Gifts for the Outdoorsy

Ideas for the winter-sports enthusiasts who don't let subzero temperatures slow them down

click to enlarge Wearing an extra layer is worth it when you hit the nighttime slopes for wide-open runs. - MT. SPOKANE PHOTO
Mt. Spokane photo
Wearing an extra layer is worth it when you hit the nighttime slopes for wide-open runs.

For some, winter is a time to hunker down and stay indoors. Around here, though, many more are the intrepid, adventure-seeking type, drawn out into the snow and ice looking to trample through the elements, fly down a mountain or pull fish out of a frozen lake. Here are a few ideas to consider for the outdoor enthusiast who doesn't let the weather keep them inside.

NIGHT SKI LIFT TICKET

Finding gifts for the skier in your life isn't easy. Chances are they've already got all the gear they need, and if they're serious about it maybe even a season pass to a local mountain. If they don't, getting one at this point will put you back hundreds of dollars. Even single-day lift tickets are spendy these days. But there's a way to go easy on the wallet without sacrificing quality. Mt. Spokane offers night skiing from 3-9 pm on certain days throughout the season. It's a great way to beat the crowds without missing out on the fun. $36 mtspokane.com

TUNE UP

It's important to keep gear in good shape. Just like your car, a good pair of skis deserves a regular tune up. Spokane's got one of the best in the business in Fred Nowland, who has been tuning up skis for three decades. Since 2004, he's been plying his trade at the Spokane Alpine Haus on the South Hill. A fresh coat of wax and a sharp edging will make that old pair of skis good as new. A good tuneup makes the skiing experience safer and more fun. $12-$50 • Spokane Alpine Haus • 2925 S. Regal St.

SMARTWOOL SOCKS

This might be one of the more utilitarian gifts you can buy, but just because it's not very fun doesn't mean it's not a great present. An outdoor enthusiast can never have enough great socks, especially in wintertime. Nobody wants cold feet when out in the elements, miles and miles from civilization. Skiers, boarders, snowshoers and ice fishermen all will love a new pair of quality wool socks. If you're looking for a gift that is guaranteed to be put to good use, look no further. $20 • REI • 1125 N. Monroe St.

GENERAL STORE GIFT CARD

If you need something for your next trip out into the winter wonderland, there's a great chance the General Store has it in stock. Gift cards can sometimes seem like a lazy excuse for a present, but sometimes they just make sense. The General Store is a Spokane landmark that's been serving our community for 75 years. They've got something for everyone on your list, and with a gift card you're giving your loved one the gift of choice. Plus, you'll be supporting a locally owned business. The General Store • 2424 N. Division St.

FLEXIBLE FLYER SLED

You don't need to make a trek into the mountains to get out and be active this winter, all you need is a sled and a trip to the neighborhood park. There are a ton of options out there from simple saucers and toboggans to hulking plastic monstrosities with steering and braking capabilities. And then there's the tried and true steel and wood design that has been bringing joy to riders since the 1800s. Paricon Sleds manufactures the classic Flexible Flyer brand that looks straight out of a Norman Rockwell painting. The steel runners are like skis that cut through the snow, and the elevated wooden platform makes it feel like the user is flying just above the ground. Unlike flimsy plastic sleds, this design is built to last. It's no wonder they've been made for well over 100 years. $150 • Cabela's • 101 N Cabela Way, Post Falls

Banff Mountain Film Festival @ Panida Theater

Fri., Jan. 21, 7 p.m., Sat., Jan. 22, 7 p.m. and Sun., Jan. 23, 6 p.m.
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