While this guide is aimed at products that work well for the camper in your life, almost all of them would be appropriate for any outdoorsy person you’re shopping for (even yourself). Some of this gear has been with me long term, others a few months, but they all work great and would make a great gift.
The Leatherman Skeletool RX has 7 tools, is crazy cool looking, and is perfect for the minimalist outdoorsy person in your life. While created for first responders, it has the basics you need in a lighter version that’s easy to bring along anywhere you go. The interchangeable screw tips are especially well integrated.
I don’t know any outdoorsy person who doesn’t love a good flashlight – they can be the difference between an easy night or much tougher. LED Lenser makes heavy-duty lights that feel good in the hand and are simple to use. At 320 lumens, the P7.2 is all you need, with the Advanced Focus System allowing one to cast a far-off spot or a close up spill light for reading. Includes a lanyard and a sheath for ease of storage and transport.
I first used the Grayl Water Purification System on last year’s Hell Hike and Raft and was really pleased with the performance. I love the all in one system which eliminates carrying multiple items. I love the heft and feel of the metal bottle, but it’s definitely heavier than plastic, which is also available. This French Press style water purifier is really easy to use and effective. The only change I would make is to increase the capacity – it would be nice to have a little more water to carry between sources.
The SIC (Seriously Ice Cold) 27 ounce bottle comes with an integrated carabiner for ease of carrying, is stainless steel for toughness, double wall vacuum insulated to keep things hot or cold, and comes with a lifetime warranty! 12 color options give you plenty of choice. The only negative I found was that this is a really tall bottle and might not stay in bottle sleeves as readily as a smaller size – the additional water capacity made it worthwhile for me.
The EDGe Explore Travel Pillow is a waterproof polyester camping pillow that is built to withstand abuse yet provide comfort. Relatively compact, the pillow self-inflates and features a center depression for head and neck support. We took this on our trip to Mammoth Cave recently and appreciated its ease of use and comfort when it was time to hit the hay. Buy one today and get a bonus Paracord Bracelet with a compass, flint fire starter, and safety whistle – fun extra gift!
If you have a medium-sized or smaller face, the Zeal Optics Big Timber is a great choice if you’re looking for sunglasses. The Big Timber comes with Zeal’s Automatic lens, which combines photochromic technology and polarization into a single lens. Super cool. The glasses wrap slightly and, with larger arms, offer good protection from wind and dust. Also available in prescription.
The Dreamwave Venture is an all-in-one portable Bluetooth speaker and walkie-talkie two way radio and built (IPX5 protection) to withstand most of what you can throw at it. The addition of a two-way radio to a speaker is a great idea for outdoorsy folks and I appreciated that it could not only be connected to other Ventures, but also other walkie-talkies you might already have as well. Really nice option.
Buy one or all of these gifts and you’ll have one happy camper during the holidays but also, and more importantly, when they get to use it outdoors. [*Also check out gifts for the commuter in your life.]
*These items were provided for editorial purposes – all opinions are my own.