These are the best gifts for your outdoorsy friends!
It’s that time of year again! We try to get a head start on our holiday shopping early so we don’t have to stress about it later on. I actually shop throughout the year and hold them for holidays and birthdays.
When we shop for gifts, we tend to lean towards useful items that help fuel our adventures. If you have any outdoor lovers in your life, here’s the list for you. It includes a wide range of prices from stocking stuffers to gifts that will make them feel completely spoiled. We own and use most of these, but there are a couple still on our wish list. ;)
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Last Updated: February 7, 2024
Your Essential Outdoor Gift Guide for 2023
Learn more about how we select gifts for our gift guides and our methodology here.
A good backpack can make your load feel lighter. We used our previous Osprey bags for over 8 years but finally decided to upgrade this year for our Winter Patagonia Trip. You should visit your nearest REI store and try them on with weight in them. I literally tried on every women’s and youth backpacks in the store.
Pro Tip: Go to REI and have them help you find the right backpack for your body type. Since I’m petite, the women’s bag was too big for my torso, so I ended up getting the youth bag instead.
A good sleeping bag is a gift that keeps on giving. Since every ounce counts when you’re backpacking, we always look for ones that weigh as little as possible, packs down as small as possible, and still manages to keep you warm. It’s always a challenge to compromise between warmth and weight / size.
We have the older versions of these and love them! They’ve kept us warm on all our camping and backpacking trips and are super lightweight.
We just recently got this Hammock / Tent but haven’t had a chance to try it yet. It’s able to set up on the ground or suspend as a hammock if you can’t find level ground. Unlike other hammocks, the design keeps the bed flatter so you don’t get that cocooning that happens in other ones. Plus it has a rainfly and bug netting.
These have been our go-to hiking shoes for the past few years, and we’ve tested out a lot of hiking shoes. We love that they have a different style than typical hiking shoes so that they blend well into the city but still can take on a rugged trail. They even have insulated ones if you’re spending more time in cold places.
These are awesome when you’re carpooling, camping or hiking. We use them to find our friends when we’re climbing and since we all have them, we just make sure we’re on the same frequency. They’re also great on caravan road trips so you can communicate with the other cars without worrying about having service.
We recently discovered the Hot Chillys Base Layers and absolutely love them. They are soft and comfortable and keep us warm. I want to get some of the ones with fun patterns on them.
Check out Jacob wearing his baselayer on the top while climbing in this tall/short beta.
Daypacks are awesome for anyone who’s active. It’s perfect for day hikes and short trips. When we travel, we pack one in our suitcase to use for the day too, since it’s lightweight and can pack down pretty small. We recently upgraded to the Flash 22 because we like the flap closure better.
24. Packtowl 💰 →
We each have a few towels, larger towels when we are out and about and not worried about space, and small light ones when we’re worried about space. We also bring a small one with us dedicated to our camera gear.
Bonus: Gift Card →
If you have one of those friends or loved ones who seem to have everything, you can always get them a gift card so they can buy what they need when the time comes. I know gift cards sound lame or don’t seem like the most thoughtful gift, but they are practical. I know we’d appreciate it. ;)
Any other outdoor gift ideas we should add to our outdoor gift guide? Are you buying any of these this year?
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“Discovery consists not of seeking new lands but in seeing with new eyes” – M. Proust
Esther + Jacob
Esther and Jacob are the founders of Local Adventurer, one of the top 5 travel blogs in the US. They believe that adventure can be found near and far and hope to inspire others to explore locally. They explore a new city in depth every year and currently base themselves in Las Vegas.