A lot of paddling gear is too big to fit into a stocking. Think creek boats, PFD’s and sexy carbon fiber paddles. If you are assembling the perfect stocking for your double-bladed loved one, there are still plenty of useful and cool paddling gear items that fit snugly into a stocking. Here are our suggestions for great items your paddling bud or family member will love to find hanging above the fireplace.
1. Gloves or pogies for cold winter paddling days
You can be zipped into your brand new dry suit with a neoprene beanie under your helmet and your best merino-wool base layers on, but if you have cold paws, that’s all you will notice on the river. Make sure your paddling loved one has warm hands all the way until ice-out with some great gloves or pogies. Discover them here.
2. The Morakniv Eldris
This Swedish-made pocket knife is the cutest blade you will ever take into the backcountry. We took ours along on an overnight camping trip and found it was great for whittling kindling and small tasks around camp. It has a stainless steel blade, a secure grip and a snug sheath with a click lock. Check out the Morakniv Eldris here.
Photo: Hannah Griffin
3. A GPS or SPOT device for big paddling missions
A GPS or SPOT device is a great tool for those going on longer paddling missions, or even day-trippers who want a navigation aid or safety precaution. If your friend or family member is off on a remote adventure, this stocking stuffer will help you stay in touch with them and make sure they are on track. See whitewater electronics here.
4. A sponge for absorbing water in the kayak
A sponge is a small but super useful item for kayakers, especially those running big water and playboating. It means a paddler can avoid getting out of their kayak and instead soak up water with the sponge and squeeze it back into the river. Bonus? It squishes into a nice ball to fill out the toe of a stocking. See sponges from NRS here.
5. A drybag to keep sensitive gear dry on paddling trips
Roll up one of these great dry bag options and surprise someone with a stocking stuffer that will keep their important items safe on the river. Dry bags are great for storing keys, cash, ID’s, credit cards, phones and cameras. They come in a range of sizes and materials and for different uses. Explore dry bags here.
6. A down jacket for the takeout
Nothing feels better than arriving at the takeout, peeling off your dry wear and slipping into the enveloping embrace of a down jacket. They are great for paddlers because they pack super small—many can be packed inside their own hoods—and they provide tons of warmth for a lightweight item. See down jackets from Patagonia here.
7. A camping French Press
The pre-paddle coffee is equally as important as the post-paddle beer. Make sure your favorite paddler gets all the caffeine they need with this awesome Personal Javapress from GSI Outdoors. It comes with a mug, is lightweight and durable enough for rugged river trips. Hide a mini-bag of their favorite coffee beans inside. See more here.
8. Delicious dehydrated food for long trips
Dehydrated meals are a great way to save on weight and still eat well on river trips or long kayak touring expeditions. It’s also a good idea to always have a few as emergency meals. Many dehydrated meals are full of flavor and great ingredients, like the stroganoff with wine sauce, penne carbonarra and tandoori curry found here.
9. A subscription to Rapid
Not sure what to give the paddler on your list? Get them a subscription to Rapid magazine! Every issue is packed with the best river trips, the hottest whitewater kayak, canoe and gear reviews, expert advice and the coolest freestyle tricks and proven river running techniques. The lucky recipient will also receive Rapid Media’s 2017 Paddling Trip Guide, annual editions of our Paddling Buyer’s Guide as well as access to each issue on their phone, tablet and computer. Plus if you choose an 8 or 12 issue subscription, we’ll send them a FREE gift at no extra cost!