Looking for the perfect camping gift for your outdoorsy friend or family member? Here are all sorts of ideas for what to give, from experiences to gear to backcountry luxuries. Read on to get all the camping gift ideas!
National Parks Pass
Perhaps the best camping gift is a National Parks Pass! Sold through camping retailer REI, the annual America the Beautiful Pass covers park admission fees for the pass holder and their carload. The pass is accepted at more than 2,000 federal recreation sites across the country, including all US national parks.
Pocket knives are a classic camper’s gift. They’re abundantly useful, and its nice to have more than one (especially if you’re not trekking for miles). Some are best for cutting tough materials while others are great for backwoods cooking. Here are a variety of camp knives:
- Benchmade 15031-2 North Fork Knife
- All Purpose Single Blade Utility Knife
- BareBones Folding Culinary Pocket Knife
- Swiss Army Huntsman Classic Camping Knife
Campfire Roasting Sticks
If your camper would rather have high-quality metal roasting sticks than whittle their own in the woods, here are two great options for open-fire cooking:
Mini Camping Table
Horizontal table space is generally at a premium when you’re camping. These mini camping tables keep important goods up off the ground and on a clean, reliable surface:
Wooden Cutting Board
A wooden camp cutting board makes a great camping gift as its the kind of thing campers don’t often buy for themselves. Here are three gift-quality camp cutting boards:
- Snow Peak Folding Cutting Board Set
- Maple & Steel Cutting Board
- nCamp Prep Surface Bamboo Cutting Board With Stand
Enamel cups are handy for hot cocoa (and for those required Instagram-worthy photos). Here are some classic enamelware cups for campers:
- Slate Grey Enamelware Cups from BareBones
- Pioneer Enamel Cups by GSI Outdoors
- Personalized White Enamel Mountain Mugs
Wool blankets are another Insta-worthy gift for camping folks. Go for a traditional wool pendleton camp blanket or get a waterproofed version for protecting from wet ground. Here are two of the best:
A felling axe is perfect for campers who like cutting down trees and lopping off branches. These are big axes usually kept in the truck, as they’re too heavy for carrying too far:
A splitting axe is a medium-sized axe designed for splitting logs into firewood. There are several types of splitting axes (as well as several handle materials). Here are some great splitting axes for camping:
- Log Super Splitter Axe with Fiberglass Handle
- Classic Pulaski Wood Splitting Axe, by BareBones
- Fiskars Composite Splitting Axe
Hatchets are small, all-purpose axes used for making kindling or other light back-country woodsmen jobs. They’re lighter than full-size axes, making them much easier to carry to walk-in campsites.
There are some really fabulous cookbooks for campers! Whether your loved one is an avid backcountry trekker or weekend car camper, here are four great camping cookbooks to give:
- The New Camp Cookbook: Gourmet Grub for Campers, Road Trippers, and Adventurers Hardcover, by Linda Ly
- A Taste of Cowboy: Ranch Recipes and Tales from the Trail, by Kent & Shannon Rollins
- The Camp Dutch Oven Cookbook: Easy 5-Ingredient Recipes to Eat Well in the Great Outdoors Paperback, by Robin Donovan
- The Easy Camp Cookbook: 100 Recipes For Your Car Camping and Backcountry Adventures, by Amelia Mayer
Outdoor Survival Kit
Outdoor survival kits are a thoughtful camping gift for a loved one who may be far from town or out of cell service. While these kits are limited in what they contain, they can certainly help with the smaller issues that arise when you’re camping.
- SOL Traverse Survival Kit
- Coleman Personal Survival First-Aid Tin
- Adventure Medical Kits First-Aid 0.5 Survival Tin
Coolers are becoming way more “cool” lately! Here are three very trendy coolers that would make coveted camping gifts:
Multi-Tools have long been sought-after by campers due to their versatility and relatively light weight. Leatherman multi-tools are perhaps the most popular, but there are other tools available. Here are three great options for campers:
- Leatherman Squirt PS4 Lightweight Multi-Tool
- Leatherman Wave Plus Multi-Tool
- 5 Blade Multi-Tool Pocket Knife
It’s no fun to take your kitchen frying pan out to the woods with you! These camping skillets range from classic heavy cast iron to lightweight non-stick portable skillets. This is another gift item they just might not buy for themselves (but will certainly enjoy!):
- Lodge Cast Iron Skillet
- GSI Outdoors Bugaboo Frypan
- Cast Iron Flat Pan (Skillet Griddle)
- Sea to Summit Alpha Pan
Fire Pit Grate
A camp grill, or fire pit grate, turns an open camp fire into a wood-fire cooking grill. You can grill on the surface directly or use the grate to hold a camping skillet or cast iron oven. Here are three different styles of fire pit grate camping grills:
Where’s the bottle opener? ….said someone at every group camping trip ever. Fortunately, there are bottle openers for the side of coolers, lightweight multi-tools that include bottle openers, and good old-fashioned plain lever-style bottle openers. Here are some nice gift picks:
- YETI MOLLE Bottle Opener
- Nite Ize DoohicKey ClipKey Tool
- Swix Bottle Opener
- Outdoor Element Fire-Starting, Bottle-Opening Carabiner
Portable Fire Pit
Portable fire pits are nice for wilderness spots that don’t have designated, built-in fire pits. There are heavy steel cooking fire pits for drive-in campsites as well as lightweight backpacking fires. You’ll be able to have a nice camp fire without leaving a mark on the ground!
- Steel Fire Pit With Legs & Handles
- Snow Peak Lightweight Portable Takibi Fire & Grill
- Cowboy Steel Fire Pit Grill
Fire Starters include lighting devices like windproof lighters and steel/ferro striker rods. To help get a campfire going, you can also use “fire starter” tinders, which are typically made with natural byproducts from forestry or agricultural crops. Here are some fire starting gear items that are totally gift-able:
- Wolf and Grizzly Striker Fire Set
- Zippo Windproof Lighter
- UCO Sweetfire Fire Starter Tinder
- Lightning Nugget Firestarters
Portable Phone Charger
Phone chargers are great camping gifts, especially for those who like to post photos to social media, or simply take off-grid photos and videos with their device. Some chargers are solar powered while others act as battery banks (typically providing 2-4 charges).
- LuminAID PackLite Max Phone Charger Solar Lantern
- Goal Zero Flip 24 Power Bank
- BareBones Portable Charger Power Bank
Camping hammocks are getting to be more and more popular. It seems as soon as some folks try one…they don’t want to sleep on the ground anymore! There are big camping hammocks, light hammocks, and hammocks with tents. There’s even a (very popular) hanging cabana! Here are some hammock camping gifts:
Is your loved one still using the sleeping bag they received as a kid for sleep-away camp? It’s time for an upgrade. There are down feather mummy-style bags, bags made of recycled materials, and cozy, upgraded synthetic bags. Here are some best-sellers:
- REI Co-op Down Time 0 Down Sleeping Bag
- The North Face Eco Trail Synthetic 20 Sleeping Bag
- REI Co-op Groundbreaker 30 Synthetic Fill Sleeping Bag
- The North Face Furnace 35/2 Sleeping Bag
Warming packs are must for shoulder-season camping. While the disposable hand warmers used to be ubiquitous, re-usable options are now available. There are small re-chargeable hand warmers you can tuck into your pocket…all the way up to heated jackets!
- Zippo HeatBank 9s Plus Rechargeable Hand Warmer
- Zippo 12-Hour Hand Warmer
- Heated Milwaukee Utility Jacket with Battery and Charger
A portable LED lantern is nice to hang from the top of the tent, a clothesline, a branch, or simply place on a log or table. And its always good to have more than one to choose from! Some are collapsible, some can recharge with a built-in solar panel, and some are photo worthy. Here are some top picks:
- Black Diamond Moji Lantern
- Classic Forest Lantern (Warm LED Light)
- SoLight Pull-Open Lantern
- Goal Zero Crush Light Lantern
Doggie Water Bottle
Bringing your dog camping? Yes – there are camping dog bowls. There are packable bowls for backpacking and even Yeti dog bowls for the hip dog. Yes, Yeti makes a dog bowl. You’re welcome.
- United By Blue Collapsible Double Dog Bowl
- YETI Boomer 8 Dog Bowl
- Coalatree Hound Basin Packable Dog Bowl
A good cup of coffee cheers most campers up after a rough night’s sleep. Some campers have multiple types of travel coffee making kits; there is often quite a discussion between campers about which is best for which type of camping!
Camp stoves range from light backpacker’s stoves to full-on tabletop camp stoves. Some, like Jetboil, can even be fitted with accessories (like a coffee press!). Are you sensing a theme here?
- Solo Stove Lite Stove
- Eureka Ignite Plus 2-Burner Camp Stove
- Jetboil Zip Cooking System
- MSR PocketRocket 2 Stove
Upgraded Camping Chair
It’s time to replace the sad folding chairs left over from high-school soccer games. Here are three upgraded camping chairs worthy of gifting to your favorite camper:
Patagonia makes THE classic camping pullover. See below:
- Patagonia Better Sweater Quarter-Zip Fleece Pullover (Women’s)
- Patagonia Better Sweater Quarter-Zip Fleece Pullover (Men’s)
- Patagonia Organic Cotton Quilt Snap-T Pullover (Women’s)
A Cairn box is a camping-themed subscription gift box. If you’re struggling with what to get, but want something large to appear at your recipient’s house, this just might be the right camping gift for you.
Camping Gift Card
The last option is, of course, a camping store gift card. Different retailers offer them in different formats. For instance, with REI you can send a physical gift card or schedule a gift card to be delivered to the recipient via email at your specified time. Other shops send you an email that you can print out and give in an envelope.
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