Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Holiday Gift Guide for Winter Hiking and Snowshoeing

The holiday season is quickly approaching and it's time to share a new Christmas Gift Guide with you once again.  This year, I have decided to focus on gifts that you and your children can enjoy while hiking and snowshoeing this winter. 

Check out my top ten gift ideas for winter hiking and snowshoeing.

Winter hiking is a blast so gear up for a great Christmas!


1. Snowshoes for the Family


All Out Kids Gear has a great collection of snowshoes and when you shop from this company you're supporting a local Alberta business and family!

My 11 year old has the MSR Shift Kids Snowshoes and has been using them for several years now.



Snowshoes take you to places like this.

2. Snowsuits to Keep the Kids Warm in the Snow


My son lived in his Ducksday Rain Suit when he was 4-6 years old on our winter adventures and it was our favourite piece of outdoor clothing for children. It always kept him warm and dry when worn over proper layers, it kept snow away from the skin since there's no pant/jacket gap, and he had great freedom to roll around in the snow without having to wear bulky outer layers.

Ducksday Rain and Ski Suits are Awesome for Winter Adventures!


The rainsuit maxes out at size 110-116 (4-5y.) The sizing is generous though and my son was still able to wear the rain suit as a very tall 6 year old.

Next we moved up to the Ducksday Ski suit in the same funky red pattern and it is sold in larger sizing up to 116-122 cm (6-8 years.)

To order Ducksday products, visit the Ollie and Stella Outfitters website. And don't worry if you visit the online store and think that you must be from the US. The company definitely ships to Canada! Email the company directly to purchase your order at ollieandstellaoutfitters@gmail.com.

Ducksday Snowsuits can handle ANY weather! 


After growing out of his Ducksday Snowsuit, my son moved up to TOBE Outerwear and we can not say enough good things about their products for kids of all ages.

We are in love with the one-piece mono suits from TOBE outerwear

Read my review for the TOBE Novus Mono Suit here.) - and yes, they are worth the price.

TOBE also has great Novus Winter Jackets for youth along with Novus Bib Overalls (for kids who don't want to wear a one-piece snow suit.) - Read my review for the Novus Bibs and Jackets here

TOBE snowsuits are worth every penny for winter adventures!

 3.  Good Winter Boots and Mitts for the Kids 


Stonz on the Hands and Feet
Stonz Wear boots and mitts are the best choice on the market for toddlers and preschoolers.

My son was able to snowshoe and hike in temperatures down to -30C for several hours without getting cold! The Stonz boots also weigh less than any other pair of winter boots you will find (They only weigh 1.3 pounds per pair!)

The Stonz mitts have also been a godsend for our family and at age 11, my son still fits the largest size (which is rather incredible since they're sized at age 4-8 years.)

Snow never gets inside the gloves thanks to their design. They fit over top of the child's jacket and cinch tightly at the wrists and elbows to ensure snow stays out where it belongs!

Both the boots and mitts are waterproof and we've had wonderful winter adventures with Stonz Wear on our team.

To order Stonz Wear Products for your family, visit the Stonz Wear website where you'll get free shipping on orders of $70+ across Canada and the US.  

Toasty warm in TOBE Bib pants and ski jacket, Stonz Mitts on top


For older kids, check out the great selection of boots and mitts on the All Out Kids Gear website. The North Face Alpenglow Extreme III Kids Winter boots look fantastic. I'm also eyeing up the Reusch mitts for our adventures this winter. 

TOBE and Stonz continue to keep my son warm on our hikes


4.   KEEN Winter Boots for Mom and Dad


Now that the kids are warm, Mom and Dad need to be suitably clothed as well! Enter KEEN Footwear with a great collection of winter boots for the whole family.  

To order KEEN boots for your family, visit the KEEN Canada website. Free shipping and returns is included on all orders within Canada. 

For women, I recommend the Revel IV High Polar Boot for hiking and snowshoeing. In the city, you'll be comfortable in the Women's Terradora II Winter Lace Up Waterproof Boots - which are actually on my Christmas list this winter.

And in the city for urban jaunts, I live in my Women's Kaci Winter shoes. They're simple pull on shoes with no laces or anything fancy. They have good grip and are warm for any trip around the city.

I also love my Howser slides for comfy footwear around the city (think outdoor slippers that hug your feet.)

This is where my KEEN boots will go this winter!

5.  A New Ski Jacket for Mom 


Mom's likely the one that's walking the kids to school in the morning, standing around the playground after school as the temperatures drop in the late afternoon, and the one who's taking the younger children outside to play during the day. Mom needs a warm but stylish jacket!

Fortunately, I've found many amazing jackets through Columbia Outerwear. 

To see Columbia's full product line up, visit the Columbia website and go to the store locator to find an outlet near you selling Columbia clothing and gear. I buy most of my clothing from local sports stores.

Winter is meant to be embraced and loved!

 

6.  Kahtoola Microspikes


We love winter hiking in canyons but there's no way I'd take my family on a slippery icy trail without some form of traction.Winter boots are great but they don't provide enough grip to prevent a potentially dangerous fall, and snowshoes feel cumbersome on ice. Thankfully, we've discovered the amazing Kahtoola microspikes and the small size often fits youth feet. 

Thanks to my microspikes, I can walk up frozen waterfalls, I can do winter scrambles on trails that are steep and treacherous, and I can enjoy winter to its fullest! 

You want spikes when you're hiking on ice!


7. Skin Protection with Buffs for the Family


What is a Buff? Only the best invention ever designed for winter and safer than a traditional scarf for keeping your face warm. Scarves can get caught in chair lifts, on playground equipment, or on trees while hiking. Meanwhile, a Buff is a tubular piece of fabric that can be worn as a headband, a hat, a balaclava, a neck warmer, or a scarf. They come in various fabrics (including fleece) and are often just as warm as a tuque or knit hat when warn over the ears.

Every member of my family has at least one or two Buffs and we especially like to wear them under helmets. I also like to wear mine as a headband when camping to keep my crazy hair under control and my husband finds his to be a light weight alternative to tuques and hats.

To read more about this amazing product, visit the Buff Canada website. You can buy them in a variety of brands at most outdoor stores. We also have fleece ones that we like.

We live in our Buff face wraps in the winter 


8. A Strider Balance Bike with Ski Attachment 


Now that you're fully clothed and protected, it's time to focus on having FUN in the snow. And this is where the Strider balance bike comes in. Most families with toddlers or preschoolers will know about this 12" starter bike designed for kids aged 18 months to 5 years old. If you truly haven't heard of this pre-bike that's ridden without pedals, visit the Alberta Balance Bikes website to take a look around. 

Add a ski attachment to the bike and voila, you have a ski bike for your youngsters! (And while they're sold out from Alberta Balance Bikes at the moment, hopefully more will come in before Christmas.)


The coolest Christmas present to put under the tree

9. "Sliding in the Snow" by Melissa Dymock 


Continuing with the theme of having fun in the snow, I recently discovered this cool little book by Melissa Dymock that's full of games you can play as a family while out hiking and exploring this winter. The book is written with colorful photos the kids will enjoy and covers everything from safety in the snow to winter-themed science lessons, history lessons on the origins behind popular winter sports, and even includes some winter recipes at the end.

I've had a chance to preview the book and I'm very excited to try out a few of the games and activities this winter. I also know that my son will enjoy trying some of the science lessons and will like reading up on how some of his favourite sports became popular.


The book can be purchased from Amazon.ca and Amazon.com and would make a great Christmas present for children this year.

One of the games in Melissa's book - Snow Mazes (which is super fun!)

10. A New Sled


This goes on my Christmas gift guide every year because hiking is so much more fun if you bring a sled! It's easy to pull up the trail and can even carry some gear (usually snowshoes we end up not needing on packed trails.) Then on the way down, place one or two tired children in the sled and guide the sled safely down the trail. The kids have a blast and you'll get a great workout trying to keep up to the sled. (And helmets are really recommended despite the lack of one pictured in the photo below.)

Shop Amazon for A new sled! (sleds get cracked, broken, etc. and there are so many cool varieties to buy as a Christmas gift.!)


Sleds are fun for all ages!


We also love Snow Skates, Scooters, and Boards for the sledding hill (My son has the Shred snow skate and loves it!)

We've had fun with a Kick Scooter with ski attachment as well. 

And if your child needs more balance, check out these Tri Scooters with skis.

Finally, add some new snow  toys (including snowball slingshots!) - See a giant assortment of fun toys here from Airhead Sports.Whether you choose to bring a Strider bike with Skis, a sled, or a snow scooter, bring something and the kids will have a lot more fun hiking this winter.

The Shred Snow Skate is a lot of fun at the sledding hill 







126 comments:

  1. We love to make our own trail through the woods and investigate tracks, trees, and sliding hills that we find along the way.

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  2. I love just watching my kids frolicking and enjoying the snow!!

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  3. Baby Bern wide calf would be great!

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  4. Choosing just one pair of shoes from keen is hard! I really like the look of the hoodoo III though!

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  5. The micro spikes would be perfect for hiking on the icy trails while baby wearing my three month old

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  6. Thanks for some great suggestions and some pretty sweet contest prizes!

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  7. New Keen winter boots for Mom and Spikes for Dad. My whole family has buffs and wear them for downhill skiing under helmets, and general outdoor use as well. Favorite snowy family activity... skiing, winter walks...

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  8. I love my buffs! I have winter and summer ones. They work great at keeping my hair out of my face on windy mountain tops because I find hats blow off. In winter I wear a fleece buff instead of a toque. They keep my ears warm on chilly mornings when hiking.

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  9. boots boots boots! i need new hiking boots!

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  10. Love Strider bikes for the littles! I have never been snowshoeing but would love to try it.

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  11. I love Buffs! My partner has a couple and I always steal his, haha. Been wanting to get my own :)

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  12. I'm really longing to play in the snow with my kiddos s this winter!

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  13. My micro spikes would get me out on icy pathways!

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  14. a pair of hiking boots would be a great gift for my sister - I would most definitely gift her the card to pick up a pair so she can enjoy the rockies this winter.

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  15. I've got an energetic and colorfully illustrated book for kids who love winter sports called Fresh Snow! It's about a snowboarding Rabbit and his pal, Penguin. Here's the link: http://www.amazon.com/Fresh-Snow-Natasha-Wing/dp/0692532943/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1447872371&sr=1-1&keywords=Fresh+Snow%21

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    1. Natasha, send me a message. We should chat. Just found out about your book. :)

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  16. Would buy new boots from keen. Never wore a buff head wrap, my two year old would love the strider ski for anywhere I take her. Would love spikes to keep me upright on the trails. Thanks.

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  17. I would buy a new pair of hiking boots. Thanks!

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  18. I would love the KEEN Winthrop II WP boots! SO cute!

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  19. I would use Kahtoola microspikes for winter and shoulder season hiking in Alberta!

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  20. Buffs are good for keeping drafts going down your jacket! I don't like stuff tight around my neck, so it works great for me! I like them for the kids too - safer than scarves that can dangle and get stuck on stuff.

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  21. Our favorite winter family activity is skiing (alpine and nordic)!! Both girls have really taken to it, but we love snowshoeing and skating too!

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  22. Tania, I hope you realise how inspirational and instructional your blog has been! Yesterday was 39 degrees in South Australia, in less than ten days our year's adventure in Canada will begin. Thanks for writing such a great list of things for us to get when we arrive, we can't wait to get outside in the snow!

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  23. We're entering for most things, but the Strider bike and ski looks awesome. On the wish list rather than the essential, but so much fun!

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  24. I hope it's not cheating if I leave one comment answering all the questions. 1. Keen boots - i would love a pair of warm, but stylish boots for wearing around the city. We just got my 1.5 year old daughter a pair of keen boots for winter and I am jealous of how stylish and cute they are. 2. Miro spikes - I'd actually wrap them up and give them to my Mom for Christmas, then she'll stop borrowing my husbands each time we hike in winter together. 3. We love Buffs - we use them for the same things you put in your blog. I also keep a spare one for all of us in the diaper bag in case it's colder out in fall/spring that I anticipated. 4. Our favorite thing to do in snow as a family is snowshoe.
    Thanks for another great Christmas guide!

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  25. Following your blog for some time now, always find it inspiring for new places to explore. Would love to get some new equipment for the seasons ahead :)

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  26. Bailey Dexter I really like the KOVEN WP and fell in love with the WINTHROP II WP these are also a great for winter!

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  27. Bailey Dexter I know we would love to take my grandson on the local trail here he would have so much fun with the Strider Ski Bike!!!

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  28. i would love to get a pair of bern baby bern boots

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  29. Would love to also get my hands on some Revel III Women's Winter Boots!

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  30. I would use the spikes on a trip to Jasper this Feb! And I haven't used a Buff head wrap before, but I would love to try =)

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  31. I would get the woman's TYRETREAD ZIP WP

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  32. Would love some Keen shoes for winter jogging. My son confiscated my buff the other day...he said he was a ninja and I haven't seen it since! I need it for bike riding and outdoorsy emergencies! Also good for keeping my head warm when camping. The same ninja needs microspikes for when we go clambering up icy creeks in winter. Happy November, everybody!

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  33. Great suggestions! Thanks. Keen - I would LOVE a pair of Keen of Scots boots - what a great name!!! The microspikes would be awesome to use for wintery walks in this land of chinooks where things heat up and then freeze again! I don't have a Buff wrap - but everyone raves about them and I would love to find out all the ways I could use one! And, my favourite winter activity will always be skiing!!!!

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  34. We like to play in the snow, have snow fights and sledding.

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  35. I'll answer everything at once. I'd love a pair of Keen Elsa boots. While my hubby and I both have Kahtoola spikes, I'd like to give my mom a pair to keep her safe on walks! I have a wool Buff wrap but I'd love to get one for hubby for Christmas. We plan on lots of local snowy walks this winter with the toddler and new baby!

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  36. I would definitely buy a pair of hiking shoes of myself from Keens.

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  37. I would use the microspikes to do some exploring in Banff.

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  38. I've never used a Buff head wrap before- they sounds interesting!

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  39. I would take the strider bike with skis to school each day with us.

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  40. I need a great pair of WINTHROP II WP's. Living in Edmonton, and going to the mountains..means good boots are a must.

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  41. Keen boots for me for wintery days in the city. Micro spikes for my daughter for slippery hikes and walks. We all love our buffs... Esp for winter activities (and for covering up my crazy hair at the end of the day or on camping trips). Strider bike would be given to my cousin's little girl or my 4 year old would keep it if we could upgrade to the larger size... she is super sad to have our grown hers. And our favorite outdoor activity if you ask me would be cross country skiing, hubby wiuld say down hill skiing, and the kids would say snow ball fights and making snow men.

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  42. I would love a new pair of Keen winter hikers (the Delta looks good) but they also have so many cute casual boots to wear when I'm not out exploring. It would be hard to chose! I'd love a pair of microspikes for urban dog walks (it can be so slippery with the chinooks) but also for tackling some winter hiking. I'm getting pretty excited for cross-country skiing - I just bought new skis and can't wait to get out on them.

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  43. I would like a pair of light hikers. Micro spikes would be great for some shoulder season scrambles and I love watching munchkin toddler through the snow.

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  44. Awesome list, thanks for the great ideas...see you on the trails!

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  45. I'd use my spikes in Jasper this winter

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  46. I fell in love with the Buff this summer and would love to have another for hiking

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  47. Keens waterproof light hikers for hubby. Microspikes for the kids (we picked up some last year for us and now feel so much more confident and ready to do more winter hikes). Strider...all over! but first trip probably to Troll Falls. I've been eying other people's Buffs...I think that's this year's stocking gift for everyone. Great list Tanya!

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  48. Great guide and info. Especially for non winter types like me.

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  49. We love snowshoeing in the Sierras :)

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  50. I would like to get a pair of Keen sandals.

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  51. I would actually take it to our local trail down by the river.

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  52. Great list! And not just for Christmas but all year round :)

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  53. I would take the Strider Ski Bike to Selkirk National Park!!!

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  54. With my Keen "FREE SHOE" card I would love to the the KOVEN in Cascade Brown/Zinfandel http://www.keenfootwear.com/en-ca/product/shoes/women/koven

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  55. I need to replace my Keen sandals that I've had for at least 5 years. They're falling apart (read: lots of adventure!) (Did you know they make excellent mountain biking shoes?) Despite being jealous of my husband's Keen winter boots (which have been amazing for snowshoeing) I think I'd replace my Newports first. :)

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  56. I would take the Strider bike to our ski vacation/family reunion at Christmas. My family (from 4 different provinces) are meeting at a cabin the rockies for a reunion (We haven't been altogether for Christmas in 16 years!) There will be 8 young kids there, so they could have fun on the bike (which is a pretty neat idea, btw!)

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  57. What is our favourite thing to do in the snow as a family? That's tough, too! We enjoy snowshoeing and skiing. We just recently got into mountain biking though, and I have a feeling fat bikes might be our new favourite pretty soon!

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  58. Awesome list of gifts! I'd love to win some Keen's!!

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  59. i would love to buy myself some warm winter Keen boots

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  60. Choosing just one pair of shoes from keen is hard! I really like the look of the hoodoo III

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  61. I would take the strider on whistler blackcomb BC

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  62. I would like some snow boots.

    billiondollarprincesss @hotmail.com

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  63. I would want a pair of Keen DURAND LOW WP for hiking

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  64. I would use the Kahtoola Micro Spikes to try some ice climbing this winter! Looks amazing!

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  65. Ive never used a Buff head wrap before. If I won one, I would use it out on my winter adventures snowshoeing and snowboading!

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  66. I'd love to get the The Hoodoo III women's boots

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  67. I would like to buy some warm boots for myself for the winter.

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  68. I would like to get the BERN BABY BERN BOOT.

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  69. From Keen Footwear I would order the REISEN LACE in The Dress Blue.
    Florence C

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  70. I would give the strider bike to my son to use to go to work.
    Florence C

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  71. I love so many of their products, I could really use some nice warm and water proof boots for this winter

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  72. I've been debating on purchasing snowshoes as I haven't known what brand/make to consider. Thanks for doing the 'leg work' on this for me. :)

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  73. I'd love to get a pair of boots from Keen. Either a nice pair of winter boots or perhaps even work boots since i go through at least two pairs a year.

    - amber y

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  74. I really like TYRETREAD ZIP WP!

    Lori R Jackson

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  75. I'd love to pick up a pair of hiking boots with the card!

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  76. Winter boots are a definite purchase especially from Keen...thanks

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  77. I would love a pair of Keen Kate Mid boots.

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  78. Would like to get the ANCHORAGE BOOT II for my hubby as he has been wanting a pull on boot but they are hard to find in his size. (Judy Cowan)

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  79. I would get my hubby a new pair of boots

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  80. I would love to win a Strider bike for my toddler. She would love it! We would take it to the sledding hill, for wintery walks with the dog and to the mountains when visiting grandparents.

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  81. I'd like to get the Hoodoo III

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  82. Kahtoola microspikes for dog walking @pixee1

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  83. Kahtoola microspikes for dog walking

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  84. Strider Ski Bike to the golf course behind my place

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  85. The Keens Men's Austin Shoe is another one that I would think about getting. (Judy Cowan)

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  86. I would get new sandals for next year! My current pair of Keen sandals are quite worn (they are 3 year old). Thanks for the chance!

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  87. I would love some new Keen sandals!

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  88. I would take my strider ski bike to the local sledding hills!

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  89. Id like to win a pair of work boots from keen. They have nice ones.

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  90. These Keen's look comfy http://www.keenfootwear.com/en-ca/product/shoes/women/howser-ii

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  91. I would like to say winter hiking is the only place I would use Kahtoola Micro Spikes however the icy streets of Calgary would not be out of the question.

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  92. We would take the Strider Sport Balance Bike from Run Bikes YYC to school everyday!

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  93. I would love to win a pair of hiking shoes/boots from Keen Canada.

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  94. I'd love to get the LIBERTY RIDGE boot from Keen Canada

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  95. I would use the Kahtoola Micro Spikes while we go winter hiking

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  96. We would take the stryder bike out to our local hill

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  97. With my Keen card I would get some winter boots

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  98. we would take our Strider Ski Bike to the local hills no real skiing around here

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  99. I have worn a Buff head wrap before. I use it when I hike in the mountains! :)

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  100. I would buy some (much needed) sport sandals with my "Free Shoe” card from KEEN Canada (if I won). :)

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  101. I would try winter hiking (for the first time) if I won the Kahtoola Micro Spikes. :)

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  102. I would love a pair of Keen Kate Mid boots

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  103. I would take the Strider Ski Bike to the nearest snow trails!!

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  104. It would be great to win a copy of the book "Sliding in the Snow."
    In response to your question of
    What is your favourite thing to do in the snow as a family?
    I like to go sliding.
    Thank you for having this giveaway.

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  105. It would be great to win one free pair of shoes from KEEN Canada.
    In response to your question of
    What would you like to buy with your "free shoe" card?
    I would buy a pair of winter boots.
    Thank you for having this giveaway.

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  106. Keen makes so many cool boots I would love to get a taller pair since I have ankle high ones now!

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  107. I live on Prince Edward Island and it is surprisingly hilly so we'd head out to the country and try it out!

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  108. I would like to get a pair of warm Keen boots

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  109. I would love a pair of hiking boots

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  110. I have been eyeing a pair of Keen winter boots since last winter and have been contemplating trying snowshoeing for the first time too.

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  111. i would pick the Koven Mid WP Wide

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  112. I love the Women's Elsa Boot WP

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  113. The Kahtoola microspikes would be handy for my 3 year old as he is clumsy on slippery snow/ice (not surprising).

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  114. I would take the strider ski bike to the canmore Nordic center. Oh and I suppose my 3 year old can come too ;-)

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  115. I need a good pair of hiking boots

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  116. We would take the Strider downtown to the park!

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  117. I would love to get a pair of warm winter boots.

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  118. I love the Elsa boots!

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