It is quite possible that that someone you know discovered the sport of canyoneering. With the explosion of popularity over the last few years, more people are discovering the sport. Canyoneering demands a different type of gear than most other outdoor adventures. It does have some crossover with climbing and hiking, but there are more companies designing specialized gear for the sport. The equipment needs to be durable, easy to use, and work in a variety of conditions. It can be tricky to find the right gift idea for them, especially if you don't really understand what the sport entails. Here are some ideas to help make the gift giving process a little easier.
$15 and Below-
- Tubular Webbing- When canyoneering we burn through a lot of tubular webbing (typically 1"). The webbing is used to build anchors and is often left behind. Tubular webbing is cheap but adds up over time and getting large quantities of it makes a very practical gift. The webbing comes in a variety of colors but most prefer a neutral color that blends in well with the surrounding landscape.
- Black Diamond Rocklock Screwgate Carabiner- Canyons are tough on gear, there is no doubt about it. The rock and sand seem to wear out equipment at a rapid pace. The hard goods we use tend to wear out exceptionally fast and replacements are often needed. The Black Diamond Rocklock carabiner is an excellent piece and a great price point. The biner works well, is durable and can be used for other sports also (backpacking, climbing, etc.).
- Whistle- Canyons can be incredibly noisy places to be. The combination of flowing water and not being able to see team members between rappels, can make communication difficult or impossible. The whistle is often used to communicate to other canyoneers. Additionally a whistle is an important piece of rescue equipment, that can be heard much farther then the voice will carry.
- FireStarter- Nobody wants to get stranded in a canyon overnight. Sometimes this is unavoidable and it requires you to build to a fire for warmth. Matches and lighters are great but they have their flaws, especially when getting soaked. The better option is to use a fire striker. Allowing for 1500 plus strikes in a lightweight package makes this an ideal option. The added perk is that firestarters work even when wet, ensuring that you can create a fire in all conditions. This is another crossover item and is important for anyone traveling into the backcountry to have.
$35 and Below-
- Imlay Canyon Gear Dry Keg- Keeping gear dry in a canyon is difficult. Keeping gear dry and preventing it from suffering damage when tossing packs, is very difficult. Imlay Canyon Gear Kegs solve this by providing a water tight container that can handle the abuse of canyoneering. Tossing the pack or lowering down a 100 foot drop is no issue. Gear stuffed inside will stay dry and safe. The kegs come in two sizes and are lightweight.
- Guidebooks- Depending on where your canyoneer likes to go there are guide books for most popular areas. Two notable authors to the Southwest canyoneering scene are Todd Martin and Tom Jones. Both books provide a wealth of information that can inspire trips and make sure that they return safely.
- Imlay Canyon Gear Pot Shot Bag- Pot holes happen. But in canyoneering they can pose a difficult obstacle, especially without the proper gear. The Pot Shot bag is designed to be filled with sand and tossed across the pot hole, allowing for safe exit out the other side. The bag is designed to take a beating and can be used as a rope bag for short rappels.
- NRS Co-Pilot Knife- This knife was designed for those in watersports, but makes an excellent canyoneering knife. The quick release sheath that locks the knife in place. This means that it can not accidentally fall out unless the k=locking mechanism is engaged from both sides. The blade has a blunt tip, rope cutter, and has both a serrated and straight blade. The back side of the blade is dull allowing it to be used as a screw driver. The handle has a bottle opener, oxygen tank wrench and a glass breaker. The knife is tough and has a decent pricepoint.
$50 and Above-
- Imlay Packs- Imlay Canyon Gear makes a series of tough, canyon resistant packs that eject water quickly. The packs are made of heavy duty, abrasion resistant materials and are specifically designed for canyon use. Depending on the type of trips your canyoneer takes, they make the perfect pack size for them. Get your hands on these early, as they tend to sell out fast.
- Sterling ATS Rappel Device- There are quite a few options on the market for rappel devices, but few as easy and versatile as the ATS. Sterling designed the device specifically for canyon use and it shows. The device displaces heat well, and can be disconnected from the rope without removing it from the harness. This ensures that you don't drop the device in the pool you are swimming in. Horns on both sides allow for friction to be added easily and also allow it to be tied off with ease.
- C-IV Canyoneering Rope- If you are going to go all in, then go all in. The best canyoneering rope on the market is made by Sterling. The rope is build to endure the abuse of the canyons, yet still be easy to work with. It may be pricy, but your canyoneer will thank you. Typical lengths for canyoneering are 50' 100' or 200'.
- Canyoneering Course- Regardless of how good your canyoneer thinks they are, they probably can stand to learn something. There are excellent canyoneering courses available that go over safety, anchor building, technique, etc. Most courses take people out into the field and allow them to get hands on experience. If you want you canyoneer to stay safe, there is no better way then to take a course with an accredited instructor. Info on training can be found here.