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Gift Ideas for Outdoor Lovers

Last updated on 10/12/20

Outdoorsy Gifts You’ll Want to Put on Your List Too!

This list of gift ideas for outdoor lovers, which we originally put together in 2013, has always been one of our most popular posts. But every year we discover a ton of new gear and products that we love (and use), so we always make sure to give our gift guide an annual overhaul. From camp kitchen upgrades and portable power options to items that will keep your loved ones cozy and comfortable, these are some of the best outdoorsy gifts out there right now.

Gear We Love

Best Gifts for Outdoor Lovers

1) MPOWERD Luci Solar String Lights

We can’t be the only ones who are tired of fumbling around with a book of matches in the dark trying to light our old-school Coleman propane lanterns, or getting to camp and realizing the batteries are dead on our LED lantern again. It’s time for an upgrade and MPOWERD’s Luci Solar String Lights not only help bring a festive mood to the whole campsite, but can even charge handheld devices thanks to its external USB port. Plus, they’re a game changer during power outages! ($35)

2) Goal Zero Venture 70 Power Bank

As more of us use our devices for multiple purposes (like our phone as our camera), solar chargers have become a must-bring item for full-day adventures, weekend camping trips and backcountry treks. We recently asked Kristen Bor of Bearfoot Theory to share the best portable chargers for rafting trips and multi-day adventures. Among her favorites was the Goal Zero Venture 70, which will charge a smartphone about five times. ($150)

3) Sea to Summit Lite Line Clothesline

Sure, a piece of rope tied in between two trees does the trick, but the Sea to Summit Lite Line Clothesline is just so darn convenient. No clothespins needed. Plus, it’s ultra-compact and can be put up anywhere…even a bathroom in a hotel room. ($12)

4) Eagle Creek’s Pack-It Specter Packing Cubes

Whether you’re trying to squeeze everything into a backpack for a trek through the mountains or an overhead-friendly suitcase for a beach vacation, Eagle Creek’s Pack-It Specter Packing Cubes are a must-have travel accessory that helps maximize space and fit all of the essentials no matter what the destination. (Various sizes from $8)

5) Therm-a-Rest Air Head Inflatable Pillow

The nifty Therm-a-Rest Air Head Inflatable Pillow gives folks who spend a lot of time sleeping under the stars a great alternative to rolling up a sweatshirt for a pillow. Plus, it’s super lightweight and takes up minimal space when deflated. ($48)

For the (Outside) Kitchen

21 Cool Gift Ideas for Outdoor Lovers

6) YETI Tundra Cooler

Since 2015 we’ve upgraded more than 150 of our coolers to YETI Tundras. That’s because at the end of a 17-day Grand Canyon trip in 100-plus-degree temps, YETI’s will still have ice in them at the take-out. That’s the ultimate field test if you ask us. So yes, we realize YETI coolers are on just about every gift guide out there, but not everyone can give them the stamp of approval like we can. (From $250)

7) Leatherman Wave+ Multitool

Every outdoor lover needs a good multi-tool in their kit. The Leatherman Wave Plus Multitool, with several blade options, pliers, wire cutters and more, is an affordable and best-selling option that’s just as good at home as it is on a camping trip. ($100)

8) Lodge Cast Iron Dutch Oven

The hefty Lodge Cast Iron Dutch Oven takes cooking by charcoal to the next level. Lasagna like it’s straight out of the oven? Yup. Ghirardelli brownies after dinner? You bet. Just because you’re camping doesn’t mean you don’t have to eat well. Dutch oven meals are pretty standard on most OARS overnight whitewater rafting trips. ($80)

9) Jetboil Flash Cooking System

On the other hand, when something hot is needed stat (say, a morning cup of joe after being forced out of a cozy sleeping bag into the cool morning air), the Jetboil Flash Cooking System is the best. Literally, this handy unit heats water for a hot beverage or meal in minutes. Talk about convenient. (From $125)

10) GSI Outdoors JavaPress

Pair the Jetboil with the GSI Outdoors JavaPress and you’ll have one happy camper who is actually excited about getting out of the tent in the morning. Serious coffee-lovers will love this on-the-go French press system for two. ($37)

We Would Definitely Wear That…

Best Outdoorsy Gift Ideas

11) Custom Chaco Sandals

Did you know that you can personalize Chaco sandals? Show somebody how well you know them and capture their unique sense of style with a pair of custom Chacos. Go for a toe strap, or don’t. Mix tie-dye straps with orange polka dots. Finish it off with a lime green buckle strap. Whatever captures their personality best. And so what if it’s the middle of winter, the “Socko” look is definitely ok with us. ($130)

12) Rheos Sunglasses

If you spend as much time on the water as we do, then you’ve likely lost a good pair (or a few) of your favorite sunglasses after a fun-filled rock jump or an unexpected raft flip. That’s where Rheos polarized and floating sunglasses can save the day. Not only will they not sink, they look good too. ($55)

13) ExOfficio Give-N-Go Underwear

Underwear…that one present that usually induces the cringe-face once it’s opened in front of the entire family. But we promise the ExOfficio Give-N-Go Underwear will do the exact opposite. Highly breathable and quick-drying, these are the perfect travel undies.  (From $18)

Just For Fun Outdoorsy Gifts

21 Cool GIfts for Outdoor Lovers

14) Eagles Nest Outfitters DoubleNest Hammock

Give the gift of outdoor relaxation with Eagles Nest Outfitters DoubleNest Hammock. Why double? Because getting cozy under the trees is way more fun with somebody else. The kids also love using the “nest” as a swing. ($67)

15) Kubb

It’s not exactly horseshoes or bocce…it’s viking chess! Better known as Kubb, this lawn/beach block tossing game is a big hit with kids and adults. It comes in a compact carrying case that’s easy to transport, so it’s perfect for bringing along on camping and rafting trips. It’s highly likely you’ll see this game get whipped out in camp if you’re on a trip with us. ($50)

16) Knot It!

Any outdoor enthusiast can have some fun with this hands-on book. Filled with more than 100 handy how-to illustrations, plus a length of paracord to practice with, Knot It! will keep you occupied in front of the fireplace for hours. ($25)

17) GoPro Hero7 Black

You’ll be somebody’s hero if you give them the GoPro Hero7 Black. This waterproof digital action camera the ultimate toy right now for anyone who is eager to capture whatever crazy adventure they’re getting themselves into. You can even mount it on your whitewater helmet. Just saying.  ($250)

For Our Fellow Water Worshippers…

Best Gifts for Outdoor Lovers

18) NRS Thrive Inflatable SUP

A stand up paddle board that you can throw on your back and hike with to a remote coastal cove or sweet river spot? Yes, for the “do-it-all paddler” the Thrive SUP from NRS offers up just that. And, it’s just as good as a rigid board. Probably better since you can go just about anywhere with it. Pump included. ($1,195)

19) Pelican GO G40 Case

Ask a river guide what’s on their wish list and they’ll likely say a Pelican Case (if they don’t already have one). These durable, water-resistant cases are perfect for protecting things that matter on the river or on any rugged adventure. The GO G40 Case is a good starter option for small valuables like a smartphone.  ($40)

20) Eagle Creek Quick Dry Towel

When you’re living off a boat, there’s not a whole lot of room for much of anything, so a beach towel doesn’t usually make the cut. But with the ultra-absorbent and compact Quick Dry Towel by Eagle Creek, there’s no sacrificing drying off after a refreshing “shower”or a dip in the river. Also great for backpacking. ($24.95)

21) The Emerald Mile

A true classic, we’ve raved about this book since it was released. We’ve slotted it under good gifts for water-lovers, since it’s all about a record-breaking boat ride through the Grand Canyon, but The Emerald Mile is a highly entertaining page-turner that just about anyone who reads it will love. Buy The Emerald Mile here.

Other than an OARS gift card (come on, we had to drop the hint), did we miss anything awesome that should be added to the list? Tell us about it below.

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Photos: Mpowerd Luci String Lights on the Yampa River – Colleen Miniuk; YETI Tundra Cooler on a Grand Canyon rafting trip – YETI; OARS guides in Chacos – Jess Wallstrom; Stand up Paddleboarding on the Lower Salmon River – James Kaiser


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