5 Valentine’s Day Gifts Under $20 for Outdoorists
You don't have to spend a lot to show someone you care
Outside's long reads email newsletter features our strongest writing, most ambitious reporting, and award-winning storytelling about the outdoors. Sign up today.
In my opinion, the key to a good Valentine’s Day gift is the intention behind choosing it. It’s an opportunity to show your partner you understand them, not how much money you can spend. Here are five gifts that range from $5 to $19 that will tell your partner you know they’re a capable, badass outdoorsperson interested in more than price-inflated roses.
Voke Tabs ($7)
As the father of a toddler who still cherishes his time getting after it outdoors, I cannot think of a more thoughtful gift than more energy. These little chewable tablets are the most efficient caffeine-delivery system I have found. They provide 77 milligrams of caffeine per tablet (basically a shot of espresso) and don’t make me feel like I’m on recreational drugs. The comedown is also significantly more chill than an afternoon cup of coffee. If I take one toward the end of my workday, I have enough energy for a headlamp run but can also get to sleep afterward. That extra workout is my love language.
Flylow Duct Tape ($5)
Regular duct tape, with its millions of outdoor applications, is about as practical a gift as you can give an outdoor enthusiast. While it definitely honors the fact that you see them as a core athlete, it does lack a layer of creativity. Enter my personal new favorite duct tape from Flylow. It is one part “Ski Bum” bumper sticker, one part amazing tool for my backcountry repair kit. It speaks to both your pragmatic and whimsical sides and will show your partner you know they have steeze.
Nothing kills the mood on a ski day quicker than foggy or scratched lenses. Gogglesocs not only significantly lengthen the life of your goggles when you store them but can also fight fog or grime buildup when you’re waiting in a snowy lift line. They aren’t just practical, though: their designs have heaps of flair (I go with novelty cat), so you can show your partner you get their sense of humor.
Voile Ski Strap ($7)
This was the pick my wife was the most excited about. We believe that no family can have too many of these fantastically useful straps. They mostly hold our skis together for transport—whether in an A-frame on a pack or rattling around a roof box—but they are also capable of keeping a busted pack together or holding frozen skins on the bottom of your skis. I currently have three stashed in my kit and would be excited to get another one for Valentine’s Day.
MountainFlow Eco-Wax ($19)
Skiing pow on freshly waxed skis is sexy. But skiing with plant-based ski wax that doesn’t leave potentially harmful chemicals in your lungs or the snowpack? Really sexy. Valentine’s Day happens to fall in the middle of primo powder season, and letting your partner know you care about their skis as well as the environment is a winning combo. Pro tip: include a few handmade gift certificates that can be redeemed for fresh wax jobs (and plan on waxing your partner’s sticks the night before the next few powder days).