Taking Flight, The Single Life

5 Valentine’s Gifts for the Adventurous Girl


If you have an adventurous girl in your life, then you’ve come to the right place to find the perfect gift! I love spending time outdoors but apparel and gear for the next trek isn’t exactly the typical Valentine’s Day gift – which is what makes those kind of things the best kind of gift! Nothing says “I love you” or “You’re pretty cool” like a unique gift! Whether she is your girlfriend, your best friend, your daughter or your wife, show some love to the adventurous girl in your life with one of these five out-of-the-box gifts she is sure to love!

1. Chaco Natilly Boots: $140

Chaco boots of any kind are a great gift! They have the Chaco sole that are podiatrist-approved and super comfy. They’re perfect for casual day hikes. And they are fashionable on and off the trails.

I’ve had my Chaco Natilly boots for almost a year and I’ve worn them in just about every environment. I wore them all the time when I studied abroad in London and Paris. I’ve worn them on rainy days to class, in the snow, on a girls’ night out and to church. These boots are definitely not cheap, but the adventurous girl is sure to get a lot of wear out of them.

You could also spring for the Barbary style, which I’m in love with! They’re just $10 more at $150 and I’d be willing to bet they have just as much versatility!

2. Merrell’s Fluorecein Mid Waterproof Boots: Regular price $140, On Sale for $99.99

I know…another pair of boots. What can I say. I love shoes, especially boots and especially ones made with hiking in mind. I just got my pair of these lovelies for a New Mexico backpacking trip in June (because Chacos will not cut it on long treks like this one). It was love at first…wear??? Anywho, this would be a great gift to show the adventurous girl in your life that you love and appreciate her!

I know these first two gifts are a bit pricey and may not be the best thing for a friend or even your girlfriend unless it’s getting serious, but your outdoorsy wife or daughter will love you forever.

3. Doublenest ENO Hammock: $69.95

I love my ENO! But I got a Singlenest because I didn’t want to pay $10 more. It’s the tragic story of a poor college student. I know. The double allows for more room for a sleeping bag…or cuddling! But so far that has been my only regret!

An ENO will make sleeping out under the stars, taking an outdoor catnap or just chilling outside fun and relaxing! I love to take mine out even for a few hours to read and enjoy nice weather when it comes around!

Obviously, this would not be the gift you would get your friend unless you were the one who won the Powerball or you just REALLY loved them, but it could be the perfect and unique thing for a girlfriend, wife or daughter! I mean let’s face it…you’ll end up spending just as much money on a good bouquet of flowers.

(NOTE: You will also need to buy straps to suspend the hammock…and lucky for you that’s the next suggestion!)

4. ENO Atlas Hammock Suspension: $29.95

This is the perfect gift for the girl who already has an ENO but wants to take her hammocking to the next level. Eagle Nest Outfitters has what they call a Slap Strap for $10 cheaper, but you can’t use these traps in state and national parks. They’re actually illegal because they are too thing and can hurt the trees. At least that’s what the guy at Sun & Ski told me. But the Atlas straps or can be used anywhere you can physically get your ENO to stay hanging! So, give the gift that will let your friend or girlfriend hammock like a champion!

5. Adventure Essentials Care Package (Lip balm, hiking socks, + a few snacks)

This might seem like a weird cop-out gift, but if you’re wanting to get a gift for a friend or multiple adventurous friends, this is an inexpensive yet valuable gift. This is also where you can let some creativity shine through! I would suggest a stick of lip balm, a pair of hiking socks and maybe some peanut butter crackers or a Clif Bar.

A good lip balm is like gold for the girl who likes to spend her time in the great outdoors because sweltering heat, frigid air, bright sun and stinging wind can DE-stroy your skin, especially on your lips. The last thing she will want to worry about when she’s out on the trails or on the slopes is the annoying and unbearable stinging sensation that is chapped lips.

You can get any lip balm that you like, but I’m a huge fan of Burt’s Bees! It’s all-natural. It lasts FOR-EV-ER. You can get it in a lot of flavors (Peppermint is my favorite!). And unlike some brands of lip balm, it’s easy to pack and not an awkward sphere shape so your best girlfriend can slip it into a jacket pocket or side pocket in her pack and be good to go!

As far as the socks go, there one of those things that it’s a hard thing to justify buying for yourself because socks tend to be easily lost and there is always more expensive equipment to save up for. Thus, a good pair of socks tend to go by the wayside.

Finally, the snacks are just a no-brainer. Everyone loves snacks!

What gift would you add to the list?

Taking Flight, The Single Life


What I’m about to say might sound very satirical and sarcastic. That’s what I was going for, but if that’s not your thing, if you have a hard time understanding sarcasm or taking it, then you might want to stop reading now.

What I’m about to say might sound like it comes from bitterness and resentment toward all things love and relationships, but I beg of you to keep reading because that is not my motivation at all.

So, allow me to paint a picture for you.

What if single people posted as much about being single as some dating, engaged, newlywed or married people posted about their relationships? No, if we did that, the sky might fall on top of us and humanity would cease to exist as we know it.

What if instead of Mancrush Monday and Womencrush Wednesday, we had Single’s Sunday? Or even Saturday…yeah, I think we would settle for Saturday.

Or better yet, what if one day out of the whole year, we had a day were singles could genuinely celebrate their singleness? They could post pictures of the single life and all the couples would just have to sit there thinking, “You know it’s cool you all have your day, but we couples still exist and we would like some recognition, too.”

All of this sounds ridiculous and obnoxious, right? At least that’s what I’m hoping you think.

A couple of times on Taking Flight I’ve talk about Christianity and the Christian community’s approach to singleness and dating, but this isn’t just a Christian problem, it’s a world problem. But the fact of the matter is relationships are celebrated while singleness is left high and dry.

So much is dedicated to and set aside for the dating/married community. Annual holidays; twice weekly social media days; one week, one month, six month and one year anniversaries; annual holidays for those who have taken their relationship to the next level and added a child to the mix. Congratulations. You can reproduce. What an accomplishment. Bacteria does that multiple times a day, but ya know…it’s cool.

Sarcasm aside…in the midst of all these special days we’re recognizing parents who really aren’t that great at being parents. We’re celebrating relationships that are on the rocks except in the perfectly posed, beautifully written captions of Instagram photos. We’re elevating husbands, wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, dads and moms who are so bad at it that all of us single people can’t even.

This isn’t to deny those who are great parents, spouses and significant others the credit due them. After all, if I were in that position, I think I would like to get a pat on the back every once in awhile if I were doing a decent job at it, but where are the flowers and chocolates for the single peeps? Or a plane ticket to some place really cool (because it’s really all the same)?

I mean we’d like to think we’re killin’ it at this whole single thing, but it’s kind of hard when the things being celebrated are not singleness and making the most of this season of life. There’s no special day for singles. There’s only sad sideways glances, pity and well meaning (but actually insulting) “it will come” comments.

So, as my call-to-action, in the moments when you’re celebrating your relationships and the blessings that come with them this Valentine’s season, also take a moment to celebrate the single in your life in whatever way you possibly can.


Join the Taking Flight community during the month of February for this month long series, Single Life!

Single Life