The Art Of Giving The Perfect Gift
You may recognize a few items on this years Holiday Gift Guide for outdoor enthusiasts from last year’s gift guide. That’s because the best presents and hiking-related gifts last longer than one season.
Like most things in life, when it comes to giving, I’m a firm believer in quality over quantity. Over the years, I’ve found I derive the most joy from those special presents that last season after season, and serve as a special little reminder of the person that gave the gift to me.
Of course, if the gift helps me get outside and make new memories with that outdoorsy friend, it’s even better! After all, experiences are the best gifts of all.
Investing in quality products is also a great way to minimize your impact on the environment, and practice sustainability, not only over the holidays, but in your day to day life. Just think about it, if you invest in gifts that last you or someone else a long time, it reduces the amount of stuff you have to purchase in the future, which in turn reduces your impact.
This Holiday Gift Guide is made up of products that I love, unique gift ideas for outdoorsy women and men and the best outdoor gifts that last. I hope that you and your loved ones will enjoy them as well – now and well into the future!
I’ve divided my gift guide into gifts for “her” and gifts for “him” based on sizing and colors, but I would argue that almost all gear and apparel is unisex. So don’t let the category I happened to place an item in discourage you! Many of the items that are listed as women’s gifts come in men’s versions/sizing and vice versa.
The Perfect Holiday Gift For Her
Fleece Lined Leggings: Leggings are my go-to for travel, winter hikes, and everyday life, but as winter settles in I need something a little warmer. These Tech Fleece Legging from Backcountry are a great option. They do run a little small, so if you’re in-between sizes you might want to round up.
The North Face Winter Warm Tight is another great option that I wear all the time during colder weather. The North Face Leggings fit true to size.
And then there’s Athleta’s Altitude Legging, which I feel are significantly thicker than the first two. So if you’re looking for something that actually feels like fleece on the inside, these might be the perfect present for you!
Patagonia Flannel Shirt: A classic flannel is a life essential and makes the perfect outdoor gift. Dress it up, or dress it down, it never goes out of style.
I own a couple of these flannel shirts from Patagonia. They are made from a nice heavy material perfect for cold winter days, or summer evenings around the campfire. For the ultimate luxury there simply is no shirt more comfortable than Faherty’s Legend Sweater Shirt – but be warned it’s on the pricey side so you’ll need to weight up the extra cost.
Blundstone Boots: These classic boots will last forever, and they look great too! In fact, I love these boots so much, that I own two pairs: The Classic 550 Chelsea Boot and The Blundstone Original Lace-Up Boot. A great pair of boots is an investment but whether they’re for an outdoor-loving friend or a family member, they’re a gift that will last the miles!
Looking for something a little warmer for strolling around your favorite mountain town? It doesn’t get much more comfy than Sorel. And the Sorel Joan of Arctic Boots have been my go-to the last couple of years for strenuous hikes and cooler weather climates.
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Fjallraven Nordic Heater Hat – There’s nothing quite like a fun hat to get you through those dark cold winter days and this is one of the more affordable practical gifts for an adventurous woman or man in your life.
Every time I put this hat on I just feel happier. The best part is, I get endless compliments too! And if that doesn’t brighten your day, I don’t know what will.
Sunski Sunglasses: Sunskies are comfortable, fun, and relatively inexpensive… so you don’t have to beat yourself up if you misplace a pair – which I’m extremely good at. A solid pair of sunglasses is the perfect outdoor gift for the nature lovers and the outdoor enthusiast in your life.
Pendleton Oversized Towel: These oversized towels are so plush and beautiful. They look as good in the house, as they do on the beach, or in photos. Plus there are sooo many different patterns you’re sure to find the perfect fit for that special person.
I actually think that the Pendleton towel is more practical and useful than the Pendleton blankets.
For more great gift ideas for the wanderer in your life check out these blog posts! I’ve included some of my favorite hiking, lifestyle, and road trip items in them:
Holiday Gift Guide For The Mountain Girl In Your Life
Whether you’re shopping for an outdoorsy girlfriend, outdoorsy moms, another outdoor woman in your family or looking for gifts to encourage an outdoor girl to spend more time outside, these are great outdoor gifts for her this Christmas or birthday.
Marmot Montreal Down Coat: A great technical, yet fashionable jacket for those extra cold days on the mountain and around town.
Pom Beanie: Tis the season for cute beanies. The perfect accessory to any outfit on and off the mountain.
Patagonia Fitz Roy Hooded Down Jacket: A great layering piece or the perfect amount of insulation for cold weather outings and outdoor activities. Not to mention the weight to warmth ratio is one of the best that I’ve experienced. Other great down jacket options include Arc’teryx Cerium LT Hooded Down Jacket and the Rab Microlight Alpine Down Jacket.
Snow Boots: This winter, stop using your favorite summer hiking boots as your snow boots. Instead, swap them for something that’s sure to keep your feet toasty warm while you’re out making snow angels in the mountains.
My go-to snow boots are the Oboz Bridger 7in Insulated B-Dry Boot or the The North Face Shellista II Mid Boot. And I really like the Danner Arctic 600 Side-Zip 7″ Boots as a cold weather hiking boot for chilly outdoor adventures.
MICROspikes Traction System: One of the most useful item of winter gear that I own – and not just for hiking!
When snow turns to ice and everything from the sidewalk to mountain trails ice up these will literally keep you on your feet. They come in a wide range of sizes for men and women and easily slip over whatever shoes you happen to be wearing. I highly recommend if you’re looking for a practical hiking gift, these are one of the best outdoorsy gifts you can give!
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For more outdoorsy gift ideas and a more comprehensive list of outdoor gear, including the 10 essentials, for the mountain girl in your life check out my Complete Hiking & Backcountry Camping Gear Guide!
Holiday Gift Ideas For Men
Patagonia Performance Twill Pant: Comfortable and high quality, these multifunctional pants should last you a long time making them one of the best gift ideas for a sustainable purchase. Pick from a variety of colors!
Fjallraven Flannel Shirt: Admittedly, this is another item that falls more under the “things I like to see guys wear” category. But there are worse reasons to buy something for a Christmas gift! Plus, Fjallraven makes some of my favorite outdoor gear, so I trust their products.
Sorel Madison Moc Boot: My brother has been wearing a version of these boots for years. He loves that he can dress them up or down and they go with almost anything. Plus, they are waterproof which keeps his feet dry during Washington’s wet winters.
Patagonia Micro D Fleece – I own the women’s version of this jacket and it is so darn comfy. I wear it like a sweatshirt in and out of the house.
The Garmin inReach Mini is a compact satellite communicator for outdoor enthusiasts and is one of the most useful gift ideas on this list for the avid hiker in your life.
It provides two-way messaging, location tracking, and emergency SOS capabilities via the Iridium satellite network.
The device pairs with smartphones for additional features and is rugged for use in challenging outdoor conditions. It’s one of the best hiking gifts for anyone who values peace of mind whether it’s for adventurous women on a solo hike or for a group going on a multi-day mountain trip..
Sunski Headland Sunglasses: Sunskies are comfortable, fun, and relatively inexpensive… so you don’t have to beat yourself up if you misplace a pair – which unfortunately happens to me a lot. Styles are unisex, they offer sun protection and they look good on everyone!
One of the best camera bags I’ve come across – and all around great brand. My favorite thing about it is that it’s perfect for travel.
It will fit a small kit, as well as all your other travel essentials – music, computer, toiletries, a small first aid kit etc. And it’s unisex, so it would make a great gift for the female travel photographer too.I’ve had mine for 3 years now, and it goes on basically every trip with me as my carry-on. The 30L is a great option too, if you tend to travel around with a lot of gear.
Vuori Clothing: There are few brands that make as consistently comfortable clothing as Vuori. I’m not sure what they do, but everything I’ve owned from them is super soft.
And to be honest, almost all of my athleisure are Vuori too at this point. So don’t sleep on the women’s clothing my dudes!
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Holiday Gift Guide For The Mountain Man
Garmin inReach Mini 2: The Garmin inReach Mini is a compact satellite communicator for outdoor enthusiasts. It provides two-way messaging, location tracking, and emergency SOS capabilities via the Iridium satellite network. The device pairs with smartphones for additional features and is rugged for use in challenging outdoor conditions. It’s an essential for anyone who values peace of mind.
Rab Kinetic Plus 2 Jacket: I’ve owned this jacket for years and it is simply one of the most versatile and revolutionary pieces of outdoor gear I have. A soft shell that stands up to conditions like a hard shell. I like it so much I got it for Quin a couple years ago for Christmas and now he’s a convert too.
Smartwool Merino 250 Baselayer 1/4-Zip: I own the women’s version of this top (in multiple colors) and it’s the best! Super comfortable, warm, and breathable. Plus, merino wool is an awesome sustainable fabric.
Arc’teryx Hooded Down Jacket: A solid down jacket is one of the most useful pieces of gear or clothing that you could give someone. The weight to warmth ratio can’t be beat. Plus, they are just as useful wandering around town on chilly days as they are in the mountains.
My persona favorite down Jacket, the Patagonia Fitz Roy, also comes in a men’s verson!
HMG Backpack: Hyperlight Mountain Gear makes some of the best ultralight packs around. I love that the roll top allows you to adjust the volume of the pack to your needs. This unisex day pack is a great hiking gift for anyone on your list that is trying to lighten their load.
Carhartt Beanie: Okay, so it turns out that we don’t actually lose 40 percent of our body heat through our head. But that doesn’t mean a warm beanie doesn’t make for an awesome gift! So many colors – and the great price is the best thing! Go wild.
ExOfficio Give-N-Go 2.0 Boxer : Every guy needs em! Might as well get some that are designed to keep up with his active lifestyle. I bought a pair of these for Quin a couple years ago and they quickly became his favorite.
When you live in a van quality over quantity is the name of the game and ExOfficio Boxers make it easy to stay fresh on the road, trail, or wherever life takes you.
One of the most useful items of winter gear that I own – and not just for hiking! When snow turns to ice and everything from the sidewalk to mountain trails ice up these will literally keep you on your feet.
They come in a wide range of sizes for men and women and easily slip over whatever shoes you happen to be wearing. Easy access and the perfect option for outdoor gift ideas that they probably don’t own already!
Darn Tough Wool Hiker Sock: Wool socks are clutch during the winter and out on the trail. These tough socks are warm, stay dry, and don’t smell. Enough said.
Hydro Flask 32oz Water Bottle: Water bottles are an essential part of any outdoorsy person’s gear. Stay hydrated and do your part to reduce plastic pollution with a stainless steel insulated water bottle.
NEMO Equipment Tensor Insulated Sleeping Pad: I’ve tried quite a few sleeping pads over the years and this one is my favorite. Ultra-light, rolls down to nothing, and comfortable enough for a side sleeper like myself. A sleeping pad is a great extra layer of insulation as well as a warm sleeping bag too.
MSR PocketRocket: Because it’s a gadget, and it involves fire! But in all seriousness, this little stove is a great addition to camping trips, super handy and easy to use, and it’s my go-to when I’m trying to go ultralight on my backpacking trips.
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Holiday Stocking Stuffers
The best gifts come in small packages! No holiday gift guide would be complete with some fun stocking stuffers for outdoor enthusiasts. These items may not be big, but they are presents that any outdoor lover will cherish for years to come on their next outdoor activity.
Leatherman Multi-Tool: You can never be too prepared for an outdoor adventure. . . or a zombie apocalypse. Give the perfect hiking gift to your favorite hiker with the Leatherman Multi-Tool. This 15-tooled combo is ready to help you cut, saw, and screw-drive your way through any obstacle.
Petzl Headlamp: Don’t get left in the dark! A solid headlamp is essential for hiking trails and backpacking, but I also store one in the house and in my car, and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been glad that I do!
Inflatable Travel Pillow: The inflatable camping pillow is a sleep quality game changer for camping. I also use mine for travel! I’m not good at sleeping on planes, and this pillow has changed that. Plus, it deflates down to the size of my fist, it easily fits into any carry-on – what could be a better gift?!
Flask: Flasks are great stocking stuffers. . . plus you can fill it with an extra little present if you want! Maybe a gift card or national parks annual pass…
Fjallraven Ulvo Hip Pack: Whether you are walking the dog or heading to a festival this handy dandy hip pack allows you to securely (and fashionably) carry your essentials.
These convenient bottles are perfect for shampoo, lotion, conditioner, or any of your favorite liquid toiletries. The convenient zippered one quart travel sack allows you to pass through TSA checkpoints with ease. But more importantly, they will help you start eliminate single use plastic from your life and make travel more sustainable.
BioLight Power Bank: If ever there was a travel essential, this is it. I take this battery pack with me almost everywhere. Its compact size makes it is easy to throw in a bag, plus it comes with charging cords to ensure that you can stay connected when you need to.
This is the perfect outdoorsy gift for him or her to use on their next camping trip, road trips or long hikes.
Solar Charged Light: I have a couple of these and I really love the soft light they give off. A lot of camp lights can be pretty harsh, but these lamps really set the mood. Plus they are solar powered! Just attach it to your pack during the day. And Boom. . . light all night.
Anyone that cares about the great outdoors is likely interested in a gift that will help them live and travel more sustainably.
Single use plastics are a huge threat to our environment and this super lightweight spork can help! Plus, it’s really the only utensil you need for backpacking. And yes, for backpacking in particular you definitely want the long one!
Shop Stocking Stuffers For The Outdoor Lover In Your Life
You made it to the end of my complete guide to gifts for outdoor lovers! I hope you found some good outdoor gift ideas for her, for him and maybe even for you! I’d love to hear what’s on your wish list this year in the comments!
Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links, and I may earn a small commission on any purchase made – at no additional cost to you. As always, all ideas and opinions expressed in this post are entirely my own. I appreciate your support!
Happy Holidays!! X0 Jess
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