Tag: rei

5 holiday gifts for the outdoor guide

Holiday gifts for the outdoor guide

When you’re outside putting in thousands of miles on your feet and taking customers to epic destinations, you need gear that works flawlessly. Our resident outdoor guide and newest contributor to Little Grunts, AJ Baker, put together a cheat sheet on what to get your outdoor guide for the holidays.

ExOfficio Underwear

Out in the wilderness with no access to laundry? ExOfficio’s underwear is the answer to your prayers. Lightweight and quick drying, every guide gets a good few days use before maybe it’s time for a washing. The best part? Toss these in a bit of water and a bit of soap, give it a good scrubbing and they’re just as good as new.

Buy through REI.

Patagonia Capilene 3

The Patagonia Capilene 3 zipneck is arguably the most versatile layer for this outdoor guide. From hot summer days of guiding in the Southwest to four seasons in Michigan, this keeps you warm and protected. Bonus: the zipper lets you open up and ventilate when it’s getting a little too warm.

Buy through REI for $69.

Black Diamond High Ball Pants

The Black Diamond High Ball pants aren’t just for climbing. From the crag to lounging around to city streets, these are versatile without looking like you’re about to hike to work.

Buy through Moosejaw for $79.

Chaco Sandals

‘Tis the season for new Chacos. Wait, it’s always Chaco season. Who wants to hike in boots when Chacos can do it all? The best part is winter means all the Chaco sandals are on sale.

Buy through REI.

Green laser pointer + National Geographic’s Backyard Guide to the Night Sky

Every guide should know his stars. What better way to woo guests than to tell them wild tales about the night sky? National Geographic’s Backyard Guide to the Night Sky and a green laser pointer are hands down a winner. Just make sure the laser pointer is at least 50 Megawatts so you can point it all the way to the stars.

Get the book for $17 from Amazon.

Stocking stuffer: merino wool socks

You can’t go wrong with merino wool socks, ever.

REI has just about every brand imaginable along with their own private label line, so you’ve got merino socks for every budget.

REI Sahara Roll-Up Convertible Hiking Pants Review

REI Sahara Roll-Up Pants

REI Sahara Roll-Up Convertible Hiking Pants Review

Hiking pants are a dime a dozen. Every brand’s got one. Or two. Or maybe even three. Me, I decided to go for the cheapest option, and the most colorful. Lately, my go-to trail and outdoor climbing pants have been the REI Sahara Roll-Up Pants, like zip pants, minus the zip functionality because the way those are cut are never attractive.

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REI Intro to Mountaineering Course

Mountaineering is one of those things that I’ve been trying to get into for a while now. I mean, who can resist gr1m, frostbitten, kvlt ice and spikey things and tall peaks?

For the boyfriend’s Christmas present, I got him an intro to mountaineering class for the two of us through REI’s Outdoor School.

REI Intro to Mountaineering Review REI Intro to Mountaineering Review REI Intro to Mountaineering Review REI Intro to Mountaineering Review REI Intro to Mountaineering Review REI Intro to Mountaineering Review

We woke up well before the sun was up and drove to the REI in Roseville. The other option was to meet at the Donner Pass Sno Park next to Boreal. We arrived at the trailhead at around 10AM due to a freak bus fire accident on the side of 80.

Our instructors, Dakota and Ryan, handed out ice axes, crampons, helmets and gaiters. Students were free to bring their own gear if they had it. Then, we set off across the road towards Castle Peak. It had snowed a bunch the week before, and without snowshoes, we were mostly postholing in the snow.

Did a lot of practice of walking in balance up and down hills. Spent some time practicing kick stepping and the French technique. We spent an absurd amount of time practicing self-arresting in various ways. Did some self belaying up and down the side of a powdery hill. Practiced some “real” mixed climbing up a rock formation.

And then glissaded all the way back down (mostly) to the trailhead, which was awesome. I want to glissade my life away.

If you’re looking for a glimpse into mountaineering, I highly recommend this class, though your mileage may vary. Dakota and Ryan were super, nice, friendly, patient and informative. I feel like I have a decent grasp of basic mountaineering techniques that I can practice on small, less technical peaks.

See ya this summer, Rainier!

This class is available through REI’s Outdoor School website. The cost is $125 for members and $145 for non-members.

Have you taken a class through REI before? What did you think?

Pictured above are the Outdoor Research Women’s Valhalla Pants, Outdoor Research Women’s Riot Gloves, The North Face Women’s Kira Triclimate Jacket, Black Diamond Half Dome Helmet, Icebreaker BodyFit 260 Compass Leggings – Girls’, Icebreaker BodyFit Oasis Crew Long Sleeve, Black Diamond FrontPoint Gaiters, Camelbak Aventura pack, and Triple Aught Design Artemis Hoodie.