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The Last-Minute Vancouver Island Gift Guide for the Outdoor Adventurer In Your Life

The Last-Minute Vancouver Island Gift Guide for the Outdoor Adventurer In Your Life

Let’s face it: most Islanders are into outdoor adventure in some way. We’re surrounded by water, mountains and forest, so much so that it can almost feel like an obligation to get outside at times. But hey, we’re not complaining. And your giftee won’t either when you bestow them with one of the crowd pleasing items in this gift guide. The following picks are a great addition in the life of any type of adventurer—we’re not talking super technical gear here—but the gifts they don’t know they want.

Find all of our 2019 gift guides here.

Anian Modern Melton Wool Shirt

This is a gift you can feel good about. Anian’s recycled melton wool button-up shirts are a staple in Victoria, and for good reason. Traditionally used in the making of peacoats by sailors, this style of shirt has a weave so tight it’s resistant to both wind and water. They’re stylish, unisex, comfortable, Pacific Northwest weather approved, and recycled? Genius. Anian’s commitment to reducing textile waste is helping to drive change in an industry with a large footprint. Something we can all feel good about.

Where to buy it: Anian Melton Wool Shirt by Anian, $189 | Online or at 575 Johnson St, Victoria

This is Nowhere Photo Book by Jeremy Koreski

Even if you don’t know him by name, you’ve likely seen Jeremy Koreski’s photos. The Tofino local has spent the past 15 years photographing coastal British Columbia resulting in a body of work that’s every bit as stunning as our home. This is Nowhere is Jeremy’s debut hardcover book is a compilation of prints from surfing to wildlife to underwater photography. It’s inspiring and wanderlust-inducing, perfect for the all-around adventurer in your life.

Where to buy it: This is Nowhere by Jeremy Koreski, $65 | Online or at 440 Campbell St, Tofino

Custom Board by Smith-Western Shapes

You can’t gift them the perfect wave, but you can opt for a locally-made board by a shaper who knows the Island’s waves in and out. Brady, the man behind Smith-Western Shapes, is on a current hiatus from shaping, but you can still snag some of his boards at Merge Tofino. Your giftee may spend all their time chasing the fickle waves up and down the coast, but hey, at least their board will look great while they’re doing it.

Where to buy it: Select Smith-Western Shapes boards available at Merge Tofino, price varies | Merge Tofino, Alley Way, 305-B Campbell St, Tofino

SBC Surf Subscription

This next one’s a crowd pleaser for both the die-hard surfer in your life or the pal that’s just getting into it. SBC Surf is a locally-produced magazine that covers the best in surfing from around the globe, with a huge emphasis on what’s happening in our local waves and surf communities. A $6.99 subscription will make sure the stoke stays high year-round.

Where to buy it: SBC Surf Magazine subscription, $6.99 | Online

Seaweed Tote by Speaking of the Weather

This tote bag first made its appearance in this Breakwater story, and we still can’t get enough of it. Braden Ioi is a designer and screen printer based out of Tofino, and his Still Scared of Seaweed tote bags are a fun way to inject a little west coast humour into everyday life. They’re great for slingin’ groceries, carrying beach essentials, or whatever else your giftee needs to tote around.

Where to buy it: Still Scared of Seaweed Tote Bage by Speaking of the Weather, price varies | Reach out via Instagram for details

Regard Coffee and Aeropress Coffee Maker

There’s nothing better than a well-pressed cup of coffee outdoors. Aeropress is a backcountry staple—it’s light enough to be packed in a backpack and brews a damn fine cup of coffee. People who Aeropress swear by it, and if you don’t believe us, the fact that the World Aeropress Championship exists should persuade any skeptic. Pair an Aeropress with a bag of beans from Regard Coffee based out of Nanaimo, and your giftee is guaranteed to have an ideal morning on their next overnight adventure. 

Where to buy it: Bag of Regard Coffee, $24; Aeropress Coffee Maker, $60 | Both available online or at 2-1925 Bowen Rd Nanaimo

Mount Washington Lift Tickets

A season’s pass comes with a hefty price tag, but for the hobbyist snowboarder and skier in your life, gifting a lift ticket (or three or six) goes a long way. Just like our waves, the snow at Mount Washington can be fickle but when it dumps, it dumps. The going usually doesn’t get good until after Christmas anyways, making a lift ticket an ideal present. 

Where to buy it: Mt. Washington Lift Ticket, one-day $99 | Online or at Mt. Washington Resort

Bottom Dwellers Freediving and Charter Spearfishing

This is a gift for the Jacques Cousteau in your life. They might have mastered scuba diving, but help them take their skills a step further—er, deeper—with a freediving course or charter spearfishing tour. Based out of Victoria, Bottom Dwellers promises to teach your giftee all the necessary skills needed to try your hand at freediving and spearfishing in a fun, safe, supportive—and wildly beautiful—environment. 

Where to buy it: Bottom Dwellers Freediving and Charter Spearfishing, price varies | Contact to purchase

Explore Vancouver Island Tour 

This isn’t your ordinary tour bus experience. Explore Vancouver Island is run by Nanaimo local Brendan Milholm whose personality is as fun as the giant four-wheel yellow bus guests are shuttled around in. Your giftee will get to see all of Vancouver Island’s best, local spots from swimming holes to four-wheel access camping spots to brewery tours. This is tour people want without the prescripted, dry experience you’ve come to expect from a bus tour. 

Where to buy it: Explore Vancouver Island Bus Tour, price varies | Contact to purchase

Vancouver Island Brewing Winter Outpost Mix Pack

Give the gift of apres this winter. Capping off an adventure⁠—whether it’s a day spent surfing or carving up pow⁠—with a tasty beer is one of life’s simple pleasures. The Winter Outpost Mix Pack by Vancouver Island Brewing is sessionable, seasonable and easily giftable. 

Where to buy it: Winter Outpost Mix Pack, $21.99 | In select liquor stores, B.C. Liquor Stores and at 2330 Government St, Victoria

Peetz Fly-Fishing Reels 

For the fly-fisher in your life, a Peetz reel will be like a work of art. These handcrafted, wooden reels have been made in Victoria since 1925, earning them a devoted following from California to Montana to Alaska. 

Where to buy it: Peetz Fly-Fishing reels, price varies | Online or at 2740 Rock Bay Ave, Victoria

Buying for a foodie, a beverage fan, or your most stylish friend? See the rest of our gift guides here.

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