Mom Goes Camping

Gift Ideas for the Outdoorsy People in Your Life (from Cheap Stocking Stuffers to Big Ticket Items) 

I come from one of those families where we send out Christmas gift lists before Thanksgiving.  While I love getting gifts as much as the next person, the whole things makes me feel cheap and commercialistic.

Gifts should be something that you picked out for the person (not some arbitrary item on a list).  It should show that you care and thought about them.

Even more, I think that the best gifts are experiences.   Like how my dad used to take us kids camping every year, and how I now take my daughter.  I remember those trips more than any Christmas gift I’ve ever gotten.

That is why all of these gift ideas for outdoorsy people are conducive to experiences.  They can be used on adventures like travel, camping, backpacking, or even picnicking.

Want an even better way to show your love through a gift?  Then buy two of the items – one for you and one for the recipient.  That way you can go on the adventure together! 🙂


Cheap Gift Ideas

Etekcity Portable Outdoor LED Camping Lantern

This is great for camping, late-night barbequing, or to have just in case the power goes out.  It lights up to 12 hours, folds away very compact, and is really durable.

Buy Here.



Outdoor Utensil Set

I got one of these as a gift a while back and use it all the time, from backpacking to day trips.  There are a lot of different brands which make these but the KA-BAR one is good because it is lightweight and the stainless steel actually stays stainless.

Buy Here.

camping utensils

Microfiber Towel

Compared to normal towels, these are very lightweight and fast-drying, exactly what you need to take with you traveling or backpacking.

This one comes in various sizes.   Buy Here.

microfiber towel

Mid Priced

Ontario RAT-3 Outdoors Knife

Cheap knives will break easily and can’t be used for rugged outdoors tasks.  Bear in mind that a good outdoors knife can cost well over $100.  However, there are some good mid-range priced knives available.  I like the Ontario RAT-3 knife.   You can also see this list of Top Outdoors Knives for Under $70.

Buy Here

ontario rat-3 bushcraft knife

Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad

This sleeping pad by Archer is a lot more comfortable than your standard foam mat.  It is designed to be lightweight – perfect for backpacking and camping.

Buy Here

sleeping pad for camping

Camping Cook Set

This camping cook set has good reviews for being lightweight and its nonstick coating holds up. It is good for backpacking, camping, fishing, or picnicking.

Buy Here

camp cook set

Aerobie AeroPress Portable Coffee Maker

It’s really lightweight, compact, and makes an awesome brew wherever you are.  This is especially a great gift for outdoorsy people who love their morning joe.

Buy Here

portable coffee maker by aeropress


This hammock comes in single (16 ounces) or double size (26 ounces).  It is lightweight, spacious, and has everything you need to set it up (carabiners, rope set, and carrying bag).  Oh, and it is really affordable for the quality!

Buy Here

hammock for outdoors

Higher End

Powermonkey Portable Solar Charger

This solar charger is really popular because it is lightweight, works with 5V and 12V devices, and has a USB and 12V DC port output. It is also really affordable compared to other options. Check out these other portable solar panels for backpacking.

Buy Here

powermonkey solar charger

RTIC Softpack Cooler

This cooler holds up to 30 cans plus ice, and boasts that it can keep ice up to 5 days.  It is also easier to carry and store because it is soft due to its foam insulation.

 Buy Here

portable cooler

Snow Lizard Smartphone Case

How do outdoor adventurers keep their cell phones safe from rain, wind, snow, and drops?  The Snow Lizard is a hardcore cell phone case which is waterproof up to 2 meters and has a rubber exterior for protection.  It also has a built-in emergency solar charger.

Buy the iPhone 4 version hereBuy the iPhone 5 version here.  Buy the iPhone 6 version here.


Backpacking Pack

My roommate gifted me an old backpack a while back and it ended up being the best gift I’d ever gotten in my life.  There are lots of things to consider when buying a backpack.   Read this backpack buying guide.

black diamondn infinity 60 backpack

What outdoor items are on your wishlist?

*Title image credit: “My #backpacker and @powermonkeys licking” (CC BY 2.0) by Mobilephotos@heidenstrom

About the author /

Diane Vukovic is an avid traveler, outdoor enthusiast, beetle lover, sometimes sculptress, couchsurfer, and loves finding ways to explain complex topics to her 6-year old daughter. Follow MomGoesCamping on Facebook and Twitter @MomGoesCamping to stay in touch!

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