A GIFT FOR EVERYONE
This is the ultimate gift guide for the outdoor lover in your family. We worked hard to find thoughtful and useful gifts for all budgets so that there truly is a gift for everyone.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. By purchasing through these links you help support Outdoor Gear Geeks at no additional cost to you. None of these gift ideas have been sponsored by any of the brands you see here so that you can be rest assured they are choices we have made without being influenced by monetary compensation.
BACKPACKING GIFT IDEAS
These gift selections are hand picked by our Outdoor Gear Geeks to not disappoint the backpacker in your life.
1. Victorinox Swiss Army Classic SD Pocket Knife – $11.88
There is no better quality or lightweight knife on the market that can compare to this little work horse. This knife weighs only .7 ounces and has a sharp but tiny blade, scissors, tweezers, a nail file, screwdriver and a toothpick to get that pesky tunafish out of your teeth after lunch. There is really no need to carry anything more substantial while backpacking. You aren’t gonna fight off a bear with the knife if Rambo so why carry any extra weight?
2. Deuce of Spades – $18.95
When nature calls you are going to need to dig a cat hole first. No one wants to lug their granpappies heavy old steel trowel up a mountain when they don’t have to right? Enter the Deuce of Spades a Size 1 is going to only weight in at .45 ounces making your run to get things done swift and efficient. Comes in three sizes that you should consider based on the terrain you might be hiking in most. The size 3 still weighs just .97 ounces and is the strongest digger of the bunch.
3. BRS 3000T Titanium Backpacking Stove – $16.58
The tried and true BRS 3000T is an ultralight backpackers dream. Weighing in at just .88 ounce, it can boil a liter of water in just around 3 minutes depending on conditions. If eating cold soaked mush isn’t your thing but neither is carrying any extra weight this is the perfect solution. Your dinner will thank us.
4. Nitecore NU25 Headlamp – $36.95
Pound for pound this is the most powerful headlamp on the market. It packs an incredible 360 Lumens of light into a form factor that weighs 1.9oz with the headband included. We love that is is rechargeable so there is no need to carry an extra set of batteries. In todays world there is just no reason to use single use batteries. If you modify the headband with a kit from Litesmith.com you can get this baby down to just about an ounce in weight. Lots of bang for the buck on this item.
5. Sawyer Squeeze Water Filter – $29.97
If you ask most thru hikers the Sawyer Squeeze is wildly considered to be the best water filter on the market. Many might argue the merit of the Katadyn BeFree for it’s initial flow rate but in our experience after some use the flow rate of the BeFree degrades quite quickly. In comparison, with proper maintenance and care the Squeeze should outlast your ability to not lose it somewhere. The filter is rated to filter up to 100,000 gallons of water, and filter out 99.99999% of bacteria, protozoa (like giardia), and 100% of microplastics.
In addition to being effective with Yellow Fever Mosquitos that can carry Zika Virus this spray is effective against ticks, chiggers, mites and mosquitos without the toxic gear melting effects of DEET. It will last up to 6 weeks with a single application and should be considered a front line defense against ticks carrying Lyme Disease. This product is a must use if you are heading out into Tick areas to recreate.
This ultralight chrome umbrella is an absolute life saver for any backpacker who is hiking through areas with lots of sun exposure like the desert section of the PCT or The Colorado Trail. In a sudden rainstorm or extreme heat of the mid day you’ll be happy you carried this 8.9 ounces with you.
8. Toaks Titanium 750ml Pot – $34.95
This pot works particularly well with the BRS 3000T backpacking stove. It weighs in at just 3.6 ounces and neatly nests a small fuel canister, lighter, and stove inside it. It also comes with a convenient back to hold it all together. If you are a regular Ramen eater or just boiling water to rehydrate a meal, this is the pot to go with.
9. Loksak – Opsak Odorless Storage Bag – $13.49
In case you didn’t know, critters like all the delicious and smelly things that you carry with you when you are out in the backcountry. These thick, fairly durable zip bags are the first line of defense in preventing unwanted animal encounters at night when you are tucked inside your tent safe and sound. Toss all your food, toothpaste and dare we say deodorant into this bag before you hang or tie you bag up for the night and sleep more soundly knowing you’re the most smelly item in your tent and not your food.
10. MSR Mini Groundhog Stakes – $2.50 / per stake
It may not seem like an important item but when it’s 3am and your flimsy Dyneema tent is flapping in the breeze like a feather in a storm, you will be thanking us for recommending these stakes to you. In our experience the MSR Brand stakes seem to be the most durable tent stakes for the weight. Each weighing in at only .35 ounces they aren’t the lightest of the light but will not bend as easily as lighter version available. You can also purchase these in a six pack and save yourself a little hard earned dough. Also, for freestanding tents consider a regular length for your door stake. But a stake in it, the TOP 10 Backpacking Gifts are done!
BONUS: Tell Your Trail Custom Trail Map – $26.99
If you or anyone you love has had the great experience of being able to hike one of the world epic long trails, this is absolutely the gift for them this Christmas. Search on their Etsy website for most any trail you can think of. They will also custom make a trail they don’t offer for an additional fee. This is one of the most unique gifts you could give to commemorate your loved one’s hike. You can order direct from their website as well and USE CODE: TYTANDLUKE at checkout for a discount!
CAR CAMPING GIFT IDEAS
The thing we love the most about car camping is that you can bring really cool innovative items that really don’t matter how much they weigh. A good car camping base camp can give you all the cozy camp vibes your instagram account makes you feel like you deserve while recreating outdoors.
1. Coffee Gator Double Walled French Press – $35.99
When you’re freezing your tuckus off on a cold morning at camp, nothing hits the spot quite like a warm strong cup of coffee. Gone are the days of tasteless instant coffee or percolating a cup on an enamel pot that inevitably will need a reheat before the rest of your crew wakes up. The double walled coffee press by Gator keeps your coffee piping hot until the last drop is poured. If you love a quality cup of coffee at home there is not reason to compromise when you are car camping. Bring your favorite beans and get yourself one step closer to that morning trip to the cat hole.
2. Kelty Low Loveseat Camp Chair – $99.95
This is a double-wide version of the classic camp chair with room for two. Makes a great place for the pups to get off the cold or wet ground and cuddle up with you near the fire as well. Kelty makes well built, affordable products that will outlast cheaper versions of this chair. We love the low height of the chair as well!
3. Solar String Lights 2-Pack 72ft – $24.99
When you’re doing it for the gram you have to have some twinkling lights for the photographs. Give yourself those Christmasy vibes all year long with these little gems. The fact that you can toss the solar panel in the sun and get them charged up for 6-8 hours of light in the evening is a huge bonus.
4. Collapsible Cutting Board/Camping Kitchen Sink – $15.99
We love a single item that can be used for more thank one thing. It might seem like something simple but when your cutting board an also transform into a washing bin for dishes and triple down as a storage container, we would call that a win win. Have a clean(ish) service to prepare food on is always a good thing. With the way this collapses down it takes up very little room which is always a bonus as well.
5. Ignik Refillable Gas Growler Tank 5lb – $129.95
You might be thinking to yourself, “Whats so exciting about a propane tank?” Well the answer is simply that this 5-pound refillable tank is one of our most ecologically responsible gift ideas on our list this year. Each tank replaces 5 of those nasty little green propane canisters that are not currently easy to recycle in most places. 48 million of these end up in landfills each year. Considering a single use canister can run upwards of $7.50 this baby will pay itself off pretty darn quick and make you feel good about doing it in the process!
6. Waxed Canvas Firewood Carrier – $49.95
Plain and simple this is a durable waxed canvas bag designed to help you transport wood from home to the campsite. Pull from your own fire wood pile at home to bring with you without worrying about turning your vehicle into a wasteland of bark and splinters. Don’t sleep on this handsome looking design to sit next to your yule log burning away in the fire at home this holiday season either.
7. Reliance Products 7 Gallon Water Container – $14.97
Maybe not the most glamorous gift but it’s certainly one of the most practical. If you do any sort of dispersed style camping in your car in areas where water is hard to come by this 7 gallon water container can keep you off the grid and hydrated for several days without worrying about your next stop to camel up. When not in use the spout conveniently tugs inside the jug. We’d call this a stocking stuffer at this price but let’s face it, you just wouldn’t be able to find a big enough stocking. Consider this an essential item. Also comes in a 4 gallon size.
8. GoSports Tipsy Toss Game – $34.99
Let’s face it, your camping trip can’t be all campfires and cocktails. Put some of those empty beer bottles to work while playing this highly addictive frisbee game at basecamp. When you aren’t out hiking or exploring it’s always fun to have a game or two to get you up and moving. This is one of our favorites.
9. Baabushka – Camp Booties – $119.00
If you are looking for a social conscious gift these cozy New Zealand sheep’s wool booties can’t be beat. Handmade by artisans Nepal using all natural materials the wool is both soft, warm, and durable. They come in both indoor (leather sole) and outdoor versions (rubber sole) in both ankle cut and slipper styles in a variety of colors. Plus the natural properties of wool is that they are much better with odor which will make it much easier to blame your stinky camp feet on someone else. Baabushka is a company committed to fair trade and fair employment for women in Nepal. When you buy these you know that you are supporting high-paying fair trade jobs that empower women and that should be worth the purchase alone! USE CODE: LUKE15 for 15% off your order!
10. GSI Bugaboo 4 Person Cook Kit – $119
Compact, high quality and with enough dinnerware for 4 people this cook kit can really justify the cost quickly. Having a nesting cook kit eliminates having your pots, pans, cups and plates stuffed into a plastic bin. Staying organized is key when you are camping out of your car. We all know how quickly a campsite can become a gear explosion when you’re looking for that one item you can’t find.
11. Outland Portable Propane Fire Pit – $105.81
If you live and recreate anywhere in the western states that have be ravaged by wildfires in the past few years it’s important to understand that your love for a classic campfire can be both illegal and dangerous. That being said in many places you can still have portable fire pits to make your camp feel like you’re still camping even without burning wood.
12. Coghlan’s Pop-Up Trash Cans – $26.99
Just because you consider yourself to be Hiker Trash or a Dirtbag doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep your camp tidy and free of the garbage we produce while we are visiting. Don’t worry about hanging your trash can from a tree just line these collapsible pop up cans for both trash and recycling with a bag and you’re all set. Too often we see groups of camping setups where people forget to recycle and just throw their bottles and cans in with the trash. We can do better than that and these will help.
13. Kelty Noah’s Tarp Shelter/Rainfly – $79.95
The thing we love the most about Kelty products is that they are quality products at middle of the road prices. Not quite as expensive and lightweight as other brands and not quite as cheap as brands that make inferior products that might look the same. The tarp has become a favorite of ours for car camping because it allows you to create a place to take refuge from the sun or rain without taking up the space that a traditional pop up tent does in your vehicle. This model is the 12ft x 12ft model but it comes in a 9ft and 16ft model as well. You will be surprised how much space you can have once these are pitched.
14. Trekology Portable Aluminum Camping Table – $39.99
We love these tables because they come in three compact sizes, you can feel safer using your cooking stoves on the aluminum rather than a plastic table, and is robust enough to hold up to 50lbs. It’s also the perfect height for sitting down in your camp chair while you simmer the evening goulash over your stove.
15. BUTURE Car Jump Starter – $35.99
We have all been there. The sun goes down and you leave the hatchback of your car open for too long or play the radio without the car running and slowly turn your battery into a useless pile of wet cells. When you are dispersed camping or really just on the road anywhere having this item in your car kit is really a must have safety item. We would suggest learning how to use it before you need to use it. Don’t leave home without it, this is a highly practical gift to give and receive.
DAY HIKING GIFT IDEAS
Let’s face it. Somewhere between the ultralight backpacker and the car camper lives a world where most of us operate in. Enter the day hiker. With the luxury to carry a few luxury items that you wouldn’t normally carry backpacking, but still a need some of the everyday essentials. Here is our short list of some favorite items for day hiking.
1. Appalachian Gear Company All-Paca Fleece Beanie – $32.00
This is not your basic merino wool beanie that can be found nearly everywhere these days. This is actually an Alpaca Beanie made from 100% Alpaca Fiber. It fits well, looks great and the knit structure and fiber properties allow for perspiration to easily escape while retaining insulation qualities making it useful to wear in a range of temperatures. Alpaca natural repels odors as well. Oh yeah, did we mention they only weigh in at 1.1 ounces. In places like Colorado where we live, a beanie is a must have item for your day hiking if you plan to get up into higher elevations.
2. Darn Tough Socks – $18.00 – $27.00
Regardless of the mileage you are hiking, having high quality socks is one of the most underrated and most important gear items you will ever choose. So don’t choose poorly. Now you might look at the price tag of these socks and think they are overpriced but I can assure you, they are worth every penny. Plus, they come with a lifetime warranty. If you wear a pair out, just send them back for a new pair. It’s an unparalleled warranty in the Outdoor Industry. The comfort and durability of these socks makes them a perennial gift guide occupant and might as well be retired to the Outdoor Gear Geeks Hall of Fame right now. Purchase with extreme confidence and you’ll have a lifetime of happy feet.
2. LiteAF 20L Multi-Day Pack (handmade in the USA) – $129.99
LiteAF is a cottage industry ultralight company that is churning out some of the most popular and highest quality backpacking bags on the market which are all hand sewn in the USA. This new addition to their lineup offers all the features of their Dyneema backpacks but in a smaller more compact and affordable version which makes it a great choice for day hiking. If you feel like you need more than 20L you can also check out the larger 35L pack both constructed from a durable 210D ROBIC nylon. The 20L pack weighs in at just 12 ounces!
3. Buff Headwear – $24.99
Until you own one of these you probably didn’t know what a functional piece of gear it can be. With UPF protection you can cover your face and ears as they start to crips up like raisin in the sun above tree line or pull it over your face to block out the sun for that alpine nap you just earned at the top of your hike. On warm days, dip it in a cold stream and on cold days wrap it around your ears and nose. Wipe a pot with it, or your snot with it. This is another one of our must have hiking and day-hiking items for 2020 and always.
4. RAVPower Portable Charger 10000mAh PD – $14.99 (on sale)
Wether we want to believe it or not our mobile devices have become critical pieces of gear on most of our outdoor adventures. They are the modern era Swiss Army Knife. We use them to capture memories, lengthen our leashes from an office setting and most importantly to navigate with various apps. Keeping them charged is an important element to actually keeping us outside. This powerbank should get any phone around two charges and recharges via usb-c much faster than a normal brick would. At the time of this article it is also being offered at 55% off the normal price making it a steal!
5. Foxelli 180 Lumen Rechargeable Headlamp – $12.97
Contrary to the headlamp overing earlier on in the gift guide we wanted to provide a budget option. This rechargeable headlamp with red light provides enough power and light for you to make your way down the mountain after you just watched the sunset and begin your mad dash down the mountain to your car so that the boogie man doesn’t get you after dark. It has an IPX5 rating so it will withstand wet weather. For long distance hiking we would still go with the more powerful, lighter, and more powerful Nitecore NU 25 headlamp but for most general applications that don’t require those considerations this one should work just fine.
TOP TIER GIFT IDEAS
We understand that for most, these gift ideas might be way out of your gifting budget, but if you are looking for some really unique Top Tier gift ideas these babies are some of the best.
1. ECOFLOW Portable Power Station with 110W Solar Panel – $1499.99
Gulp. Yeah we see that price tag too but for our money this is one of the best and most versatile item on our list. It packs enough output power to run legitimate power tools or nearly anything you might need to use power for, with a max 400W output. The most incredible part about this portable power station is that when being recharged via AC (wall charge) it can recharge up to 80% full in just 1 hour! This is about 10x faster than any other product on the market. The 110W solar panel can recharge the battery with full sun in about 4 hours. It is build to be both waterproof and durable. There is no complicated setup or mechanical knowledge needed to get your system up and running. It’s literally plug and play. A solar battery bundle like this can keep your off grid power needs taken care of indefinitely. If you only have interest in the power unit alone you can find it here: Ecoflow Portable Power Station.
2. NEMO Tensor Regular or Insulated Sleeping Pad – $139.95
If you are a backpacker, car camper, or adult who likes sleepovers at friends houses, this sleeping pad will provide you with one of the best nights sleep you can imagine. This pad comes in two version. One is insulated and the other is not. The difference in weight between the two is only 2 ounces.
3. NEMO Stargazer Chair – $219.95
What do you get when you cross a traditional camping chair, with a hammock? Answer: The Stargazer Chair by NEMO. The fact of the matter is that NEMO is churning out some of the most high quality and innovative camping equipment on the market right now. This chair is exactly that. A fun, super comfortable, and ultra compact chair that makes any camping trip more enjoyable. With the stargazer all you have to do is lean back and you’re reclining and looking at the sky above.
4. Enlightened Equipment Enigma Quilt – $315.00
This is another favorite brand of Outdoor Gear Geeks and the Enigma Quilt is one of our favorite models. It has a closed toe box to keep those toseys warm but the open design of a quilt. For us it is the sweet spot between what you want from a traditional sleeping bag and a quilt. For us mountain living folks we found the three season sweet spot to be the 20 degree bag but there are many options to choose from if you are a cold or warm sleeper. These quilts are another MADE IN THE USA product which always makes us happy campers.
5. Hults Bruk Kisa Axe -$159.00
This axe is what we could consider to be a legacy camping item. With good care this axe is the kind of camping tool which can be passed down from generation to generation. It’s not just pretty looking, it is also a pretty darn good piece of kit. It’s size is perfect for car camping because it is larger than a hatchet but can still be used to split kindling. Our tester took this axe to the extreme when he had to remove a small tree that was blocking an offroading trail in Colorado where backing up wasn’t an option.
6. Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL 2 – $449.95
This tent is arguably one of the roomiest two person backpacking tents on the market. Unlike many tents which claim to be two person but really only fit one person comfortably, this tent does not feel that way one bit. The tent has a double vestibule with a new awning mode in the 2020 allows for additional shade or rain coverage without having to be inside the tent which is one of the coolest and most innovative designs we have seen in recent backpacking tents. If you can afford it, this is a no brainer purchase.
OUTDOOR DOG GIFTS
Dogs make the best adventure buddies but can’t buy their own gear. Spoil your furry adventure friend with some of these cool items this holiday season.
1. PetAmi Dog Travel Bag – $36.99
Let’s call this what it really is. The worlds coolest diaper bag for dogs. Minus the diapers of course you can fit everything you need for a weekend camping excursion in one organized place. This bag is also airline approved if you happen to be taking a trip outside of car camping.
2. Nite Ize NightHowl LED Necklace – $15.99
This is a bright idea if we have ever seen one. Nite Ize is a Colorado company that specializes in making all sorts of useful tools and gadgets to solve everyday camping problems like not being able to see where you pup wandered off to when the sun went down. The color will stay lit for up to 5.5 hours and is usb rechargeable. It’s also weather resistant for your water loving dogs.
3. WaterPORT GoSpout Portable Water Tank – $99.99
This 2.0 gallon capacity can pressurize anytime anywhere and provide enough water to hose off your pooch after a long muddy hike or day at the beach. It doubles as a camping shower and hose to clean off your gear or wash your dishes.
4. Kurgo Waterproof Outdoor Dog Bed – $46.36
If you are looking for a durable, waterproof bed to bring camping with you, look no further. This doggie bed comes in two different sizes and rolls up neatly for transporting at the end of your adventure. It can easily be hand washed or thrown in the washing machine on gentle cycle and has a lifetime warranty against manufacturer defects.