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Does the thought of buying the perfect hiking gift for a friend or relative make you smile or does it stress you out?
Is there a mature hiker or backpacker on your gift-giving list? What can you give to someone who already has everything?
The secret of gift-giving is not always the “what.” Many times the “why, when, and how” to make an ordinary gift the Perfect Gift.
Continue reading to discover 5 sure-fire steps to giving the perfect gift to the outdoor enthusiasts in your life.
Step 1: Think Before Shopping For A Hiking Gift
- Do Your Homework.
- This is the toughest of the 5 steps. Doing your homework means thinking about your outdoor enthusiast and what he or she likes about being in the backcountry.
- Are there any current or past outdoor interests? Perhaps he likes to fish or she likes to climb. Maybe you overheard the comment “I remember when I used to go backpacking every long weekend. I miss those days.”
- Chances are you already know their interests, so take a few minutes to think prior to shopping. There are loads of great outdoor gifts available.
Another part of your homework is to understand the relationship between you and your gift recipient’s outdoor hobbies.
Last year I was hiking with a great friend who got mildly lost. After about an hour, he showed up in base camp a little embarrassed – but safe.
So the perfect gift for him before our next trip was a GPS unit. I also included a handwritten coupon good for one free lesson and an extra set of batteries.
The relationship we had allowed me to have a little fun with the gift-giving. I did provide him with a quality hiking gift and he uses it all the time.
Step 2: Quality Gear Is A Must
- Speaking of High Quality.
- The best way to get the most enjoyment out of your backcountry experiences is to have good gear.
- When giving a backcountry or hiking gift, be sure it’s high quality. There are two gear buying rules to live by. First, only give gear you would use. And secondly, buy the best gear you can afford.
- Nothing derails good times in the great outdoors like bad gear.
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Step 3: The Right Way to Give Gift Cards For Hiking Gear
- The Right Way to Give Cards.
- Gift cards can be an excellent choice for a gift.
- Here’s a great use of a gift card – I was fortunate enough to be on the receiving end of this story.
- When giving gift cards, tell the recipient what to buy with them.
A friend living across the country knows I loved to hike. He also knows from his own experience that you can’t just buy a backpack for someone else.
Backpacks are a very subjective purchase. (REI has a great guide for fitting backpacks)
Instead of buying me a pack and giving me the task of returning it in order to get the right one, he sent me a gift card AND he told me what to buy with it.
So now I get the backpack that fits me and the one I want. My friend has proven once again how well he knows me. I loved the gift. Buy REI gift cards here.
Step 4: Look for Customer Friendly Retailers
- Seek Out Customer Friendly Retailers. This is especially important when purchasing a gift online.
- Make sure you are purchasing from a store with visible customer satisfaction and return policies, such as REI.
- If your gift recipient needs to exchange or return a piece of gear, the process needs to be hassle-free. If the return procedure is clunky, the perfect gift just became imperfect.
Step 5: Timing is Everything
- Timing is Everything.
- The best time to get “the birding binoculars I always wanted,” is not on your birthday or at Christmas time.
- The best time to get them is just before you go birding. The new backpack is a more thoughtful gift just prior to hiking the Grand Canyon than it is for graduation.
- The value of a gift is greatly increased when given at the right time.
- Surprise someone with a perfectly timed present.
Giving the Perfect Hiking Gift is easy to do. Determining “what” to give is important, but so is knowing “why, when, and how” to give.
Make your next gift-giving experience a good one. The outdoor enthusiast in your life is counting on it.
Use this information and you’ll Get It Right The First Time!