If there’s a man in your life you need to buy a gift for and he’s into hiking, canoeing, cycling or another outdoor sport, your job seems easy, doesn’t it? Just pick up some gear that matches his hobby and you’re good. Unfortunately, buying gear for outdoor enthusiasts can be a lot trickier than that.
People tend to have strong preferences about gear, which means that they often either already have what you may be thinking of buying or they have a specific idea about what they want. Even buying something as seemingly simple as a pair of socks can be stressful. The tips below can help you buy the right gift for the right guy at the right time.
Make a Budget
Gear can be expensive. If this is a family member, such as a father or a brother, you might want to go in with the rest of the family on a single item. However, you’ll first need to decide what you can spend. Birthdays and other gift-giving occasions can be stressful if money is tight, but you may be able to find some creative ways to cut back on your monthly expenses.
For example, you could use a private student loan consolidation calculator to see if it would save money to consolidate your student loans with a private lender. This has the added advantages of replacing multiple monthly payments with a single one. Put away your savings every month, and you’ll soon have enough to make a substantial contribution toward a gift.
Get Him a Membership
Maybe you don’t know exactly what he wants, but you can make it easier for him to get it cheaper by buying him a membership in one of several outdoor clubs that offer big discounts to members. Some of the clubs may specialize in discounts on experiences, such as courses in wilderness medicine or trips to Everest Base Camp.
Others may offer reduced prices on accommodations while still others get great discounts on gear. If he spends a lot of time visiting national parks, you could get him an annual pass. Match him with the right organization and an annual membership can provide him with gifts throughout the entire year.
Get Him a Subscription
Subscriptions aren’t just for magazines although buying him a subscription to an outdoor magazine is certainly an option. A more creative one might be an outdoor subscription box that sends an assortment of merchandise. This can be a great way for him to get some gear to sample based on his interests, and he can receive a box every month or quarter depending on the type of plan that you choose.
Talk to Him
You can also just chat with him about what he likes and needs. Maybe there’s a pair of trekking poles he’s got his eye on, or perhaps he wants a specific kind of new tent. This takes away some of the surprise element, but it helps ensure you get him exactly what he wants. Remember that a gift card to an outdoor store is also a great alternative. It might feel like a bit of a cheat, but the truth is, a shopping spree that you don’t have to pay for is a terrific gift for an outdoor enthusiast.