When it comes to shopping for the holidays, sometimes what you really need is just a gift guide full of ideas you might not have thought of otherwise.

Because at the end of the day, the goal is really to get something that your friends and family will love.

You know, so it doesn’t end up at next year’s White Elephant Party. (Yes, I’m holding on to the belief that we will be having ALL the holiday parties in 2021.)

And, let’s be real. A sale doesn’t hurt either. Because I don’t know about you, but as soon as things change, I’m gonna want every bit of extra cash possible for travel.

So, that’s exactly what we’ve got for you in this 2020 Holiday Shopping Guide. A list of ideas and deals for everyone on your list. Let’s get to it.

kids in monster robes at Christmas
May your Christmas Morning be this eventful with all your little “monsters”. 🤪

Gift Ideas for Outdoor Adventurers


One of the things that can make or break a trip in the outdoors, especially during the winter months, is proper outerwear. Here in the PNW, it’s even more important to have options that are waterproof and breathable.

Note: A lot of these outdoor gear recommendations are links to Evo. They’re based in the PNW and we’ve always been impressed with their customer service, products, and knowledge when we visit. They have a wide variety of sales going on this season that varies by brand, so it’s totally worth checking these links. In fact, we just scored a killer deal on a new snowboarding jacket for our oldest for $39!

We really like this Quicksilver jacket for men (plus, it’s on sale). Though this one from Burton would also be a huge hit. For women, this one from Volcom is great, and an option like this from Burton or this spectacular deal from Quicksilver (the one we bought our son) would be perfect.

woman standing on snowy ridge in front of Mt. Rainier holding up a snowboard
Wearing that Jacket from Volcom! It’s my fav!

Truth be told though, I’m actually a tiny bit bitter about the fact that Volcom didn’t have this color last year (and I’m totally trying to justify a second coat). 🤪

If none of these are quite what you’re looking for, we’ve also written a full Snow Jacket Buying Guide and a guide on How to Find Snow Pants You’ll Love with details on what’s important to look for when you’re shopping.

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Snowboards or Skis

If you have someone who loves winter sports, a new set of skis or a snowboard would be a spectacular choice. We’re huge fans of snowboard brands like Never Summer, Gnu, and Jones in this house.

We love these brands because of a few things:

  • Gnu is manufactured in the USA with zero hazardous waste, in the PNW. Plus, they are super fun to ride and are well made.
  • Never Summer boards have incredible workmanship, are made in the USA (Colorado), and the women’s Aura is one of my favorite boards I’ve ever ridden. I love it so much, I’ve convinced everyone to get one. The boys have a Mini Proto and a Bantam and John got the West Bound DF. I’m so sad they aren’t making the Aura anymore, but it’s okay ’cause I’ve got my eye on the Lady West or the Protosynthesis.
  • Jones Snowboards is striving to reduce their impact by choosing carbon-efficient shipping options and recycled materials whenever possible, and they ship directly to large accounts (like REI and Evo) to reduce their impact even further.
snow resort map with 6 snowboards standing up in snow in front of sign
See?! Gnu x 3, Jones, Never Summer, and a Flow for the little guy until he got big enough for his NS.

Hiking & Camping Gear

If you know someone who loves hiking (or is looking to get started), there are a ton of great ideas they would be sure to love. First, and foremost, if they are new to hiking, getting something from the 10 Essentials would be the perfect choice – something like a hiking first aid kit, a survival blanket, or a Life Straw are incredibly useful.

Or, you could grab them a bathroom kit for hiking or camping and include things like:

Looking for more ideas for hiking or camping? This post about what to bring on a hike and this one about what to take camping (and what to leave at home) are great places to spark inspiration.

Lift Tickets or Passes

If you know someone who loves to ski or ride, this gift is awesome! Before we started buying passes during spring sales, this was one of our favorite Christmas gifts. And, truth be told, we’d still love them to mountains we don’t already have passes for!

Grab day passes to their local mountain, or, better yet, give them access to multiple resorts with pass like Indy Pass. They’ll love you for it!

More Outdoor Adventure Gift Ideas

We’ve also got two, more in-depth, gift guides that are perfect for the outdoor adventurers in your life if you’re looking for a little more inspiration.

Gift Ideas for Travelers

Future Travel

If you know those who are missing travel like crazy, a gift card or future reservation just might be the best gift. We think gift cards to Airbnb or Booking.com would be perfect!

(I’m a size Hawaii, in case you were wondering. 😉)

Camera Gear

If you, or someone on your list loves to capture pictures of your travels and adventures, there are a few things that make it a lot easier, even if they already have their own camera.

There are a few things that make taking pictures on the go easier. Here are a couple of our favorites.

  • Camera Bag: We currently have the super lightweight, packable VEER from WANDRD (check out our full review here), but I’ve been big-time eyeing the FERNWEH backpacking bag or possibly the PRVKE as a sturdier option to have as well.
  • Tripod: I’m sooooo excited that we just ordered the new travel tripod from Peak Design. I’ve heard nothing but rave reviews of this thing and it’s what we need to take our photos to the next level.
  • Remote: The other item on it’s way to us is a wireless camera remote. I’m so bad about never being in pictures myself, and I’m determined to have more of the entire family, too. Between the tripod and remote, it should make a huge difference!
Grand Teton WANDRD 3
John using our WANDRD VEER in Grand Teton National Park.

Gift Ideas for Homeschoolers

Subscription Boxes

One thing our kids always love is getting mail. And, subscription boxes are no exception. It’s just a bonus when they also are learning something while having fun.

Here are a couple of our favs:

  • MelScience – Our oldest asked for more science experiments this year. And, I don’t know about you, but scrambling around town (or online) to find things like gentian violet isn’t my idea of fun. We love that MelScience shows up at our door every month and includes all the “science-y” stuff you’ll need. Occasionally, we need to have something like a AA battery or a potato, but that’s about it.
  • KiwiCo – John’s mom started buying a subscription for the boys to KiwiCo a couple of years ago and it hasn’t failed us yet. Every month, they’re stoked to open their box and do the projects as soon as possible. Bonus: they can truly do this one on their own 99% of the time, which means a solid hour or more that they are occupied. Win-win!

Homeschool and Life Planner

flat lay image of desk with coffee, phone, tablet and notebook

Most homeschoolers feel like they are keeping track of All. The. Things. Thankfully, having the right planner can make a huge difference in how you feel (and actually getting s**t done).

An Adventurous Life Planner is designed for homeschoolers, adventure lovers, and entrepreneurs in mind. Grab them (or yourself) a copy and tackle your days a little more confident and a little less crazy!

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Local PNW Gift Ideas

One of the other things we have a passion for is supporting local businesses. This year, in particular, we feel it’s even more important than ever. We are also a small business and when you purchase through our links, you’re supporting us. However, it’s vital that all small businesses in the area come together to support each other right now.

And, while we don’t get anything for promoting most of these, it’s not about that.

It’s about sharing our favorite things and supporting these businesses that we want to see here for years to come.

So, last but not least, here’s a list of 10 of our favorite brands and companies that are based in the Pacific Northwest that we think you should check out. Some of them are small businesses, some are a bit larger, but all of them are awesome.

  • Lionheart Coffee Company: Coffee, gift baskets, drinkwear, and more. This is one of our favorite coffee shops. The owners are some of the nicest people you’ve ever met and are so supportive of the local community.
  • Thinker Toys: This adorable toy store is one of our favorites in the area. You can now shop online with free 2-day local delivery or pick-up. Plus, they gift wrap for you. For Free. 🙌
  • Heart Coffee: Fun fact – this coffee company was started by a former pro snowboarder. We may be biased, but we think that makes it even more rad.
  • Annie Blooms Bookstore: This small, local bookstore is so amazing. The staff are incredibly helpful and I truly could spend hours browsing the incredible selection of books.
  • Powell’s City of Books: An iconic book store in the Portland area, Powell’s is not only local, but it is massive and has new and used books alike. Plus, if you have a ton of extra books you need to get rid of, they also buy books.
  • Hydro Flask: Hydro Flask is our water bottle and coffee cup brand of choice. Though you’ve probably seen them across the US (and beyond), they are based out of Bend, OR. They hold up to anything we throw at them, have an incredible warranty, and do their job of insulating hot and cold beverages brilliantly.
  • Rumpl Blankets (and Not Blankets): I literally can’t say enough good about my Rumpl blanket. I use that thing everywhere – and, the kids keep stealing it from me, so I think it may be time to get them their own (or get me a new one 😉). But, they also make things that are “not blankets” like towels, ground covers, and more. This company uses recycled plastic bottles in their blankets (for real!), works with small businesses and artists, and is Climate Neutral Certified. Plus, they’re based out of Portland, so what’s not to love?!
  • Mervin Manufacturing: A snowboard company based out of Washington, they are passionate about making killer boards and the environment.
  • Compass Rose: This shop in Olympia is one of my favorites to find thoughtful gifts that you won’t find everywhere else. I always find thoughtful items that I know will truly be cherished here.
  • Portland Leather: Handmade leather goods made by a super talented team in PDX. I LOVE the leather journal and bags I have from them. The leather is butter soft and smells amazing.
boy wrapped in blanket holding silver primus mug while camping in oregon at detroit lake in Roamerica campervan with Rumpl blankets on bed
See…I told you they stole my Rumpl! Thankfully, Roamerica had a couple extras for us on this trip.

Final 2020 Holiday Shopping Guide Thoughts

No matter who you’re shopping for this holiday season, I hope this guide has given you some new inspiration for gifts that will truly be meaningful.

And, if you’re still feeling stuck and want some help, drop a comment below and I’ll be happy to help you figure out that perfect gift.

For real. Maybe I’m crazy for offering it, but I also know the struggle of finding a gift that you can feel good about giving. And, I want to make that easy for you. If you don’t want to leave a comment, you can also send me an email and I’ll get back to you ASAP.

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