The great outdoors is a wonderful place to spend time. It’s a refreshing change from dust-filled rooms, charmless office space, supply closets, or jail. There are plenty of great things to do outdoors: hiking, rock climbing, fishing, camping, bungee jumping — things that give us muscle fatigue when we picture ourselves trying to do them.
The reason we often hear that the great outdoors is such an exciting place is because of the independence it encourages. When you pitch a tent, scale a mountain, cook eggs over a dying fire or fend off a rattlesnake with a shovel, you are accomplishing things you could never do in civilized life.
You probably have a friend who enjoys a lot of spare time communing with nature. They have a lot of tarp and burlap in their garage. Most of their personal belongings have some kind of strap on them and they wear khakis a lot. They have racks installed on the top of their cars and you have no idea what they’re supposed to hold. A canoe, maybe?
Searching for the perfect gift for these kinds of people can be aggravating for us chair-sitters because they seem to have all the personal resources they need to live outside the box. But we’ve lined up a few gifts for campers, hikers, survivalists, and outdoorsy people that will make their outdoors experience a little easier, give them helpful tools, or come in handy when disaster strikes and their lives are hanging on by a thread.
** Gifts for the Planning Stage of Being Outdoorsy **
Being prepared is the key to outdoor life and you can’t just get a compass and start walking. Well, you could, but you may end up needing a search crew. If your friend isn’t suitably prepared for a few days or weeks or months or years in the wilderness, they may get frantic, confused, alienated, or, even worse, bored. These gifts for outdoorsy people give them a head start in planning where to go, what to do, what to take, and where to have their mail forwarded.
Nomadik Outdoor Gear Subscription Box
Subscription supply boxes are all the rage in outdoor equipment at the moment. For enthusiasts who like to be surprised with things they had no idea they needed, Nomadik’s box offers the thrill of receiving outdoor necessities like insect repellant, tents, hammocks, repair kits, cordage, trail mix, hats, and more.
THiNK OUTSiDE Outdoor Subscription Box for Kids
Teach your young hikers about outdoor preparedness and the all-powerful subscription e-commerce business model while their minds are still moldable. Each monthly box from THiNK OUTSiDE contains a combination of outdoor gear, informational cards, booklets, and activity ideas organized around certain themes, like navigation, star-gazing, and freeing parents from bear traps.
Lucky Tackle Box Subscription for Fishermen
Spoil your favorite angler with a monthly subscription box that contains everything from hard baits, accessories, and terminal tackle to a monthly magazine and “soft plastics.” The box looks like it weighs around 5 pounds, but your fisherman friend will probably tell everyone it was at least 20.
Cloud 9 Living Adventure Experiences
If your friend is one of those go-getting, thrill-seeking outdoor types, they’ll probably need something more than a pup tent and s’mores to make their experience worthwhile. That’s why Cloud 9 offers some amazing adventure packages that include bungee jumping, whitewater rafting, Maui snorkeling, guided fly-fishing, and if you still harbor some long-unresolved grudges against them, bull-riding.
Your Guide to the National Parks
There are 59 national parks in the United States, each one with its unique appeal, spectacular landscapes, stunning vistas, and RV policies. This guidebook outlines all of them in informative and colorful detail, including maps, hiking trails, and nearby lodgings for campers who decide they need cable TV.
** Gifts for Campers and Their Campsite **
A person’s home is their castle. If that’s true, then a person’s campsite is a castle with a gigantic front yard. It’s a palatial estate made of zippers and mosquito nets with a rustic but quaint fireplace. But like any castle, it needs stuff to make it functional. Here are some gift ideas that can help turn your friend’s campsite into a split-level paradise.
Covacure Camping Hammock with Mosquito Net
Time’s up, Mr. Mosquito. This luxurious hammock, effortlessly suspended between two trees, comes with a zip-on net that keeps nature’s most grating and impolite insect from interrupting your post-hike nap. The Covacure Hammock tells the Sandman hello and tells mosquitos to buzz off.
TETON Sports Scout 3400 55-Liter Backpack
This lightweight, high-tech, mega-versatile backpack is customizable to fit both campers and compulsive hoarders of any size or shape. With 3400 cubic inches of space, the TETON Sports Scout fits either all your camping gear or 27½ two-liter bottles of generic grape soda comfortably.
Perfect for night hiking, cave spelunking, confessionals, or making a one-of-a-kind personal style statement at tense board meetings, this LED headlamp comes in four different brightness modes to light your path and give your forehead that certain something extra. It’s also waterproof in case you need an unfair advantage in apple dunking contests.
SOL Strong Night Running Shoe Lights
These super-bright shoe lights go between your shoe’s laces and tongue to give you an automatically lit pathway while walking at night. They’re ideal for those starlit, Whitman-esque strolls in the clean evening air, or for running away from coyotes.
Lifestraw Go Water Filter Bottle
Most portable water bottles don’t have filters. One moment you might be innocently filling one with tap water without a care in the world; the next minute your body could be hosting a microbial bachelor party. That won’t happen with this container. Thanks to the Lifestraw bottle’s activated carbon capsule, you can drink water from almost any source without any of those freeloading bacteria bogarting your intestines.
Randy Sun 100% Waterproof Socks
This footwear’s multi-layer construction includes one layer that resists moisture, a membrane that allows for improved circulation around your foot, an inner layer that provides intense comfort, and a layer that openly taunts and insults water before it spits that annoying fluid out to whence it came. Now that’s what I call socks.
** Gifts for Outdoorsy People When They Miss the Conveniences of Home **
Outdoor life is no picnic (except for the actual picnics). Spending any extended amount of time outdoors can make one yearn for the ease and automatic pleasures that we take for granted in our daily lives. Sure, the stoic majesty of the redwoods is a wonder to behold, but not one of them has a single USB port. When the outdoors gets a little too real and your friend needs to reconnect with their appliances, here are some gift ideas that may help.
FEELLE Solar Power Bank
You’re out in the sun if you’re outdoors anyway, so you might as well pick up some of its energy. The FEELLE solar charger has three panels that soak up natural sunlight and converts it to clean solar energy, which you can then use to recharge your smartphone, tablet, music player, soldering iron, machete, or other devices. If you don’t have the time or the sun’s being difficult, you can power it up with a USB cable. Plus, it conveniently hooks to your backpack so you can charge it on the go.
Wacaco Nanopresso Portable Espresso Maker
Forget that campfire coffee in those dented little steel cups with leftover grounds in the bottom. Next time your friend goes camping, tell them to pack their demitasses and frothing wands because you’re getting them this device that brews the perfect espresso shot on the go. Because nothing says “outdoors ruggedness” like a macchiato.
LuminAID PackLite 2-in-1 Phone Charger Lanterns
They look like illuminated ice cubes for the largest (and therefore deadliest) glass of Long Island Iced Tea ever made, but the LuminAID is actually a combination portable lamp and phone charger, powered by either the sun’s solar energy or USB cables. Hang it in front of your tent to say, “Come on in!” Or use it to charge your smartphone to say, “Leave me alone!”
Outdoor Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker
This amazingly powerful sound speaker is encased in real silicone, which helps make it shockproof, dustproof, and completely waterproof for lakeside lounging with your favorite tunes. For some real fun, take it to a crowded ocean shore and blast the theme from Jaws. You might make off with purses and wallets left behind in the panic. Just trying to help.
Rite in the Rain All-Weather Side-Spiral Notebook
Love taking notes in the great outdoors, but hate the ink smudges on your wet paper? If you use pencils or all-weather pens, this very cool waterproof notebook lets you write down all the thoughts that can’t wait for the monsoon to blow over.
** Gifts for Survivalists When It All Goes Horribly Wrong **
Of course, one must always account for the distinct possibility that society could collapse at any time. Banks will fail, law and order will vanish, every person will have to defend themselves and their families, and pizza deliveries will completely stop. In that situation, your friend will need to be more than an outdoors hobbyist: They’ll need to become an all-in-one superhero forced to walk in a hellscape focused on the principles of survival of the fittest, daily facing the wrenching and often bloody realities of life and death. Here are some gifts for them!
Battlbox Survivalist Gear Subscription Box – The Ultimate Gift for Survivalists!
Battlbox offers four levels of supply boxes in ascending order of panic. The basic tier features field manuals, scissors, and burn-relieving medicine. More advanced levels include sleeping bags, axes, lots and lots of knives, and products in unmarked packages we’re probably better off not asking about.
9-in-1 Emergency Survival Tool
You’re trapped on the crest of a hill as the zombie hordes advance. You have no idea what skills you’ll be called upon to summon up when the zombies finally run out of patience. You need this bat-looking device that contains all the tools you’ll need to survive: a flashlight, a fishing tool, a survival knife, a glass breaker, a fishing hook, a Flintstone, and the first three seasons of The Gilmore Girls on a thumb drive. (Contents may vary.)
KOSIN 100-Piece Survival Kit
Society has disintegrated and it’s every organism for themselves. Looters and hostile androids swarm the sandy wasteland. Lesser beings would panic — but not you, because you’ve got 100 tools at your disposal, including a flashlight, a multi-function bracelet, a first aid kit, and a truly frightening scissor/knife/plier combo device that looks exactly like the robots you’re trying to escape from in the first place.
12-in-1 Survival Kit
Whoever owns this survival kit will instantly become the most feared drifter among the ashes of our toppled civilization. Its wire saw will cut through the most foreboding ropes. Its emergency blanket will comfort and protect you without mercy. Its credit card knife will lacerate would-be cyber-bandits. Its multi-use spoon-fork (I believe the term is “spork”) will tackle any leftover canned items that dare step in its path. And its flashlight will be there because all these survival kits have a flashlight.
Primitive Technology: A Survivalist’s Guide to Building Tools, Shelters, and More in the Wild
YouTube star John Plant wrote the book on how to build your own shelter, weapons, tools, and for some reason pottery, just in case the aliens abduct all the subcontractors in the world. This (really very good) book will help you source all the materials you need to rebuild civilization brick by broken brick. Use it in whatever remote corner of the world you end up in or just build a campsite on your front lawn to boost area property values.
100 Deadly Skills: Survival Edition
Clint Emerson is a retired Navy SEAL who’s written a book about every ability you need to develop for “surviving in the wild and being prepared for every disaster.” It even outlines certain scenarios in which your survival instincts absolutely need to kick in: hostage situations, subway threats, bear attacks, being lost at sea, intense arguments about which version of Van Halen was truly the best, or Walmart on Black Friday.
Man Crates Knife Making Kit
With a stainless-steel, Japanese blade, brass bolsters, a sheath, and other materials, this complete set for building your own cutting implements advertises that it “contains everything needed for hours of knife crafting in the garage.” Because there’s absolutely nothing creepy at all about a guy who spends hours alone in his garage making his own knives.
If you can’t survive after using these gifts for campers, hikers, survivalists, and outdoorsy people, then maybe you need to stay at the Four Seasons. I won’t judge you… in fact, I’ll meet you at the bar.
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