an absolutely amazing cup of coffee, is simple and easy to use, effortless to clean and doesn’t waste any water. What’s not to like! What’s even better is that the AeroPress GO is brand-new so there’s no way that they already have one. If you Pre-Order one now it’ll even arrive before Christmas.
10. Locally Roasted Coffee Beans
Now that almost has it for this year. However, if you still need another couple of items to fill up a big Christmas Stocking then a nice bag of locally roasted coffee is a great option. As I live in Squamish, Counterpart Coffee’s my personal go-to. It’s a small locally owned roaster that makes great coffee and you even get a complimentary cup when you pick up some beans for home. Something for the stocking and something to get you through the day of shopping, win-win!
Well that’s it for the 2019 Climbers’ Stocking Stuffer guide but check out the Climbers’ Gift Guide 2019 where we’ll look over a few bigger ticket items.