REI gift card

How to Spend Your Gift Card: Cheap Outdoor Gear for Yourself

If you’re like most outdoors-lovers, odds are you landed a gift card or two to shop for yourself this year. So if you didn’t get everything you want, or just need some ideas on how to spend that money, here are some outdoorsy gift ideas that won’t break the bank.

The holiday season means yuletide cheer and picking out those perfect gifts for loved ones. It also means hoping you receive some thoughtful gifts yourself. Unfortunately, you might just end up with an itchy hand-me-down wool sweater, gas station car freshener, or nearly expired eggnog as a present.

But chances are you received a few gift cards or a holiday check from Nana ready to be spent. Here are some wonderful and affordable outdoorsy gear options for you, from you.

Skida Tour Neckwarmer: $22

Skida Tour Neckwarmer

Not all neck tubes are created equal. Skida has hit the mark on super fun prints, incredibly comfortable material, warmth, and protection.

Each neckwarmer is made out of brushed thermal poly-spandex fabric. But they’re so soft to the touch they may be made of angel feathers. The antimicrobial treatment leaves no need to worry about musky stink from sweat. And the 50-plus UPF rating is a bonus.

Shop the Skida Tour Neckwarmer

P-Tex & a BIC Lighter: Under $10

P-Tex

If you ski, you’ll eventually ski over rocks. And when you do, you’ll take a chunk of base material out of your skis. It’s not fun. The dreaded core shot can keep skiers up at night.

However, if you’re lucky enough to have a thoughtful gift-giver in your life (ahem, that’s you), you’ll rest easy knowing you have a few sticks of P-Tex base repair material that you can melt into your ski using your trusty BIC lighter. This is a cheap, easy, always-needed solution.

Shop P-TexShop BIC Lighters

Swix North Shuttle Kit: $80

A ski tune, which consists of base repair and waxing, can cost anywhere between $50 and $100 … every single time. That adds up throughout a ski season. The Shuttle Kit is the answer to that expense.

Inside the nifty, compact travel bag, you get wax, a pocket edge and diamond sharpener, a bronze-nylon brush, polishing cork, and a manual on how to ski tune. If you ski, this is a perfect gift to get yourself.

Shop the Swix North Shuttle Kit

Opinel Folding Knife: $14

Opinel Folding Knife

The classic look of Opinel knives has stayed unchanged since 1955. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

This no-frills, just-kick-butt knife is sweetly simple with an old-school feel. It’s a perfect daily carry pocketknife that can handle everything from charcuterie duty during a backcountry snack break to shearing tinder for a campfire. No one is mad about getting an Opinel as a gift.

Shop the Opinel Folding Knife

Swiss Army Knife Camper: $26

For a knife with a low cost and a bit more to offer than the ever-cool Opinel (but an equally as hip legacy), check out the Swiss Army Camper.

This thing is pretty dang cool: a knife that has 12 tools, including two blades, two screwdrivers, a can opener, and more, in a sub-3-ounce design. Like coffee and a semi-stinky sleeping bag, this is a must-have for every camper.

Shop the Swiss Army Knife Camper

Kinco Gloves & Sno Seal: $30 or Less

Nearly every hardware store has both these stellar gift options, and chances are you’ve seen them in action on ski hills, job sites, and in the woods.

Kinco leather work gloves are the best, most rugged and durable, most affordable winter gloves ever invented in the history of glovery. They’re perfect for a skier or anyone who spends days outside in the snow and cold.

And when coated in Sno Seal waterproof beeswax, they stand the test of time and keep your mitts warm for winter after winter.

Shop the Kinco GlovesShop Sno Seal

Arcade Belts: $26

Arcade Belt

Is a belt a good gift? When it’s a braided leather belt with a built-in cellphone-holder, no. But when it’s an Arcade, yes.

These belts are durable, stretchy, and comfortable in travel or on trail. Added bonus and style points come from the artwork and color options, which reflect an outdoor-centered life.

Shop Arcade Belts

Smartwool Bryan Iguchi Socks: $26

Smartwool’s PhD socks are arguably the best outdoor foot sleeves in the history of toes. Now, Smartwool has partnered with snowboarding legend and artist Bryan Iguchi to create ski/snowboard-specific socks that feature his mountain-inspired artwork.

Boot-specific cushioning, made from warm and stink-free merino wool, a gender-specific fit, and the Smartwool seal of durability make these perfect for snow bunnies.

Shop the Smartwool Bryan Iguchi Socks

DryGuy Force Dry Boot Dryer: $50

Do you know what’s fun about putting your feet in soggy boots? Nothing — nothing is fun about that. Most of us outdoor folk set our ski and hiking boots, our running or trail shoes out to dry overnight. And most know the disappointment of insufficient dry time.

The Force Dry pushes heated air through vents to zap moisture away in only an hour. And a fast dry time means less of a chance for smelly bacteria to set up shop, thus curbing the boot stank syndrome.

Shop the DryGuy Force Dry Boot Dryer

BioLite Charge 10: $25

The only thing more frustrating than a dead phone while traveling is trying to find an outlet to charge it. And if you’re in the backcountry, outlets are — ahem — few and far between. The Charge 10 has the on-the-go charge covered.

It’s water-resistant and has a stainless steel body and silicone topper gasket that is sturdy enough to take a lick or two. The 2,600mAh battery will charge up your phone, headlamp, or other USB device. Plus, its sleek design is ultra-packable.

Shop the BioLite Charge 10

Paddy O'Connell
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Paddy O’Connell is a freelance creator, focusing on storytelling and multimedia production. When he is not practicing Footloose inspired dance moves, Patrick Swayze-esque hair flips, and grooming his mustache to resemble Tom Selleck’s lip caterpillar, PaddyO can be found in the mountains of Colorado ... getting super radical, bro.

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