Green Gift Guide for Snowshoers

As we all become more environmentally aware, the holiday gift-giving season takes on new challenges. For the past few years, I have been more conscious of giving gifts that are organic, secondhand, made from recycled materials, don’t contain dangerous chemicals, give back to local communities … and the list goes on. When I was asked to write an article suggesting holiday gifts for snowshoers, it made sense to highlight products that have a sustainability focus. After all, as snowshoers, our sport depends on the natural environment. It wouldn’t be much fun snowshoeing without it.

The biggest thing I learned when compiling this list is that selecting a green gift is not as straightforward as it seems. In fact, it sometimes gets downright complicated and subjective. While some of the choices are obvious, like buying a national park pass, others are less so. A company may not use materials that are outstanding for their sustainability features, yet it creates a product that has great longevity and won’t end up in a landfill in the near future. Or, another company might partner with several environmental non-profit groups.

So, as you peruse the “Green Gifts” I’ve listed below, you decide. Being environmentally responsible means looking at the options, generating discussion and making educated choices. Happy Holiday Shopping.

Merino Wool

My first Buff-encounter was on a trip to Africa where every day I watched a woman manipulate her Buff into a hat, headband, dust screen, neck gaiter or balaclava. A lightweight tube of stretchy fabric, Buff indeed fits its product description of multifunctional headwear. New for the 09/10 season, Buff is now available in merino wool, which is 100% natural and 100% renewable. Snowshoers can stay warm, dry and comfortable while creating their own impromptu fashion statements.

Osprey Kode 30 Backpack

Described as a “snowplay pack”, the Osprey Kode 30 is a snowshoer’s dream come true. This sport-specific daypack is loaded with features, but a few of my favourites are separate divisions for wet and dry gear, a micro-fleece goggle pocket and the handy hipbelt pockets (why don’t all packs have that!). My snowshoes strap easily onto the outside of the pack for those days when conditions vary and I need to hike to the snow. Osprey endeavours to be an outdoor industry leader in sustainability, environmental and social concerns. The Kode 30 and all Osprey packs are virtually bulletproof. They are built to be long-lasting and durable. In addition, Osprey boasts a long list of partnerships with organizations that work to lessen impact on the natural environment.

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About the author

Debbie McKeown