Last year we put together all of the equipment our employees wanted for Valentine’s Day. Spoiler: Nobody was interested in flowers or chocolates. This also applies to 2021. We believe that the best Valentine’s Day gift is spending time outdoors together, and these ideas can help make that experience better.
Camping equipment for two people
(Photo: Jakob Schiller)
Writer Johanna Flashman summed it up best when she wrote, “Camping can either be a romantic evening in the great outdoors or the worst date ever (think The Parent Trap or Backcountry). We all prefer the former, but that takes the right equipment and a lot of planning. “After years of testing, she has perfected her camping kit for cars and knows how to create date-night romance from the comfort of a tent in the Sierra. In addition to helpful tips for organizing a fantastic trip, it also included a checklist of equipment to recommend. (Do yourself a favor and print it out before your next adventure.) And contributing editor Blair Braverman gave some advice on planning a camping trip for your partner outside of the great outdoors.
For a specific product recommendation, see the Kelty Low love seat ($ 110), which associate equipment editor Ariella Gintzler describes as “a piece of car camping gear that is universally loved by almost all employees. I’m not generally the one who brings luxuries into the woods, but somehow this camping couch is on my permanent list of things I should never leave behind. “
A national park pass
(Photo: Grant Wylie / iStock)
Recreation in our national parks still looks a little different this year, but it’s still worth visiting if it’s done safely – especially if the park is close to you. An annual pass costs $ 80. Check out this calendar for 2021 we’ve put together to help you decide the best time of year. (You can pay a visit on those days too if entrance fees are waived.) And consider giving away equipment that celebrates America’s best idea, like Swiftwick’s National Parks Collection of Socks ($ 20) and clothing from the Parks Project that donates land to conservation companies around the world.
Accessories for your partner’s new hobby or sport
(Photo: Jakob Schiller)
Many of us took up new hobbies in the past year, from cycling to cross-country skiing to just getting more exercise. Give an item that belongs to your partner New activities that are more fun can encourage them to get outside more often. Visit our gear page where we highlight items that we have tested and that we use for specific sports. If you’re struggling to find something, you know you can’t go wrong with a pair of bomber socks. Our Gear Guy loves the Darn Tough Micro Crew ($ 23) for hiking. He called them “just damn comfortable”.
Reservations for a future trip
(Photo: Courtesy of Airbnb)
There is something to look forward to when planning a getaway, even though there are a few new things to keep in mind while traveling this year. “Before the pandemic, the thought of visiting a national park or an outdoor Mecca beforehand seemed absurd,” wrote Jen Murphy. “But reservation systems that used to be in place at popular locations like Yosemite and Rocky Mountain have shown that a little planning isn’t too painful, especially when there are fewer people on the trails.” You can find more inspiration on our travel page. Staff member Megan Michelson recently reported on the best airbnbs near Zion and Bryce Canyon – dreamy.
Books that will inspire you
(Photo: Andrew Ly / Unsplash)
We have almost too many books to recommend. So why not start here? Columnist Graham Averill has rounded up six classic adventure stories that you will love to visit again and again. If you’re looking for more timely readings, writer Heather Greenwood Davis has compiled a list of the best adventure books of the past year. “These eight titles will keep your wanderlust going when it is safe to travel again,” she writes.
OK, maybe we want some chocolate …
(Photo: Michael Cox / Unsplash)
In 2020 we learned to be kind to ourselves, especially after going through severe emotional crises like a breakup. As contributing editor Blair Braverman wrote, cooking or ordering your favorite dishes can be a form of self-love, and we all deserve to treat ourselves and our loved ones to something sweet from time to time.
Start with Ritual Chocolate in Park City, Utah. The Valentine’s Day Packages (starting at $ 33) offer a variety of delicious items that are perfect for the chocolate connoisseur in your life. Load up any boring trail mix with this Valentine’s Day box ($ 65) from Tierra Farm near Albany, New York. It is filled with chocolate-coated organic nuts and dried fruits. And for a cozy après-drink on Valentine’s Day weekend, try a Mexican hot cocoa, a spicy-sweet mix that requires a dash of cayenne pepper. There’s only one hot chocolate recipe in this compilation, courtesy of columnist AC Shilton.
Equipment sales to check out
We always keep track of sales that are worth your time. Here are some great bets on Valentine’s Day.
Sales dates: Now through February 16
Sales details: The brand is currently offering up to 40 percent discounts on clothing and equipment from last season.
Our choice: The 35-liter Planing Roll-Top Backpack ($ 129). We love the large outer mesh pocket that helps air out soaked clothing.
Sales dates: Now through February 28th
Sales details: The website is currently offering up to 50 percent discounts on gear, clothing, and gear.
Our choice: The Outdoor Research Carbide Sensor Gloves ($ 115). These were the warmest gloves in our Winter Buyer’s Guide review 2021.
Sales dates: Constantly
Sales details: We keep finding gemstones in Huckberry’s store, where men’s clothing and equipment are up to 50 percent cheaper.
Our choice: Each of these Whiskey Peaks glasses ($ 65 for a set of 4) with their topographical impressions of various well-known mountains. We’ve recommended them before, but they’re a killer gift.
Main photo: Le Tan / Unsplash