For some folks, wandering ridgelines, gazing at the stars and brewing cowboy coffee at sunrise are part and parcel of a normal weekend. And those adventurers—who already have a closet full of gear—are often the hardest to shop for. That’s why this holiday season, we’ve rounded up our favorite gifts that are sure to get […]
For some folks, wandering ridgelines, gazing at the stars and brewing cowboy coffee at sunrise are part and parcel of a normal weekend. And those adventurers—who already have a closet full of gear—are often the hardest to shop for. That’s why this holiday season, we’ve rounded up our favorite gifts that are sure to get them dreaming about thawing trails, plus a few beginner-friendly options for new campers.
Think of the Kelty Discovery as one of the year’s best BOGO deals: For $250, you get two 35°F sleeping bags, two self-inflating pads and a four-person tent. So if you know a pair getting into camping for the first time, this gift nets a couple of adventurers everything they need to get started. The bags even zip together for an instant conversion into a double-wide bed (if your pals subscribe to the sharing-is-caring mantra), and the entire bundle fits into an included duffel. $249.95
Maybe your giftee has borrowed your stove a time too many. Or maybe you’re hoping they’ll wake up first to put on coffee in the morning. Whatever the reason, at only 3.9 ounces, this little thing packs a punch: It will bring a liter of water to boil in only 3 minutes and 30 seconds. The Essential Trail Stove from Primus is easy to pack with no folding parts (no igniter though), so it’s always ready to go. $24.95
Considered one of the best two-person backpacking tents on the market, the beloved Copper Spur from Big Agnes got an upgrade this year—which should put it at the top of your adventurer’s list. The latest model is stronger, lighter and even easier to set up than previous versions. And at just a hair over 3 pounds with two doors and roomy dimensions, it lightens backpacking loads but doesn’t skimp on comfort. We’re also big fans of the awning-style vestibules, which increase living space in both drizzly and sunny weather. (Yes, this is high on my wish list, if you couldn’t tell.) $449.95
Help your friend or loved one upgrade their Ten Essentials with a knife that’s, well, more than a knife. With spring-action scissors, a pry tool, a package opener, an awl, a bottle opener, a file, four screwdrivers and tweezers, the Free T4 from Leatherman proves useful at camp and pretty much everywhere. In fact, at 4.3 ounces, it might never leave your friend’s pocket at all. $59.95
Turn the relaxation dial all the way up with this comfy, cozy, camp chair from GCI Outdoor. It sways backward like a rocking chair (unlike a rocking chair, it has stable legs) and features a drink holder, so your loved one will never be too far away from their hot cocoa, cocktail or (reusable) water bottle. For the tech-obsessed, that same beverage holder boasts a side phone pocket, too. The whole thing packs into an easy-to-carry bag, so your buddy can easily grab and go whenever the mountains call. $80
Festivals, campfires, backyard barbecues—this two-person seat can handle every outdoor occasion. (I’ve even used mine during a movie night in my living room.) It doesn’t quite earn the “backcountry sofa” moniker, but the Kelty Discovery Low-Love Seat’s quilted, durable polyester fabric is comfy on backends and even offers some insulation. The height-adjustable armrests come complete with drink holders—perfect for maximizing comfort. The seat rolls into an included storage bag, which doubles as a firewood or gear tote. $99.95
The side sleeper in your life will rejoice over this three-season, 800-fill bag. The Riff 15 has more room at the elbows and knees for thrashers and folks who opt for the fetal position, yet still tips the scales at just 2 pounds, 6 ounces. Its aptly named Thermo Gills let campers vent on warmer nights. Best part? NEMO made the Riff 15 with Responsible Down Standard-certified down, which ensures humane treatment throughout the supply chain. Sweet dreams! $399.95–$419.95
You can’t clink glasses with only one cup. This twofer from REI Co-op includes a pair of BPA-free, stainless-steel, vacuum-insulated mugs with sipping lids. Individually, the mugs are $19.95, so by springing for a two-pack, you save. Cheers to sharing the love of camping (and a good deal) with friends. $30
With plenty of room for a pair, this REI Co-op bag makes a great gift for a couple of friendly car campers. The polyester synthetic fill is rated to about 30°F—perfect for summer nights. Two-way zippers mean each person can ventilate as much or as little as they want from the top or the foot, or the sleepers can flip the top down like a comforter. The Siesta 30 Double also contains materials that meet the bluesign® criteria—so you can feel even better about giving it. $149–$159
Think of all the stuff your pal can stuff inside this YETI cooler: 12 cans, sammie fixings, grilling fare, whatever. When it’s not open, the Roadie 20 pulls double duty as a camp chair or foot rest. It’s built to withstand the toughest of adventures (it’s rustproof and leakproof) and is even certified as bear-resistant by the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee—for the most adventurous people in your life. Our pro tip? When you gift this, be sure to invite yourself along for its maiden voyage. $200
Help your buddy feel like they’ve walked onto their very own Instagram influencer shoot by giving the gift of sparkle. One hundred high-efficiency LEDs adorn this 30-foot strand, offering eight brightness settings for creating the perfect ambiance for the mood, plus six modes (solid light, fade in/out, strobe, flash and fire-crackle). At only 1.6 ounces, the REVEL GEAR Trail Hound might find its way into a backpacker’s camp setup, too. $24.95
Warm friends are the kindest friends. This quilt from Rumpl is stuffed with insulation a lot like a sleeping bag or puffy jacket, making it a toastier option than a single-layer blanket. That doesn’t mean high-maintenance, though. Since the fill is synthetic (and recycled!), your giftee can toss it in the washing machine and dryer, which makes the Original Puffy Recycled Blanket a great option for throwing on the dirt. And at just over 2 pounds, it’s easy to tote. $99
All photography by Andrew Bydlon.
Need more inspiration? Check out our Best Outdoor Gifts or find more product roundups in our Trail Mix series. And stay tuned: We’ll be publishing three more gift guides before the holidays, including The Coziest Gifts, The Best Gifts for Skiers and Snowboarders and The Best Gifts Under $50.