#1 What They Ask For
Relatives and non-climber friends of climbers can have a hard time figuring out what it is you want. A few years ago, my brother walked into a book store and asked for a book about climbing for his sister. He walked out with a copy of 127 hours.
If you do your best on your own, your climber will still love their gift. But climbers are pathological collectors of climbing year. We have a wish list, trust me. We can always think of something we ‘need’ that you can get us! Read on for more ideas for (affordable) gifts for climbers…
#2 Something to Put on Their Hands
For a detailed and hilarious overview of “crap climbers put on their hands”, check out this post over at The Stone Mind. Despite carrying it around with me everywhere, I never lost my little tin of Skin Doctor while I was on the road this summer. It was too precious to lose! The Climb On! products also get rave reviews from climbers I know.
#3 A Bail ‘Biner
This suggestion was inspired by my lucky bail ‘biner. It was one of the first pieces of gear I ever owned. Whenever this bail ‘biner went up a hard route on someone’s harness, the route got finished, and the ‘biner came back down. Once I noticed, I started taking it with me for a little bit of extra confidence.
Get your favorite climbing partner a lucky bail ‘biner of their very own for the new year. Write them a note. Tell them about the mystic powers of the lucky bail ‘biner, and remind them to dream big and try hard in the new year. If the ‘biner eventually gets left behind, its newness and shininess will make someone’s day.
#4 Really Fancy Socks
This suggestion came from one of my followers on twitter, @climbing_strong. Having the right thing in between your shoes and your feet can make a world of difference in comfort when you’re out tramping. Even better, sock sizes are easier to guess correctly than other clothing sizes. In my opinion, you can’t go wrong with a merino wool, but some folks are fond of synthetic technical fabrics as well.
#5 Reel Rock 7
Nothing says “I love you, man” like giving your buddy climbing porn for the holidays. This year’s Reel Rock is now on sale at www.reelrocktour.com. I think it’s worthwhile to support the folks that are producing top-notch climbing media. Reel Rock is consistently entertaining and high quality. This year’s films are no exception.
#6 Rope Wash
The year after I found 127 Hours under the tree, my family upped their game and bought me rope wash. On their own. Despite knowing barely anything about climbing. I was surprised and touched.
The question of whether washing ropes actually does anything has been debated endlessly on the internet, and eventually boils down to personal preference. Several different washes are available, but I’m inclined to trust something from a rope manufacturer over and independent product. Follow these tips from Splitter Choss if you end up putting your rope wash to use!
#7 A Petzl Draw
Tried and true, these draws are beloved by climbers the world over. They can be a bit pricey, so most climbers I know acquire them slowly, a few at a time. Help your favorite climber out by adding a few to their collection.
#8 Your Suggestions
What did I leave off? Leave a comment to let me know!
[Dear Beloved Family, Please refer to #1, then talk to Mom. :)]