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Better Than Stuff: Meaningful Outdoor Gifts They'll Love

The holidays are a time of giving, and we've all heard the phrase 'it's the thought that counts.' But it can be hard pick just the right thing, and you have to worry about whether it will fit, or they already have one. This year, why not give your outdoor enthusiast something more meaningful than a new backpack or the latest Garmin?

For the climber
The Access Fund
The Access Fund works to maintain access to climbing areas in the United States that are under threat by private landowners, public developments, and over-regulation. They also work to protect the integrity of climbing areas to reduce negative environmental impacts.

One of their biggest impacts was in 1997 when the US Forest Service banned all bolts on the grounds that bolts violated the Wilderness Act of 1964. This would have ended rock climbing at half of the climbing sites in the United States. Access Fund successfully lobbied Congress to lift the ban because the ban was an inappropriate interpretation of the law. Rock climbing officially became an acceptable wilderness activity.

Currently, Access Fund is fighting alongside other organizations to save Bears Ears National Monument and Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument which are both set to be greatly reduced in size by the Trump administration.

What to Give: The Access Fund shop sells products whose profits go directly to the Access Fund, as well as gift bundles that include a membership. A simple gifted membership is also available.

Who doesn't love coffee and climbing access?
They can show off their membership with a cool new shirt

For the Traveler

National Parks Pass
Know someone who loves a good road trip and adventure? The US National Parks Pass ($80) gets you into any National Park, Seashore, and Monument that has a fee for no charge for an entire year. It covers one person and up to three companions over the age of 16.

United States National Parks Passes are available at your local REI store! I would suggest buying it in store and not online to ensure that the pass is made in the name of the receiver instead of the purchaser. 

Don't give this pass to anyone over 62, people who receive disability benefits or Current Military because they are eligible for cheaper / free passes.

AAA Membership

AAA is a membership no driver in the USA should be without. The Plus level membership is by far the best deal for a road warrior- providing 100 miles of free towing, $100 toward vehicle lockout, free flat tire changes, free fuel delivery, $300k of accident insurance and more. If your loved one is planning an epic road trip, give them some peace of mind with a plus membership.

For Anyone Who Loves Pristine Wilderness

Leave No Trace teaches wilderness users of all ages how to enjoy wild places responsibly.

The Leave No Trace principles provide guidelines for behavior and decisions in the backcountry in order to reduce the impact of humans on natural places. This protects not only the health of those areas but ensures that all users will enjoy the same pristine wildness.

Their goal is to ensure the long-term health of the natural world through education, research, and outreach.

Give a membership here, type in the information for your friend or family member, and un-check the 'billing address is the same as above' and you'll be able to enter your own billing and credit card information.

For the Sportsman / Woman

Give your loved one a lifetime of hunting and fishing. Many states offer lifetime hunting and fishing licenses. The fee varies from state to state, but it is typically a much better deal than buying a license every year. 

North Carolina has made it easy to gift a lifetime license. You fill out the application with the hunter's information and they mail it to you so you can give it in person. They even offer customization for an extra $5 so you can add a little message or special number or name. 

The money from lifetime licenses in North Carolina goes into the North Carolina Wildlife Endowment Fund. The accrued interest (not the principle) pays for programs that benefit fish and wildlife. 

For The DIY-er
If you haven't heard of Instructables, stop what you're doing and go check it out. It's an all-things DIY website, with tutorials created by members. You'll find everything from tech to food to survival DIYs as well as contests with awesome prizes. 

Ripstop By The Roll Gift Card
Ripstop By The Roll was my source for everything I needed when I made my backpacking quilt. They sell everything you need to make your own gear.