Give Less, Give Well
Some of you might remember our Miscellaneous ADVENTure Calendar christmas countdown which we ran back couple of years ago. The ADVENTure Calendar was a way for us to share and promote the work of our friends, collaborators and contemporaries whilst dishing out some Christmas cheer in the form of giveaways and festive outdoor tips and tricks.
Although the project is on hiatus whilst we focus our festive energies closer to home, we still think Christmas is a great time to spread the word about people doing things with passion and purpose. With that in mind we’ve collated a cluster of goods, experiences and ideas that we think would make wonderful gifts for your nearest and dearest.
Whatever gifts you decide to give this Christmas, we’d urge you to consider their longevity, legacy and environmental impact. Ignore the mounting pressures from brands and businesses hell bent on selling things that no one needs in order to make a profit at any cost and use the festive season as an opportunity to support small brands, makers, and folks striving to make a difference. Give less but give well, make instead of buy, nurture nature and have happier holidays!
We believe in the power of meaningful relationships with well made goods to help reduce waste, curb mindless consumerism and enhance adventures and our daily lives. Our own handmade items are a reflection of this and the other items we've picked here all represent the same ethos; we know we'd be thrilled to find any of these under our tree or in our stockings on Christmas Day.
Millican packing cubes: A great packing solution for your tent, car, van or bedroom drawer. Made from one piece of fabric, there's less waste and more good.
Rolling Home x Francli Van Pouch: A beautifully crafted storage device designed for vanlife. Designed by our friends at the Rolling Home and made in collaboration with Francli (both of whom featured in our original ADVENTure Calendars) beautifully crafted and well made - a perfect gift for your van dwelling friends.
Trakke Gask Tool Roll: Handmade in Scotland from waxed cotton, we use this tool roll to keep our woodcarving implements organised and safe and can highly recommend it. Due to the handmade nature of their products, you'll have to print out a picture and wrap it up as these won't arrive until the New Year now. Good things come to those who wait, as they say.
A subscription is the gift that keeps on giving. It's also a great way to support independent companies who are making good things or seeking to inspire and engage a community. Below are a few ideas we think would make excellent gifts.
Print: Print is certainly not dead and two of our current favourites are the recently re-designed Another Escape and The Rolling Home Journal. Both are packed full of engaging, thoughtful, adventurous content that is sure to inspire.
Coffee: The good folk at Yallah who have often provided the coffee for our woodland workshops also offer a subscription service that will see you are never short of the good stuff. Delivered weekly, freshly ground, fairly traded and delivered to your door, we love this idea.
Mystery: Adventurous Ink is a subscription book club from Gather Outdoors. Each month a mystery book, art print or journal is sent to subscribers; previous mystery packages have included The Scottish Bothy Bible, Sidetracked magazine and Ernest Journal. A great way to
The Big Guys
Bigger companies have the potential to create bigger change, Patagonia have long been a favourite brand of ours and although expensive, their gear lasts forever and if it doesn't, they will mend it for you. Their manifesto is to "Build the best product, cause no unncessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis." which is something we can very much get behind. Plus, they are currently taking on Donald Trump, what's not to like? You can shop their UK store online here.
What greater gift than the gift of knowledge? We have seen through teaching our own workshops how transformative learning a new skill can be, so sign someone up to a course, workshop, outdoor experience or event and who knows where it will lead them, here are a few of our favourites:
Alex Pole - Alex, who made the axe heads for our Micro Hiking Hatchets runs a series of blacksmitihing course including knife and axe making at his forge in Somerset. We're very keen to join one of these ourselves, so maybe we'll see you there!
Otter Surfboards - Based in Cornwall, Otter run wooden surf craft making courses throughout the year. Choose from surfboards, bellyboards or hand planes and create something to treasure and ride.
Wildlife Drawing - "Wild Life Drawing is a drawing class with a difference. Instead of human life models, our subjects are real animals." An excellent gift choice for a creative nature lover, these classes run regularly in London and other sites in the UK. Gift vouchers are available.
Field Studies Council - The Field Studies Council run a multitude of courses designed to teach and inspire people to become more passionate about the environment by getting to know it better. From plant ID to conservation to traditional craft, there's lots to choose from.
Miscellaneous Adventures - Of course, we couldn't put this guide together without mentioning our own woodland based workshops! We are running 4 seasonal course in 2018, camp skills, spoon carving, nature journalling and axe craft, gift vouchers are available. It's been our mission to connect more people with nature and the environment through creative and adventurous workshops since 2013 and we're looking forward to continuing this in 2018.
We hope you find something to inspire your gift giving in this guide and if you have any other ideas you'd like to share, we'd love to hear - so do get in touch!
Have a wonderful Christmas.