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Gift Guide For Outdoor Lovers


Holiday Gift Guide

The Art Of Thoughtful Gift Giving

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).

Gifts For Her

Holiday Gift Guide

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! A similar option that I love just as much is this Volcom Parka. I picked this jacket up back in October and have worn it almost every day since. The sherpa fleece lining is just too cozy!

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.

Blundstone Boots: These classic boots will last forever, and they look great too! Looking for something a little warmer for strolling around your favorite mountain town? It doesn’t get much more classic than Sorel. And the Sorel Explorer Joan Boot has been my go-to the last couple of years.

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Backcountry.com 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).

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.

Versatile Backpack: The Haglofs Torsang Backpack is a fantastic day-to-day backpack and perfect gift for the girl or guy on the go. Comes in a great size, with all the organization you need including a protected laptop pocket.  Leather detailing gives it a little elevated touch making it a super versatile option for everything from school, work, to travel and outdoor adventures.

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.

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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

Top Hikes in Washington

Best Lookout Hikes in Washington

Tips For Hiking The Tour Du Mont Blanc

Tops : Patagonia  Fleece Jacket , Patagonia Down  Sweater Vest  ,  Valcom  Parka  ; Bottoms:  The North Face  Winter Warm Tight  ; Shoes:  Danner  Hiker Boot

Tops: Patagonia Fleece Jacket, Patagonia Down Sweater Vest, Valcom Parka; Bottoms: The North Face Winter Warm Tight; Shoes: Danner Hiker Boot

Gifts For The Mountain Girl

Holiday Gift Guide

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, I own 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.

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Wearing: Marmot Montreal  Jacket , and Sorel Caribou  Boots .

Wearing: Marmot Montreal Jacket, and Sorel Caribou Boots.

Osprey Packs Sirrus 24L Backpack: A great daypack for ultralight days on the trail. Just big enough to fit the essentials without weighing you down. Plus it has a supportive hip belt – a must for me.

Icebreaker Base Layer: When you need temperature regulation, oder control and comfort over the long haul, the Icebreaker BodyFit 200 Oasis 1/2-Zip Top is there for you. Whether layered under your ski jacket or worn under your backpack on a multi-day trek in the mountains, Icebreaker baselayers will keep you comfortable. Plus, there commitment to sustainability is something you can feel good supporting.

YETI Rambler Bottle: Stay hydrated and do your part to reduce plastic pollution with an insulated water bottle.

Darn Tough Merino Wool Sock: Who doesn’t like a solid pair of comfy socks? No one! That’s who.

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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!

Gifts For Him

Holiday Gift Guide

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

Patagonia Organic Cotton Henley Shirt: I don’t have any personal experience with this henley, but my brother owns this Patagonia classic, and is a big fan. Like most Patagonia products it’s quality, no frills, and unlike most Patagonia gear it’s sold at a pretty friendly price point too.

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.

Red Wing Chelsea Boot: My brother has been wearing Red Wing boots for years and swears by them. They may take a bit to break in, but once you do, you won’t want to take these classic boots off.

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Patagonia Organic Cotton Quilt Snap-T Fleece Pullover – 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!

Frye Wallet: This no-frills leather wallet will keep his valuables safe and organized for years to come.

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.

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Gifts For The Mountain Man

Holiday Gift Guide

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.

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.

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.

Patagonia Capilene Thermal Hooded Top: I own the women’s version of this top and it’s the best! Super comfortable, warm, and breathable.

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.

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Holiday Gift Guide

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

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.

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.

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.

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For more gift ideas for the mountain man in your life check out my Hiking and Backcountry Camping Gear Guide! 

Jacket similar to  Fjallraven Singi Down Jacket .

Jacket similar to Fjallraven Singi Down Jacket.

Stocking Stuffers!

Holiday Gift Guide Stocking Stuffers

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.

Herschel Supply Case: I use this bag for toiletries when I travel, but it could come in handy for any number of purposes, including holding a few stocking stuffers!

Wireless Headphones: I don’t know about you, but I can’t make it through a workout without music. These little wireless headphones make sure that I always have music when I need it, and they take up virtually no room at all!

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. But I’ve actually started using mine for travel as well! I’m not good at sleeping on planes, and this pillow has changed that. Because 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.

Face Mask: Fight the pandemic and protect your loved ones in style this holiday season with these comfortable face mask.

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Lightweight Pack: This super lightweight backpack folds down into a small packable size. I like to pack it inside my luggage just incase I need an extra daypack.

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.

Icebreaker Quantum Glove: These thin gloves are perfect on their own when you don’t need, or want, anything too bulky. But they also make a great base layer. When I went to Finland last year I also wore them inside my heavier mittens.

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.

Skida Neckwarmer: These versatile pieces can be worn as a neckwarmer, headband, face mask, or even a hat, and the fun, bright prints will keep you stoked all day long! The only thing left to do is choose one.

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Holiday Gift Guide

Gifts For Extra Good Girls & Boys

Holiday Gift Guide

Stand-up Paddleboard

Inflatable Stand-Up Paddleboard: If you follow me on Instagram then you know I’m a big fan of inflatable paddleboards. Not only are they fun, but if you’re a photographer they allow you to get out and shoot perspectives that you just can’t get from land. Plus, because they’re inflatable you can keep one in your trunk just in case!

Kokopelli Rogue-Lite Packraft: I got my packraft a couple of years ago and it’s a game changer. Packrafts unlock a whole new world of possibilities. You can access backcountry camping sites inaccessible by foot. Unmarked places that exist only as abstract shapes on maps. Places with no established road, trail, or path in or out. To read more about one of my favorite packrafting experiences check out my post about Packrafting On Lake Powell.

Garmin InReach Mini – Give your loved ones peace of mind with this GPS unit. MapShare technology tracks your location so you know where you are, and it can share that information in case you need help. Send customized text messages, and the InReach gives you the ability to send and receive SMS and email messages. In case of emergency, the interactive SOS function contacts a 24/7 rescue monitor so you can get help as soon as possible.

DJI Mavic 2 Pro: Having a drone at your disposal is a great way to find new perspectives and add diversity to your photography. They are also really fun! I like the DJI Mavic Pro because it is relatively lightweight, and folds up into a manageable size that can easily fit into my camera bag along with the rest of my gear.

For more gift ideas for the photographer in your life, check out my Photography Gear Guide or The Best Photography Spots at Lake Tahoe, those posts include all the gear that Quin and I use to capture images on our travels.

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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   


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  1. Kim says:


    These suggestions are awesome. As you know our family has a ton of outdoor adventurers spanning 3 generations, so I will definitely be giving this list to Santa!! Thanks also for the detailed descriptions, very helpful!

  2. Kirtan P. says:

    Thanks for sharing, Jess! Your recommendations are always the best. Wishing you peace, love, and joy this holiday season and throughout 2020!

  3. Laura says:

    Such a handy Holiday gift guide with so many amazing ideas! I’m all about quality over quantity too. Great suggestions!

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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!

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