Best Climbing Dirtbag Christmas Gifts Under $50

It’s that time of year again! 

Depending on what kind of person you are, you’re either lamenting the arrival of ice climbing season, or you’re one of the psychopaths who is watching the thermostat with glee as you wait for the perfect temperature to go try your WI6 project. 

For many people, winter signifies the great dirtbag migration south towards either El Potrero Chico for multi-pitch sport climbing or a frightening trip to Cochise Stronghold for some delicate and runnout slab climbing. If you happen to be the loved one of any of these types of people, you may be wondering “What does this kind of person want for Christmas this year?” 

It’s an important question to ask yourself, as most dirtbags don’t have enough room in their Subaru’s or Econoline vans for anything more than they already have. Friends and family members often spend this time of year scratching their heads trying to figure out what will be both well received and well used by the scruffy and kind of smelly folks in their circle.

I’m here to set your concerns at ease! Below are listed several dirtbag friendly items that your loved one will be sure to use for many years to come. 

Nut Tool

Every dirtbag climber has dropped at least four of these into a crack while on a climb. The nut tool is a versatile and useful instrument that can be used for everything from getting nuts out of cracks (what it’s meant for) to eating dinner out of a jetboil (not what it’s meant for, but what it is primarily used for). There are a lot of different brands of nut tools, so you really can’t go too wrong on this one. Heck, you could even get them two just to be safe! (One for eating and one for climbing)
Photo Credit: Kaya Lindsay

Resole Their Shoes

It is a badge of honor in the dirtbag community to have a pair of TC Pros that are so old you can see their toes through them while they climb. Why? I have no idea. However, I do know that nothing brings a dirtbag joy than being able to spray about where they got their shoes resoled. The number of times I’ve sat around a campfire and listened to a guy with an untrimmed beard and a torn puffy jacket wax rhapsodic about the place he got his shoes resoled, exceeds the number of fingers and toes I have. 

There are tons of places to get shoes resoled, check out our blog post: A Beginners Guide to Resoling Your Climbing Shoes
Photo Credit: Kaya Lindsay

The most common places to get shoes resoled are: Rock and Resole, Yosemite Bum, The Rubber Room, and Pro Deal Resoles

Rack of Carabiners

Useful? Yes. Appreciated? Yes. The perfect dirtbag gift? Maybe! There is always a need for more carabiners in a dirtbag’s life. Do they need a place to hang their jackets in their van? Carabiner. What about something to clip their water bottle to their harness? Carabiner. Maybe they’d like to make the leap and have the carabiners match the color of their cams? (unlikely, but always a possibility!) A rack of carabiners is fairly cheap and will be greatly appreciated by the dirtbag in your life.

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Photo Credit: Kaya Lindsay

Rope Bag

This is a great gift because it’s one that your dirtbag would likely never (and I mean never), purchase on their own, but it’s a gift that will extend the life of their rope and all their technical hardware as well. While most dirtbags are content to throw their $200 rope in the dirt and let the sand corrode the inside, few realize the benefits to keeping anything (including themselves) clean. Turns out clean ropes last longer! Hence: the rope tarp. 

Feel free to get the dirtbag you love a rope tarp, so they can continue to more safely (and cleanly) rock climb. 

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Anchor Kit 

If your dirtbag is anything like me, it has been far too long since they replaced the cord and the carabiners on their anchor kit. I think my anchor kit is a long piece of cordelette I found, abandoned, at the top of another climb, and the carabiners are also likely some old steel clankers that I found at the bottom of a bin somewhere. Do your dirtbag a favor and get them 20 feet of shiny new 7mm cordelette and some nice skinny carabiners so they can secure their anchor to even the smallest links of chain on a desert tower anchor.

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Photo Credit: Kaya Lindsay


Unpopular opinion: a sling is a bad Personal Anchor System and everyone should have a dedicated PAS. Personal Anchor Systems come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but any that aren’t the daisy chain PAS made for aid climbing are perfectly adequate! It is also highly unlikely that your dirtbag has a PAS because all dirtbags are cheap and they think they can get away with just using a sling. Which is stupid. Get a PAS like an adult.

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Photo Credit: Kaya Lindsay


Another item that your dirtbag has likely never purchased! Prusiks assist in rappelling safely by allowing the user to go hands-free and come to a complete stop if they need to. Most prusiks are just a short piece of cordelette tied together with a barrel knot, but many dirtbags don’t want to be able to arrest their descent while rappelling, and prefer to rocket to the ground because, and I’m making an assumption here, “It looks cool.” 

As the loved one of a dirtbag, you probably want your dirtbag to live, so buy them a prusik. Then they at least have one if they decide to start getting into *gulp* alpine climbing. 

Shop on Metolius

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Rock Brush

You thought I forgot about the boulderers, didn’t you! I would never. They have a special place in my heart, as I too, was once a boulderer.
Photo Credit: Kaya Lindsay

The rock brush looks, and acts, a lot like a toothbrush. But instead of putting the rock brush in your mouth, you put the rock brush on the rock! Wild! With Leave No Trace Ethics becoming more prevalent in rock climbing, we want to encourage the practice of brushing off your chalk marks once you’ve finished your climb. This leaves the rock looking pristine, and also doesn’t give away key beta for future climbers. You don’t want all your hard work to be spent on some rando, do you? No. Then get the dirtbag in your life, a rock brush. They can keep their beta secret, and the rocks clean. It’s a win win. 

Shop on Mammut

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Happy Holidays! 

Dirtbags are people, just like all of us, and the most important thing you can get them is…money. If you really don’t know what to get your dirtbag, you should give them $50 and a card that says “I love you. Climb rocks.” which they will likely use as kindling for their next campfire (the card, not the money). However, they will appreciate the gesture and know that they are loved. 

Happy Holidays to all who celebrate, and we will see you (and your dirtbags) in the new year! 

Cover photo credit: Jeff Simpson

About the Gear Tester

Outdoor Prolink Pro

Kaya Lindsay is the social media coordinator for Yosemite Facelift. She is also a writer and photographer with a passion for rock climbing and the outdoors. In 2016 she converted a Sprinter Van into a tiny home and has been traveling around the US & Canada to pursue her passion for rock climbing ever since. You will most likely find her in a parking lot or coffee shop, camera in hand, planning her next adventure. Connect with her on Instagram @OneChickTravels

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