21 Cool Gifts for Outdoor Lovers

21 Cool Gifts for Outdoor Lovers

Outdoorsy Gift Ideas (You’ll Want on Your Wish List, Too!)

Our annually curated list of gifts for outdoor lovers is no doubt one of our readers’ favorite posts each year. From gear we love and camp kitchen upgrades to fun games and gadgets, these are some of the best outdoorsy gifts out there right now. Just don’t blame us if you find an item or two to add to your wish list, too.

Gear We Love

Outdoorsy Gifts Ideas (You'll Want on Your Wish List Too)

1) YETI Hopper Blackflip Soft Cooler

It’s a backpack. It’s a cooler. It’s both. That’s why the Hopper Backflip 24 is the perfect piece of gear for epic day adventuresthe ones that take you down a trail to a hidden gem lake or stream where you can kick back with an ice cold beverage and relax without a care in the world. And like all of YETI’s products, we know you can count on its “superior cold-holding.” We’ve updated nearly the entire fleet of our coolers to YETI over the years, and when we can pull out ice cream cones on day eight of a Grand Canyon trip that’s seen 100-degree temps, that’s the ultimate field test if you ask us. ($299)

2) NOCS Standard Issue 8×25 Waterproof Binoculars

In search of awesome waterproof gadgets, our team recently discovered NOCS Standard Issue Binoculars and knew they belonged on our best gifts for outdoor lovers list. Their rugged (and cool!) design, along with fog proof technology, makes them a great option for just about any adventure whether you’re wildlife viewing or just want to take a closer look at a cool rock formation. They’re also lightweight, and offer a grippy texture so they won’t slip out of your hands. ($95)

3) Goal Zero Venture 75 Power Bank

Portable power chargers have become a must-bring item for full-day adventures, weekend camping trips and backcountry treks. More long-lasting than other options on the market, we like the waterproof Goal Zero Venture 75 Power Bank which can charge a variety of handheld devices multiple times. This is particularly useful for longer, multi-day adventures like rafting trips where you might want to recharge your camera, GoPro or smartphone a few times during the length of the trip. ($120)

4) Garmin InReach Mini

One of the perfect gifts for the outdoor lover in your life who likes to go off grid and out of cell service, the hand-held InReach Mini satellite communicator can give both of you peace of mind. A satellite subscription is required to access some of its most powerful features like two-way texting and the emergency SOS system that alerts a search and rescue monitoring center, but it’s well worth it to be prepared for any backcountry situation that may arise. ($350)

5) MPOWERD Luci Solar String Lights

We can’t be the only ones who are tired of fumbling around 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. MPOWERD’s Luci Solar String Lights are a game changer. Not only will they light up your whole campsite, but can also charge handheld devices thanks to an external USB port. Plus, they’re super handy during power outages! ($45)

For the (Outside) Kitchen

Best Gifts for Outdoor Lovers

6) GSI Pinnacle Base Camper Nesting Cook Set

GSI has some of the most ingenious camp cookware on the market. For those who like to go in comfort, but wouldn’t mind streamlining their unruly camp kitchen bin, GSI’s Pinnacle Base Camper Nesting Cook Set has everything you need to cook for a family or small group of friends, including two pots, two strainer lids, a frying pan, and even a cutting board. But the best part is that it all packs down to the size of one pot. ($135)

7) S.O.L Flat Pack Collapsible Sink

Doing the dishes while camping is everyone’s least favorite chore, but the key to making it a little less cumbersome is packing dedicated dish bins or tubs. Survive Outside Longer’s 16 Liter collapsible sink is easier to pack than your standard dish bins, and with handy handles for schlepping water back to camp, help make the job much more hassle-free too. We recommend getting two, one for washing and one for rinsing. Don’t forget your eco-friendly soap! ($40)

8) Lodge Cast Iron Dutch Oven

Space-saving aside, there’s nothing better than the nostalgia of cooking a meal (or dessert) over coal in a hefty Lodge Cast Iron Dutch Oven. Lasagna like it’s straight out of the oven? Yup. Ghirardelli brownies after dinner? You bet. Plus, Dutch oven meals are a great way to feed a big crew when camping. ($80)

9) Jetboil Flash Cooking System

For the backpacker on your list, the Jetboil Flash Cooking System is the best. Literally, this handy unit heats water for a hot beverage or meal in minutes. Talk about convenience. It’s even great for car camping when you just want a quick and easy way to get coffee or tea going in the morning. (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…

21 of the best gifts for outdoor lovers

11) 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)

12) FreeFly Apparel Bamboo Sun Shirt

Every outdoor lover who spends extended periods of time outside should have a good sun shirt in their closet. And FreeFly Apparel might just have the coziest option out there. Trust us, we’ve done our homework. Their UPF rated line of sun protection clothing is made from bamboo, a natural versus synthetic fabric that’s also lightweight, quick-drying and will help keep you cool on hot days. Plus, bamboo is naturally resistant to odor and will stay fresh longer. Now that’s a gift that keeps on giving.

13) 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)

Just For Fun Outdoorsy Gift Ideas

21 Cool Gifts for Outdoor Lovers

14) Stingray 3-Person Tree Tent

This hammock/tent hybrid will have you reliving your childhood nostalgia for tree forts. Or heck, if you’re a parent, it could just spare you from having to tackle that overly-ambitious tree house your kids want you to build. Either way, the Stingray Tree Tent is a fun addition to anyone’s backyard or campsite.

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) Bottle Bash

Another camping game we can’t get enough of is Bottle Bash. It’s like a hybrid of frisbee, disc golf, and cornhole all in one. Teams take turns trying to knock a non-breakable “bottle” off of a pole that’s located 20 to 40 feet away (depending on how hard you want to make the game). To win, you have to out throw and out catch your competitor, and let’s just say it’s harder than it looks. ($40)

17) Kinship Cribbage Board

Handcrafted by OARS Idaho guide Sarah Mallory, this go-anywhere cribbage board is made out of premium leather, basswood, and solid brass. Designed with rafters and travelers in mind, this beautiful and compact version of a beloved game is a gift that will be cherished for years to come. ($80)

Gifts for Our Fellow Water Worshippers…

Outdoorsy gift ideas for water lovers

18) NRS ESCAPE INFLATABLE SUP

A stand up paddle board that you can throw on your back and hike with to a remote coastal cove or off-the-beaten path lake? The inflatable Escape SUP from NRS offers up just that, but it’s also built for speed and longer paddle sessions. Just as solid as a rigid board, the Escape can also handle gear for overnight adventures. Pump included. (From $1,245)

19) GOPRO HERO10

You’ll be somebody’s hero if you give them the GoPro Hero10. This waterproof digital action camera is the ultimate toy for anyone who is eager to capture their wildest adventures…you know, like a whitewater rafting trip. And, according to our in-house photographer, the technology on the Hero models just keeps getting better and better. ($499)

20) Pelican GO G40 Case

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)

21) Knot It!

Any outdoor enthusiast, but especially boaters, 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)

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

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Photos: YETI Hopper BlackFlip – YETI; Mpowerd Luci String Lights on the Yampa River – Colleen Miniuk; OARS guide wearing Rheos sunglasses – Cari Morgan; Escape stand up Paddleboard – NRS/J Klatt


An earlier version of this post first appeared in December 2013 and was last rewritten and republished November 2021. 

 

*PLEASE NOTE THAT SOME OF THE LINKS ABOVE ARE AFFILIATE LINKS, AND OARS WILL EARN A SMALL COMMISSION IF YOU DECIDE TO MAKE A PURCHASE AFTER CLICKING THROUGH THE LINK.

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