for those who love the outdoors

24 December, 2022

Brits rely on gifts they can use again and again this Christmas

62% of Brits want a Christmas gift that they can use multiple times, and OS thinks paper and digital maps offer the perfect present to do that and get outside.

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What do we really want for Christmas?

A new study commissioned by Ordnance Survey has found that when it comes to receiving Christmas presents – men really do hate getting socks.

While almost a third of men (30%) say they are disappointed with such an uninspiring gift – across Britain both males and females claim its joke presents they dread receiving the most.

The survey, which polled 2,000 adults, found over a quarter (26%) of those celebrating Christmas find receiving humorous presents, followed by ornaments (25%) and toiletries (24%) most unwelcome.

Over six out of 10 Brits are crossing their fingers for something they can use multiple times and over half would rather do something that creates memories or supports their hobbies.

As a result, OS is encouraging people to consider paper maps or its digital map app OS Maps as a gift idea this Christmas, as they can be used time and time again, and are an inspiration to get outside and experience the physical and mental benefits the outdoors brings.

TV presenter, artist and Christmas fan Timmy Mallet, who earlier this year cycled the coast of Britain on an e-bike with the aid of OS maps to help him navigate his route, believes gifting a map is a great idea this Christmas.

He said: “An OS Map is a fantastic present to receive because as soon as I open it and take a look it fires up my curiosity.

“What are those ruins over there? I wonder what that looks like? Where do those old railway lines lead to? It makes me want to go and inspect and have a little adventure."

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Timmy Mallett recommends an OS Map for Christmas

OS Managing Director for Leisure, Nick Giles, said: “If you’re not sure what to gift this Christmas – gift someone a map and they can have unlimited adventures rather than run the risk of gifting something that just ends up in the back of a drawer.

“Not only are there hundreds of OS paper maps which cover every inch of Great Britain available, you can also gift a personalised Custom-Made map for a loved one or a friend and make it extra special instead.

“Or the OS Maps app can make a wonderful gift by putting digital versions of every single OS Explorer and OS Landranger map in the country on someone’s phone.”

Other Christmas findings

With the cost-of-living crisis, receiving gifts has never been more useful, with 28% of men looking for money and shopping vouchers (17%). For women it’s perfume and toiletries (28%) or jewellery (16%).

On average, Brits are still using half of their gifts from last year with more than one in three donating their unwanted presents to charity, so others can make use of them.

With regards to unwanted presents, many Brits are inclined to regift the unwanted items, put them out of sight or even sell them to create much needed extra cash.

Only one in five say they don’t want to receive anything at all on the big day.

But with budgets being stretched, it’s important not to venture into anything cringeworthy, as apparently this is a big no-no.

Making the top of the list of gifts and activities that Brit’s find the cringiest are Christmas family picture cards (22%) and kissing under the mistletoe (20%).

Christmas carols, Christmas movies and Christmas trees that aren’t green however are a safe bet as these are deemed least cringy.

Visit the OS Shop for more information about OS paper and digital maps.

Outside & Active

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Outside & Active is the home for those who love the outdoors. Our mission is to inspire, inform and educate people about being active outdoors in a fun, safe and sustainable way. We provide inspiration, kit, tech and advice on adventure, camping, climbing, cycling, hiking, running water and winter.

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