Five Bay Area Experiences to Gift This Holiday Season

As I grow older, I realize that giving presents is something I’ve really grown to dislike. I don’t want to give stuff anymore. We all have too much stuff. My parents have too much stuff. I have too much stuff. Stuff doesn’t last. Stuff breaks. Stuff gets thrown away. Experiences are better.

Get out there and make some unforgettable memories with this list of five awesome Bay Area experiences to gift your friend, your mother, or whomever.

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Hiking Cone Peak, Nacamiento-Fergusson Road

Hiking Cone Peak via Nacamiento-Fergusson Road

Hiking Cone Peak, Nacamiento-Fergusson Road

Considering how close I live to Big Sur, I rarely make it out to this gorgeous bit of California coastline. It doesn’t help that most campsites here are booked out months in advance. I got lucky and managed to find an opening at Kirk Creek Campground back in the spring.

I grabbed a few friends and drove south for a relaxing weekend. We had no plans on the horizon, except for maybe hiking Cone Peak.

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Art Rangers National Park Foundation

The Art Rangers, an interview with Oscar Nilsson

Art Rangers National Park Foundation

From monument reductions to budget cuts, it’s not news that our public lands are under attack. Inspired by the beauty of America’s natural resources, Oscar Nilsson and Alex Tatem decided to find ways to increase funding for public lands: through art.

They recently launched their new project, the Art Rangers, a platform for photographers to sell their work. All proceeds go to the Art Rangers’ first partner, the National Park Foundation.

I sat down with founder Oscar Nilsson to dig into all things Art Rangers. Read on to find which parks inspire him and what he’s excited to accomplish with the Art Rangers.

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Urban Hiking San Francisco Seven Summits

Hiking the Seven Summits of San Francisco

Urban Hiking San Francisco Seven Summits

Photos by Peter Amend

I will always take dirt trails over concrete sidewalks and the mountains over the city. There are just some times that you can’t escape that hustle and bustle.

Hiking the original Seven Summits of San Francisco is an idea I’ve had in my pocket for a while. I mentioned the idea to my friend, Peter, and he rallied together a group to tackle hiking across San Francisco.

Estimated walking distance for hiking San Francisco? 18 miles.

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Bay Area Climbers Coalition: Why I Volunteer

Climbing Yosemite Half Dome Bay Area Climbers Coalition

I grew up in a household where it was bad to speak up. I was raised to accept things as they are. To never question authority. To never get involved. To never rock the boat. To sit down and be quiet because someone else is always right.

That mentality kind of, sort of stuck with me throughout the years. While I’ve never been fully checked out, I’ve also never dove in deeply to support a cause or an organization. I donate money from time to time. I volunteer from time to time. But I wanted something more.

After last year’s election, I wanted to do something. Now, I run social media for the Bay Area Climbers Coalition.

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