Easy take along outdoor gifts for her
Outdoor gifts for her, a lighthearted topic? Yes and no. Apart from the obligatory picnic basket set or an activity bracelet, could the list have a surprise in store? Of course, one should rather specify necessities and wishes for the real outdoors. According to the flourishing trade and discussion forums on bush craft and survival websites, it are mostly (not exclusively) men who know precisely what they want. Zealous collectors of outdoor gear, like women so would be argued immediately, collect shoes? Apparently there exists some kind of gear trap out there. Are men more susceptible to this tempting, hidden persuader than women? So it seems, discreetly judged by numbers. Or, might it be that spending and saving habits are gender-related issues? Upbringing? For the best we should let this subject pass, as a temporary solution because there is more to this than meets the eye! It will be fun to develop an amateur theory on gear traps some day.
Outdoor gifts for her
A fine and well chosen, appropriate gift is a joy for all involved. Gifts are bestowed with meaning. In primitive societies, the importance of gift-giving with its rituals and its reciprocity couldn’t be underestimated. Even though nowadays a present doesn’t necessarily serve the same social functions, it still conveys something and, on occasion, a lot. But what is an appropriate gift?
Economists would say: cash. Consumer choice will act as the intermediary between giver and receiver, the desires of the latter will be fulfilled according to plan. In spite of such a rational and pragmatic approach, it is more likely than not that mixed feelings will arise from the action of mixed or opposite agencies, i.e. the giving of a sealed envelope as a present. Dollars, pounds or euro’s do not give off the delicate fragrance of roses on a first date and diamonds are forever. But how and if they will be appreciated is related to the giver, nevertheless.
Gifts and occasions like birthdays and Christmas go together. In the way this is shaped, filled in and expressed, a personal style is shown. Condensed family traditions they are, reflecting customs and habits, as well as the nature of relations between family members. And holidays count for such family highlights too. Whether it were wonderful or disturbing times, anyway, for better or for worse, it cannot be denied that our childhood experiences affect us.
Like men, women do like numerous things, small or big, expensive or cheap. And happily ready to come forward with suggestions. A pair of earrings will always do. But you do not want your family to be stressed out by your ideas. Give it a turn! For the sake of clarity listing some items is helpful, make it a list as simple as it could be: exclude the clothing department, no sizes or measures needed. Follows an example.
The ‘one style, fits all’ list of outdoor gifts wanted, could look like this:
- Headband (summer, high UV protection)
- Neckwarmer (winter, merino wool)
- Pack-it cubes
- Wrist gaiters
- Knee gaiters
- Sitting pad
- Hiking socks
- Para cord bracelet
- Sleeping mat (a very comfortable one)
- Wash bag (plus mirror)
- Cap or hat
- Silk liner (for sleeping bag or cover)
- Lightweight, waterproof travel wallet
And there is much that could be added here, such as: a knife (remember to give a coin in return), a backpack, trekking poles, a GoPro!
The value of time
The best present is not listed yet. And that is time. Strangely enough we don’t value time as we do any other service or good. In spite of all the time-management courses, self-help books and the try-to-get-rid-of-the too-long-to-do lists, we can neither make nor expand time.
“Time it what we want most, but what we use worst.” (William Penn)
A paradox? Time is as valuable as it is scarce, meanwhile we treat it like an abundant supply, meaning that what you do with time is irrelevant. Like water: if there always is plenty, you won’t appreciate the filled bottle even so much as when you are in the desert, needing it most.
Time is a verb
Time deserves its many entries in the dictionary. It directs our actions and it counts as the structuring pillar for our lives. In addition, one could say that the present of time is what we are and have now. Consequently, the past of time is what we were and what we had, in short: our memories. And the future of time therefore is what we will be and will have, briefly: our desires and our wishes.
Let’s assume that life is not a zero-sum game because in setting out on a voyage of discovery, the gains and losses are realized along the way. Only in the final analysis of a lifetime it will become clear if our aspirations and pursuits have been met and fulfilled. Fortunately, in the meantime signs are provided thus enabling us to redirect or completely alter a course. So, for all who love nature and wilderness, the giving of time as a present, to be spent in such surroundings is the ultimate luxury.
A surprise holiday, the short break….add it to the family’s wish list. Because in enjoying those hours in good company, events will form into memorable experiences. Most probably it will be precisely these memories that will be taken into account when taking stock of life.
So, will it be diamonds (are forever) or time (is passing by)? It shouldn’t be difficult. Let’s go due north.
- Published some years ago but still worth reading (especially the part describing a game-theoretic model), Colin Camerer’s article: Gifts as Economic Signals and Social Symbols, The American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 94, Supplement: Organizations and Institutions: Sociological and Economic Approaches to the Analysis of Social Structure (1988). (S180-S214). Find a link here.
Featured image: E. Friebel