Alright, so maybe we’re a challenging type of person to shop for around the holidays. We’ll be the first to admit it.

We know what we like to wear on the trails, have broken in multiple pairs of our go-to hiking boots, can be picky with food, have mastered the art of fitting everything perfectly into our day packs, and tend to get a little vocal when it comes to the “pole or no pole” debate.

So, what do you buy for the hiker in your life who seems to already have it all?

I’m here to help, my friends. Here’s a quick ‘n dirty list of some unique ideas that you may not have thought of…

1) Enamel Camping Mug

Hiker Gift Idea Enamel MugPhoto cred: Emalco.com

Even if your hiker pal already has one, you can never have TOO many mugs, right? Plus, it’s nice to change it up a little. So, why not support a local artist like Black Coffee or get a mountain themed one they’ll definitely dig?

OR, if you’re a crafty little rascal, make it EXTRA personal by designing your own! You can do this with a company like VistaPrint, although buying in bulk may be your only option.

Bonus points are rewarded if you add in a carabiner for clipping the mug somewhere handy for easy access!

2) Waterproof Lighter

Hiker Gift Idea Waterproof LighterPhoto cred: Pinterest

A friend of mine gifted me one of these bad boys last Christmas and it’s been in my pack since then. Here’s a list of the best ones on the market to check out for inspiration!

3) Subscription to Backpacker Magazine

Hiker Gift Idea Backpacker MagazinePhoto cred: Fontmeme.com

It doesn’t have to be Backpacker Magazine. It can be any outdoor, lifestyle or fitness magazine! This is the gift that keeps giving and your pal will think of you each time it comes in the mail.

4) Rent a Yurt

Hiker Gift Idea Rent a YurtPhoto cred: Mary Anne snagged this one!

If your budget is a little higher than the stuff listed above, then splurge and rent a yurt! SO FUN! If you’re like us HikeAdditcts, you prefer glamping over camping any day. This is a fantastic alternative to sleeping on the cold, hard ground while also feeling like you’re one with nature. Ommm.

We’ve stayed at some pretty beautiful spots over the years but I have to say that one of my all time favorites was a yurt in Vermont with this super adorable and accommodating family. It may not look like much from the outside, but the inside was like a magical fairy tail with tiny white Christmas lights galore!

5) Jack&Joel “Gatineau Park” Soap

Hiker Gift Idea Jack and Joel SoapPhoto cred: JackAndJoel.com


Jack&Joel is an Ottawa soap company and you know how much we LOVE supporting local! They have a wonderful line of soaps, bath salts and shaving products that will leave you smelling like nature-y dream.

6) Mountain Jewelry

Hiker Gift Idea Mountain Jewelry Photo cred: MMackenzieJones Etsy

We are huge fans of these mountain necklaces made by Mackenzie Jones Designs Inc from Calgary.  From the Three Sisters Mountain to Mount Rundle, the mountains will never be too far from your heart. Check out her Etsy store here!

And, if you don’t like any of these ideas or are still feeling unsure, you really can’t go wrong with a gift card for MEC, Trialhead, Cabela’s, Bushtukah, Ice Breaker, Eddie Bauer or any other sporting stores in Ottawa.

Happy shopping!

Vicky Castledine

Vicky is a Content Marketing Manager from Monday to Friday and a trail runner/ book lover/ dog hugger/ wilderness explorer after 5 PM and on weekends.

More Posts

Follow Me:



Location: Jefferson County, NY
Starting Point: Wellesley Island Nature Centre
Route we took: Eel Bay Trail to Narrows Trail to South Bay Trail to East Trail to North Field Loop
Total Distance: 7 km
Time: 1.5 hours
Level of Difficulty: Super easy, hardly any elevation

Read more

Vicky Castledine

Vicky is a Content Marketing Manager from Monday to Friday and a trail runner/ book lover/ dog hugger/ wilderness explorer after 5 PM and on weekends.

More Posts

Follow Me:



Athlete’s imposters’ syndrome. This is something I had struggled with a lot growing up. I was a runner, an Irish dancer, a downhill skier, a basketball player, a touch football player… Yet, whatever sport I was playing, these thoughts would always creep up on me:

“She’s better than I am.”

“I have lots of practice to do.”

“I wonder if I’ll ever be at so-and-so’s level.”

“I’m not good enough.”

Turns out I wasn’t alone, though. I brought this subject up with my sister, Heather, and she told me she felt the same way. My sisters and I were thrown into ski lessons as soon as we could walk so we’ve felt comfortable on the slopes for pretty much our whole lives.

When we got to high school, Heather and I began to race competitively (she was always better than I was) but I just recently learned that she had felt like a “poser” or imposter every time she raced. We had literally been skiing for 10+ years at this point, yet there she was, feeling out of place and like she wasn’t legit enough to fit in with the other racers.


Because she hadn’t been “competitive” until she was a teen?

What was it about us that made us feel so inadequate? Why did we struggle with confidence in things we were actually GOOD at? Part of me thinks that’s just what comes with being an awkward teenager, but I also know a lot of people who never struggled with this (or I guess, more likely, never talked about it).

As I grew up and began to get to know myself a little better, (aka reading approximately 1700 self-help books) these thoughts started to go away. I started to care less about how others surrounding me performed because I realized that 1) I’m no longer competing for any trophies/medals/titles and 2) I’m an adult. I don’t need to compare myself to anyone. HA! Easier said than done, I know.

So, you may be asking yourself: What does this have to do with hiking?

Well, these nasty, annoying thoughts crept their way back into my head about a week ago when someone asked me for hiking advice.

I’ve only been ‘seriously’ hiking for about 3 years now but since then have tackled some wicked tough day hikes like the Bruce Trail in Tobermory, Mount Marcy in Lake Placid and Mount Washington in New Hampshire.

I’ve summited Mount Kilimanjaro, an 8-day trek that ended with a midnight summit night and I’m just about to start my training for a trip to Everest Base Camp in 8 months from now.

Yet, here I was, feeling like a complete imposter when asked for advice.

What made this person think I was legit? I only started hiking a few years ago! Yes, I have a hiking blog with my best friend that I’m super passionate about but little does this person know that I still consider myself a COMPLETE newbie.

This is where I caught myself though.

I’m a newbie. I haven’t been hiking for years and years and I just discovered Merino Wool this past winter. I’m a newbie. I only JUST figured out the proper amount of water to consume while hiking and I still wear a baseball cap on sunny days that has zero back of neck protection from the sun so I sometimes burn. I’m a newbie. My sense of direction is and always has been horrible and I’m still convinced I could survive off Cliff bars alone (shout out to Kristi for never laughing at my hilarious poop joke). I’M. A. NEWBIE.

And… I’m okay with that!

This is a learning process for me. This blog, these community hikes we organize, the various speaking engagements we’re asked to participate in; I’m learning AS I’m teaching.

Isn’t that half the fun?


Vicky Castledine

Vicky is a Content Marketing Manager from Monday to Friday and a trail runner/ book lover/ dog hugger/ wilderness explorer after 5 PM and on weekends.

More Posts

Follow Me:



What makes a good workout?

No, it’s not the head-to-toe matching athleisure getup or the mirror selfie with the perfect lighting (eye roll)… Chances are it begins with your fuel.

Food and music are the big ones for me.

Let’s start with food.

I’m your typical lazy girl with not a whole lot of patience when it comes to meal prep. Ok, zero patience. What I want in a pre-workout snack is quick and easy… And tasty of course. My go-tos are Cliff bars and smoothies. Although I recently learned on a team hike from one of our leaders that I shouldn’t eat many Cliff bars if I want to poop on Mount Kilimanjaro during our 8 day hike.
*Side note: Hikers tend to have this weird comfort when it comes to talking about BMs. Sorry not sorry.

My smoothies tend to follow the same pattern: A couple blobs of Greek yogourt (vanilla’s my fave), any kind of frozen fruit, a banana if I happen to have one at the time, a scoop of whey protein and a splash of water to make it nice and liquid-y. Thirty seconds later in my Magic Bullet and I’m ready to rock.














Cliff bars, for me, are just an easy-to-grab-running-out-the-door kind of thing. I’m sure there are other bars that have less sugar, the proper amount of fibre and are overall healthier but they’re delicious and do the trick for me and my fussy low-blood sugar bod. Now, let’s all say a little prayer that they don’t screw me over on Killy.

Let’s dive into music.

Looking at me you may not expect that my all time favorite genre of music to work out to (and to listen to in my car… And on the dock…) is Latin dance music. Sean Paul? Yes please. Pitbull? Oh Hell yeah. Don Omar? Daddy Yankee? Yaaaaas.

Like books, taste in music tends to be pretty personal but I’m always up for recommendations. Over the past year or so I’ve expanded my taste in genres and (GASP!) completely stopped listening to Country music (yes, Mary Anne knows this- no, it hasn’t negatively effected our friendship). Maybe once bro-Country becomes extinct I’ll get back into it. Until then I’m wide open to new artists/bands/styles of music so if you’ve just discovered your new fave then pass it along my way! I’m working on a few playlists for our trip and would love some help. I started my Killy playlist with a theme but now it’s just a shmorgasbord of genres, tempos and moods.

I’ve made the playlist a collaborative one so if you’re a Spotify user, please please, PLEASE search Vicky Castledine, find my ‘Killy’ playlist and go nuts. The more the merrier!


Vicky Castledine

Vicky is a Content Marketing Manager from Monday to Friday and a trail runner/ book lover/ dog hugger/ wilderness explorer after 5 PM and on weekends.

More Posts

Follow Me: