Gifts of clothing are always appreciated by climbers, skiers, and mountaineers. What's not to like about stylish clothes that keep you warm and dry? There is lots of great clothing out there now with all kinds of high-tech fabrics and superb and functional designs. Here are three suggestions for clothing gifts for any climber or hiker who likes chilly winter adventures.
Warm feet on cold nights are one of the supreme delights on a winter climbing expedition. There's nothing more delightful than slipping on a pair of down booties in your car, tent, or cabin after a day of ice climbing, ski touring, or mountaineering and warming your toes up. Treat your climbing pal to a pair of puffy down booties, one of those great gifts that keeps the heat up all winter.
Buffs, those sewn loops of stretchy colorful fabric popularized on "Survivor," are indispensable for climbing, skiing, and mountaineering when it's freezing cold outside. While I used to wear bandanas around my neck and chin, I now wear a buff when the winter weather chills down. Buffs offer great weather protection from snow, rain, and sun. They're versatile and ultra-light. Wear a buff under your helmet to cover your ears and one around your neck. Buffs come in all kinds of wild colors and fabrics including Polartec and CoolMax polyester.
You need a primary base layer when you're ice climbing and mountaineering. It's best to wear something comfortable, that dries quickly, has a zippered neck for ventilation, and importantly, doesn't smell too rank after sweating and climbing all day. The Smartwool TML Mid Half Zip baselayer shirt, in sizes for both men and women, fits the bill perfectly. These garments have a structure that Smartwools calls "Hi-Fi," with merino wool next to the skin and a nylon outer face for wind resistance and durability. Just perfect for ice climbing, skiing, and winter mountaineering.