WildSnow Christmas Shopping List 2013

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This post by WildSnow.com blogger  

We published this a few days ago. One more time at the top, with a few backcountry skiing items added. Please chime in with suggestions and…happy holidays from all of us at WildSnow!

Salmon jerky, a delicious treat that travels well. Pull this out of your pack at the top of a peak and your friends will love you for life.

A Snow Peak Titanium Flask — perfect for more casual ski tours or hut trips. Perhaps filled with peppermint schnapps for an exceptional cup of cocoa.

Shiny new thermos along with packets of chicken noodle soup.

An invite on a hut trip you’ve organized, no cost to your friend.

And our favorites:

It’s a good idea for each group of backcountry skiers to have an available emergency bivvy sack to protect an immobilized skier until rescue, only not all bivvy sacks are equal. What’s required is something super light, waterproof, but breathable. We like the SOL Escape Light.

Spot Satellite Messenger. They’ve gotten smaller and better. Still one-way communication but they’re proven to work. Always an excellent gift but check first to see if your giftee already has one — they’re somewhat ubiquitous.

Lou likes thin gloves with WPB membrain. He says “if you’re fit, you might find your hands sweat on the uphill if your gloves are too warm — but you get wet hands when taking off your skins while wearing thinner glove.” Key is thin gloves with something like Gore-Tex that’ll breath to some degree but hold back the wet. One of the better option is OR Warrant. They’re still a bit thick, but they’re bomber ice climbing gloves that definitely work for skiing. Hint: size large is actually an XL so try a medium for a snug fit if you normally wear a large glove.

Darntough Merino over-the-calf Ultra-light ski socks – made in U.S.A., guaranteed for life! Believe us, we’ve been testing wool socks for a while and these are superior.

Julbo is our favorite line of eyewear. Their photochromic ski goggles work in a wide range of light.

POC should also be listed here with some of our favorite goggles. Shop for IRIS X and you or your gift receiving loved ones will be happy skiers.

Does your giftee have a quiver of many skis but only have bindings for a few? Or did she make the mistake of mounting some kludgy frame binding on a beautiful pair of planks? In our opinion, Dynafit Speed Radical is the sweet spot in the Dynafit binding lineup for “real” backcountry skiers. Drill those new boards, or rip off those frame bindings and swap something that works. Get a set. They’re like some sort of jewelry sitting there in their white on white packaging just waiting to be installed on that ultimate uphilling ski.

Ibex wool Aire mittens are light and surprisingly warm.

K2 Shovel Ice Axe, yes Louie Dawson helped design this during a summer at K2 so of course we’re pumping it. ISPO liked it too and awarded Gold. You’ll like how it lightens your pack and makes it more likely you’ll have an ice axe when you need it.

A Boot Press: for the tinkerers on your list and they’ll make almost anything fit better — from ski boots to yoga slippers.

Love coupon to unload the car at the end of a long ski day while your honey goes in to take a hot bath. For added points, fill the washer with Nikwax Baselayer and everyone can have fresh ski clothes in the morning.

A brand new pair of skis is perhaps the crown gift of all. Pick out of the WildSnow Ultimate Quiver and you can’t go wrong.

We like the SPOT/Globalstar satphones. They’re smaller than Iridium and cost less. Catch is they’re not great for use in Alaska, but they work fine in lower-48. Shop here.

Comments on. Bring us your gift ideas!

Oh, and don’t forget our previous year gift lists. We looked back through and you’ll still find dozens of good ideas.


19 Responses to “WildSnow Christmas Shopping List 2013”

  1. Mark Worley November 29th, 2013 9:15 pm

    Snow Peak has a titanium iPhone case. Way cool, and your brother likely doesn’t have one.

  2. John Yates November 30th, 2013 10:00 am

    The link to “thermos” doesn’t seem to work.

  3. Jeremy November 30th, 2013 1:12 pm

    I can recommend the Resqski finders for those who like to be tech’d out. No more powder traces or leashes, or cranking up the DIN when in deep powder. I have them stuck on my Wailers.


    Stick one on each ski and once you have finished your yard sale tumble, just turn on the hand held finder, and get within 100ft (30m) of your skis.

    The downside is that they only appear to be available in Europe at that moment.

  4. Hacksaw November 30th, 2013 1:30 pm

    Snowpit fieldbooks and fieldcards are always good gifts….


  5. Daniel Dunn December 1st, 2013 12:49 pm

    Wanted to give a shout-out to FITS socks. They’re hard to find, but fantastic. And I also love the Darn Tough socks, and they’re great people at DT.

  6. Nicole December 3rd, 2013 8:44 am

    These holiday gift ideas are perfect! Thanks for sharing.

  7. UpSki Kevin December 16th, 2013 8:50 pm

    I highly recommend the thermos brand insulated 16oz jar: JCG500P. I’ve carried one for over 2 years now and given multiple as gifts. perfect as a day-to-day water bottle or coffee mug, and will also work as a soup jar. I’ve bought & tested many others that are on the market- none compare!

  8. Lou Dawson December 16th, 2013 8:56 pm

    Excellent suggestion Kevin, thanks so much. Perfect gift. Lou

  9. Greg December 17th, 2013 8:01 am

    I’m a big fan of this bottle:
    Fits nicely in my pack, the seals on it are excellent, and keeps stuff ridiculously hot (as in, don’t make your hot chocolate with straight boiling water, or you still won’t be able to drink it hours later). And the way the lid and latch are set up it’s super easy to operate one handed.

  10. Joe John December 17th, 2013 10:20 am

    Interesting hot Thermos, is it easy to clean? Then there is always the holiday dried fruit cake which kind of went out of style but could make a come back. Merry Christmas to you all.

  11. Greg December 17th, 2013 10:55 am

    (assuming you’re asking about the one I posted) You need a bottle brush to clean inside the thermos, but it’s good quality stainless steel, so any ‘residue’ (like dried hot chocolate) comes off super easy. The lid is also easy to clean, just a quick go with a soapy sponge gets it done.

  12. Joe John December 17th, 2013 11:22 am

    Thank you Greg… that is what I wanted to know.

  13. XXX_er December 17th, 2013 5:34 pm

    Diversol is great for cleaning your thermos, it’s “the pink stuff” you get from a wine arts store

  14. Zach December 18th, 2013 1:34 pm

    Those are awesome! I might get one!

  15. CR December 18th, 2013 5:15 pm

    Just wore through my first pair of Darn Tough socks in under a year. I guess I’ll have to see how the replacement warranty is from Canada.

  16. Lou Dawson December 18th, 2013 6:06 pm

    CR, I feel so sorry for your feet, must have just trashed your toes wearing through those socks! (grin)

  17. CR December 19th, 2013 5:10 pm

    Lou, you don’t even want to see my feet! You migh feel more sorry for these tough socks with hols in them. :-)

  18. Miles December 28th, 2013 10:01 am

    Hi All,
    Received my K2 Shaxe(shovel/ice axe combo) a bit more than a week ago. Best piece of kit I’ve seen in a while. Light, functional, well built and bomber. It comes with the usual K2 emergency toboggan tool kit with instructions printed on the kit bag that contains the axe head and parts. The shovel blade can also be used as a deadman anchor if you add some cord.
    The con is you give up the hoe configuration of the previous K2 Rescue shovel which was an excellent option for efficient shoveling.
    Overall though, an excellent piece of kit that’s replaced my other shovels for work and play and might become standard issue for one of the SAR teams I work with.
    Well done K2 and well done Louie for your work on this.

  19. Lou Dawson December 28th, 2013 4:13 pm

    Proud dad

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Welcome to Louis (Lou) Dawson's backcountry skiing information opinion website and e magazine. Lou's passion for the past 45 years has been alpinism, climbing, mountaineering and skiing -- along with all manner of outdoor recreation. He has authored numerous books and articles about backcountry skiing and is well known as the first person to ski down all 54 of Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks, otherwise known as the Fourteeners! Books and free back country news and information here, and tons of Randonnee rando telemark info.

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