Gift Ideas!

While the temperature may be dropping here at Camp Green Cove, our minds are thinking about summer! And with the holidays fast approaching, we have received lots of calls and emails regarding camp gear. So we thought we would share with you a few ideas and guidelines to help you select the perfect gift for your camper! Before we dive into all of that, we recommend, if you haven’t already done so, you may want to check out the summer packing list, found on your forms dashboard. This will give you an idea of what items are needed for camp. (All pictures have the web address listed below them for you to copy and paste into the browser!)

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The top two pieces of gear that we get questions aboutare backpacks and tents. For backpacks, while we do have a few on hand for rental, we don’t have enough for everybody. Backpacks are not just used for hiking, they are used for any activity that is going out on a trip. If you feel like your camper is interested in the tripping aspect of camp, then getting a quality backpack may be a good idea. There are options of getting a decent pack without breaking the bank too!! However, there are somethings you need to pay attention to when selecting a pack. The backpack you would want is one for camping (not a school pack), with a hip belt, and can fit a sleeping bag, pad, tent, extra clothes and gear like a flashlight and bowl. It can be internal frame or external frame, but space wise, you will want it to be about 3000-4000 cubic inches or between 40-55 liters. Most backpacks are fairly adjustable but you do have to pay attention to the sizing to make sure it fits the body correctly. In order to get the right size, you will need to know the torso lenth, which is the measurement from the base of the neck to the top of the hip bones. Ususally, somebody in any outdoor sporting good store can take this measurement for you.

The pictures are some examples of some good packs to give you some examples of what to look for, and where you can get them for reasonable prices! For all of this gear, we do NOT recommend going out and just buying the most expensive item. No need to do that!

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For tents, we recommend a good 2 person tent, with a rain fly that covers the WHOLE tent. The kind from Wal-Mart just don’t work. We will pair the campers up before a trip so that not everyone has to carry a whole tent, so the weight is not as big of a deal. You also don’t need to break the bank on a tent. Here are a couple examples of good tents that are right around the $100 mark, some even under!Also, not having a tent is ok! We do sell tarps in our camp store, and while they are not as fancy looking, do work well!

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Another area of gear we get a lot of questions about is riding gear. IF your child plans to ride or does ride every day, then we recommend getting some of your own gear, particularily a helmet. Riding gear, like the camping stuff, can get very expenisve quickly, and again, we do NOT encourage folks to go buy the most expensive items! The top two items we get questions about are helmets and riding boots. We do have some helmets and boots as loaners here at camp, but again, not enough for everybody!

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One of the more common questions we get is can you wear a biking or climbing helmet for riding? The answer is no! Helmets are designed specifically for their sport, even though they may look similar. For riding helmets, you will need to make sure you get one that is ASTM SEI certified for horseback riding. As long as it has that certification, it does not matter what it looks like! It can be velvet, plastic, tye dye (yes those exist) or standard black. This helmet is a fairly standard helmet that is very reasonably priced.

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For riding boots, aka paddock boots, the big thing to know is that the boot needs to have a heel, and it needs to offer protection for the foot. A standard athletic shoe is not a great fit, but will work in a pinch. Having a half inch heel prevents the rider’s foot from sliding thru the stirup. The boot also needs to be one that will stay on securely on the foot. Typically, they have a lace up front or a zipper, though several now just pull on to the foot. The one pictured is a great beginner boot, and once again, won’t break the bank!

So that is just a few things you can look at or ask for this year for the holidays! And don’t forget, we also have some Green Cove merchandise for sale that would make a great gift as well! If you are interested in purchasing some of the Green Cove swag, be sure to email Ann Marie by Dec 11, in order to get it out on time! And as always, don’t hesitate to email or call if you have any other questions.

About Caitlin Riley

Caitlin Riley is a member of our year round staff as the Green Cove Assistant Director. While camp is in session, she works particularly with Activity Programs to ensure that the different programs mesh well together. Caitlin keeps an eye on the trips available thru the different activities, and the instructional programs for each area. She also works to coordinate trips that involve multiple activities on both intermediate and advanced levels. During the off season, she spends time traveling to recruit both campers and staff. She worked as a trip leader and cabin counselor for a camp in Northern Minnesota during her college years. It was during those summers that Caitlin recognized her passion for working in the outdoor industry. Since graduating in 2007, she has traveled all around the globe, teaching outdoor education in a variety of settings. During her free time, Caitlin loves to spend time outdoors, hiking, biking and running the trails.

Caitlin Riley