Stay dry ... and visible
The colorful Cotopaxi Unisex Tea Windbreaker

As you think about upgrading your gear this holiday season, think, too, about how you might help those in your inner outdoor circle update their gear — even if they may not know they need an upgrade.

Especially if they don’t know.

Because seriously, don’t you find yourself on the trail at times with someone whose convertible pants are threadbare in the most unfortunate places (“Hey! They got me through the AT in ’88; they’ve still got another hike or two in ‘em”), whose hiking socks are wafer thin (“No blisters — yet!”), who’s still clinging to that external frame pack (“Comfort shmumfort!”)

That said, some upgrade suggestions for your deserving trail peeps.

Cotopaxi Unisex Teca Windbreaker Half-Zip. You and Mel (or Melba) have hiked together for years, and over those years, he gets wetter and wetter on those rainy day hikes. Between the rain seeping through and their sweat unable to escape, their rain shell is a shell of its former self. And does everything they wear have to be olive drab green! Put some warmth and color into their life with a Cotopaxi Teca Windbreaker. It’s especially ideal for windy conditions, thanks to a vented back and elastic bands at the cuffs, hood and waist that keep unwanted elements from creeping in. A kangaroo pouch in the front keeps snacks dry, and the explosion of color (three color explosions to choose from) will help them maintain a sunny disposition on the dreariest of days. Learn more here.

SmartWool PHD Outdoor Light Mid Crew Socks. You shudder when you see him show up for a hike: ‘70s guy who is still working his way through the 24-pack of cotton tube socks he got with his first pair of Danners back in college. “I’ll think about new socks when I wear through my last four pair,” he says pre-hike as he coats his feet in preemptive Moleskin. If only he knew how socks had evolved in the last half century — and you can be the one to enlighten. Imagine him slipping on a pair of form-fit PhDs for the first time — shoot, simply imagine him opening up a pair of socks that looks like a pair of socks. Be a hero this holiday season: introduce someone stuck in the past to the miracle of today’s PhDs. Learn more here.

At 60L, big enough to stash just about everything
Patagonia duffel

Patagonia Arbor Duffel Bag 60L. Another person who strikes fear when they arrive for an adventure: the guy whose gear is strewn throughout his car, in his trunk, in his cartop carrier. “It’ll just be a minute,” he promises with a hint of panic, “I know my gaiters are here somewhere.” If only he had an organizing system that could consolidate all his gear. He still may not be organized, but this way he only has to dig through a contained 60 liter pack to locate that missing gear. The Arbor Duffel Bag 60L: it could be the difference between hitting the trailhead on time or … sometime. Learn more here.

Replace those tube socks now!
Farm to Feet hiker

Farm To Feet Boulder Medium Weight Crew sock. Sorry, but we can’t get tube sock guy out of our mind. Mostly, it’s the cotton construction and the sock’s complete lack of resemblance to a sock. But there’s also the style: blinding-Arctic white topped by a ring of red sandwiched by two of blue!? It might have worked for Napoleon Dynamite, but he also kept tater tots in his pants (empty carbs, man). Let’s get this guy up to sock speed with some real hiking socks. Learn more here.

Substance and style
Trixie & Milo Mack the Knife

Trixie & Milo Mack the Knife Pocket Knife. We all love a good pocket knife, and for a while, the definition of good lie in how many gizmos your knife could MacGyver out of its storage shed. But tell the truth: how often have you used your wire cutters, your sewing needle, your mini-chainsaw? You use the basics: the knife, the bottle opener, the flathead screwdriver. So why not have those basics bundled inside a snazzy case — one resembling a sailor’s tattoo, for instance. A most memorable stocking-stuffer. Learn more here.