33 Outdoor Travel & Adventure Gifts: Best Gear of the Year

Best Gear of the Year:

33 Outdoor Travel and Adventure Gifts

The only list of outdoor travel and adventure gifts you need this holiday season….stacked full of the best outdoor gear from 2015.

Outdoor Adventure Gifts for the Road Tripper

Goal Zero Lighthouse 400 Lantern

I recently got to try out the Goal Zero Lighthouse 400 Lantern, and what a sweet device. It charges by USB or by solar panel (or by cranking the handle) and gives off a ton of light for cooking dinner or hanging out in the tent. You can also use it to charge your phone.

This Goal Zero lantern charges via solar panel or USB and lights up camp with it's dimming switch

Big Agnes Cabin Creek Double Sleeping Bag

Looking to snuggle with that someone special? This Big Agnes Cabin Creek two-person sleeping bag is your ticket to the best spooning of your life. And with zippers on each side and separate sleeping pad pockets, you can still maintain your space and a comfortable body temp.

Outdoor Adventure Gifts for the Road Tripper: The ultimate for spooning :) The Big Agnes Cabin Creek 2-person Sleeping Bag

Road Trip Journal

On the road the days tend to blend together. Etch your memories in this Adventure Road Trip Journal, so you can remember the little details about life on the road.

Outdoor Adventure Gifts for the Road Tripper: Adventure Road Trip Journal

NEMO Helio Pressure Shower

Having a place to rinse off after that dusty hike or muddy bike ride is key to feeling fresh on your road trip. The NEMO Helio Pressure Shower is a simple, freestanding solution to washing away the grime. Just leave it out in the sun, step on the pump, and the viola – hot shower. This is what I brought to Burning Man this year, and it was a total lifesaver.

Outdoor Adventure Gifts for the Road Tripper: NEMO Helio Pressure Shower - a must for car camping and extended road trips. Also came in handy at Burning Man

Western Mountaineering Down Bootie

Keep those tootsies warm year round with these plush Western Mountaineering down booties that are even better at camp than they are on the couch.

Outdoor Adventure Gifts for the Road Tripper: Western Mountaineering Down Bootie - So comfy for lounging around camp (or the house)

PackTowl Robe Towel

Once you go robe, you’ll never go back. Whether you pull over to swim in that turquoise lake, are drying off after your solar shower, or sneaking into to a fancy hotel hot tub, this Pack Towl robe is just like a quick dry towel, except way better cause… it’s a robe.

Outdoor Adventure Gifts for the Road Tripper: Packtowl RobeTowel - Genius quick dry invention for camping and outdoor adventures

Spotify Premium Account

Give the gift of endless road trip tunes with a three month premium Spotify membership. No commercials, millions of tracks, and the ability to listen when you are way out of cell phone range.

Outdoor Adventure Gifts for the Road Tripper: Gift card for a three month spotify premium membership

Helinox Swivel Chair

A comfortable camp chair is a must for the road tripper and car camper. The Helinox Swivel Camp Chair is compact and packable and only takes 30 seconds to set up. Plus it swivels and that’s just fun. See this post for a full review.

Outdoor Adventure Gifts for the Road Tripper: Helinox Swivel Camp Chair

Outdoor Adventure Gifts for the Camp Chef

Stanley Growler

Drink beer straight from the tap with this Stanley Brand Growler that keeps that brew cold, carbonated, and ready to drink. Combine it with Stanley’s 16 ounce pint glass for the ultimate camp-side beverage.

OUtdoor Adventure Gifts for the Camp Chef: Stanley Brand Growler

Coleman RoadTrip LXE Propane Grill

Forget those Subway sandwiches. This foldable Coleman Road Trip grill sets up in a cinch and allows you to grill up a fresh dinner no matter where you are.  More of a veggie stir fry kinda person? Get the accompanying stovetop grate that makes the grill compatible with pots and pans.

OUtdoor Adventure Gifts for the Camp Chef: Coleman RoadTrip LXE Propane Grill


Stop spending money on coffee when you are on the road. The Aeropress is a pour over style coffee maker whose cup o joe is so strong and smooth, it will give you that necessary jolt for a fraction of the price. But the best part may be that the clean-up literally takes less than 10 seconds. Learn how the Aeropress works in this blog post.

OUtdoor Adventure Gifts for the Camp Chef: The Aeropress makes the best cup of camp coffee out there

YETI Tundra 45 Cooler

Expensive, yes. But it keeps that food fresh for for dayyyyyyys, even in sweltering heat. In fact, on a recent river trip, we had solid cocktail ice for a whole week. This 45-liter Yeti Tundra cooler is just big enough to store a couple of days of food and post-drive beers without taking up too much room in the car. YETI’s coolers are also certified bear-proof for those who find themselves in bear country.

OUtdoor Adventure Gifts for the Camp Chef: Yeti Tundra 45 cooler

Sea to Summit Kitchen Sink

Doing dishes while camping is pretty much the worst thing ever….but this portable Sea to Summit Kitchen Sink makes doing the dirty chore that much easier. And it also helps campers abide by Leave No Trace principles that prohibit using soap in lakes and streams.

OUtdoor Adventure Gifts for the Camp Chef: Sea to Summit Kitchen Sink

Outdoor Adventure Gifts for the National Park Lover


Interagency Annual National Park Pass

This is the second year I’ve had an Interagency America the Beautiful pass, and I’ve gotten my money’s worth many times over. For a one time $80 fee, you are granted free admission to all of our national parks, as well as free access to many other Forest Service, Fish and Wildlife, and federal recreation sites. To learn more about the Interagency annual pass and where to get one, see this post.

National park gifts: Annual Interagency America the Beautiful Pass

Ansel Adams in the National Parks: Photographs from America’s Wild Places

Ansel Adams was a legendary photographer and environmentalist who brought our national parks to life with his highly recognized black and white landscape photos. This book contains some of his best work and is a beautiful illustration of these super special places.

National Park Gifts: Ansel Adams in the National Parks is a beautiful coffee table book with some of his best work

Pendleton National Park blanket

In 1910, Pendleton Woolen Mills was commissioned to produce a series of National Park blankets with an emblem that represented the unique features of each park. Now over a 100 years later, these Pendleton wool blankets are still made in the US. Adorned with rustic designs and a small vintage national park symbol, they are super durable, toasty warm, and perfect for warming up by the fire on your next national park road trip.

National Park Gifts: Pendleton National Park Blanket

Parks Project Apparel

From invasive species removal in the Everglades to purchasing bear boxes in Glacier, The Parks Project is a new lifestyle and apparel company based out of California that dedicates some of its proceeds to conservation and restoration projects in our national parks. They’ve got some really fun new tees, hats, and accessories that the national park lover can be proud to wear. For more info on the Parks Project, check out this interview I did with one of its founders.

National Park Gifts: Accessories by the Parks Projects whose proceeds go to conservation projects in the parks

Outdoor Adventure Gifts for the Hiker

YakTrax Pro-Traction Cleats

Don’t let a little ice and snow keep you indoors. The steel coils on the YakTrax Pro-Traction Cleats slide over your regular hiking boots or trail shoe, allowing you to walk on slick surfaces without sliding around. I recently picked up some of these, and I couldn’t believe how well they handled ice on the trail.

Outdoor Adventure Gifts for the Hiker: Yaktrax Pro Traction Cleats for Snow and Ice allow you to hike all winter when the trails get slick.

SPOT Gen3 GPS Messenger

At the urging of my folks, I recently picked up a SPOT Gen3, a communication and GPS tracking device that can be used to check in or to call for help in the case of an emergency when you are out of cell phone range. It’s a common-sense device to carry with you in the backcountry, plain and simple. Check out this post for a full review and video tutorial I put together on how it works.


Outdoor Adventure Gifts for the Hiker: The SPOT Gen3 GPS Messenger is a common-sense device to carry with you on all of your backcountry adventures


Mountain Hardwear Scrambler 30 Pack

As a Mountain Hardwear Ambassador, I’ve been lucky enough to try a ton of their gear, and the Mountain Hardwear Scrambler 30 pack is now my go-to for all of my day-hiking adventures. It’s totally waterproof so you don’t have to worry about your stuff getting wet in bad weather. It also has a spacious external compartment for a water bladder and two sizable side pockets.

Outdoor Adventure Gifts for the Hiker: The 100% waterproof Mountain Hardwear Scrambler 30 pack


Darn Tough Socks

What would Christmas be without a few pairs of socks in the stocking? Darn Tough are my go-to hiking socks. I alternated between two pairs for 22 days on the John Muir Trail and came home totally blister free.

Outdoor Adventure Gifts for the Hiker: Darn Tough hiking socks are the best. Survived 22 days on the John Muir trail with just two pairs and came home blister free.

ProBar Meal Bar

Having a stash of tasty hiking snacks on hand is key to a spontaneous day on the trail. ProBar’s Chocolate Coconut Meal bar is hands down my favorite trail snack/bar at the moment. Slightly sweet with a great texture and healthy, energizing ingredients. If coconuts not your thang, they come in a bunch of other delicious flavors too.

Outdoor Adventure Gifts for the Hiker: Probar's Chocolate Coconut Meal Bar is my favorite trail snack at the moment

Outdoor Adventure Gifts for Paddlers

Oru Kayak

Oru Kayak’s are revolutionary for condo dwellers, single people with small cars, or travelers who want to paddle on their vacation. Oru Kayaks fold down so small you can fit them in the back of a mini cooper. Then when you get to the trail, you can throw it on your back and hike it to lakes that you could never reach with a conventional boat. I’m taking the Oru Bay+ kayak with me to New Zealand and can’t wait to get off the beaten path with it.

Outdoor Adventure Gifts for the Paddler: Oru kayak's fold down and can fit in even the smallest of trunks. You can even throw it in a backpack and hike with it.

Seal Line Fanny Pack

When I’m kayaking or stand-up paddle boarding, I always have the dilemma about where to put my camera, snacks, phone, or other valuables. The Seal Line fanny pack solves this problem, and fanny packs are making a come back, after all. This durable hands-free pack allows for super quick access when you want to snap a shot and protects your stuff from splashes. Just keep in mind that it won’t protect your gear if you fall out and the bag is completely submerged.

Outdoor Adventure Gifts for the Paddler: SealLine waterproof fanny pack

Teva Hurricane Sandals

Tevas may not be the most fashionable sandal out there, but no water sandal really is. What matters is that they are comfortable and have a sole with traction. The Teva Hurricane Sandal meets the mark for a fraction of the price of other water sandals. They also look extra cool with socks and make excellent camp shoes. Proof: 

Outdoor Adventure Gifts for the Paddler: Teva Hurricane sandal

Prana Dora Sun Hat

Protect that noggin from the hot summer sun while you are out paddling with this cute floppy sun hat by Prana.

Outdoor Adventure Gifts for the Paddler: Prana Dora Sun Hat

LifeProof Cell Phone Case

LifeProof makes waterproof cell phone cases that will protect your phone from splashes and rain so you can take pictures and listen to music and not worry about ruining your phone. They also have the Fre Power case which extends your phone battery when you are off the grid without adding a bunch of bulk to your phone. Caveat: Before fully dunking your phone in the water, Lifeproof recommends testing the case without your phone to ensure it’s leakproof.

Outdoor Adventure Gifts for the Paddler: The LifeProof Fre Power cell phone case is waterproof and extends the battery life of your phone when you are off the grid

Outdoor Adventure Gifts for the Jetsetter

Sea to Summit Travel Pillow

This Sea to Summit travel pillow is teeny-tiny and literally fits in the palm of your hand when stored away. It’s a no-brainer for that long international flight or when you traveling on the cheap and don’t want to use the motel pillow.

Outdoor Adventure Gifts for the Jetsetter: Sea to summit travel pillow

Human Gear GoToobs

Durable, leakproof, TSA compliant containers for your shampoo and other liquids. What makes GoToobs stand apart is they have little suction cups so you can stick them right to the wall in the shower.

Outdoor Adventure Gifts for the Jetsetter: GoToob Travel containers

Carry-on Travel Backpack

For those who like to pack light, having a durable carry-on backpack that keeps all of your stuff organized is key when you are on the go. Earlier this year I wrote a post about some of the best carry-on travel backpacks on the market, like this one from Tortuga. Check out that post for more recommendations.

Outdoor Adventure Gifts for the Jetsetter: Tortuga Carry-on travel backpack

Packing Cubes

I was a skeptic about packing cubes until I spent three weeks on the road in Belize earlier this year. Normally my bag is one big mess, but not with these Pro Packing Cubes which helped keep all of my stuff waaaaay more organized. Undies with undies. Socks with socks. Comfy clothes separate from nice clothes. Packing made easy.

Outdoor Adventure Gifts for the Jetsetter: Pro Packing Cubes

Goal Zero Venture 30 Recharger

All of your devices going dead on that long plane ride? Powered by USB or solar panel, the Goal Zero Venture 30 Recharger is a battery pack that can juice your phone up 2-3 times or your DSLR camera twice on a single charge. And the thing is also weatherproof and smart enough to charge two devices at once. I’ll be bringing mine to New Zealand along with a Nomad 7 solar panel (purchased as a kit), so I can keep my devices going while I’m on the road.

Outdoor Adventure Gifts for the Jetsetter: The Goal Zero Venture 30 recharger is a great tool for keeping your devices charged on the go.


*** Need more Gift Inspiration? Check out these posts ***

9 Awesome Gifts for the Photography Enthusiast


2014  Holiday Gift Guide for Adventurers




Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are sponsored and/or affiliate links. This means if you make a purchase, I receive a tiny bit of compensation at no added cost to you. I only write about products that I truly love, and any purchases you make help keep this blog going. Thanks for all of your support, and if you ever have any questions about any of the products featured on my site, please email me. Thanks! Kristen

Written by Kristen Bor

Hey there! My name is Kristen, and this is my outdoor blog. I discovered the power of the outdoors in my 20s, at the time I needed it most. Now 15 years later, prioritizing that critical connection with nature continues to improve my life. My goal at Bearfoot Theory is to empower you with the tools and advice you need to responsibly get outside.

10 comments on “33 Outdoor Travel & Adventure Gifts: Best Gear of the Year

  1. I have more than a few of the items on your list, and want a couple more (esp. the Oru Kayak). But just one additional note on one of your items, the “Interagency America the Beautiful Pass”. Those who are U.S. citizens and are 62 years or older can get a lifetime version of the pass for $10. An even better deal for those who are still adventuring later in life.

  2. All-in with the National Geographic maps. As an old guy (who refuses to take electronics into the wilderness) who grew up with maps, there is nothing better out there.

  3. I am a frequent flyer and I do go travelling a lot. Yet recently, I usually take my daughter with me. We both love nature and being a part of nature. In deed, in this early Jan 2017, we plan to take a trip to enjoy the atmostphere when the spring comes.
    I always have the love for camping pillows, especially when they are in pink.
    Thank you for sharing these info and please keep it up.

  4. Great list, Kristen! I also have the Seal Line fanny pack and really like it — FYI it actually *will* keep your gear totally dry, even during quick submersions. The only thing I’m not crazy about is the belt on it, but it works just fine.

  5. Hey rick first of all thanks for sharing best information about the outdoor travel and much excited things makes here more excited with this blog that is gifts on adventures. I learnt a lot here hope will read more soon beautiful information like this!!!!

  6. Great list, Kristen! I also have the Seal Line fanny pack and really like it — FYI it actually *will* keep your gear totally dry, even during quick submersions. The only thing I’m not crazy about is the belt on it, but it works just fine.

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