(Travel Writer and (outdoor enthusiast) Doug O’Neill stopped by FLY Travel Radio for our annual holiday show. Make sure to check out Doug's book picks for 2020 at https://bit.ly/387uOrM and listen to our interview here: https://bit.ly/37rNL9D).
10 Pay-it-Forward Holiday Gift Ideas for the Outdoorsy Traveller
by Doug O’Neill
Outdoor travel was trending throughout 2020 and chances are that it will continue for 2021. Here are 10 outdoor gift ideas which have a pay-it-forward benefit. Purchase one of these super cool items for the nature-lover on your list and contribute to a good cause at the same time. In fact, you can give these gifts at anytime of the year!
Valley Town Trail Co. Based in Dundas, Ontario, owner-creator and outdoor enthusiast Rich Auger focuses on premium graphic goods and products designed in Dundas that celebrate, in his words, “the best damn valley town around.” In fact, he originally named his company Dundas Valley Trail Co. Auger donates a minimum of 5% from each sale to a local charity or organization to help support those who take the time to help others and the environment. Choose from Dundas Valley hooies, Dundas Peaks t-shirts, Cootes Paradise sweaters, as well as toques, cycling, accessories and more.
Visit Valley Town Trail Co.
Nature Conservancy of Canada
Help endangered and threatened species in Canada when you give someone a symbolic “Adopt a Species” gift of a Snowy Owl, Polar Bear, Bald Eagle or other endangered animal. The recipient will receive a calendar, a 10-page species booklet and a full-colour, and 8.5” x 11” certificate. Visit the Nature Conservancy of Canada online shop.
Wild Sun Rescue As nature-loving travellers, who among us hasn’t fallen in love when looking at photos of Howler monkeys in Costa Rica? You can donate a gift on behalf of a friend—or adopt a specific injured animal at the wildlife rescue centre. George, Eggsy and Angel (injured howler monkeys that have been rescued in 2020) are waiting to be adopted! To adopt an animal for a friend, visit Wild Sun Rescue.
Parks Canada Boutique
Our venerable Parks Canada team knocks it out of the park (pun intended) with this year’s gift collection: designer-savvy neck tuberz, T-shirts, caps, reusable straws, eco-friendly bamboo utensils, water bottles, books and more. When you purchase a gift from Parks Canada you’re helping to conserve and protect Canada’s 48 national parks and national park reserves. Visit Parks Canada Boutique.
Conservation Parks Memberships An excellent gift—with extra benefits and privileges—for nature-loving families on your list. You can purchase a Family or Individual gift membership to conservation areas and parks within specific regions. Having a membership makes it easy to book in advance, plus gives free entry to festivals, shop discounts, member newsletters and more. Visit Conservation Parks.
North of Fifty Metis Designs
Metis digital artist and business woman TJ Wallis passionately promotes Metis and First Nations-inspired wearable art, home decor, jewelry and gift ideas on her web site. Face masks, art shawls, hand bags, totes, scarves, journals and cards feature original artwork. Royalties are paid to the artist or their estates for each product sold. Visit North of Fifty Metis Designs.
Park People/Amis des parcs
Nature in the city. A timely gift for holiday 2020! Park People supports and mobilizes community park groups, community organizers, non-profits, park professionals and funders who activate the power of parks through Canada-wide and city-specific programs and events. Since 2011, Park People has engaged 850 park groups in 46 cities across Canada. You can donate a gift in honour of a friend or loved one. Visit Park People’s Donation Page.
Plant an Irish Heritage Tree
If we can’t travel to amazing destinations like Ireland in the immediate future, it’s always possible to support the green environment you’ll visit one day! The Irish Heritage Tree program enables you to commemorate a loved one by planting a tree in their name in beautiful, verdant rural Ireland. Recipients receive a printed certificate (with framing options) as well as details on where their tree is planted—which they can visit once we start travelling the globe once more. Visit Irish Heritage Tree.
Canadian Wildlife Federation Shop Purchase the Grey Wolf Adoption Kit, the Polar Bear Adoption Kit or the Moose Adoption Kit for that special person on your list and they’ll receive a stuffed animal with full details on how adopting a moose (or other endangered animal) will help CWF conserve at-risk areas like the boreal forest in Canada. Visit Canadian Wildlife Federation Shop.
Ontario Parks Seasonal Permits
What says “Happy Holidays” better than a gift that provides someone with direct access to the great outdoors! Purchase a permit of choice (annual, seasonal, day use) to give your gift recipient access to 330 Ontario Parks, of which include 100 have camping and onsite facilities. Ontario Parks also lists 19,000 car accessible campsites and over 8,000 backcountry/wilderness campsites. Get your Ontario Parks Seasonal Permits.