Christmas is just around the corner. You’ll be busy with festive decorations around the house, getting the Christmas tree, and getting everything needed for the Christmas dinner. Of course, there’s also the matter of getting the Christmas gift shopping taken care off.

Finding the perfect gift isn’t always the easiest task in the world. There are numerous ways to go about it. There's the utilitarian who buys for what people really need, the romantic who goes all out for the big gesture, and of course the story-teller who looks for gifts that can be presented together with a story.

At Nordic Outdoor we are big fans of stories. In fact, a big part in our selection process when we bring in new products and brands is the story behind them. For that reason, we have put together a list of ideal Christmas gifts, together with the story behind each of them.

Light My Fire Firelighting Kit

In this kit you will find the products that Light My Fire is built on. It started with the TinderSticks, or MayaSticks as they were called then, in Guatemala in the early 90’s. These sticks are made from the cultivated stumps of pine trees. Cultivated means that the trees have already been cut down, leaving only the highly resinous stumps. Having such high resin content, which is what makes the TinderSticks so apt at lighting fires, also make these tree stumps hard to remove.

In fact, without the motivation to do so, they would most likely be left where they are and tie up the land. The fact that these stumps can be cut up and used as firestarters not only provides us with a great product, but also with an incentive for the locals to remove these stumps and free up the land.

The second main component in this kit is the Light My Fire Swedish Firesteel Scout. This was discovered as the company was trying to get the TinderSticks onto the market in Scandinavia. These magnesium fire starters had been created for use by the Swedish military, and instantly found a match in the TinderSticks. From there on two products have become numerous, and one colour has become countless as Light My Fire has grown. But it all started here, with these two products.

The kit also includes a little firefork to roast celebratory hot dogs or marshmallows over the fire you have successfully created using the other two.

Find out more about the Firelighting Kit here >>

Gealtan Reindeer Hides

It doesn’t get much more Scandinavian than reindeer hides. Reindeer herding can be traced hundreds, if not thousands of years back. The Sami people in the north of Scandinavia track the animals over huge areas to be able to utilise the meat primarily. As a by-product, the beautiful furs are collected and sold, so as not to let them go to waste.

These arctic animals are ideally suited for a life in the roughest of climates. Evolution has provided them with furs that help them cope with these conditions. The incredibly beautiful furs range in colours from purest white to the deepest brown, and insulates extremely well thanks to the fine hairs. The fine hair also make these hides very soft. For as long as there are records, the Sami people hearding these animals have followed the reindeer migrations no matter the conditions by using reindeer hides to reinforce clothing and footwear.

Find out more about Gealtan Reindeer hides here>>

Amundsen Proviant Box

The Amundsen Proviant Box is the ideal gift for anyone familiar with the exploits of Roald Amundsen, leader of the first expedition to reach the geographic South Pole. This box set consists of a retro expedition quality aluminium food box, in the style used during the 1911 expedition, with a pair of Performance Socks and a Wool Hat inside. 

In October 1911, Amundsen led a team of five men, fifty-two dogs, out on a trek along a previous unknown glacier using skis and dog sleds for transportation. On December 14th they reached the pole, as the first human’s ever to set foot there. The beat the Englishman Robert F. Scott, whose team tragically perished during their return, there by just over thirty days.

Today his relative, Jørgen Amundsen, is running Amundsen Sports in the spirit of the legendary man himself. The company is trying to capture Amundsen’s ability to look back in time while leaping forward at the same time.

Find out more about the Amundsen Proviant Box here>>

Norwegian Wood

It is a book that has sold more than hundreds of thousands copies worldwide. About chopping and stacking wood. If you think that sounds unbelievable you are not alone, Lars Mytting think so too. And he wrote it.

The book has been said to include everything you need to know about wood, but were afraid to ask. And it is a comprehensive read, in Norway cutting and stacking wood is no laughing matter. Last year we spoke to Lars and he remembered that during a Norwegian television show where they were stacking wood, suddenly complaints started pouring in. We’ll let Lars explain: “Norway is split in two distinct schools: Bark up or down. Bark up is rigorously enforced along the coast, where the downpour comes as rain. Bark is water repellent, so it will drip off and not get into the wood. This is really an obsolete problem, because it is just to add a roof and the problem will be gone, but people stick to it anyway. In the inner parts of the country it will come as snow, and we also need 2-3 times more wood because it is colder. So, we usually stack with bark down because it is easier to build a big, sturdy stack that way. There is also a notion that it dries better with the bark down, but that is not true, since it dries through the ends. Myself, I am a bark down- person. I have tried to stack bark up, but it does not feel right for me.”

A book all about wood might not sound like the most thrilling read to all, but give this a chance and you might be surprised. It combines romantic passages about the ancient connection between man and wood, with plenty of facts: for example you will burn 1,168 kilocalories an hour lugging timber

Find out more about Norwegian Wood here>>