Top 10 Products with Northeastern Roots for Your Holiday Shopping List

This season, why just give the gift of rad gear, when you can give a gift that also supports your happy camper’s habits and the Northeast’s economy? While Eastern Mountain Sports carries brands from all over the map, consider adding some local flavor to your holiday shopping list. Most of the items mentioned are manufactured at their company’s headquarters, so spending money just got a lot more responsible.


1. NEMO Wagontop 4P Camping Tent

Based in Dover, NH, Nemo has brought tent innovation to the next level. Nemo combines lightweight materials and strategic design to make shelters that can withstand the elements and won’t weigh your pals down. This Wagontop 4P is an excellent choice for the extended camping trip, with design considerations that keep comfort and space at the forefront. For instance, with its 80-inch ceiling height, everyone can walk in and out with their head held high.

2. Woolrich Sherpa Rough Rider Wool Blanket

Woolrich has a long tradition of keeping its customers warm and dry. Historically, this Woolrich, Penn., company has provided lumber camps, farmers, railroad workers, and even Civil War soldiers with durable outerwear and blankets. The Sherpa Rough Rider, in the brand’s classic Buffalo Check, will be a welcome addition for that friend who’s pursuing the van life.


3. Good To-Go Weekender: Granola, Smoked Three Bean Chili & Herbed Mushroom Risotto 3-Pack

Based in Kittery, Maine, Good To-Go was created for backpackers by a fellow backpacker—who also happens to be a classically trained chef. The brand makes flavorful, easy-to-prepare dehydrated meals for every camper on your list. This 3-pack offers a breakfast, lunch, and dinner option, with two vegan choices. Just add cold or hot water, and your ravenous pals are “Good To-Go.”

4. Jetboil Flash Personal Cooking System

This Manchester, NH, company has revolutionized the way campers cook in the backcountry. Its line of stoves and cooking systems significantly reduces the amount of fuel needed to boil water. And, the Jetboil Flash is as simple as it gets. Fill the cup with water, push the button, and wait for the heat indicator to change colors. All together, this process takes approximately four minutes for the whole cup. A Jack-of-all-trades, the Flash packs all components into the cooking cup and works with all other Jetboil cooking accessories.


5. Darn Tough Micro Crew 3/4 Hiking Socks

Tested in the Vermont wilderness and made entirely in Northfield, these socks are industry leaders for comfort in a myriad of conditions. The Micro Crew Hiking Socks (also available in women’s sizes) have cushioning and support where it’s needed most. And, their merino blend will keep the trailblazer’s feet dry and blister-free during those rainy-day hikes and super-sweaty summer treks. As a bonus, Darn Tough boasts that they do absolutely no outsourcing when making this and other products.

Courtesy: Adventure Medical Kits
Courtesy: Adventure Medical Kits

6. Adventure Medical Kits Ultralight 0.5 Solo First

Located in Littleton, NH, the heart of the White Mountains, Adventure Medical Kits knows how to efficiently stock a first aid kit for any endeavor. The compact Ultralight 0.5 is ideal for your pals on the fast and light track, or could make a clutch stocking stuffer. Waterproof inner bags keep contents dry in any condition, and it contains enough supplies for up to two days.

7. Sterling Evolution Velocity 9.8 mm x 60 m Standard Climbing Rope

Climbers in the Northeast are familiar with granite and how tough it can be on gear. Considering this, Sterling makes some of the most durable climbing ropes on the market at their home plant in Biddeford, Maine. The Velocity’s smooth sheath allows for easy feeding through belay devices, effortless clipping of gear, and minimizes rope drag. This all-arounder is arguably the best pick for rock and ice climbers alike.


8. Princeton Tec Sync Headlamp

Headquartered in Pennsauken, NJ, Princeton Tec has spent 40 years paving the way for personal lighting. In this regards, the Sync is easily one of the most versatile gifts, offering something for the late-night reader, the after-dark grill master, the nighttime dog walker, and the outdoor enthusiast. It offers five different beam combinations (that’s more than your smartphone, FYI) and features an easy-to-use dial for changing between them. Include a four-pack of AAA batteries for the ultimate gift combo.

9. Nalgene Bottle Kit, Medium

Nalgene, born in Rochester, NY, debuted its lightweight, leak-proof bottles in the Adirondacks. And, made by the same company that brought you the indestructible wide-mouth water bottle, this kit is ideal for the traveler on your list. Each Bottle Kit container holds 4 fl. oz. or less and offers the globetrotter on your list a convenient solution for taking their favorite shampoo, moisturizer, or whiskey in the carry-on bag.


10. Flowfold Minimalist Limited Card Holder Wallet

Located on the coast of Maine in Scarborough, Flowfold draws inspiration from the state’s textile and sailing history. Sleek by design, the Minimalist is constructed of ultra-lightweight X-Pac fabric. As a result, it keeps credit cards and cash protected from the rigors of nature…or your sister’s handbag.

10 Stocking Stuffers Under $50 for the Ice Climber

Ice climbing is a notoriously expensive sport, demanding several big-ticket supplies. But, just like anything else, there are a handful of smaller, less-expensive items that are essential to any day spent kicking and swinging. And, they make perfect stocking stuffers, too. So, here are 10 pieces of rad gear that every ice climber on your list will love, and as they’re all for $50 or less, they’ll easily fit into your holiday budget.

1. Hand Warmers

To have fun ice climbing, staying warm is key. A box of Yaktrax Hand Warmers offers an easy, inexpensive solution for the problem of cold hands, and they can be tucked away into a first aid kit for those just-in-case moments.

Courtesy: Black Diamond
Courtesy: Black Diamond

2. Headlamp

Darkness comes early during the winter, and it’s not hard to get caught climbing as the sun sets. Headlamps like the Black Diamond Spot are super-bright, extremely small, and saviors when the day’s last light disappears.

Credit: Ryan Wichelns
Credit: Ryan Wichelns

3. Thermos

Bringing a hot beverage in a thermos, like the Hydro Flask Wide Mouth, is a great way to stay warm. Durable enough to handle being shoved into a pack filled with sharp, pointy things and insulated enough for cold New England winters, the Hydro Flask is a welcome addition to any ice climber’s kit.

4. V-Thread Tool

Nothing kills a day on the ice like struggling, after all the climbing is over, to line up two 20cm screws to rappel home. Make sure your climber doesn’t have to deal with that with the Black Diamond First Shot. Open the arms and use the slots as a guide to line up your screws on the first every time, then use the metal hook to help feed the rope through. Feeling confident and safe in your rappel has never felt so easy.

Credit: Tim Peck
Credit: Tim Peck

5. Gloves

Ice climbers’ gloves also take a beating over the course of a winter. From getting dragged across ice and rock to handling sharp tools, screws, and crampons, the life of the typical climbing glove is a difficult one. The Marmot Basic Work Gloves offers the needed dexterity and is built to withstand harsh conditions.

6. Cordelette

Your climber probably spends a lot of time hanging from relatively thin pieces of cord. Since a cordelette needs to be replaced every other season, odds are your climber needs a new one. Keep your climber happy—and around for another holiday—with a Petzl cordelette.

Credit: Tim Peck
Credit: Tim Peck

7. Slings

Just like with their cordelettes, many ice climbers are slow to replace their slings. To help them celebrate safety this holiday, why not gift some lightweight and durable double-length Black Diamond runners to replace a few of their older, more tattered slings?

8. Socks

A good pair of socks is one of those things ice climbers love to have but hate to buy. A timeless classic, the Smartwool Mountaineer Extra Heavy Crew Socks are made for people who spend long days out in the cold. Give them the gift they won’t get themselves.

9. Neck Gaitor

You don’t realize how handy a warm neck gaitor is until you own one. Built from super-warm 100-weight microfleece, the EMS Classic 200 Fleece Gaitor is tailor-made for ice climbers, keeping your neck warm and ice from falling into it, without restricting your movement.

Credit: Tim Peck
Credit: Tim Peck

10. EMS Gift Card

If all else fails, an EMS gift card is always appreciated. Your climber can put it toward one of those pricier items or a guided climb on one of the Northeast’s classic lines with the EMS Climbing School.


Of course, these are just a few of the most popular items for ice climbers at a stocking-level budget. For more great suggestions, swing into any of our EMS stores and ask for the staff ice climber—or look for the person with the red cheeks. And, if you think of something we didn’t, leave your recommendations in the comments!

Gifts for Girls Who are "One of the Guys"

Whenever I do anything outdoors, I’m almost always the only girl in the group. This means I’ve had plenty of time over the years to figure out the best gear to help me either keep up or kick butt. So, if you’re shopping for a girl who often finds herself in the same situation, here’s a list of things I use to make hanging out with a bunch of dudes easier and more fun.

Courtesy: Ashley Peck
Courtesy: Ashley Peck

Climbing: Petzl Elia Climbing Helmet

I was tired of a helmet that only sat on my head properly if my ponytail was in just the right spot. The boys were also tired of waiting for me to fix my hair before or after each climb. A few years ago, I received the Petzl Elia as a gift, and this problem hasn’t been an issue since! Other companies “girl-ify” helmets by simply making them in prettier colors, but taking it a step further, Petzl developed a headband that actually accommodates a ponytail in multiple positions. It also weighs just 10 ounces and adjusts to fit any head perfectly. So, your climber girl will probably forget she’s even wearing it and will have an extra-safe hike back to the car after a day of cragging.

Hiking and Camping: GoGirl Female Urination Device

I wouldn’t say I’ve ever wished I was, um, “built like a man.” But, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t jealous of how much easier it is for my male hiking partners to heed nature’s call when we’re out on the trail. If the lady hiker on your list has ever complained about popping a squat in the woods, treat her to a GoGirl this holiday! Not only does it have a fun name (if you ignore the medieval-sounding “Female Urination Device” part of it), but it also helps level the pee-playing field and virtually eliminates the risk of getting poison ivy in unfortunate places.

Courtesy: Ashley Peck
Courtesy: Ashley Peck

Biking: CamelBak Women’s L.U.X.E. Hydration Pack

It might just be that my husband and his friends are crazy people, but they hate taking breaks during a bike ride. If I start to get hangry while we’re mountain biking, they’ll cave and let me take a quick food break. However, I wouldn’t stand a chance of staying properly hydrated without my Camelbak Women’s L.U.X.E Hydration Pack. If the biker chick on your list has to keep up with the boys, or if she’s the ambitious one who doesn’t like to stop, make sure she stays sufficiently watered out on the trail with this super-comfy pack that holds enough fluid to ride for hours on end.

Skiing: DryGuy Green HEAT 2-in-1 Heater

Just because the weather gets cold that doesn’t mean the outdoors-woman will stop adventuring. It does, however, mean she might need some extra help staying warm. Whenever I’m skiing, snowboarding, or winter hiking with the boys, it always seems like I’m the only one whose hands are freezing, no matter how nice my gloves or mittens are. Hand-warmer packs help a little, but the DryGuy GreenHEAT 2-in-1 Heater is the BEST. It’ll warm your snow sister’s hands instantly, recharge her phone (or headlamp), and help the planet by reducing hand-warmer waste—making it a win-win-win.

Courtesy: MTI Adventurewear
Courtesy: MTI Adventurewear

Paddling: MTI Moxie PFD

Don’t let your water woman settle for any ol’ life jacket. She may have to wait a few months to use it, but when she unwraps a made-for-her PFD like the MTI Moxie this holiday, she’ll be happier than a seagull with a french fry. What makes the Moxie so comfy is its Adjust-a-Bust fit System—certainly giggle-worthy every time she and her guy friends get on the water. It’s truly a gift that keeps on giving.

Courtesy: Mountainsmith
Courtesy: Mountainsmith

All of the Above: Mountainsmith Sixer

If all else fails, the Mountainsmith Sixer is always a safe bet. For a girl who’s one of the guys, you can be sure of one thing: Beers are a staple of every adventure. And, if the mountain maven you’re shopping for is the one who supplies the cold brews at the end of the day, she’ll always be the boys’ favorite bro.