Best Gifts for Outdoor Lovers
The "outdoors" means a lot of things to a lot of people. These 11 gift ideas are aimed at the three-season camper more than the hardcore mountaineer. But regardless of season, there's sure to be something here for every camper in your life.
Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links. Ratings and prices are accurate and items are in stock as of time of publication.
The “outdoors” means a lot of things to a lot of people. These 11 gift ideas are aimed at the three-season camper more than the hardcore mountaineer. But regardless of season, there’s sure to be something here for every camper in your life.
Winter camping is about staying warm and dry. That’s why wool is always going to perform better — and be warmer! — than cotton. These hiking socks from Darn Tough are 61 percent merino wool, 36 percent nylon and three percent lycra spandex. They’re quick-drying and built to keep your feet warm in all weather. Plus, Darn Tough socks are made in the U.S. and guaranteed for life.
Sitting around a campfire for hours means you need serious comfort. There are a lot of other camp chairs out there that resemble stools more than chairs. This one from Alps Mountaineering is engineered for comfort with its padded curved armrests, extra tall back and cup holder. The aluminum frame provides strength and stability and detaches for compact transporting. The chair supports up to 425 pounds.
Like camp chairs, there are a million camp stoves to choose from. We like this Eureka butane stove best because of its 11,500-BTU cooking power and simmer control. It’s perfect for pancakes, pots of chili, seared steaks, fresh fish and anything in between. It also comes with an integrated butane fuel compartment, which means no more lugging around those mini green propane tanks. Wind protection screens maintain fuel efficiency and let you cook in any conditions.
Portable Fire Pit
Bring your fire pit camping! Of course, the Solo Stove Bonfire ($300) is no regular fire pit. Strategically placed holes cut down on campfire smoke, even though it burns hotter and cleaner than your average campfire. It’s perfect for those of us who enjoy car camping in colder weather, but this fire pit definitely is not backpack-friendly.
We can’t say enough about this multipurpose campsite lantern from GoalZero. It delivers 600 lumens of multidirectional light that can be adjusted to only illuminate half the lantern to save on power and runtime. Its collapsible legs allow it to stand tall or keep a low profile, and it can recharge via USB, solar or hand crank. Bonus: The lantern features an external USB plug to power phones and small devices.
Customizable Sleeping Bag
Every once in a blue moon, the outdoor world sees a new product idea that changes the game. The Zenbivy Quilt ($300) is one of those products. This 800-fill adjustable sleeping system allows you to change sleep settings to fit your preferences and the weather, down to 10 degrees F. Strategically cinch and button to transition from rectangular sleeping bag to heat-conserving mummy bag to quilt.
Therm-a-Rest Foam Sleeping Pad
If you’re sleeping on the ground and concerned about staying warm and dry, opt for a closed-cell foam sleeping pad. Scores of inflatable sleeping pads out there promise more comfort than foam, but they’re susceptible to deflation at night, which means your body absorbs the ground temperature.
This classic pad from Therm-a-Rest features folding accordion-style construction that is compact and easily packable. Its foam construction is softer on top for comfort, and denser on the bottom for extra insulation, durability and protection from the ground. It measures 72-in. x 20-in. and weighs 14 ounces.
This medium-sized backpack from Osprey is perfect for short day hikes and even lightweight overnights in the back country. It is built with a ventilated back panel and adjustable shoulder harness to ensure a perfect fit for anyone. The two zippered hip belt pockets provide convenient access to small snacks, mobile phones or earbuds. And if the weather suddenly turns sour, the Osprey Stratos 34 comes with an integrated, removable cover for rain or snow.
Toaks Titanium Three-Piece Cutlery Set
Even the most novice campers out there have wrestled with the cutlery decision: Should I buy plastic and throw it all away or bring a silverware set from home? The honest answer is, neither.
This three-piece titanium set from Toaks is the Cadillac of camp cutlery. Utensils are conveniently held together with an aluminum carabiner, so you can eat like a real human and keep track of each set. Utensil measurements: The spoon is 6-5/8-in., the fork is 6-5/8-in., and the knife is 7-1/8-in.
A modern design on a throwback style, these lightweight suede leather boots from Danner are super tough and surprisingly comfortable. The seemingly soft suede is reinforced with Danner Dry technology so these boots are actually waterproof. They feature Ortholite footbeds for extra comfort, and Vibram midsoles and outer soles for traction and support.
The key to staying warm in your tent while camping in cooler weather is limiting the amount of air between bodies. Personal space is not your friend in these camping situations. That said, this two-person tent from NEMO does everything it can to provide coziness and room to spread out.
It features steep walls for added interior volume, two doors for convenient coming and going and two vestibules for spreading out gear and keeping it off the ground. It comes with a footprint protector that extends the life of the tent floor. Bonus: It’s covered by NEMO’s lifetime warranty.