Holderness School

Out Back & Beyond: The Holderness School Holiday Gift Guide

Greg Kwasnik
With the 50th anniversary of Out Back just a few months away, the holidays are the perfect time to outfit your favorite Holderness student (or nostalgic Holderness alum) with outdoor gear. Here are a few Out Back-inspired gift ideas that will serve your loved ones well during their outdoor adventures – whether they’re on an 11-day odyssey through the White Mountains or shoveling the driveway before work.
Pro Tip: Holderness School is now part of the AmazonSmile program. Just access AmazonSmile through this link and Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible purchases to the Holderness Fund.
All About That Base (Layer) - No Cotton
If you spend time outdoors in the winter, wearing a base layer is essential. Base layers provide a critical layer of insulation to wick moisture away from your skin, keeping you warm and dry. You’ll want to steer clear of cotton, though - it retains moisture, dries slowly, and will leave you shivering in the cold. Go with fabrics like wool or polypropylene instead – they’ll keep you warm, even when wet.
Sweat The Details
Ugly sweater parties shouldn’t be limited to the holidays. A light fleece, wool, or synthetic sweater (preferably with a zipper) can really help you regulate your body temperature outdoors. When you work up a sweat hiking or skiing, just unzip the sweater or take it off; when you stop for a break, zip it back up or put it back on.
Stay Puff - Not Just For Marshmallows
Whether you’re sitting in camp on day 10 of Out Back or watching your kid’s hockey game, you’ll need a hooded insulated jacket (a “puffy,” as the kids call it) to stay warm. Go for a jacket with synthetic insulation, since down loses its ability to insulate when it gets wet. And be sure to size the jacket appropriately; it should be large enough to accommodate a base layer and mid-layer underneath.
Put A Sock In It
Nothing brightens up Christmas morning like a new pair of socks! In all seriousness, we’re living in a golden age for active hosiery, with New England brands like Darn Tough and Minus 33 crafting genre-defining socks for outdoors people. Knitted from soft Merino wool, these durable socks feel great on the trail and will keep your feet warm even when wet. 
Water, Water Everywhere
The human body is 60% water, so it’s important to stay hydrated. It’s even more important in the winter, when cold, dry air can quickly rob the body of its moisture. You’ll want to keep your tank topped off by carrying around a trusty Nalgene or similar water bottle. If you plan on being outdoors in subfreezing weather, buy an insulated bottle sleeve to keep your water from freezing.
A Bright Idea
Headlamps are a godsend (see: “Let there be light”). They provide hands-free illumination when setting up camp, cooking dinner, or doing any number of important OB tasks. Pro Tip: splurge on lithium-ion batteries, since they’ll last longer in the cold.
Didn’t find what you’re looking for on this list? Check out the Holderness School store! It’s a great source for Holderness-branded jackets, shirts, gear, and more. Happy holidays - and Go Bulls! 

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    Greg Kwasnik
    Changing the status quo can be an uncomfortable task – especially if you benefit from it. That was the message to students from the Rev. Peter Jarrett-Schell, the school’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day speaker and the white author of Seeing My Skin, a personal examination of the role of whiteness in his own life.
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  • Second Quarter Honor Roll

    The Honor Roll recognizes and commends outstanding achievement and effort in the academic program. Holderness School recognizes that each student's growth and progress is complex. Quarterly comments written by faculty better reflect the unique path traveled by each student, and the Honor Roll and Effort Honor Roll are simplified but significant markers of the engagement of our students in the most recent marking interval.
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  • Holderness School Receives $6M Gift for Snow Sports, Athletics

    Andy Herring
    Affirming Holderness School’s position as the premier snow sports school in the country and committing to the school’s multi-sport athletic philosophy, the New Hampshire boarding school recently received a transformational $6 million gift.  Thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor, Holderness School is able to jumpstart fundraising initiatives that will better support world-class outdoor athletic facilities and impact every athletic team and snow sports discipline.
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Holderness School
33 Chapel Lane, Holderness, NH 03245
mail P.O Box 1879 Plymouth, NH 03264-1879
phone (603) 536-1257