The Ultimate 2021 Holiday Camping & Hiking Gift Guide
Not sure what to get your loved ones this holiday season? Here's a list of the perfect presents for the camping and hiking enthusiast in your life.
With the holidays approaching, it’s time to buckle down and start brainstorming gift ideas! And for an outdoor adventurer, there are tons of great options. As a Curated Camping and Hiking Expert, my friends and family are constantly gifting me items that are geared towards the outdoors.
Below is a list of the best outdoor gifts I’ve received over the years, from stocking stuffers and “little somethings” to larger, “big-ticket item” group gifts. Whether you’re giving a gift to an avid car-camping family, a seasoned hiker and peak-bagger, a first-time backpacker, or even a skier, mountain biker, or just someone who loves to spend time outside, there’s something for every outdoor enthusiast on this list!
Extendable Roasting Sticks
Extendable roasting sticks, such as the Camp Chef Extendable Roasting Sticks, are the perfect stocking stuffer or Secret Santa gift! Whether it’s a gift for the occasional car-camping family or for the seasoned backpacker, it will be sure to put a smile on their face! Roast marshmallows and hot dogs (and any other foods you want to experiment with!) over the open fire without having to worry about it falling off or burning your hand. Never spend time searching high and low for the perfect marshmallow stick again!
Packable Dog Bowl
A folding dog bowl, such as the Ruffwear Great Basin Bowl, is the perfect little something for the dog lover in your family! Packable and lightweight, you can easily bring this bowl hiking, camping, or even to the park or an outdoor cafe. Never rely on a natural water source that may be dried up or have algae in it. With a packable bowl, you can keep your pup hydrated and fed, wherever you go!
Square Pie Iron
Give the gift of pudgy pies! The perfect tool to add to the camp kitchen is a square cast iron, such as the Rome Square Pie Iron. Make classic pudgy pies (traditionally made with white bread, strawberry pie filling, and butter), or use these irons to make your own creative concoctions (a delicious alternative I’ve tried out is cinnamon bread filled with peanut butter and banana)! A fun way to cook over the open fire that the whole family will enjoy.
A headlamp, such as the Black Diamond Spot 350 Headlamp, is an essential item for anybody who spends time outside, making it a great gift. No hiker, backpacker, camper, backcountry skier, or trail runner should be without one. Use it on a sunrise trail run, in case of emergency on a long day hike, or to light the way between the campfire and tent on a moonless night. Pair it with a compass such as the Suunto MCB B Compass and a set of maps of nearby wilderness areas to make a great gift package for any adventurer!
Portable French Press
For the outdoor adventurer who is also a coffee lover, give the gift of french press coffee— anywhere, anytime! As someone who looks forward to my coffee every morning, settling for instant coffee while I was camping was just not cutting it. An epic sunrise, a beautiful landscape, and complete solitude deserve an equally amazing cup of coffee. With a lightweight, portable french press, such as the GSI Outdoors Java Press, delicious coffee can be enjoyed anywhere, whether it’s on an Appalachian Trail thru-hike, a climbing trip in the Utah desert, or a sunrise summit expedition! Available in multiple sizes, this is the ultimate luxury item to have with you on any outdoor adventure!
After busting your butt to reach the summit of a challenging peak, there’s nothing like a cold beer and a hardy snack to celebrate the accomplishment and fuel you for the hike down. A cooler bag such as the YETI Daytrip Lunch Bag or the YETI Daytrip Lunch Box is the perfect size to keep a couple of drinks, sandwiches, and snacks cold, even on a hot summer day. Easily stash it in your day pack and never worry about having to force down a warm drink or melted chocolate bar again! And what makes this gift even more perfect, is that it can also double as an everyday lunch bag!
Give the gift of relaxation! A hammock such as the ENO Sub6 1-Person Hammock paired with the ENO Helios Hammock Suspension System makes anywhere a comfy spot to rest and relax! With super lightweight (less than one pound!) and packable options, a hammock can easily be thrown in your day bag or backpack. Rest with your feet up after a long day of hiking, bring it to the park with a book on a sunny day, or even hang it in the backyard. A hammock can even be used in lieu of a tent for an ultralight shelter option on a multi-night backpacking trip or thru-hike!
Hiking Pack…for Your Pup!
Who says humans should do all the work!? With a dog pack such as the Ruffwear Approach Pack, you can share the load! Perfect for day hikes and overnight trips into the backcountry, your pup can carry his food, poop bags, foldable dog bowl (see above!), and even a few items for his best human friend! The perfect gift for the outdoor enthusiast who loves to take their best bud along on their adventures.
Have you ever packed all your food and drinks for a weekend of car camping, only to realize that after one night, all your ice melted and your meat thawed out? I have, and having to run to the nearest town to restock ice is not an ideal way to spend the morning! Your cooler is your refrigerator, so a reliable one such as the YETI Tundra 45 Cooler is an absolute essential for frequent car campers, hunters, and anglers! With thick insulation and bear-proof durability, take this cooler anywhere in any conditions, and know that your perishable food will stay cold for days. Available in a variety of sizes, colors, and with accessories such as the YETI Ice Pack and YETI Tundra Divider, tailor this gift to the car-camper, hunter, angler, or backyard barbequer in your life!
After a long day of hiking, nothing beats sitting around the campfire with a hearty meal sharing memories from the day’s adventure. But a rock or stump does not make for a comfy seat, and when the sun goes down, the ground gets cold. A lightweight, packable backpacking chair such as the Helinox Chair Zero Camp Chair is the perfect gift to give to anyone who ventures into the backcountry. Weighing less than a pound and packing to the size of a water bottle, I pack this chair in the external side pockets of my backpacking pack, and voila, I have a comfortable spot to eat lunch and snacks along the hike and rest and relax at the end of the day. And with an easy setup and a durable build, it can be used for car camping, picnics, barbeques, and the beach!
Backyard Fire Pit
My favorite part of camping is sitting around the campfire. Nothing beats feeling the warmth from the flames, making s’mores, and listening to the crackling of the embers amongst friends and family. With a fire pit such as the Solo Stove Ranger Fire Pit, you don’t have to plan a camping trip to enjoy the campfire, you can safely have one right in your backyard, patio, or even your deck! Pair it with extendable roasting marshmallow sticks (see above!) to make the perfect gift for someone who loves to entertain!
If you're still unsure what to gift your loved one or if they like to pick out their own presents, a Curated gift card might be the best move! Along with the gift card, they get free Expert help for personalized recommendations. If you'd like to get free advice and gift suggestions, reach out to a Camping & Hiking Expert—we'd be happy to help you find the perfect gift.