Holiday Gift Guide: Adventure Edition
Let’s be honest – the idea of spending time in a crowded mall, fighting over parking stalls and standing in line after line is totally unappealing. Gift buying really shouldn’t be a chore but an enjoyable experience (I’m serious!). It’s about being thoughtful and showing our nearest and dearests just how much we love them, right?
I am much happier to stroll down the cobblestone streets of Gastown, searching for the perfect gift, supporting local businesses and stopping for a pint at one of the neighborhood’s watering holes. Luckily there are stores like Litchfield, whose tagline “How we live” is a reflection of the shop and owner Jonathon Litchfield’s family values. One of five children, Jonathon drew inspiration from his upbringing in Japan. Having an appreciation for design that is as useful as it is beautiful; every item in the store is carefully chosen and often based on suggestions from his mom or siblings. The store itself is a bit of a paradox feeling both modern and old timey, rugged and cozy – and it’s filled with high quality goods fitting for any adventure seeker.
As we walk through the store, Jonathon shares the back stories and points out unbelievably clever design features. By the time we’re done, I want to buy everything. As space is limited, I’ve narrowed it down to some of my favorites (hint hint for any of my friends or family that may be reading):
Snow Peak Camp Gear
It’s hard to pick just one item in the collection. This Japanese designed high-end camping gear is incredible. Take the Titanium 350 Kanpai Bottle for example, it comes with 3 different lids (one hot lid, one sipping lid and one cold lid) and fits a can of beer perfectly. A lightweight container to keep your beer cold on a hike? Yes, please.
Striking is the only word that comes to mind. These are handmade by Jonathon’s brother with hickory handles and drop forged steel heads. They are beautifully painted with freight truck enamel, hand sharpened and ready for use.
Made from cast Japanese iron – simple and functional, I never thought I would call a bottle opener beautiful.
This Italian design is so simple but powerful. No cords, no buttons, no gadgets – just amplification. I think it’s especially great for a cabin where you might not have a speaker system otherwise. Plus, it’s like a piece of art for your living room.
Swell Water Bottle/Thermos
This bottle keeps drinks hot for 12 hours and cold for 24 without a single degree change in temp. BPA-free, non-toxic, non-leaching. There is a brush you can buy to make cleaning it a breeze!
Chilote House Shoes
Hand made in Peru. The soles are made from salmon skin and are available in small, medium and large.
Juniper Ridge Soap
Natural fragrance that are extracted in the field or in the warehouse using pre-industrial perfume techniques: juice presses, converted whiskey stills, steam, and copper pipes. Juniper Ridge distills colognes and perfumes from plants, bark, moss, mushrooms and tree trimmings found in the back country. Made by people who love the outdoors and camping, there are no artificial scents – in fact you’ll feel like you’ve just rubbed your hands on a tree.
Chunky Knit Blanket
Unprocessed alpaca yarn (alpaca is soft like cashmere but much more durable) from a farm in Oregon. Hand knit in Canada – each piece is a unique work of beautiful craftsmanship.
These are great for travelling and can double as a scarf, blanket, beach towel or sarong. Super absorbent, quick drying (no musty smell like terry cloth towels) and just generallyawesome to use.