We give gifts for many reasons one of which is to invest and nurture our relationships with others. Consider the gift of time when thinking of your loved ones this season. Spending time with family is more precious than anything in this world and children, especially, love one-on-one time with their parents. Gift a hiking experience and share the outdoors with those you love. The true way to find joy is to surround yourself with those who matter most: your family, friends, and community.
Here are a few examples to help you get started:
Easy on the budget
In a wrapped box, give a handwritten invitation or personalized gift certificate for one hiking day with you. Take them to a nearby trail with impressive views and a cool water feature. Pack a picnic lunch for two with some treats, hike, relax, and let the conversation flow. Take lots of photos.
Pre-order hiking gear, field guides, or a new compass and present it in a wrapped box along with an invitation for a hike date with you. A book featuring your hike or region is a nice touch.
Arrange a hiking and camping weekend getaway. Do all the planning: book a campsite, map the trails, and do all the meal preparation. Package this gift to include a map or a photo of your soon to come adventure.
Go big and section hike: Choose the Lost Coast or parts of the John Muir Trail. Travel overseas and pick one of the amazing attractions worldwide. Or hike hut to hut in Yosemite or Inn to Inn in Vermont.
Don't forget to personalize the day:
- for foodies: choose savory picnic foods or plan to stop at a fun/esoteric eatery after for post hike tacos/burger and brews.
- for parents with young children: instead of taking them hiking how about gifting yourself as a babysitter so they can hit the trails child free.
- for young children: giving ample opportunity for children to play in nature has numerous benefits including a healthy respect for our natural world. Choose an interesting trail with lots to explore, logs to cross, and a water feature and you will have a heck of a day. One of the best gifts you can give your child is your time and yourself and hitting the trails is an excellent way to bond. To encourage the child gift them a compass to carry with them and then teach them how to navigate with it.
- for your partner: choose a trail you first hiked together or has some other special meaning. Halfway through the hike surprise them with a sentimental note or poem. Be personal.
- for those with limited time: plan a recurring weekly or monthly outing to grab a coffee and take a short 30 minute hike or walk through a park or garden and catch up.
I can go on and on with suggestions, but that would ruin the fun of planning your gift. Put some thought into this and really consider the person you will be spending time with. Be creative and genuine with your idea and consider the entire experience from gift presentation to the day on the trails.
A hiking experience is what you make of it. The more heart you put in the better. Time spent together is priceless and creating memories is perhaps the most valuable gift of all. Time is elusive; use it wisely.
Now it's your turn. Share your ideas with us in the comments below.