5 Best Gift Ideas for Outdoor Enthusiasts
Need last minute gift ideas for the campers, backpackers or hikers on your list? Check out this list of 5 great gift ideas for outdoorsy types, courtesy of gear guru Connor.
Ah the holidays – full of bonding moments with family, warm cups of hot cocoa, and the surprise heart attack when you realize you pushed off your gift shopping until the last minute.
You may be thinking: “What do I get my boyfriend? He likes to camp and hike but I’m not sure what gear he wants or needs.”
Or: “My spouse loves to rock climb and I’m pretty sure she has everything she’ll ever need.”
This is a common problem as some of us don’t necessarily know what our outdoorsmen and women really need.
These five items made my list because they're not necessarily top of mind yet useful for many outdoor activities from camping to hiking to climbing to hunting.
1. A Bombproof Multi-Tool
Lots of outdoor enthusiasts consider a multi-tool overkill. Most multitools include a tool or two they might never need.
That's a small price to pay when all the other tools are useful if not essential at one time or another. As the saying goes: “You never need a multi-tool until you need one.”
Consider it an insurance policy against the unexpected.
I have personally tested the Kilimanjaro Ballast multi-tool as well as the Ascend multi-tool. Both are solid choices, and I recommend the Ascend for any weight-conscious backpacker or climber as it weighs in at only 2.1 ounces. If weight is less of a concern (say, for a car camper or day hiker), the Ballast makes a great gift.
2. First Aid Kit
Sooner or later, anyone who spends enough time outdoors is going to need a first aid kit. A surprising number of outdoor enthusiasts head out with either a minimal first aid kit or none at all. Yet even minor injuries can slow or stop an outdoor adventure.
Traumatic injuries are relatively rare - more hikers are hobbled by twisted ankles or blisters than every other hiking injury combined. These minor annoyances at home can become a big deal ten miles into the wild.
For those worried mothers and spouses, what better gift to give than that of protection and keeping your loved ones safer in the outdoors? I recommend two different types of first aid kits, depending on your gift recipient's preferred outdoor activity.
For backpackers and those who are watching weight, I highly recommend the Ultralight, Watertight Medical kit. This kit weighs in at only 8 ounces, is waterproof, and has quite a few useful items for quick trips.
For heavy duty kits where weight is not an issue I recommend the Fully Stocked Master Camping First Aid Trauma Kit Bag. This bag is a little pricey but has large quantities of bandages and wraps, making it ideal for group trips.
3. A Good Cooler
Coolers are great! They keep your food and beloved beverages cool and fresh when conditions are hot and stale.
With so many coolers flooding the market lately, it’s hard to know the difference between them. And many of the newer cooler models are crazy expensive.
Are they worth it?
Maybe. What matters most is performance, regardless of price. A good cooler has sufficient storage space, durable construction and keeps ice solid for as long as possible.
One of the top performers for keeping ice is Cabela’s Polar Cap cooler. Not only does it keep ice longer than competitors such as YETI, Orca or Pelican, (it keeps ice for a whopping 8 days!!) it is also one of the least expensive of the premium cooler brands, making it a hands down winner.
4. Camp Lights
Camping lights make great gifts for anyone who spends nights outdoors. Most enthusiasts already bring flashlights, headlamps, and lanterns (gas and battery powered). Even so, it always seems another light would be nice here, or there, for cooking, for eating, for the tent, etc.
As an added plus, camping lights can be used for the car, garage, as a reading light, patio lights and more, making them a truly versatile gift for the outdoor enthusiast in your life.
We’ve used quite a few camping lights over the past decade and we recommend the Mpowerd Luci Outdoor 2.0 and the Kilimanjaro Lumavine. The Luci is great since it is solar powered and fully waterproof however it is not as bright as the Lumavine and is double the price.
The Lumavine is a USB rechargeable mini lantern that gives off a warm glow, is water resistant, and shines bright at 40 lumens on the high setting. And you can give two Lumavines for the price of one Luci.
5. Fire Starter
Most people bring a lighter with them when they venture outdoors. Although convenient, lighters can fail, get wet, or run out of fuel.
A reliable fire starter comes in handy in a situation like this (and you get badass points when you do make a fire).
Since most people don't think of owning a fire starter, it makes for a great gift. It can also teach a new skill whilst building a fire and assist if a sticky situation arises (worried mothers and girlfriends approved).
Fire starters are all over Amazon and there are many offering different perks such as built in compasses, whistles, and storage compartments.
The Darmon Spark-a-Fire is a great tool as it is inexpensive, long lasting, and waterproof while also boasting a whistle.
No matter what you decide to buy this holiday season, we know your loved one will be excited and adore you with all their heart forever and ever!
Cheers from Kilimanjaro Gear.
- Andy Somerville