Black Sheep Adventure Sports’ second annual guide to stocking stuffers for ski touring, ski mountaineering and split-boarding and fanatics.
If you’re looking for some ideas on what to get that backcountry skier or split-boarder in your life then you’re in the place. We’ve put together a short list of some cool gear that’s sure to get the job done!
1. Salomon S/Access Ski Socks:
Socks always make a good gift in my mind and really good socks make a really good gift! And a pair of S/Access ski socks from Salomon are a really good gift. They have all the required ski-specific features in a warm and comfortable package. They fit up over the top of the calf muscle so they don’t fall down. They offer a bit of extra padding along the shin and in the toe box. They’re thinner over the top of the foot to allow for good blood flow through the foot and into the toes. Made from a soft blend of Merino wool and synthetics the S/Access are built for durability and performance. You get the picture! A great sock that’s designed to make ski boots warmer and more comfortable.
2. MSR Striker CX 320 Probe:
The problem with carbon-fiber probes is their tendency to be quite delicate. Of course this means that they can easily break in an emergency, just when they’re needed most! However, on the flip side, carbon poles are much lighter than their aluminum counterparts making it a bit easier to cart them around the mountains run after run after run. MSR recently tackled this particular conundrum with the development of a composite carbon-aluminum probe that they’re calling the Striker CX. It combines a slightly larger-than-normal aluminum alloy bottom section with a regular diameter carbon fiber top section. This dual-diameter, dual material construction provides stiffness and strength where it’s needed for better accuracy without adding any unnecessary weight. A cutting edge innovation that’s sure to be extended into more probes in the future. A great way to give the gift of a lighter pack without sacrificing function.
3. Edelrid SPOC:
This lightweight and versatile device is a must-have for any backcountry enthusiast that spends time skiing on glaciers. It serves as a quick and efficient progress capture when rescuing someone that’s fallen into a crevasse. Or, if you’re the one in the hole, it makes a slick rope grab for ascending back out. Modeled after the very popular MicroTraxion it’s a bit lighter and little less expensive but features the same functionality. I won’t go into detail on the technical aspects of the SPOC here but if you’d like some more you can information check out our review here. Needless to say, if the person you’re shopping for doesn’t yet have a MicroTraxion or SPOC this is a great gift!
4. Espro P7 Coffee Press:
There are coffee presses and Coffee Presses, and the Espro P7 is one of the latter. It features a sleek, vacuum insulated, stainless steel pot and lid to keep your coffee hot while the proprietary dual micro-filter system ensures an exceptionally smooth brew. From the first to the last cup, no grounds or sludge make it through the two filters and into the coffee. A serious issue that plagues your typical French press. The P7 is available in two sizes: 18 & 32 oz. (so 1 or 2 person sizes) and comes in the classic stainless look or a new matte white. An easy add-on to this gift is a good bag of coffee. Something from a local roaster is ideal. If you’re in the Squamish area check out Counterpart Coffee, Small and locally owned they do it right!
5. Goal Zero Flip 20 Portable Battery:
More and more people are bringing technology into the backcountry. This includes phones, headlamps, speakers, satellite communication devices, etc. And all that tech needs to be charged, making a small portable battery a great gift idea! One solid option is the Goal Zero Flip series of batteries. They come in a variety of sizes from the Flip 10 (2,600mAh) to Flip 36 (10,050mAh). I find that the Flip 20 (5,200mAh) ideal for most trips as it offers about 2 phone charges. The units are simple, easy to use and fairly lightweight, from a grams to mAh perspective. A great gift for anyone that likes to bring a little tech into the backcountry.
Well that’s all the stocking stuffer ideas we’ve got for you this year. If you’re looking for something a bit bigger be sure to check out this years’ Skiers Gift Guide which covers some bigger gift ideas. Merry Christmas!