November 23, 2016
gift ideas
Gift ideas include (clockwise, from top left): PistenBully Paana, Enlightened Equipment quilt, KarTent.

This year we asked AMC front- and backcountry experts across the Northeast to share what’s on their personal holiday wish lists. Perhaps not surprisingly, responses ranged from heavy reading to a ski-trail groomer and everything in between. Maybe you’ll find gift ideas below for the outdoor fans in your family—or for your own list. What with his penchant for sledding, we hear Santa loves to deliver gear. And don’t forget you can always find AMC books, clothing, and gear in the online store.

Merino Wool Buff
“While I already have the standard Buff—one of my essential winter gear items—I’ve been eyeing the merino wool version. Winters in Maine are unpredictable, and this seems like just the ticket for those below-zero mornings on the ski trail or on the way into the office. The best part about a buff versus a fleece neckwarmer is you can tuck the thin fabric right up under your goggles and breathe through it comfortably. It certainly helps fight off windburn and frostbite on your cheeks!”
–Kaitlyn Bernard, Maine program associate (Portland, Maine)

The Innovator’s Dilemma, by Clayton M. Christensen
“This book outlines the steps leaders can take to ensure their organization remains on their industry’s cutting edge as the marketplace evolves. Working for one of the oldest outdoor groups in the U.S., I’m hoping to find some lessons AMC can use to remain relevant in an increasingly urban, digital, and mobile age.” Find a copy at your local bookstore (check, or purchase through AmazonSmile and help support AMC.
–Karl Fries, financial analyst (Boston, Mass.)

Better LiDAR Data
“My nerdy wish-list item is for region-wide seamless LiDAR data. LiDAR is an acronym for Light Detection and Ranging, a technology used to acquire high-resolution information about terrain. The data can be used to create very accurate topographic maps, although it’s most prominently used to study coastal areas with respect to sea-level rise (climate change). Our interest at AMC is the eventual collection of LiDAR data in the interior, mountainous areas of New England.”
–Larry Garland, cartographer (Pinkham Notch, N.H.)

“I’d really love a Kartent as a gift this year. Call me crazy, but these nifty cardboard tents are just plain cool. Made specifically as single-use tents—and 100-percent recyclable—for events such as music festivals, I’d like one simply for the wow factor. Basically a fort for adults. Sign me up!”
–Josh Lake, social media and online community manager (Boston, Mass.)

A Trip to the Connecticut River
“The gift I would like for this holiday season is a two-day family vacation on the Connecticut River. This vacation package will include two glorious days on the lovely Connecticut River and the opportunity to stay at two new primitives campsites built by the AMC in Montague and Whately, Mass. I want this because it will increase awareness of the Connecticut River and will help get kids outside.”
–Kristen Sykes, director of conservation strategies (Amherst, Mass.)

PistenBully Paana
“We groom our trails every day with a fleet of snowmobiles and one 30-year-old PistenBully. Being so old, it burns a tremendous amount of fuel and is prone to mechanical problems. We could really use a PistenBully Paana, a purpose-built cross-country groomer with a tiller attachment that would enable us to grind up trail ice—an all too frequent occurrence due to climate change. A Paana would ease the workload of our grooming staff and consistently produce a high-quality groomed trail with a variety of snow conditions.”
–Steve Tatko, Maine Woods Initiative land manager (Greenville, Maine)

Bike Handlebar Bag
“For the holidays, I really want a handlebar bike bag—one that has a see-through sleeve on top so I can put maps in it while I’m on a long-distance bike tour and need to know where I’m going. A top-of-the-line version is made by Ortlieb (see link above), but there are cheaper, far more affordable styles that still have all of those features.”
–Brendan Taylor, North Country trails volunteer programs supervisor (Pinkham Notch, N.H.)

Enlightened Equipment Itasca Quilt
“My sleeping bag is at least 15 years old, probably the oldest piece of outdoor gear I’m still using. I’d love an Enlightened Equipment custom down quilt. A quilt would give me more flexibility in a variety of temperatures because it can be opened up for ventilation. As an active sleeper who camps in a hammock, it would be easier to move around and adjust than a sleeping bag. It’s also smaller and lighter than my current sleeping bag, which would allow for more space in my pack.”
–Lindsay Watkins, Youth Opportunities Program training and support manager (Boston, Mass.)

Werner SUP Paddle
“I would really love a new stand-up paddle this year. I recently bought a new SUP board from Badfish so my wife and I can go out on the river together, but I could only buy one paddle. Werner Paddles are my favorite. The shaft provides just the right amount of flex, and the fiberglass blades are light but stand up to a lot of wear, which is inevitable on the shallow, rocky rivers of the Mid-Atlantic Region.”
—Mark Zakutansky, Mid-Atlantic policy manager (Bethlehem, Pa.)


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Amanda Keohane

Amanda Keohane is a senior at the University of Massachusetts Amherst where she is studying English, journalism, and communications. She is currently working on her honors thesis on the communication of climate change in Iceland.