Gift giving can often be a stressful experience, leaving many holiday shoppers with a sense of dread that they haven’t found that perfect gift or that much-desired stocking stuffer. While we can’t tell you what’ll make everyone on your list happy this year, we are here to help you get something cool for the outdoorsy friends and family in your life! Whether you’re looking to just pick up a little something, or you’re in search of that holiday-defining gift, here are a few ideas to get you started:
If you’re a good outdoorist, you can wing it on the trail with the resources around you. If you’re a great outdoorist, you’ll bring everything you need, packed to precision. Our goal at Team Green Adventures is to foster a community of great outdoorists, which is why we have several downloadable checklists on our resources page, and have partnered with Cumberland Transit for a series of eight Gear Workshops in 2015. Topics cover our region’s most popular recreations including backpacking, hiking, trail running, water treks, cycling, and rock climbing. Our first workshop, Backpacking 101, was a huge success (and we’ll offer it again on September 23rd). We not only learned which gear to bring, but how to pack it efficiently.
Morning temperatures have been consistently hovering below 30 degrees these days, which means it’s time to clean up your bike and store it for the winter, right? Wrong. Cold weather cycling has it’s own beauty to it, and can be equally refreshing if you’re layered up properly. My biggest issue has been remembering which layers to use at which temperatures, so this year I’ve started a gear chart. The more experience I get cycling in the cold, the more accurate my chart will become.
A true outdoors-man (or woman) has probably heard of the “10 Essentials” for any wilderness trip. If you’re not familiar, here they are:
- Navigation (maps)
- Hydration (water + filtration system)
- Sun Protection
- Insulation (sleeping bag + extra layers)
- Warmth (see We Didn’t Start the Fire… or Did We?)
- First Aid Kit
- Shelter (tent)
- Safety (whistle)
But if you’re like me, you aren’t hitting the trails simply to survive. You’re out there to enjoy yourself, see the sites you can’t get to in half a day’s hike, and make some memories. Let’s make sure those memories are good ones by keeping your pack lightweight, organized, and dry! These are the “other” 10 essentials:
Nashville provides countless resources to help the community spend more time outdoors. We partners with many local outfitters, including Nashville Paddle Company, Mountain High Outfitters, and Nashville B Cycle. If it weren’t for these resources that make it easy to rent gear, or for Metro Parks’ preservation of our green spaces, Team Green would not be able to carry out our mission of building a stronger outdoor community in Nashville!
Metro Parks is the back end of Nashville’s vast amount of green space. The greenways alone cover more than 190 miles of trails in Davidson County. More than 50 miles of trails are unpaved and designated for mountain biking, hiking and equestrian use. The goal of Metro Parks’ Greenways is to provide a greenway trail within 2 miles of every community, as well as to conserve green space, particularly floodplains and scenic areas along the waterways. Metro parks’ nature centers are open year-round and offer field trips, information on Nashville’s natural history, and access to expert naturalists to answer any questions you may have. Metro Parks also offers fitness classes through the Centennial Sportsplex and other neighborhood community centers, such as aquatics classes, dance, tennis and more.
Metro Parks’ adventurous opportunities include camping at Bells Bend and guided kayak and canoe excursions. In 2012, Outside Magazine named Nashville one of the “Best River Towns in America,” and Metro Parks is dedicated to offering activities for the community to enjoy and easily access these waterways. Even Mayor Karl Dean is getting in on the action, as his “Walk 100 Miles” campaign encourages the Nashville community to get outdoors and walk more…and what better place to do it than Nashville’s greenways?!
In addition to the places Metro Parks provides for enjoying outdoor activities, Nashville has many outfitters that rent gear to equip you for any adventure in Middle Tennessee. Check out the best places to rent outdoors gear in and around Nashville:
Nashville Paddle Company: Nashville Paddle Co. offers short-term or long-term rentals, how-to classes, intermediate technique instruction, endurance race training, PaddleFit workout sessions, moonlight paddles, dragon boat race training on SUP, team building events, bachelorette parties and SUP yoga. With affordable prices, Nashville Paddle Co. makes it possible for you to spend your whole summer paddling! A portion of their proceeds is donated to organizations like the Cumberland River Compact to keep Nashville’s waterways clean.
Mountain High Outfitters: Stand up paddleboards are available to rent for a full day or weekend-long. Mountain High also rents out backpacks, tents, sleeping pads and trekking poles for multiple days if you’re interested in hitting the backcountry but don’t want to make a huge investment in purchasing gear.
Nashville B-cycle: B-cycle allows the Nashville community to rent bikes for a day, or you can purchase a weekly, monthly or annual membership so you can easily opt for transportation via bike instead of using your car. If you have a membership, each trip is free as long as the bike is returned to a station within an hour. Every additional half hour is only $1.50. There are 23 B-stations around Nashville, making the B-cycle program accessible to Nashvillians in several neighborhoods.
Climb Nashville: Climb Nashville is best place for renting climbing gear and spending a couple hours climbing their enormous rock walls. You can also purchase gear, try out a fitness or yoga class, or enroll your kids in a youth climbing program. Their two new gyms (in West and East Nashville) make it easy to get your climb on no matter which side of the river you call home.
Foggy Bottom Canoe and Kayak: Aside from easy-to-use and affordable canoe and kayak rentals, Foggy Bottom also offers primitive camping and river trips. They even have a specific river trip just for kids! Their location on the Harpeth River makes for a great day trip just outside Nashville.
Love learning about Nashville’s outdoor resources, but want to leave the trip planning to someone else? Join us in making the most of our natural surroundings at one of our upcoming events:
Buffalo River Canoe Float & Cleanup with Bridgestone Americas’ Tires4ward Program on Saturday, July 26th at 7:30 a.m. at Crazy Horse Canoe
Yoga in the Park with Kali Yuga Yoga at Centennial Park every Tuesday at 6 p.m.
Beginner Mountain Biking on Tuesday, July 29 at 6 p.m. at Percy Warner Park
Stand Up Paddleboard Yoga with Nashville Paddle Company on Sunday, August 17th at 10 a.m. on Percy Priest Lake
– Kate (Team Green’s Summer Intern)