Gifts That Give Back

By: Kyle "Rescue" Wagner

The ripple effect of gift-giving travels even farther when we pick presents that not only have meaning for us and the recipient, but also come from companies that support the greater good.

At First Descents, we’re grateful to have friends who focus as much on our mission of providing life-changing adventures for young adults impacted by cancer and MS as they do on creating high-quality outdoors-oriented products and experiences that put the fun in functional.

This holiday season, we invite you to take your gift-giving to the next level by considering these gift ideas that give back, below. We appreciate your support and theirs!


gift ideas that give back

Heli, the premier marketplace connecting the outdoor community with the best adventure experiences worldwide, is offering $100 off your first booking on the vast selection of global experiences listed on their marketplace. Contact the Heli team to start planning your next trip, and mention you came from First Descents to claim the offer. And stand by for more info on our exciting partnership with Heli!

Browse all the adventures here 



Winner of Apple’s 2023 iPhone App of the Year award, AllTrails was founded on the idea that we’re all made better by spending time in nature. The company is driven by the desire to share the outdoors with as many people in as many places as possible, and to do so responsibly and respectfully. They are “1% for the Planet” partners, and so they contribute to First Descents every time someone signs up for their comprehensive trail guides.

Happy trails here



gift ideas that give back

Pakt makes performance travel gear with people and the planet in mind. Pakt products are defined by a clean, elevated look and refined layouts. Designed to help you get the most out of every journey by stressing less and experiencing more, Pakt gear is loaded with smart features that keep everything where you want it, when you need it – all built to last a lifetime of adventures with minimal impact. Simply put: The journey, perfected.

Pakt your bags here



gift ideas for gifts that give back

Rumpl helps people have more magical moments in their outdoor adventures, applying performance materials typically found in premium outdoor great and activewear to modernize a dated blanket category. Rumpl blankets are technical, durable and made for more, so you can be prepared for wherever your next adventure takes you, for whatever unfolds. Rumpl. Set. Go!

Check out these blanket statements here



gift ideas that give back​​Comrad began as a way to disrupt the stereotypes around compression socks to show that everyone can benefit from the power of compression to feel their best. They spent years perfecting the design of their premium, lab-tested compression socks that are used and loved by an avid group of wellness enthusiasts, travelers, runners, cyclists, pregnant women, and those who are seeking relief and support. Whatever your passion, they’re here to help you feel better and conquer your day, every day.

Knock their socks off here



gift ideas that give back

Nick Silverstein saw an opportunity to create a lasting souvenir that could not only be useful, but also memorable and meaningful, and thus MAP Hatter was born. Silverstein creates hats that have trail maps on them or other identifying parts of an outdoor experience that resonate with adventurers. But these aren’t just any ordinary baseball caps: Each head topper sports a topographic map specific to each client, which creates an immediate keepsake that’s also a durable and functional piece of clothing. Each snapback-style hat is made from 100% nylon, which makes it water-resistant and easy to clean, and they also travel well – they’re collapsible and also machine-washable.

Map your cap here



gift ideas that give back

In 1976, identical twin brothers Jim and Jerry Mashburn were two young California sailors who, besides their love of sailing, loved to barbecue. However, experiments with attaching grills to their boat proved unsuccessful. The porcelain metal grills available in the mid-1970s were just not up to the task – they simply rusted out and became completely unserviceable. Knowing the durability of stainless steel in marine environments, the twins set to work making a stainless steel grill that would withstand the hardships of a salt water environment. That original charcoal grill is still available and is now complemented with several round and rectangular propane models.

Get all up in their grills here



gift ideas that give back

Hook & Arrow was born out of two brothers’ shared passion for food and the outdoors. After making some small batches of hot sauces and sharing it with friends and family, they discovered there was some serious interest and decided to take it to the next level. They use high-quality, natural ingredients to create unique flavors and do not use thickeners or preservatives.

Awesome sauce here



gift ideas that give back

We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention that the First Descents online store offers a full line of women’s and men’s clothing, accessories, cookbooks and other items complete with FD flair, all exemplifying the Out Living It lifestyle. From hoodies, hats and T-shirts to Nalgene water bottles, river buffs and YETI Ramblers, there’s something for everyone who likes to get out there and also support young adults impacted by cancer and MS. We also offer MAP Hatter baseball caps that sport a topo of the Upper Colorado, a river near and dear to our hearts because it’s where our founder, Brad Ludden, took the first group of young adults kayaking.

Give the Gift of Adventure here

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