BASE editorial teamBASE writers and editors who live and breathe adventure every day. We love adventure storytelling as much as we love adventure itself.
The term sustainable is a complicated one. Not least because production accounts for so many different practices and industries from farming to manufacturing and transport. Consequently bold claims of full sustainability often only sound the alarm. And as we learn more about what it really means to operate sustainably, so we see the goal posts shift yet further.
But what we can probably agree on unanimously is that we can do better. The mindset we’re seeing adopted more and more and one championed by our friends at Protect Our Winters is imperfect advocacy: ‘Instead of chasing perfection, pursue progress’. One of the biggest and in many ways most simple opportunities we have to lighten our tread on the planet is to make better purchasing choices, particularly when it comes to the products that not only help us to explore the natural world but rely so heavily on its health.
So with that in mind, we’ve compiled the Gift Guide for the Eco-Conscious. We’re not going to use the term sustainable here. Instead we’re highlighting genuinely useful products created with a duty of care and transparency in their manufacturing from companies taking strides towards more environmentally friendly production, even if right now, they still have a ways to go before they reach perfection. The attributes of the brands and items we’ve featured below are: production transparency, longevity of use and use environmentally friendlier materials.
SunGod X Protect our Winters Goggles
There are several elements to love about this collaboration.
For a limited run you can select a POW strap with any purchase of SunGod Vanguard or Sniper goggles for a £4 donation to the charity. Better still – SunGod will match your donation.
Secondly, SunGod care about the durability of the products they make – so much so they’re covered by a lifetime guarantee: if they break, they’ll replace them free. That means a longer life for your goggles and less ending up in landfill.
Innovation that makes you turn around and ask why everyone wasn’t already doing that. For us that’s what progress is all about, and that’s exactly the question we were left asking after discovering the cellulose based home compostable packaging from the small UK based business Outdoor Provisions.
Their bars and nut butters are made from whole foods, are 100% vegan friendly, contain no palm oil or refined sugars and they taste great too.
With the increasing costs of living, as we step tentatively into the depths of winter a solid set of base layers is an absolute must. Even if it’s just to accommodate you’re working from home setup.
As pioneers of merino, Icebreaker have long been leaders in this territory. But as a brand they do much more than just keeping you warm. With design principles based around timeless, versatile and long-lasting garments using ethically sourced and renewable natural alternatives to synthetic materials.
This might not be the sexiest gift in our lineup, but anything to keep outdoor kit in play as long as possible is invaluable.
This is the complete care system for cleaning, enhancing water repellency, and revitalising the breathability of wet weather clothing. Easy to use in your washing machine and by hand, non-flammable and PFC free. Ideal.
Anything we can do to minimise single use plastic is a win. With the Yeti Rambler insulated bottle you can ensure you’ll have warm (or cold) drinks out on the hill hours after pouring, meaning there’s no need to grab a coffee or a bottled water in a disposable vessel. Full insulated bottle roundup here.
The Rambler is a seriously burly bit of kit – weighing 700g empty it’s not ideal for lightweight hiking, but for a solid and reliable insulated bottle, it’s a tough one to beat.
This is where the longevity part of being conscious comes into play. Leatherman’s standards for quality, durability, precision and attention to detail are what have given the brand the notoriety as manufacturers of the world’s highest quality multipurpose tools.
Products like the Curl multi-tool here come with a straight-forward 25-year warranty meaning that items like this are kept well and truly out of landfill for as long as possible.
Another great contender for the fight against the cost of living crisis.
While BAM aren’t making massive claims around sustainability, they are transparent in their practices and open in their efforts to doing better and in our experience they make great multi-functional kit that lasts.
Owing to the natural, odour-eliminating properties of bamboo fibres, you shouldn’t need to wash garments like the Novea baselayer (full review here) as often as standard synthetics which is a small win for both the environment and electricity bills across the country.
Ultimately though the best thing you can do is to buy second-hand. And if like many of us you’re an adventure dabbler, the chances are you not only are after new kit all the time, but you probably have a bunch of stuff lying around that’s not getting the life outside it deserves.
If that’s the case, there’s a bunch of great ways to give your unused kit a second life. Of course there’s the usual suspects for trawling second hand items but there’s also a bunch of great outdoor specific outlets and charities too.
Check out the Alpkit Foundation Continuum project, who make donating unwanted gear directly to those that need it most super simple; Kit Squad whose goal is to assist low-income people with getting out into the great outdoors, having awesome adventures by providing donated second hand kit; and Ellis Brigham working with homeless charities across the UK to recycle your outdoor clothing and gear.
Don’t miss a single adventure
Sign up to our free newsletter and get a weekly BASE hit to your inbox