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Taking cover under a comfy duvet is not an option. Just chill with some great cold-weather gear.

Eight great Holiday gifts for the Outdoorsy Canadian

Visit this Best of the Holidays Guide to the Season for shopping tips, the science of Santa and more.

Joanne Richard
Special to The Weather Network

Tuesday, November 1, 2016, 3:10 PM - The air is cold. The snow is coming. The holiday season is here.

Taking cover under a comfy duvet is not an option. Just chill with some great cold-weather gear.

It’s actually the most wonderful time of the year - to get outside and, even better, to wrap up some cool outdoor gifts for people on your Christmas list. 

From weekend warrior to urban explorer, and even your best friend who’s always got cold hands, the right gear is not only handy, it’s essential for enjoying the outdoors. Hi-tech jackets and gadgets, to heated socks and snowshoes, everyone on your list will be high and dry no matter how low the mercury goes.

image: Austin Siadak for Mountain Hardwear

"There’s a saying I like: 'There’s no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong gear.' It’s true – being active outdoors throughout our Canadian winter can be awesome when you’re prepared," says Andrew Sutherland, product expert at MEC. 

Dressing for outdoor success means essentials that wick away moisture, trap in heat, insulate from cold, and block wind and weather. Stuff that’s functional, enhances mobility and doesn’t have anyone looking like an oversized marshmallow. 

"Apparel and gear have come a long way and products are lighter, warmer and more versatile - a snowshoeing jacket can also act as your winter running jacket and downhill ski midlayer," suggests Sutherland. 

The inclusion of technology in apparel continues to get a very warm welcome. "When the weather gets really cold, look for some of our new gadgets like self-heating gloves and socks," says Sutherland, along with customizable ski boot technology.

Keep in mind, you’re not only wrapping up gear, but giving the gift of health too: Shockingly humans are disappearing from the great outdoors - we spend 90% of our time indoors away from our natural environment. Yet nature is fuel for the soul – “for adults, natural places can inspire us, and restore our sense of well-being,” says Tom Gill, researcher, author and leading thinker on outdoor play. 

So how about adding a pair of snowshoes under the tree – they’re accessible, relatively inexpensive and connect you with nature. In fact, many outdoor activity retailers across Canada rent out snowshoes so you can try before you buy. Suitable for a wide range of athletic ability, snowshoeing opens up the wilderness to explorers.

So explore these gift ideas and let the joyous unwrapping begin:

Zippo Hand Warmer

Ban frozen fingers with the Zippo Hand Warmer. Colourful and compact, it easily slips into a pocket or glove to keep your hands warm for up to 12 hours; $39.50.

Image credit: MEC.ca

Lenz Heat Socks

Technology for your toes. Wrap up a pair of Lenz Heat Socks 1.0. They’re unisex and battery-powered and you can control the temperature through your phone via Bluetooth; $115.

Image credit: MEC.ca

Trail Shaker Henley Shirt

Wrap up warmth with a layer that’s as functional as it is fashionable. The men’s Trail Shaker Henley Shirt has Omni-Wick technology; $44.99.

Image credit: columbiasportswear.ca

Saucony Ride 9 GTX Road Running Shoes

Get a grip on slippery streets when out for a winter run with the Saucony Ride 9 GTX Road Running Shoes for women lets runner put in the high mileage in all weather conditions. GORE-TEX waterproof breathable membrane; $190. For guys, check out the New Balance Vazee Pace V2 Road Running Shoes: $145.

Atlas Rendezvous Elektra Snowshoes

Make tracks outside with Atlas Rendezvous Elektra Snowshoes for men. Comfortable and lightweight, the V-shaped Atlas tracks straight in the powder and pulls less snow to save energy; $165.

DryCommuter 32L pack by Mountain Hardwear

Pack accordingly with the attractive DryCommuter 32L pack by Mountain Hardwear. For travelers, commuters and students, this keeps belongings dry – there’s even a padded, watertight main compartment for a laptop; $180.

Image credit: mountainhardwear.ca

StretchDown jacket

Get outside with the king of the mountain. Mountain Hardwear’s new StretchDown jacket provides insane comfort, mobility and warmth in blustery conditions. Revolutionary stretch-welded channel construction makes works like no other insulation; $320.

Image credit: mountainhardwear.ca

HeatZone 1000 Turbodown Parka

Give the cold shoulder to the elements with the HeatZone 1000 Turbodown Parka by Columbia. Thermal-reflective technology on both the lining and interior shell seals in the warmth - perfect for any epic adventure or commute; $899, sportcheck.ca, columbiasportswear.ca

Image credit: columbiasportswear.ca

Polaris 550 Indy LXT Blue Fire Metallic snowmobile

Ride, baby, ride! How about sending them outdoors in style with the Polaris 550 Indy LXT Blue Fire Metallic snowmobile. Won’t fit under the tree but it’s light, responsive and peppy – great on groomed trails and deep snow; starting at $9,299.

Image credit: Polaris

Fairmont Chateau Whistler

Go big or go home – how about wrapping up a luxurious ski getaway at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler! Nestled at the foot of Blackcomb Mountain, a bed and breakfast package in Whistler’s landmark chateau will run you $914 and up a night. Expansive view of mountains included. Don’t forget to add lift tickets – about $100 a day - meals and, yikes, airfare too! Dig deep! Ho ho ho!

Image credit: Whistler BlackcombPolaris

All items above can be reviewed and purchased at Polaris.com, sportcheck.ca, columbiasportswear.ca, mountainhardwear.ca, MEC.ca and Sail.ca.

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