Holiday shopping for friends and family can be stressful. Finding the right gifts that will truly be appreciated can be a challenge. Fortunately, if your friend or family member loves the outdoors, there is a wealth of great gifts to choose from. Here are our recommendations for the best gifts for outdoor lovers in 2022.
Satellite Communicators are a miracle of modern technology. Giving someone one of these is giving them the ability to stay in touch and call for help when they are far away from home. It’s a gift the outdoors lover in your life will appreciate, but also it’s a gift to yourself as it’ll ensure they return home safely.
The Zoleo Satellite Communicator is a small and lightweight 2-way messaging device that really shines when you’re out of cell phone range. The Zoleo automatically uses the lowest-cost network to ensure your text, email, or emergency messages get out without costing you an arm and a leg. When in cell phone range, the Zoleo will use the network of a Bluetooth-connected cell phone to send and receive messages. When off-the-grid, the Zoleo will use a network of satellites to make sure your message is received when your life depends on it.
Note: the Zoleo requires a satellite subscription service that starts at $20.
Portable power stations combine a battery, inverter, and various charging ports to give you power while on the go. They are an awesome way to keep your devices charged while camping or to serve as your off-grid power plant for lights and other electronic equipment needs. Solar panels can be added to keep your power station charged.
ECOFLOW power stations are some of the most respected in the industry. With fast charging, you’ll spend less time waiting and more time using this unit. It has LiFePo4 battery cells for extended life and can deliver 300 watts via its 110V outlets. At only 7.7 lbs and a built-in handle, the ECOFLOW is as portable as it gets while still delivering big power. It also comes with a 5-year warranty that proves it’s built to last.
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Paddleboarding great way to travel waterways while also offering a really good workout. Paddleboards are really big and traditional paddleboards can be heavy and hard to transport. Inflatable paddleboards can be deflated, rolled up, and taken just about anywhere. They typically fit even in a small car removing the need for expensive roof racks.
We really like the DAMA inflatable SUP. It comes with everything you need including a bag, pump, leash and multiple paddle options. It even includes some items you don’t need, but are a pleasant bonus. The faux wood-grain design looks really sharp on the water and in our usage, the DAMA inflatable SUP feels sturdy and tracks well in the water.
The included backpack-style bag allows you to take this SUP to even the most remote waters.
Bluetooth speakers are great – they allow you to take your favorite tunes just about anywhere. But Bluetooth speakers with really good sound and true waterproof durability are the best for serious outdoor use.
Sure, there are less expensive bluetooth speakers on the market, but JBL is known for a long history of quality sound, and this speaker doesn’t disappoint in the sound department. You’ll get loud, dynamic sound with deep base. The cylindrical form factor allows it to be stood up safely on its end or quickly stashed in a cup holder. Battery life is great on the JBL, it’s charged via a usb-c cable, and you can pair multiple Flip 5s for an even bigger sound.
Whether backpacking or camping, its important to have somewhere to sit. Camping chairs come in all shapes and sizes, but packability and weight are important factors to choosing a chair for the outdoor lover in your life.
The CLIQ Camping Chair is a marvel. Stylish and comfy, it al
so can be packed away to the size of a water bottle. It’s extremely easy to pack and unpack on the go. Throw it in a backpack and you may even forget it’s in there. In our time with the CLIQ chair, we’ve found all sorts of uses for it – sports games, weekends at the lake, and a quick extra backyard chair for guests. This chair is the most versatile and practical camping chair we’ve seen. It’s worth the hype and the price.
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A video projector isn’t vital to exploring the outdoors, but if you’ve got one that’s portable enough to bring along, it’s can be pretty awesome to watch your favorite movies projected on the side of your tent. The key to choosing a projector for use in the outdoors is to find one that has a built-in battery so it can be charged beforehand and ready to go.
The AAXA Pico Projector is a tiny workhorse of a projector that’s perfect for camping. Its built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery gives you about 80 minutes of viewing time which can be extended using a small portable power bank or power station. It has built-in speakers for sound on board and has a 720p native resolution. The AAXA accepts video input via mini-HDMI or composite video connections. It also has a Micro SD port to allow you to play your favorite video with minimal effort outdoors. Rated at only 25 lumens, it’s not the brightest projector you’ll find, but it’s plenty bright to light up your campground for the whole family to enjoy.
Daypacks make carrying all the necessities possible while hiking. Snacks, water, a first aid kit, sunscreen, & bug repellent are all mainstays of the daypack. A good daypack is built to be practical, durable, and comfortable.
Osprey builds some top-notch backpacks and the Daylite Daypack is one of them. This pack is smaller than a typical backpack, but with its various pockets, it’s perfectly sized for multi-hour adventure. Available in 16 different colors, you’ll be able to find a Daylit Daypack that fits your style. This pack has 15L of storage, dual, side water bottle pockets, and is lightweight.
Note: Daypacks are meant to be smaller packs that make short treks easier and more comfortable.
Having the right tools when you’re outdoors can make or break a trip. Even the simplest set of tools can be heavy and too unwieldy to want to carry off-the-grid. Multitools are pocketknives or steroids – having multiple useful tools that fold up into a single small device. Since you never what tools you’ll need when off the beaten path, a good multitool will equip you with plenty of options to appropriately tackle the task.
LEATHERMAN invented the first multitool back in 1983. Their multitools are still the best on the market. The wingman has 14 tools to handle just about anything. All tools can be opened with only one hand to allow for quick and effortless use. At only 3.8 inches long, the Wingman can be slipped into your pocket so you always have the tools you need on hand. With a 25-year warranty, the Wingman should last a lifetime.
Using public land often requires entrance or overnight fees. If the outdoor lover in your life spends a lot of time in National or State Parks, an annual pass is a great gift idea.
US National Parks are some of our most beautiful and treasured lands. An annual pass saves you from having to pay between $10-$35 each time you visit a national park while giving you the incentive to get to more of them during the year. The “America the Beautiful” Annual National Parks Pass is valid for 12 months and provides access to more than 2,000 recreation areas managed by six Federal agencies, with up to 100% of the proceeds being used to improve and enhance visitor recreation services.
LED lanterns are completely different devices than the kerosene lanterns your parents used. Using small, energy-efficient LED bulbs, LED lanterns illuminate your outdoor space using a built-in rechargeable battery that some models also use as a power bank to charge devices.
The AlpenGlow 250 gives off up to 250 lumens of light and has 8 different lighting modes. Choose cool or warm white light or add a little color to your campsite with the AlpenGlow 250’s color modes. This lantern brings some additional fun with its internal accelerometer. Shake it and it unlocks additional modes – single side light, candle flicker, 1-color cycling, and multicolor party. It has a 3200 mAh rechargeable battery that lasts for 5 hours on high or 200 hours on low. It also has a standard USB output for charging phones or tablets.
Family Radio Service (FRS) radios came on the scene in the mid-’90s and quickly became ubiquitous on ski slopes nationwide. Initially designed for use by families, FRS radios provide a simple way for small groups to communicate outdoors. FRS radios can be used to communicate across campsites, hikes, and any outdoor activity where separation of the group occurs. At Under $100 for a set of 2, FRS radios are a great gift that can come in handy in many different ways when exploring the outdoors.
Motorola Talkabout FRS radios are full-featured with 22 channels and 121 privacy codes, equalling 2,662 channel combinations to choose from. Use the included rechargeable batteries for up to 10 hours of use or use 3AA batteries for up to 29 hours. The T260 has 11 weather channels to stay updated with real-time weather conditions. It also has a scan feature to discover which channels are currently in use. The clean profile and white/grey design of these radios make them stylish and fun to use. These radios can save you time, hassle, and possibly your life when you’re outside of cell service range and need to communicate with friends and family nearby.
Exploring the outdoors usually involves some sacrifices, but you don’t have to give up a great cup of coffee while out on the trail. There are a number of convenient options to make that perfect cup of coffee while outdoors.
Great coffee can be made with a small, uber-packable device and the AeroPress Go is proof. The Aeropress Go makes 1-3 cups of coffee, espresso, or cold brew in just a minute. The size of an aluminum can, the Aeropress unpacks to hold coffee grounds and hot water over its built-in mug. The AeroPress Go includes 350 microfilters which help filter the grit out of your freshly brewed coffee. Considering its size, the quality of the coffee it produces, and its reasonable price, the AeroPress Go is the perfect gift for outdoors lovers who also love coffee.
It helps to have a cup, mug, or some sort of drinking device when camping. With little space for an assortment of cups and an interest in minimizing trash, having your own cup is a good idea. An insulated cup will keep cold drinks cold and hot beverages hot for longer.
We’re a bit biased on this one. Our sister company, Outward Goods, offers an excellent insulated cup that works really well for camping. While it’s technically a wine tumbler, its insulated sides make it great for both hot and cold beverages. The 12oz Insulated Wine Tumbler is available in 3 colors: black, white, and stainless and features the Outward logo.
When far from home, having access to a clean source of water can be the difference between life and death. Having the ability to filter contaminants, bacteria, and sediment from available water sources can make otherwise undrinkable water safe to drink. If you have friends or family that spend a decent amount of time away from civilization, you should consider getting them a portable water filter.
The LifeStraw Personal Water Filter is a small device that removes bacteria, parasites, and microplastics from water. Its microfiltration membrane removes 99.99999% of waterborne bacteria and 99.999% of waterborne parasites. This ultralight and portable water filter can be used for backup hydration, emergency, or on-the-go needs. Its filter will provide 1000 gallons of clean and safe drinking water during its lifetime. The carrying case protects your LifeStraw making it easier to pack and stow without worrying about it being damaged. As an added bonus, for every LifeStraw purchased, LifeStraw provides a school child in need with safe drinking water for an entire school year.
Phones and tablets have become important tools while out on the trail or at the campsite. From playing music to wayfinding with GPS, phones play a significant role in keeping us both entertained and safe while exploring the wild. To use these tools, a phone has to be recharged. Using the power of the sun, a solar phone charger is a great way to keep your phone charged and maybe even have some power left over for that Bluetooth speaker.
Most of us are familiar with battery banks – the phone-sized (or even smaller) battery devices that we can plug our phones into when we’re low on battery, but not near an outlet. Solar phone chargers are simply battery banks with a small solar panel attached – allowing the battery bank to be charged when left out in the sunshine. The 42800mAh Solar Power Bank isn’t a name-brand device, but with more than 4,800 Amazon reviews and an average 4.5-star rating, it seems to be a great little device for outdoor enthusiasts. The device has an IP67 waterproof rating and claims to be dust-proof – helping to make sure it lasts many trips. The small solar panel and large battery in this device mean that it won’t charge very fast using solar, but in an emergency, being able to generate power to charge a communication device is pretty key.
A tablet or an e-reader may not seem high on the list for outdoors lovers, but the ability to carry a whole collection of books, maps, and travel documents on a single device is pretty awesome. We even use our tablet to hold the pdf manuals of all of our outdoor equipment in case we need to reference them.
The Kindle Fire 7 is a small-format, inexpensive tablet that can be carried on your outdoor adventures without worrying about damaging an expensive device. Its 16GB of internal storage is plenty to store a number of your favorite ebooks, audiobooks, music, and pdfs. Its “larger-than-a-phone” screen makes reading much more pleasurable and when using it for music or audiobooks, it frees up your phone for other, more important tasks. Think of the Kindle Fire 7 as a cheap storehouse for any media and reference materials you want to bring along on your next trip, but don’t have the room for. On ours, for example, we have knot-tying and insect identification books along with pdf maps and details of our areas of exploration.
This holiday season, get the outdoors lover in your life something that will help them enjoy the outdoors even more. Any of the above items should make your outdoor enthusiast happy and grateful for the thoughtfulness of your gift.
Did we miss a gift that we should have included? Let us know by leaving a comment below.