explore

Dedicated to bringing you captivating stories, bucket list destinations, and off the beaten track experiences from near and far. 

welcome to the blog

The Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide For Outdoor Lovers

Gear

The Art Of Giving The Perfect Gift

You may recognize a few items on this years Holiday Gift Guide from last years gift guide. That’s because the best presents 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 person, 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. 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 “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 vera.


Backcountry Discount: To help you check off everyone’s wish list this holiday season, I’ve partnered with Backcountry to offer 15% off your ENTIRE first order! Just use code JESS15 at checkout. Plus get free shipping! (Some exclusions apply).

The Perfect Holiday Gift For Her

Fleece Lined Leggings: Black leggings are my go-to for travel, hiking, and everyday life, but as winter settles in I need something a little warmer. These leggings 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.

Patagonia Dawn Insulated Parka: This jacket is super warm without being too bulky! Great for exploring those colder destinations! Another fun option that I love just as much is the PraNa Kromata Bomber Jacket. It’s super stylish without sacrificing warmth. Plus, I like the removable hoodie!

Patagonia Flannel Shirt: A classic flannel is a life essential. 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 a slightly lighter weight flannel, I picked up the Basin & Range Plaid Flannel Shirt this fall and have been wearing it constantly.

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.

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 Explorer Joan Boot has been my go-to the last couple of years.

Exploring the Sawtooth Mountains near Sun Valley Idaho. Wearing Marmot Montreal Down Coat, Beyond Yoga Leggings, Sorel Winter Carnival Boots,beanie similar to Pendleton Cable Hat.

Click Image To Shop Holiday Gifts For Her

Fjallraven Nordic Heater Hat – There’s nothing quite like a fun hat to get you through those dark could winter days. Every time I put this hat on I just feel happier. Plus, I get endless compliments! 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.

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.

For more 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:

The 10 Essentials For Outdoor Adventures
Cold Weather Camping Hacks
Camping 101

Holiday Gift Guide For The Mountain Girl In Your Life

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 Down Sweater Jacket:  A great layering piece or the perfect amount of insulation for cold weather outings. 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.

For warmer weather hikes, MY FAVORITE HIKING BOOTS ARE the Keen Terradoras, Danner Mountain 600 Hiking Boot, and La Sportiva Trail Running Shoe.

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.

 Click Image To Shop Gift For The Mountain Girl

For more 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!

There’s nothing cozier than a cabin in the snow. Check out these classic PNW Cabins you can rent to plan the perfect holiday getaway!

Holiday Gift Ideas For Men

Patagonia Performance Twill Pant: Comfortable and high quality, these multifunctional pants should last you a long time. Pick from a bunch of neutral 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! 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.

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, and they look good on everyone!

Ugg Slippers: There’s nothing quite like slipping into a cozy pair of mocs. Keep your feet happy this holiday season in these classic slippers.

Peak Design Everyday 20L Camera Backpack: 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 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.

Marine Layer Clothing: There are few brands that make as consistently comfortable clothing as Marine Layer. I’m not sure what they do, but everything I’ve owned from them is super soft. As a result they have been one of my go-to brands when I’m shopping for the men in my life. Below you’ll find the Clayton Pullover and the last pair of joggers you’ll ever need.

 Click Image To Shop The Perfect Gift For Him

Holiday Gift Guide For The Mountain Man

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, 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.

HMG Summit 30L 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 pack is a must 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 great price. 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.

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.

Darn Tough Wool Hiker Sock: Wool socks are clutch during the winter and out on the trail. They are warm, stay dry, and don’t smell. Enough said.

Hydro Flask 32oz Water Bottle: Stay hydrated and do your part to reduce plastic pollution with an insulated water bottle.

NEMO Equipment Tensor Insulated Sleeping Pad: I’ve tried a 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.

MSR PocketRocket: Because it’s a gadget, and it involves fire! But in all seriousness, this little stove is super handy, and it’s my go-to when I’m trying to go ultralight on my backpacking trips.

 Click Image To Shop The Perfect Gift For Mountain Men

Snuggling up at one of the Rolling Huts in the Methow Valley. Featuring Pendleton Yakima Camp Blanket.

Holiday Stocking Stuffers

The best gifts come in small packages! No holiday gift guide would be complete with some fun stocking stuffers. These items may not be big, but they are presents that any outdoor lover will cherish for years to come.

Leatherman Multi-Tool: You can never be too prepared for an outdoor adventure. . . or a zombie apocalypse. Complete your collection of the 10 Essentials 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 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.

Stanley Flask: A flask is the perfect little stocking stuffer. . . plus you can fill it with an extra little present if you want!

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.

Eagle Creek Pack-It Silicone Bottle Set: 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.

Goal Zero Recharger: If ever there was a travel essential, this is it. I take this recharger with me almost everywhere. Its compact size makes it is easy to throw in a bag, plus is comes with charging cords to ensure that you can stay connected when you need to.

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.

Reusable Utensil Set: Anyone that cares about the 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 set can help! Plus, they are great for backpacking too.

Shop Stocking Stuffers For The Outdoor Lover In Your Life

You made it to the end! I hope you found some good gift ideas for you and your loved ones. 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 

Blog Posts With More Gift Ideas!

Fun Ways to Get Through A Washington Winter

Backpacking For Beginners

What’s in my Camera Bag: Photography Gear Guide

Cozy Pacific Northwest Cabins You Can Rent!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

  1. Rhonda Smith says:

    Thank you for compiling a list of your favorites for hiking and winter! What would be i to our favorite experiences to get or give for Christmas or gift for anytime?

    • Jessica Dales says:

      Some of my favorite experiences are staycations or activities around where I live that I haven’t done before. That might be renting a cool cabin in a mountain town, trying a new activity like snowshoeing, or a fun day full of tourist activities that I’ve never done because it’s where I live.

Reader Favs

Learn More >

Hi, I’m Jess, an outdoor enthusiast based in Seattle. I grew up exploring the Pacific Northwest, and early on was infected with the travel bug. I tried to suppress my wanderlust in pursuit of a traditional career path, but after a short stint as a lawyer, I left the confines of my office to get back in touch with my roots. Now, I wander the world taking photos, making memories, and sharing my love for travel with others!

Meet the Writer

see you soon!

Before you go, make sure to subscribe so that you don’t miss out on new blog posts, upcoming events, and other fun travel resources!

Wander with Me