This 2021 holiday season – after a year of being cooped up – we’re all about adventure, going fast, and shopping local. And we’re here to help you find the perfect gift for the thrill seeker in you (or in your life). We found everything from local adventure kits to snowcat skiing in Steamboat. We even found a company that has motorized snowbikes (it’s a real thing) that look incredible, and another in Southwestern Colorado that offers dogsledding. So whether you’re looking to tear it up on a snowmobile, get heli-dropped at a backcountry summit to shred untouched Colorado pow, or you’re just looking for a good place to shop in Boulder County, we’ve come up with a list of 21 gift ideas to get you ready for the holidays.
Big Agnes Shield 2
Based in Steamboat Springs, Big Agnes has been providing us with trustworthy tents for any occasion for over 20 years. And because winter is upon us and you may be thinking of heading out into the cold for a night under the stars, you’re going to need a tent that will withstand the elements. Made with lightweight nylon, this sturdy tent is light to carry and provides you enough space to comfortably stay out. You can even buy a vestibule to add a covered entrance area to store gear. This one’s for the winter adventurer in all of us.
Mountainsmith Scream 55 and Zerk 40
Colorado-based Mountainsmith focuses on the lightest packs available without sacrificing capacity. The Zerk 40 was co-designed by The Real Hiking Viking, a famous thru-hiker and is great for those looking to amplify their ultralight experience. The Scream 55 is for the rest of us, who like to carry a couple extras. At just 2lbs 13oz, the Scream 55 is still super lightweight and made for life on the trail. Whether you’re snowshoeing in the winter or backpacking in the summer, either of these packs are great options for the ultralight hiker in our lives.
MSR Revo™ Ascent Snowshoe
You know how quiet it gets after a heavy snowfall but you’re postholing and really wishing you had some kickass snowshoes to stay afloat on a winterized weekend stroll in the woods? Well those days are over. The Revo™ Ascent are fantastic snowshoes to help you get out there even in the depths of winter. Not only will they allow you to stay on top of the snow and make snow travel easier, they only weigh a little over 2lbs each and are sturdy enough to be put to the test. Whether it’ll be their first time snowshoeing, or they’ve been stomping pow for years, these are a great choice.
Sea to Summit Ether Light XT Extreme
It’s all about R-value – which is what companies use to measure a sleeping pad’s ability to keep you warm. The higher, the warmer. Coming in at an R-value of 6.2 (6 is for extreme cold), this pad will surely help during winter expeditions, from camping at basecamp, or crashing on the floor of a yurt because you pulled the short straw, the Ether Light XT Extreme is a soft place to land.
Skratch Labs Lemon Lime Sport Hydration Mix
Hydrate. You’ll literally feel better. Skratch is local and helping us stay active by providing the electrolytes necessary to take on the day. Whether heliskiing in the San Juans, ice climbing in Ouray, or biking to work, be sure to replenish yourself well. With quality ingredients and less sugar, Skratch has been changing the way we see electrolyte drinks and we’re loving it.
SlingFin Crossbow 2 Four-Season
SlingFin is shining bright these days with their innovative designs and high quality constructions. The Crossbow is made to survive winters and light enough to want to bring it along. With ample ventilation and protective covering, the Crossbow is here to keep you dry and warm, all winter long. Moisture is always a problem when camping, even more so in the winter, when it’s cold outside and warm in the tent, the Crossbow 2 is made to protect you from the outside world while mitigating condensation within.
Wazoo Adventure Kit
Local and wicked cool, Wazoo is all about being prepared and we dig it. Even if you’re not trying to be a survivalist, it’s mandatory that whenever you’re out and about you’re prepared and able to take care of yourself. Containing 23 tools and compatible with some of their other products, this kit is a compact, easy to bring along option for being prepared in the wilderness and it’s great for any adventurer.
Zeal Lookout Goggles
Boulder-based Zeal is helping us see on those bluebird days and on those we rather not still be skiing type days when the sun don’t shine. Helmet compatible, easily removable lenses, and everclear anti-fog only add to the coolness with common sense practicality. Pick up some Lookout Goggles for this snowy season.
Colorado Adventure Guides
Since 1994, this small group of dedicated guides has been making sure people stay safe and have fun whether backcountry touring, ice climbing, or snowshoeing. They also offer backcountry education to make sure you’re ready to take on the backcountry on your own and they even offer free 101 clinics. There’s a whole world beyond the resort, but you need to be ready and you need to know what you’re doing, so don’t hold back, get out there, and adventure, but get yourself a guide to show you the ropes. Check out Colorado Adventure Guides – the backcountry is calling.
Georgetown Outdoor Discovery
Kimberly Knox has an extensive history with the outdoor community, has adventured all over the world, and now she’s sharing her knowledge and experience with us by taking us out and providing us with professional and fun outdoor excursions. From guided hikes and snowshoeing, to cross country skiing and personalized coaching, Knox is one of Georgetown’s best options for getting outside year-round. She even does custom tours for group events and team building experiences! Knox’s decades of experience and her newly found business is there for you to adventure and is providing Georgetown with new and exciting guided opportunities.
Snowmobiling at nearly 12,000 feet! From beginner to advanced tours and five different locations, Grand Adventure is lifting the bar for winter adventures to a whole new level. What could be better than spending the day with friends or family taking in the beautiful scenery of Colorado on high-powered snowmobiles? And if you join them in Grand Lake, you have a vast selection of over 100 miles worth of trails to choose from. Ride solo or in tandem, Grand Adventures surely has something for everyone to enjoy.
Jones Pass Guides
Located just off I-70 on US 40, Jones Pass Guides is providing Colorado with incredible backcountry skiing and boarding adventures. Snowcats will take you to new heights for up to 14 people, while their backcountry touring trips will provide you the knowledge and experience to make sure you stay safe and have fun. Their courses include Backcountry 101, 201, and an advanced course. They also offer workshops and other ed opps. Along with Snowcat trips comes lunch, demo skis, backcountry safety gear, an Après social, and you’ll get to ski 10-14 runs through a variety of terrain. And you can have them photograph you for a bit extra.
San Juan Sleddogs
Dogs! Sleds! Dogsledding! A professional team of dog sled guides are here to take you on a mushing adventure. They offer a 2-hour experience which includes educational instruction, transportation, photography, and some warm drinks and snacks. What’s better than hanging out in wonderful Southwestern Colorado? The answer is clearly hanging out in Southwestern Colorado with a bunch of cute dogs! Great for dates, family adventures, or get togethers, dogsledding is a unique and exciting way to explore the winter wilderness.
When on-piste (typically groomed, marked trails) just isn’t enough the snowcat will take you where you need to be. Untouched powder, backcountry goodness, and a group of cats as cool as the machines they drive—Steamboat Powdercats is providing the fun. Ski Buffalo Pass, which often has Colorado’s deepest snowpack, or choose from Levels I, II, and III to find exactly what you’re looking for. They also offer backcountry touring trips, avalanche education, and are planning on hosting trips to South America for custom backcountry adventures. If you’re looking for a gift for that special loved one who’s in need of some of Colorado’s best skiing guided by some of Colorado’s most professional guides, look no further.
High adventure, high altitude, and high reward. Heliskiing is the ultimate in backcountry fun and Telluride Helitrax is here to take you to the next level by providing you “tailored, personalized guest experiences” in some of the most pristine and beautiful mountains in Colorado, the San Juans. For those of us who are in need of six solid runs covering up to 14,000 vertical feet, this is the place, and for those of us who rather skip the skiing and still ride in the helicopter, this is STILL the place, because they also offer scenic trips. This may very well be one of the best ways to see, experience, and feel the absolutely stunning might of the San Juans.
Vail Backcountry Tours
What’s better than snowshoeing through a lovely forest on a bluebird day? Ripping down a designated snow path on a snowmobile or a snowbike, of course! Take your winter adventure to the extreme with Vail Backcountry Guides. Offering 2-hour, half-day (not for snowbikes), and private tours to provide you the thrill of speed while exploring some of Colorado’s most beautiful areas. With so many trails to explore, you’re sure to have a great time with views of distant peaks, wonderful snow-covered forests, and the exhilarating thrill of going fast. Vail Backcountry Tours is providing an exciting and exhilarating way to spend a trip to the mountains.
American Paintball Coliseum
Who says winter adventure has to include snow? Paintball, airsoft, laser tag, and a virtual reality arcade, this place is great for groups of any size. They also offer events such as bachelor and bachelorette parties, team building, and holiday parties. Pretend you’re in your favorite video game as you make your way through the field and have fun with friends. Best of all, for those of us who don’t want to be in the cold, it’s indoors – they do however have an outdoor field for the summer time.
Frisco Adventure Park
The Frisco Adventure Park offers lots of different activities, from cross-country skiing to snowshoeing, but we have to give a special shout-out to the Tubing Hill that’s open for reservations. With the first day of the season coming up on November 25th, it’s time to make your plans and get out to Frisco for a family fun day of tubing. Three lanes to choose from with a variety of steepness and there’s even a lift, so kick back, relax, and tube the day away. Whether you only go for the tubing, or enjoy some of the other activities they offer, you’ll have a blast. Check out downtown Frisco, or Breckenridge, to make it a fully packed day trip.
Pikes Peak Cog Railway
Choo-Choo! If you’re looking to comfortably ride up the side of the iconic 14,000+ft. Pikes Peak, the Cog Railway is the ONLY way to do it. With several tours a day, make this holiday season special, with spectacular views and the glorious warmth of high altitude sunshine. Tickets for winter are only available until January 3rd, so don’t wait! There’s something magical about riding up a 14er on a train and, as a gift for a special someone or a group of people, it’s even more special. Winter is even supposed to be when you can see the furthest; with the help of the sun and some clear skies, it’s sure to be a great experience.
With a brand new location at 463 Main St. in Longmont, Matt Burditt and Ryan Kazee have taken their shop to a whole new level and are supplying us with all the great gear and gifts we could need. Not only does this local business have a great selection of winter gear for sale like snowshoes, skis, snowboards, and even rentals, they’ll also make sure you’re ready to go come fly fishing season.
Crystal Ski Shop
Local ski shop that specializes in all things ski and snowboard care and rentals. Whether you’re looking to get some rentals or hoping to remove all that rust that’s built up on the edges, Crystal Ski shop will make sure you’re ready to hit the slopes. It’s a great place to get ready for the winter season or gift someone a rental. They also have backcountry setups and safety gear.
JAX Outdoor Gear
So. Much. Gear. And with lots of locations to choose from, JAX is a go-to stop for all your outdoor needs, be it kayaking, camping, fishing, you name it. Whether you’re looking for cooking gear, shoes, clothing, a new hat, or some layers to stay warm, JAX is a great place to get all your gifts in one place for those outdoorsy adventurers in your life. They even have farm & ranch equipment, goods for life at home, apparel, and great gifts for this holiday season.