Looking for the best gifts for outdoor lovers? Whether you’re searching for Christmas, a birthday, holiday, graduation, or another special occasion, this list of 25 gifts will hopefully spark some ideas for your nature-loving friend or family member!
I definitely don’t want to promote the idea of buying stuff just for the sake of buying something, so I’ve done my best to curate a list of high-quality gift ideas to save you time. While I haven’t used all of these personally, they’re all items I’d be proud to give or happy to receive (and many are from companies with positive social impact!).
Keep reading for 25 gifts for outdoor adventurers, nature lovers, and travelers!
I’ve marked gifts throughout this post with some tags to help you find what you’re looking for:
- 💲 Under $20
- 🎁 Stocking Stuffer
- 🔹 Sale (I do my best to keep these updated based on merchant sales I know about, but please note that sales may have passed or products may have run out.)
- ⭐ Best Seller (on Amazon or REI)
- 🐶 For Dog Owners
Gifts for People Who Love Camping
I grew up camping with my family, and every year we kept a running list of “things that would be helpful for next time.” In other words, our gear was never fully complete. It’s not that we bought tons of useless stuff for our trips, but it seems like there was always a little something that could make our lives easier while trying to live in the woods for a few days.
If you’re looking for high-quality camping gear, gifts for camping enthusiasts just starting out, or ideas for couples who love to camp, I’ve pulled together a few of my favorite camping-themed gifts that fit a range of budgets.
Games | 💲 Under $20 // 🎁 Stocking Stuffer
Aside from sitting around the campfire, one of the best ways to pass time on a camping trip is by playing games! As a kid, my favorites were Skipbo, UNO, and Phase 10. I still love those ones but have added a couple more to the rotation: Settlers of Catan (slow and strategic) and Dutch Blitz (fast-paced). With most of them running $5 – $15, games make an inexpensive and fun gift for the campers in your life.
If you’re looking for a camping gift idea for her, check out this cozy t-shirt that’s hand-printed in Maine. It’s highly likely to become a favorite for anyone who believes camping + coffee is pure bliss. (I mean, who doesn’t?) (Image Credit: Hills & Trails Co, used with permission)
These string lights from Biolite add a little warmth to the campsite, while the portable solar lights are super versatile and easy to pack for any adventure. (Not only that, but your purchase has positive social impact–Biolite works with global partners to help provide access to clean energy across the globe.)
Good To-Go Meals | 💲 Under $20 // 🎁 Stocking Stuffer
These could make a nice addition to a camping-themed gift basket or stocking stuffer. I recently took some on a cabin trip where I only had a grill and gas burner for boiling water available, and they made meal prep easy (plus saved me from going out to eat).
While the term dehydrated meal sounds decidedly unappetizing, these meal packs for backpackers and campers were created by a chef to actually taste good. They get bonus points from me since they’re made in my home state of Maine, but your outdoorsy friend might just love them because of the clean ingredients and creative flavors–everything from Pad Thai to New England Corn Chowdah. Plus, they are gluten-free and have vegan options!
Kusa Blanket | 🔹 Sale
This blanket from Cotopaxi is a high-quality investment that will last for many years of adventuring! The lightweight option is perfect for summer evenings, while the Kusa 160 provides an extra bit of warmth.
Nothing beats sitting around the campfire at night in a camp chair, and these chairs let you get extra comfy for all your s’more-making and beverage-of-choice-drinking.
It’s definitely not a camping morning without a good cup of coffee, so coffee making tools are essential for people who love camping. We were using a percolator for a few years on camping trips with friends, but we never quite mastered the not-getting-grounds-in-our-coffee technique. The past couple of years, we’ve used an Aeropress and it’s been pretty perfect.
Camp mug | 💲 Under $20 // 🎁 Stocking Stuffer
What’s camp coffee without a great camp mug? I love these llama mugs from Cotopaxi, made of stainless steel and with the classic speckled look. Perfect additions to your outdoorsy friend’s camping supply bin!
Yeti rambler mug | 💲 Under $20 // 🎁 Stocking Stuffer
When your outdoor-loving friend wants to savor that delicious camp coffee for an hour on a chilly fall morning, a standard camp mug won’t do. This Yeti insulated mug will keep hot drinks actually hot for hours. I have another size that I use every single day, and it keeps my coffee hot from my house to work. This 14-ounce mug is a great size for the campsite and comes in some fun colors, too!
Gifts for Outdoor Enthusiasts
Libre Socks | 🔹 Sale // 🎁 Stocking Stuffer
These aren’t the kind of socks your friend or family member will roll their eyes at. Breathable, moisture-wicking, and supportive, Cotopaxi’s colorful Libre socks are great for everyday adventures. Plus, they’re made of llama fiber, so what’s not to love?
I’ve been using this 16-liter pack from Cotopaxi for a couple years now and have found it to be a great size for day hikes and bike rides (from short trips to hiking a volcano in Guatemala to my camping shower bag). It rolls up nicely in my luggage when I travel, so I have a smaller bag to use on-the-go.
Plus, it’s from Cotopaxi’s Del Día line, which means they use scrap material (so there’s less waste out there in the world) and let factory employees design each one for a one-of-a-kind colorful backpack.
Want something smaller than a day pack to carry a few small essentials while hiking, biking, or outdoor adventuring? While some of us 🙋 can’t pull this off, if your friend can rock a fanny pack, this one–also from Cotopaxi’s Del Día line–is perfect for a pop of color.
Bushcraft 101: A Field Guide to the Art of Wilderness Survival by Dave Canterbury | 💲 Under $20
Learn the basics and essential survival skills in this thorough resource for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers.
This reference guide is a great little gift for an outdoorsy boyfriend, outdoors-man dad, or adventurous woman who wants to hone their knot skills. It comes with 6 waterproof quick-reference cards and paracord rope to practice with. While the design is a little dated, the full-color illustrations inside are clear to read and follow.
Food & Water
The Stanley vacuum thermos is classic (it’s been around for 100+ years!)–I remember my dad taking soup to work in this when I was a kid. Long-lasting and versatile, this is a great reusable container that keeps hot food piping hot all day. Plus, it comes with a lifetime warranty.
For your mountain-loving friend, this camp (or everyday) mug is perfect. Plus, for every product you purchase from United By Blue, they remove one pound of trash from oceans and waterways.
Your waterfall-loving friends will love this sleek copper mug–great for cocktails at the cabin or cold drinks on a summer camping trip. United By Blue has lots of other gorgeous copper drinkware options as well!
Bottled water requires a lot of energy and fuel to produce, and most of the bottles end up in landfills. Reusable water bottles are a great way for outdoor lovers to make a dent in all this waste and promote conservation. (Plus, it means less weight to carry since they can refill anywhere there is a freshwater supply!)
A water purifier (not just a filter) is an ideal gift idea for outdoorsy people and frequent travelers. I’ve used a Grayl bottle for a few trips now and am happy with how it works. Another option is Steripen (for use with a separate water bottle).
These hydration packs are great for carrying more water that’s easily accessible on the go, whether for hiking or cycling. REI carries quite a few styles and color options (including smaller packs for kids!).
Books for Nature Lovers
Canoeing in the Wilderness by Henry David Thoreau | 💲 Under $20
Travel with naturalist Thoreau on his famous 1857 trip through Maine’s woods and waterways with a Penobscot guide.
How to Play in the Woods by Robin Blankenship | 💲 Under $20
Get activities, survival skills, and games in this book. Learn how to make rope from plants, navigate using the sun, build a survival shelter, and gather wild food. While this book is “for all ages,” it’s probably best for a parent-kid or entire family to do together. (Or just adults!)
This Moon USA national parks guide provides details and tips on all 59 national parks in the United States. If your outdoor-loving friend doesn’t already have a road trip in their 2020 travel plans, this might inspire one! Give the gift of travel and pair this book with a one-year National Parks Pass.
Subscription to Backpacker | 💲 Under $20
Magazine subscriptions make affordable gifts that keep giving all year long. Backpacker is a great magazine for campers, backpackers, and other outdoor adventurers. Remember that the first issue takes awhile to arrive, so you might want to pick up the latest issue to give with your initial gift.
Gifts for the Travel-Loving Outdoorsy Person
Traveler Journal | 🎁 Stocking Stuffer
This lined journal (100% recycled paper) has a linen cover and simple pine tree + compass design–perfect for outdoor travel adventures! Plus, for every product you purchase from United By Blue, they remove one pound of trash from oceans and waterways.
Got a road tripping or travel-loving friend? The National Parks Pass covers admission to sites managed by the Forest Service, National Park Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management and Bureau of Reclamation. Good for one full year from the month of purchase. Plus, when you purchase here in 2019, REI will donate 10% of proceeds to the National Park Foundation.
Get all the details and price here ➜
Outdoor Gear & Tech Gifts
This super portable, waterproof action camera makes a killer gift for outdoor adventurers. This year I purchased the GoPro Hero7 Black camera so that I could film highlights for the Bike 50 Challenge I started, and it’s been insanely fun to play around with. The excellent quality and built-in stabilization, combined with portability, make this something I always pack these days–whether I’m going on a big trip or a local adventure with friends.
A slightly older version (like the Hero7 Black) may be sufficient and more affordable for many enthusiasts, but consider this model for the latest and top of the line features for avid photographers and videographers.
Garmin inReach Mini | ⭐ Best Seller // 🔹 Sale
For all the moms worried about their kids venturing into the deep wilderness with no cell signal, this small and rugged satellite radio is the perfect gift. With a satellite subscription, the user can trigger an SOS emergency signal via satellite, in addition to being able to send and receive text messages, access maps, and get the weather forecast. Plus, in a super compact and lightweight package, it’s a great gift for backpackers, day hikers, and other intrepid adventurers who need to save on space.