Soften the Landing: Five pieces of gear that take the rough out of roughing it.
1. Water-resistant, foldable, and only 15 ounces, Pakems boots are the perfect après accessory for below the knee. $60–$70 at Christy Sports, multiple locations, christysports.com
2. Who needs a mountain? We’d wear Amo Neve’s graphic 75 percent silk base layers around town, too. $165 at Blue Ruby Boutique, multiple locations, bluerubydesignboutique.com
3. Brunton’s Hydrogen Reactor transforms hydrogen into power—enough to charge your iPhone up to six times in case you're really lost in the woods. $149.99 at REI, multiple locations, rei.com
4. Lighten your impact on the Earth with Zeal Optics’ new ACE biodegradable sunglasses. $169 at zealoptics.com
5. Rated to 16 degrees, Kelty’s water-resistant DriDown sleeping bag earned Outside magazine’s coveted 2013 Gear of the Year award. $199.95 at REI, multiple locations, rei.com
When Money Is No Object
Wrap up holiday indulgence for your family (and a few friends) with luxury vacation rental company Portico’s Ultimate Holiday Home Snowmass package. Your $15,600 (!) gets you: five nights at the exquisite four-bedroom Baby Doe Lodge, decked out in holiday decor; eight five-day ski passes to Snowmass (plus rentals and lessons); a fully stocked kitchen, pantry, and fridge; dinner at Little Mammoth Steakhouse; a private dinner at home from renowned Aspen chef Andreas Fischbacher; dogsled rides; in-room spa treatments; snowmobiling tours; a year membership to Portico; and, well, more. You still have to spring for the presents, though.
Best Gift Ever
from Kim Walker, Owner of Outdoor Divas
"Family was arriving to celebrate my three-month-old son’s first Christmas, so we added entertaining and shopping to the mix. Insanity. My husband and I agreed: No gifts to each other. Jump to Christmas morning, and there’s a small wrapped gift from my husband. It’s a photo frame with a placeholder photo of a bike. This is a nice frame, I thought. Thoughtful. I set it down. My husband hands it back. That’s when I realize he’s given me a new bike. Element of surprise + mountain bike = best gift ever."