People who frequent the outdoors tend to own plenty of gear, since you need to equip yourself properly if you’re going to brave the elements. From indispensable to useful to just-plain-fun, these gift suggestions are designed to give your adventurous outdoorsy friends more gear they can happily add to that ever-growing stash.
1. Nite-N-Day Trail Markers
It’s easy to get lost when you’re hiking, hunting, and exploring the wild outdoors. These clip-on trail markers offer a way to easily and quickly mark any path you took, with a two-color yellow-and-orange construction that makes it stand out from its surroundings during the day, all while lighting up like a neon sign when you hit it with the beam of your flashlight while finding your way back to camp at night.
Fire is life when it comes to surviving the ravages of the wild. And while you can start a fire with a flint and a rod, these stormproof matches should make it an even easier affair. With sticks that measure four inches long, it can burn for up to 25 seconds each, giving you plenty of time to light up whatever fuel you have lying around. It can do that while soaking wet in the midst of brisk winds, too, making for a handy tool to have during any camping trip. Comes with 12 matchsticks inside a waterproof case.
This ultra-tiny camping stove can fit comfortably in your palm, all while delivering a strong enough flame to boil a liter of water in just 3.5 minutes. It’s small enough to fit on a backpack pouch, sturdy enough to carry the weight of a full pot on top, and versatile enough to work with any butane canisters with a 7/16 thread. Heck, it even uses a piezo ignition system to quickly fire up in damp and windy conditions, along with a control valve for managing how large a flame it’s creating. It’s a heck of a lot of utility for a compact and highly-affordable piece of gear.
A pillow can make all the difference between a good night’s sleep and an uncomfortable one. These amazing head cushions use urethane foam chips in place of fiber fill, giving them a firmness that supports your head very comfortably, all while compressing to less than one-fourth of the size (when combined with the included compression sack) for easily packing with the rest of your camping gear. Comes in four sizes.
Unlike other compression sacks, Sea to Summit’s eVent line doesn’t have a valve for letting the air out. Instead, it uses a bottom fabric that’s waterproof while being permeable to air, allowing the sack to push all the air out while maintaining a more streamlined silhouette. It features waterproofed seams, a watertight roll top closure, reinforced stitching for durable performance, and the ability to compress all its contents to a whopping third of the original size. Comes in five sizes, from 6 liters up to 30 liters.
6. Cabela’s X-Socks
Designed for hunting trips, these long socks deliver thermal regulation, while reducing the incidence of blisters, bruising, and muscle cramps during those long hours of walking and similarly long hours of waiting. It features moisture-wicking Xitanit construction, continuous ventilation via air-vent zones, X-Cross bandages that stabilize the ankles, protectors for the heel and Achilles tendon, and anatomically-shaped foot beds that ensure a perfect fit.
7. Stanley Gift Set
A small supply of hard liquor in a flask always makes for a handy companion in the outdoors, giving you something stiff to drink while you celebrate the day’s successes around a fire back at camp. This gift set combines a flask with a quartet of shot glasses for sharing the stash with your friends, along with a screw-top carrying case for keeping the shot glasses in the same place. All components are made from 18/8 stainless steel that’s both durable and rust-proof, making them ideal for rugged activities.
8. Eagle’s Nest Outfitter Single Nest Hammock
This hammock can pack down to the size of a softball that weighs a light 16 ounces, all while unfolding into a versatile and durable hanging bed, making for an ideal creature comfort to bring along during any outdoor adventure. It features breathable woven nylon construction with triple interlock stitching, aluminum wire-gate carabiners, and a nautical-grade line with stainless steel snap links, allowing it to support weights of up to 400 pounds once properly set up.
9. Nemo Helio Pressure Shower
It doesn’t take long to get very dirty when you’re slumming it in the outdoors. And while you can clean up by dipping in a nearby stream, wouldn’t you rather enjoy a proper pressurized shower instead? Instead of using gravity to provide pressure like regular camping showers, this clever design employs a foot pump, providing legitimately strong pressure that provides an outdoor shower that resembles the feel of what you usually get at home.
A versatile camp and work light, you can use this as a flashlight, as a 360-degree lantern, or hanging lights around the camp. The main component is the Powerlight hub, which serves both flashlight and lantern duties (among several other lighting modes), aside from functioning as a USB power bank for charging your gadgets on the go. It also comes with two accessory lights, each with a 10-foot cord, that can be daisy-chained from the hub (they draw power from the same battery), allowing you to light up a wider swath of space at camp.
A throwing knife might not the ideal blade to bring when roughing it up in the outdoors. The Kniper, though, supercharges its circus performance talents by serving as a 22-function multi-tool. Beyond use as a decent survival knife, it comes with a screwdriver, a saw, a wire stripper, a sundial, a universal hex hole, a nail pryer, and even a tobacco pipe that you can use to partake in whatever strange herbs you manage to chance upon in the wild. It measures 13 inches long, with a single-piece high-carbon stainless steel construction.
12. Suunto Core Watch
An indispensable gadget for hikers and mountaineers, this ABC (altimeter-barometer-compass) watch comes with a high-precision altimeter that measures elevation every three feet, as well as a barometer that works with the altimeter to register air pressure accurately, ensuring you’re fully-prepared when less-than-favorable weather is on the way. Along with readings from the thermometer and the digital compass, it delivers all the essential information any user will need in the midst of extended outdoor pursuits.
These days, most people hit the backwoods with their smartphones in tow, along with a technical watch on their wrist, a GoPro camera mounted somewhere, and other digital gear. Which brings up the need to keep those gadgets charged. As far as efficiency is concerned, it’s hard to do better than StrongVolt’s portable and water-resistant 18-watt charger, which boasts the ability to charge an iPhone in just 1.5 hours and an iPad in five. It allows you to choose the kind of gadget you’re hooking up, too, adjusting its output appropriately to ensure optimal charging.
A well-known alpine favorite, Eddie Bauer’s Microtherm Stormdown was opened to user customization this year, allowing you to deck every part of the jacket (from the body to the shoulder to the hood to the stretch panels to the zipper pulls to everything in between) in any available color or pattern of your choosing. That means, you can get one in your recipient’s favorite color combination, making it a great personalized gift that you can tailor for a family member or loved one.
15. Sierra Designs DriDown 3-Season Backcountry Bed
There’s a reason why Sierra calls this sleeping bag a backcountry bed – it’s probably as close as you can get to a comfortable bed without being bogged down by the size of one. Designed for use any time other than the cold months of winter, it features 800-fill DriDown insulation, integrated comforter wraps, insulated arm pockets, and a sleeve that secures your sleeping pad to keep the cushion supports as stable as they are in an actual bed.
Designed for paddle boarding on whitewater waves, Hala’s newest board offers a snappy and stable platform for cruising down the seemingly endless waves of your favorite patch of fast and shallow water. Hala claims it’s the only stand-up paddleboard that you can completely maneuver while standing in the exact same place the whole time, making the experience feel a lot like snowboarding, albeit with a paddle in tow. It features a raised stomp pad at the tail for better control, a tri-fin that enables quick turns, and a full-length traction pad, so you can stand in any position on the surface without losing any grip. Oh yeah, it’s inflatable, so it can be easily packed along with the rest of your gear during camping.