Valentine’s Day Sucks, but These Outdoorsy Gifts Show Love

Forget about roses — nothing says love like a well-stocked gear closet and a weekend spent outdoors.

Let’s be honest, Valentine’s Day is a made-up holiday. It causes undue stress and is often marked by hurried, last-minute shopping for junk no one wants or needs.

Ditch the imported flowers, forgo the subpar chocolates, and make it a day worth celebrating. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite getaways, classes, and gear that all the outdoor-lovin’ people in your life will appreciate.

Whether that special person is the buddy you share a tent with on the trail or the person you’ve pledged to spend eternity with, these outdoorsy ideas are sure to make them smile.

Take It to the Next Level

Chalk up and head south. There are plenty of winter climbing destinations, but Red Rock stands out for a few reasons.

First off, flights into Las Vegas are cheap, winter temps are warm, and it’s easy to find affordable lodging. Red Rock campground is located just 2 miles east of the visitor’s center and offers up campsites for $15 a night.

Start planning a Red Rock trip and get pumped doing it. Alternatively, spend the day at your local climbing gym.

Make It Memorable

Find the ultimate getaway spot with Hipcamp. From yurts to cabins to rustic campsites, there’s a bit of everything. And with more than 300,000 listings across the country, odds are good you’ll find a memorable camping (or glamping) spot.

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Cabins to Campsites: America's 10 Best Hipcamps

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Together Is Better

Use this Hallmark holiday as an excuse to learn a new skill. Many local gear shops offer year-round classes. And don’t forget about REI. From the galentines-worthy Women’s Trailside Bike Repair Workshop to lifesaving wilderness medicine courses, there are literally hundreds of options. Some are even free of charge (hello, learn to snowshoe!).

Feed the Monster

Does your trail buddy get hangry? Then it’s time you put an end to the mid-hike meltdowns with some packable and delicious snacks. Honey Stinger Energy Chews are better than candy hearts any day of the week. And you can’t go wrong with the deliciously drinkable Skratch Labs Lemon Lime.

If you’re aiming for something a little fancier, check out Patagonia Provisions Wild Pink Salmon. Or if your trail mate has recently passed over into the Keto dark side, check out these Keto Crisp Bars. They’re shockingly tasty whether or not you’re counting carbs.

Wool Is the New Lace

Forget lacy lingerie. You know what’s sexy? Non-chafing, fast-drying undies. Whether your S.O. spends days in the backcountry or is busy racking up the frequent flyer miles, they’ll appreciate a pair of odor-fighting wool underwear. The new Smartwool Women’s 150 Lace Undies are silky soft. And the beloved Men’s Boxer Brief is on sale for 29% off.

Take It Easy

Hoping to introduce your valentine to the wonders of the outdoor world? Whether you dream of having a ski buddy, belay partner, or forever tent companion, here’s some advice for getting that special someone outdoors.

  1. Don’t make it extreme.
    Sure, you love ripping it up on the mountain, but try to remember what it was like when you first started. Take it down a few (okay, several) notches.
  2. Leave ’em wanting more.
    Yes, you could plan a 72-hour excursion full of Type II fun. But let’s work up to that. Instead, offer up a short day trip that has him or her looking forward to more.
  3. Bring snacks.
    Remember, this is supposed to be fun. Be sure to bring plenty of food and water to avoid mid-adventure bonking. A well-timed granola bar can make all the difference.

Looking to fill that gear closet without breaking the bank? Check this out:

Patagonia Nano Puff Hoody in field
REI Winter Closeout Sale: Save Up to 50%

We found the best outdoor products on sale during REI's Winter Clearance Sale. Save up to 60% on winter adventure gear. Read more…

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Mallory Paige

Gear Editor Mallory Paige credits a childhood exploring the Rocky Mountains for her love of the outdoors. She recently spent a memorable year motorcycle camping across North America (with her dog!) and is now enjoying introducing her baby girl to all manner of adventure.

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