Holiday shopping can be hard, but this list makes it easy.

Microspikes— ice is slippery and can be a nuisance, especially in the harsh New England winters (and late falls.. and early springs). Microspikes (or nanospikes) provide extra traction and can comfortably slip on over shoes or boots. There are many brands to choose from, but they are a necessity in icy conditions. Wear them while going for a walk around the block on precarious sidewalks, wear them to walk the dog to give yourself extra sure footing so Rex doesn’t pull you down, AND wear them to hike in the Blue Hills! Microspikes often last multiple seasons and can be shared among family members. There are many brands available and usually run between $30 – $60 per pair.

*Photo by Peter Morrissey

Socks. Yes, this is a classic choice, but the socks you buy don’t have to be old! Innovation in the sock market has never been more accommodating. Consider wool socks for extra warmth, or try eco-friendly socks that are made from recycled material, and are good for the environment. Socks are a great gift, and make excellent stocking stuffers.

Re-usable water bottle. Clean, high quality water bottles are useful and reduce waste from plastic. By using a re-usable water bottle, you can save money on purchasing cases of bottled water. Re-usable water bottles can be personalized with various shapes and colors or by putting fun stickers around the case.

Solar charging phone case. Before looking to buy this, make sure that you know what type of cell phone your recipient has! (Or make sure to keep a gift receipt in case you get the wrong size). A solar charging phone case is the perfect companion tool for a year round hiker. The case will protect the phone from the rough rocks and roots in the outdoors, and it will charge the phone using sunlight.

*Photo by Scott Dayer

Sponsor A Trail. Through the Friends of the Blue Hills, you can sponsor a trail in the name of a friend, loved-one, or family member. Sponsoring a trail is easy, you can head on over to this webpage and make a donation in honor of someone you care about. Sponsors will receive an official certificate along with a map of the Blue Hills. The donation will go towards protecting the park and maintaining the trails so visitors – like you – can enjoy the park all year long.

Happy shopping!

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