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Sauna Gift Guide

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What’s the Best Gift for a Sauna Owner?

Thanks to Andrew White, who has been enjoying his backyard sauna with a double dose of negative ions for over five years now for his addition to the sauna gift guide and his take on the best gift for a sauna owner.

Enter Andrew:

The best gift for a Sauna owner begins with: “Hi there, can we come by for a sauna?” These days the inquiry may come via email or text. The length of notice varies from days to hours to minutes. Sometimes you have to say no. But then, you reflect for less time than it takes to write this sentence and say, sure, stop by in an hour or so.

The ritual of clearing the path down to the sauna, firing up the stove and straightening up after the last round begins. As you begin the process, pleasant thoughts come to mind. Going about your business, maybe chopping a hole in the ice of your dunking pond, or ferrying wood down, you pause, and look around you. There is a powerful aura around the sauna. It has a life force that can’t be described. Perhaps it is your Saunatonttu waking from slumber and preparing for duty? What exactly the force is is hard to describe. The daily noises around us, refrigerators running, cars driving by, radios playing, all dissipate the closer to sauna you get.

It is Quiet Near the Sauna Structure

Each time you enter to check the fire, the heat energy becomes a little more intense. You stop and enjoy the deep quiet. The heat energy is coaxing and teasing you to sit for a few minutes and anticipate the run up to sauna time.

But you must keep about your business. Guests will be arriving, and they are eager to enjoy sauna. On you go, remembering the last sauna party when a friend’s daughter came back to the house from her first ever round and said, “wow, why haven’t I done that before?” Folks who may have resisted in the past, begin to talk about “doing it”.

All you need to do is deliver up other guests flush in the face, energized and deeply relaxed. Over time, most people cross their internal resistance, and try it. Now they get it. Ah, this is what it is all about. There’s more. It is a holiday weekend, and families are flung to the world due to unexpected events. Yet, your home becomes a destination for people who want to share a common experience.

You Understand that Approaching 20 minutes in a sauna Brings Everyone to the Same Threshold

Religion and politics fade into the background. We all experience the same thing. We are all the same. The best gift for a Sauna owner begins with: “Hi there, can we come by for a sauna?”

Top 5 Gift Ideas for Sauna and Cold Plunge Enthusiasts

Outdoor Faucet Protector

A wonderfully simple cool tool. It covers and insulates your outdoor faucet to keep jack frost from nipping at it, and freezing up. It’s probably not gone up in price since I first wrote about it in 2015 here, and could be your best value stocking stuffer this year. $2.77 at Home Depot.

Frost Free Faucet

What a fabulous invention. With a pipe wrench, some plumbers tape and 20 minutes, you can back out your existing garden faucet from your basement at the shut off valve. Then, replace it with this faucet and pipe assembly. Et Voila. Outdoor access to running water all winter long!

The way this works is that as you shut off your faucet nozzle outside, it turns off the water flow from about a foot inside the pipe, inside your basement. Ingenious. It has probably gone up in price since I first wrote about it in 2015 here, but Home Depot has these in stock for $28.99.

TIP: bring along your old faucet and set it on the Home Depot floor (after the guy drives by on the floor cleaner machine) so you can line up and purchase the exact length for your replacement.

Plunge Tank

$72.99 when I first wrote about it in 2018 here. and happy to report that the contrast therapy craze hasn’t affected demand surge pricing too bad. An enthusiastic helper like the one above can wheel one out for you at Fleet Farm for $79.99. Too big to fit under the Christmas tree, consider setting it up out back by the sauna on Christmas eve, and you’ll be all set for a Christmas morning cold plunge!

This is my favorite cold plunge for a few reasons. The shape is ideal for a grown adult to settle into. Further, the shape is concave, such that when a layer of ice forms, it expands up, not out. Other stock tanks, the aluminum ones specifically, may look cooler, but a hard freeze and bam! The ice expands out. Over time, leaks will develop. Also, unlike aluminum, this poly based material may not be as free range or organic, but it sure feels better on bare skin.

Outdoor Shower

An outdoor shower for a backyard sauna.

Outside my backyard sauna with outdoor shower and a misty garden all wet with rain. (Tree sold separately). Next to a cold lake plunge, there’s nothing like stepping out of a backyard sauna and straight under a cold shower. It’s an easy set up, and is perfect for Wim Hof training and as a pre cold plunge de-jankifier. This setup illustrated by our youngest son back in 2009 is still in use and relevant today. Every sauna is best to offer an opportunity for a clean rinse after every sauna round. A simple garden hose shower, hung on a tree branch or fence post, is all you need.

The 5 Gallon Pickle Bucket

Probably hasn’t gone up in price since I first wrote about it in 2017 here. Especially if you know of a restaurant that likes to serve pickles on the side. Once empty, kind restaurant staff are known to rinse out these buckets, and set out back for the taking, right by the back door smoking corner.

In Minnesota, you can often tell a 218’er from a 612’er by their sauna water bucket. Many 612’ers purchase made-for-sauna water buckets. They look beautiful, don’t get me wrong. But most 218’ers I know go for the 5 gallon pickle bucket. We are no frills kind of people. We dip in a deli cup and toss water on the rocks, and “ahhhhhh”. As we use our saunas for bathing in 218, we tend to use a shit ton more water during our sauna sessions. We chop wood next to our wood pile, then we carry water from the lake. Some call it enlightenment. And for this we use the 5 gallon pickle bucket. More on area code delineations here.

Perhaps one or even all of these cold plunge accouterments could be great Christmas gift ideas. Whether for yourself or for a loved one this holiday season, these 5 products are all time tested enhancements for any sauna and cold plunge enthusiast.

Disclaimer: these “cool tools” help support the equation that with sauna plus cold plunge, 1+1=3.

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7 Comments

7 thoughts on “Sauna Gift Guide”

  1. My husband gave me a trough for Mother’s Day this year while I was in the midst of 71 days of a Quarantine Cold Plunge Challenge here in Maine. It ended on May 31st. He built me a sauna during this time period and we’re now heading into our first winter with all these resources plus a new hot tub! We have borrowed stock heaters to keep the cold plunge available to us all winter, which I’m thrilled about as I must have the cold immersion now after the heat and I’ve converted many friends and even my formerly, cold water wimp husband! I love this website. Truly fantastic, fun and very informational! Thank you!

  2. Merci, Melinda.

    Cold immersion is much like discovering a favorite band. You want to play it over and over and are happy to share your love with others! Love it!

  3. Hi Jason,

    I like 100 gallon vs. 150 gallon. I’m 5’11 and fit in there pretty well. I can drain the 100 gallon 50% easier (if my math is right) vs. the 150 gallon. And this is in concert with an observations about sauna sizes and big cheeseburgers and houses.

  4. Love all this! I have Relics Retreat in northwest Montana along Grave Creek. We have been holding workshops to teach people extreme heat and cold therapies since opening in 2018. We still need to construct a sauna that is right next to the to the icy creek side, especially for winter as it is about a 10 minute walk right now. We have SNOW right now, an outside ice shower and inside ice showers too, so not lacking in the cool-off. We sometimes convert our giant jacuzzi into an ice bath for an inside experience and have an outdoor pool May-September. So fun! I’m still trying to expose this wonderful wellness gem as it’s been a secluded private residence for 15 years that no one knew was here until I got a hold of it! I’m a massage therapist of 25 years and sauna the past 4 years has literally changed my entire life. I am now changing others in a remote part of the world. Thanks for all the blogs! I tune in often, but rarely have time to post! SAUNA ON!

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