Giving the gift of the outdoors


Consumerism and Christmas go hand in hand, like a map and compass they are intrinsically linked. I love Christmas, I really do, but I see it as a time for getting together with friends and family to enjoy Christmassy liquid and food based treats not a time for exchanging expensive, never to be used again presents and then sitting in front of the TV not talking to the relatives you’ve traveled halfway across the UK/world to see.

With this in mind I’ve had some thoughts about how we can ‘give the gift of the outdoors’ for free or at least for very few pennies.

Make time for the outdoors

  • I know that lots of people I talk to about the outdoors seem really enthusiastic and sometimes use phrases such as ‘I can’t believe you did that in a weekend’ – don’t just tell people, make time to show them the outdoors. I wouldn’t have the love I do now for the outdoors without people making time to go outdoors with me. Its time to give something back – arrange a day out now, plan a route, make some snacks and away you go.
  • Cost: FREE (with extra free warm fuzzy glow of doing good)


Give the gift of British Mountaineering Club (BMC) membership

  • Anyone who enjoys a roam around the hills of Great Britain should be a member. The BMC actively campaign around all outdoor recreation issues, they also work tirelessly to maintain and improve access to our cliffs and mountains. In addition to all this they support nationwide clubs and produce reams of useful information on their website and through their magazine Summit.
  • Cost: £31.45 (or a bargainous £15.72 if you pay by direct debit): a gift that keeps on giving


Support our National Parks

  • the gift of the outdoors is a lifelong gift and one that hopefully many future generations will enjoy. We all need to be proactive in making this happen. Ultimately it comes down to having the resources – be that manpower or money to protect, conserve and share our National Parks in a sustainable way.
  • Think about volunteering in 2016, visit a national park and put some money in the collection box, buy that fridge magnet you’ve always lusted after. Every little helps. If you’ve enjoyed it make sure future visitors can to.
  • Cost: Free to volunteer. Money in the collection box or fridge magnet – variable


Tangible gifts

Failing that if you really must give your loved ones something tangible to unwrap then you can’t go wrong with a map or a guidebook, nothing is more likely to provoke a commitment to some time outdoors than a crisp new map and guide. Even better get one from a charity shop or pass on one you wont be using for a while. I’m a big fan of Cicerone (who have 25% off guidebooks until 13th December) and dash4it for a bit of online shopping.

  • Cost: approx £10 new or £2 in the charity shop or FREE if you can raid your own library


One and only directly Christmas related post I promise. Although prepare to be inundated with Scottish Winter news from my trip to the Caringorms for New Year.

Happy festivities,


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