40 Best Gifts for Outdoor Lovers 2018: Ideas for Hikers, Vanlifers, Travelers & More

40 BEST GIFTS FOR OUTDOOR LOVERS

*This post is sponsored by REI, our favorite one-stop shop for holiday gifts for outdoor lovers in your life. As always, all words (and gift ideas) were thoughtfully crafted by the Bearfoot Theory team.

The perfect gift for outdoor lovers should do three things: fuel adventure, increase stoke levels and keep them outside for way longer. The good news is that every adventurous gift on our 2018 outdoor enthusiast gift list does all that and more.

From international travelers to outdoor athletes, vanlifers, and camp cooks, we checked off every box to make sure there’s something for every kind of adventurer in your life. And our holiday gift list makes your shopping as quick, easy, and painless as possible by including gifts for outdoor lovers that are ALL available at REI. The less time you have to spend in the store and on your computer, the more time you’ll have to #optoutside with friends and family this holiday season.

If you aren’t an REI Co-Op member, now is the time to sign up and earn dividend points with every purchase which means 10% back in cash or store credit. REI always guarantees easy returns in case a gift just doesn’t work.

Gifts for Outdoor Lovers – Index

Gifts for Outdoor Women

Gifts for the Outdoorsy Man

Gifts for Vanlifers + Roadtrippers

Gifts for Outdoor Tech Lovers

Gifts for the Camp Chef

Gifts for the Outdoor Athlete

Gifts for the International Traveler

Gifts for Skiers/Snowboarders

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The ultimate list of gifts for outdoor lovers featuring outdoorsy gift ideas for him & her, tech-nerds, skiers, vanlifers, international travelers & more.

Outdoor Gifts for Women

Our favorite gifts for the gals who love to get outside and get after it.

The ultimate outdoor gift list featuring the best gift ideas for him & her, outdoor tech lovers, skiers, van lifers, international travelers & more.

  • Wallace Lake Dolman Pullover Sweater

REI made this uber-soft and sustainable Wallace Lake Dolman Pullover Sweater to be the perfect layer for every kind of outdoor adventure. Whether that’s at aprés, at the summit or on an airplane, it’s stylish and functional. *Note I had to size down in this piece, as it runs a bit large.

REI made this uber-soft and sustainable Wallace Lake Dolman Pullover Sweater to be the perfect layer for every kind of outdoor adventure.

  • Buff High UV Coolmax Multifunctional Headwear

This super versatile piece is an important addition to every outdoor adventuring women’s gear closet. Cover your neck and face for warmth or UV protection or use it to wick moisture on hot days and tame your flyaways, too. The Buff High UV Coolmax Multifunctional Headwear comes in tons of designs to choose from.

Use the Buff High UV Coolmax Multifunctional Headwear to cover your neck and face for warmth or UV protection or use it to wick moisture on hot days and tame your flyaways, too.

  • The North Face Aphrodite 2.0 Pants 

Snag a pair of comfortable and functional outdoor pants that also look good, like these North Face Aphrodite Pants.

Snag a pair of comfortable and functional outdoor pants that also look good, like these North Face Aphrodite Pants

  • Wallace Lake Bomber Jacket

Another must-have by REI (and Kristen’s new fave piece) fits just right for Van Life, adventures and beyond. The Wallace Lake Bomber Jacket is functional yet stylish and is a great light jacket for hanging around the campfire or grabbing a drink in town.

The Wallace Lake Bomber Jacket is functional yet stylish and is a great light jacket for hanging around the campfire or grabbing a drink in town.

  • Dorfman Pacific All Season Crushable hat

Throw it on your head or in your bag, the Dorfman Pacific All Season Crushable Hat is easy to tote around wherever you go.

Throw it on your head or in your bag, the Dorfman Pacific All Season Crushable Hat is easy to tote around wherever you go.

See More Gifts for Outdoor Women

Outdoor Gifts for Him

The man who loves outdoor adventures might not buy himself nice things but that doesn’t mean you can’t do it for him. Here are some of our favorite gift ideas.

The ultimate outdoor gift list featuring the best gift ideas for him & her, outdoor tech lovers, skiers, van lifers, international travelers & more.

 

  • Wallace Lake Men’s Sherpa Jacket

For the guy who never likes to admit that he’s cold, the Wallace Lake Men’s Sherpa Jacket looks like a shirt but wears like a jacket, thanks to its fleece-lined interior.

For the guy who never likes to admit that he’s cold, the Wallace Lake Men's Sherpa Jacket looks like a shirt but wears like a jacket, thanks to its fleece-lined interior.

  • Forsake Phil Boots

Waterproof, good looking and breathable. The grippy Peak-to-Pavement outsoles on these sleek Forsake Phil boots give it wearability in every kind of terrain.

The grippy Peak-to-Pavement outsoles on these sleek Forsake Phil boots give it wearability in every kind of terrain.

 

  • Wallace Lake Flannel

The unofficial uniform of every outdoor enthusiast is a flannel. This version by REI is everything you want in a flannel, plus, is an homage to their humble beginnings while on a trip to Wallace Lake. The Wallace Lake Flannel comes in 7 stylish designs.

The unofficial uniform of every outdoor enthusiast, the Wallace Lake Flannel comes in 7 stylish designs.

  • Julbo Glacier Sunglasses

Eye protection like that of the Julbo Glacier Sunglasses is a crucial piece of gear for the winter loving dude in your life. Get ‘em a pair for the holiday!

Eye protection like that of the Julbo Glacier Sunglasses is a crucial piece of gear for the winter loving dude in your life.

  • Mens Darn Tough Hiker Socks

Really, there’s nothing like a giving or receiving a great pair of socks as a gift, especially a pair of Darn Tough Hiker Socks. This Vermont-based company makes some of the best hiking socks to keep your guy’s feet happy on the trail.

Really, there’s nothing like a giving or receiving the absolute best pair of hiking socks you'll ever find, especially a pair of Darn Tough Hiker Socks.

Gifts for Vanlifers + Roadtrippers

Vanlifers and Roadtrippers don’t need much when they’re out on the road—but for those times that they do, here’s our curated list to help you gift right.

  • Leatherman Signal Topo Multitool

Give your vanlifer friend that gift of being ready for anything with this Leatherman Signal Topo Multitool. Including, but not limited to, tightening up loose screws, cutting through anything tough and opening beers.

The Leatherman Signal Topo Multitool is the ultimate multitool for vanlifers, it's perfect for tightening up loose screws, cutting through anything tough and opening beers.

  • National Park Trivial Pursuit 

We can’t think of a better way to spend a night around the campfire, a rainy day inside the van or a day on the road than by getting quizzed on your National Parks trivia. This portable version of trivial pursuit is a fun and easy way to pass the time. National Park Trivial Pursuit is a must have for any park lovers. Check out more camping games to enjoy outdoors.

This portable version of trivial pursuit is a fun and easy way to pass the time. National Park Trivial Pursuit is a must have for any park lovers.

  • Scrubba Wash Bag

Lightweight, compact and a portable washing machine? Yup. The Scrubba Wash Bag works great in a pinch or between stops at the laundromat.

The Scrubba Wash Bag works great in a pinch or between stops at the laundromat.

  • GSI Stainless Steel Stemless Wine Glasses

Delicate, easy-to-break objects are a no-go when you’re out on the road. Gift a few of these GSI stainless steel stemless wine glasses for a durable and practical option instead.

Gift a few of these GSI stainless steel stemless wine glasses for a durable and practical option instead.

  • Helinox Swivel Chair

A foldable and lightweight Helinox Swivel Chair makes a great gift for the van lifer who loves to stop for the spontaneous roadside sunset.

A foldable and lightweight Helinox Swivel Chair makes a great gift for the van lifer who loves to stop for the spontaneous roadside sunset.

  • Juniper Ridge Box Set

The Juniper Ridge Cascade Forest Wash and Essential Oils and Cedar incense are just luxe enough to convince them to indulge (and shower!) indoors and still feel like they’re outside. Plus, they are plant-based and biodegradable to boot.

The biodegradable & plant-based Juniper Ridge Cascade Forest Wash and Essential Oils and Cedar incense box are just luxe enough to convince them to indulge (and shower!) indoors and still feel like they’re outside.

See our top 10 must have van life essentials

Gifts for the Outdoor Tech Lovers

Go on and get ‘em all the gadgets and gizmos their adventure-seeking heart desires, like some of our picks…

  • Peak Design Field Pouch

Every wilderness photographer needs a convenient place to store their camera gear while they’re outside. The Peak Design Field Pouch is a waterproof waxed canvas, protects the goods and provides easy access to help them get the shot.

The Peak Design Camera waist pack is waterproof waxed canvas, protects the goods and provides easy access to help them get the shot.

 

  • Garmin 2-Way Satellite Communicator

This nifty little handheld device keeps you safe on backcountry expeditions by tracking your location, providing 2-way texting and SOS capabilities should things go wrong. A Garmin 2-Way Satellite Communicator is a must to keep your safe and your loved ones at ease.

The Garmin 2-way radio & satellite communicator keeps you safe on backcountry expeditions by tracking your location, providing 2-way texting and SOS capabilities should things go wrong.

 

  • MPowered Luci Solar String Lights

Add a little ambiance to the campsite or string up party lights for your van with these solar string lights. MPowered Luci Solar String Lights are great for entertaining or just providing reading light in your tent.

MPowered Luci Solar String Lights are great for entertaining or just providing reading light in your tent.

 

  • JBL Clip2 Portable Speaker

Get your techie outdoor enthusiast the JBL Clip2 Portable Speaker, it’s a waterproof and portable speaker that streams music wirelessly for 8 hours anywhere and everywhere. Combine that with the solar string lights and call it day.

Get your techie outdoor enthusiast the JBL Clip2 Portable Speaker, it's a waterproof and portable speaker that streams music wirelessly for 8 hours anywhere and everywhere.

 

  • BioLite Solar Panel 5

Solar panels are efficient ways to power up off-grid and are essential pieces of gear in the backcountry. Plus, a sleek, well-designed solar panel like the BioLite Solar Panel 5 will make your gadget-loving friend extra stoked.

The BioLite Solar Panel 5 is an efficient way to power up while off-grid and is an essential piece of gear in the backcountry.

 

  • Celestron Nature 10×25 Monocular

A handheld monocular is one of those quintessential, “I-never-knew-I-needed-this-til-now” sort of gift. Give the lightweight, travel-friendly Celestron Nature 10×25 Monocular as a stocking stuffer or main event and they are sure to be happy.

Perfect for any nature lovers, give the lightweight, travel-friendly Celestron Nature 10x25 Monocular as a stocking stuffer or main event and they are sure to be happy.

See my travel tech gift guide for those who love technology

Gifts for the Camp Chef

Making the camp cook happy for the holidays pretty much guarantees that you’ll be happy (and full) too. Stuff their stockings with some of this gear.

  • Alpine Start Instant Coffee

Take it from us, giving the gift of a good morning buzz and even better instant camp coffee is a gift worth giving.

Take it from us, giving the gift of a good morning buzz and even better instant camp coffee is a gift worth giving.

 

  • Hydro Flask Wide-Mouth Vacuum Water Bottle

Keep your camp cook hydrated year round with the Hydro Flask Vacuum Water Bottle. Water or other cold beverages will either stay cold even in the hot sun. Or the camp bartender can use this to make a big batch of hot toddies for a group of friends around the campfire.

The Hydro Flask Vacuum Water Bottle is perfect for just water or other cold beverages and can keep anything cold, even in the hot sun or switch things up and keep hot cocoa warm to share at camp.

  • Harmony House Backpacking Kit

Stock your camp cook’s shelves with everything they need to make delicious camp-cooked meals with the Harmony House Backpacking Kit. It includes 18 zip pouches of dehydrated vegetables and beans for a total of 70 servings!

With 18 zip pouches of dehydrated vegetables and beans you'll have a total of 70 servings with this Harmony House Backpacking Kit.

  • GSI Pinnacle Outdoors Camp Cookset

The GSI complete set of camp cookware will help your outdoor foodie feed a crowd, whether in the backcountry or just on a quick car camping weekend.

The GSI complete set of camp cookware will help your outdoor foodie feed a crowd, whether in the backcountry or just on a quick car camping weekend.

 

  • Mountain Summit Gear Roll Top Kitchen

What’s a camp cook without a camp kitchen? Gift your chef their very own Mountain Summit Gear Roll Top Kitchen table for the holidays like this stainless steel, lightweight set that comes with adjustable legs and a carry bag.

Gift your chef their very own Mountain Summit Gear Roll Top Kitchen table for the holidays like this stainless steel, lightweight set that comes with adjustable legs and a carry bag.

  • Ursack Major Critter Bag

Keep your food safe from hungry animals with this lightweight Ursack Major Critter Bag sturdy sack made of Spectra. It’s bear-proof & has a 6-foot long piece of 2,500 lbs. tensile-strength cord for hanging (for added protection).

 

Keep your food safe from hungry animals with this lightweight bear-proof Ursack Major Critter Bag sturdy sack made of Spectra.

Gifts for the Outdoor Athlete

Gift the adrenaline junkies the gear they need to keep them on-the-go.

  • Trigger Point Performance Foam Roller

The Trigger Point Performance Foam Roller is every outdoor athlete’s go-to for relieving tight muscles and soreness. Not to mention it’ll also help your muscles bounce back more quickly so you can get out there and stay injury-free.  

The Trigger Point Performance Foam Roller is every outdoor athlete’s go-to for relieving tight muscles and soreness.

  • Pro-Tec Athletics Spiky Ball Massage Ball

Happy and healthy feet are born from the lightweight and portable Pro-Tec Athletics Spiky Ball Massage ball. Easy to carry and perfect for some on-the-go foot therapy.

Happy and healthy feet are born from the lightweight and portable Pro-Tec Athletics Spiky Ball Massage ball.

  • Gripmaster Hand Strengthener

Got a climber in your life? Gift them a Gripmaster Hand Strengthener to work on strengthening their hands, fingers, and forearms wherever they are.

Gift them a Gripmaster Hand Strengthener to work on strengthening their hands, fingers, and forearms wherever they are.

  • Salomon Advanced Skin 5 Set Hydration Vest

A hydration vest is made for the outdoor enthusiast who likes to pack light and move fast. The Salomon Advanced Skin 5 Hydration Vest is designed to hold essentials, trekking poles, and keep them cool and dry as they go.

The Salomon Advanced Skin 5 Hydration Vest is designed to hold essentials, trekking poles, and keep them cool and dry as they go.

  • Fitbit Fitness Tracker Wristband

Track sleep levels, reminders to move and record your workouts all in one with the Fitbit Fitness Tracker Wristband. It also allows you to see calls, texts and calendar notifications when the phone is nearby so they don’t need to stop moving.

Track sleep levels, reminders to move and record your workouts all in one with the Fitbit Fitness Tracker Wristband.

Gifts for International Travelers

Going somewhere? Use our list to get the perfect gift for that loved one who’s lives to put a new stamp on their passport.

  • Kavu Powerbox Case

The Kavu Powerbox Case keeps cords untangled and organized so your jet-setting friend can stash their stuff without worries.

Kavu Powerbox Case keeps cords untangled and organized so your jet-setting friend can stash their stuff without worries

  • REI Co-Op Expandable Packing Cube Set

Packing cubes are traveling essentials that allow for ultimate organization, more room in your bag and peace of mind. REI’s packing cube set has three different sizes to keep everything in its right place.

REI’s packing cube set are essential for staying organized when traveling and come in three different sizes.

  • Patagonia Black Hole Duffel

Patagonia’s Black Hole travel-friendly duffel bag’s have storage compartments, hands-free and convertible straps, weather-resistant exterior and the ability to stuff it down into its own small sack.

Patagonia's Black Hole travel-friendly duffel bag’s have storage compartments, hands-free and convertible straps, weather-resistant exterior and the ability to stuff it down into its own small sack.

  • REI Shower Roll

Let your wanderlusting friend bring their whole medicine cabinet with them — neatly, of course. With the REI Shower Roll they can easily pack up all their amenities, plus it comes with a mirror and strap to hang it up.

With the REI Shower Roll you can easily pack up all your amenities, plus it comes with a mirror and strap to hang it up.

  • Eagle Creek USB Universal Travel Adapt Pro

Ultimate stocking stuffer alert! The Eagle Creek USB Universal 3-prong travel adapter means they’ll always have a charge, whether they’re going overseas or just overnight.

The Eagle Creek USB Universal 3-prong travel adapter means they’ll always have a charge, whether they’re going overseas or just overnight.

  • Patagonia Atom Sling

For those times when they can’t haul everything with them, the lightweight Patagonia Atom sling bag will let them carry only what they need. It’s even got a padded tablet sleeve inside to keep valuables safe.

For those times when they can’t haul everything with them, the lightweight Patagonia Atom sling bag will let them carry only what they need.

See our favorite travel bags & accessories from REI

Gifts for Skiers/Snowboarders

Here are the gifts to get all the lady shredders and powder hounds in your life

The ultimate outdoor gift list featuring the best gift ideas for him & her, outdoor tech lovers, skiers, van lifers, international travelers & more.

  • Black Diamond Mercury Mitts

Keep their mitts warm with a pair of insulated, waterproof and convertible Black Diamond Mercury gloves for chilly days on the hill.

Keep their mitts warm with a pair of insulated, waterproof and convertible Black Diamond Mercury gloves for chilly days on the hill.

  • Maxiglide Quick Wax Applicator Kit

This all-in-one Maxiglide Quick Wax applicator kit will keep their skis from sticking in wet or clumpy snow conditions.

This all-in-one Maxiglide Quick Wax applicator kit will keep their skis from sticking in wet or clumpy snow conditions.

  • Smith ChromaPop Goggles

With interchangeable lenses, Smith ChromaPop Goggles give great visibility (and a great look) on sunny or cloudy days. They also have different bands to suit various styles.

With interchangeable lenses, Smith ChromaPop Goggles give great visibility (and a great look) on sunny or cloudy days.

  • Handwarmer Pack

When those gloves don’t do the trick, these Grabber Hand Warmers will—plus, they’re made of nontoxic and eco-friendly ingredients.

When those gloves don’t do the trick, these Grabber Hand Warmers will—plus, they’re made of nontoxic and eco-friendly ingredients.

  • Osprey Kamber Snowpack

The Osprey Kamber Pack is the perfect thing to gift a skier or snowboarder who needs a convenient place to stash their stuff when they’re exploring the backcountry.

The Osprey Kamber Pack is the perfect thing to gift a skier or snowboarder who needs a convenient place to stash their stuff when they’re exploring the backcountry.

  • Dakine Boot Locker Boot Bag

The sleek-looking Dakine Boot Bag with room for helmet, goggles, clothes and then some. Perfect for those folks who travel with their Mountain Collective ski pass!

The sleek-looking Dakine Boot Bag with room for helmet, goggles, clothes and then some.

Read our beginner tips for hitting the slopes this winter

Give the Gift of Education and Experience

Learn bike maintenance, common knots for outdoor adventures, basic outdoor rock climbing skills, or more at one of REI’s classes. This is a great gift for your minimalist friends who prefer experiences over gifts. If one of your favorite outdoor adventure friends just moved, it’s also a thoughtful gift to help them meet others who enjoy the outdoors in their new locale. Or consider giving the gift of travel and help someone discover a new location like the High Divide Trail in Olympic National Park.

 Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you make a purchase, I receive a tiny bit of compensation at no added cost to you. I only recommend products that I have tried out and 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

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About the author

Hi! I'm Kristen....blogger, hiker, sunset-watcher, and dance floor shredder. I feel most alive in the outdoors and created this website to help you enjoy the best that the West has to offer.

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  1. Suggesting the JBL Clip 3 instead of the 2. The 2 was amazing while the clip lasted. The caribiner is attached to the body by a rubber piece which came out. The 3 has a metal ring around the whole and integrates the body and Biner. It’s yet to
    Come off but shouldn’t impact the water resistance if it does. Keep up the posts. I’ve added some to my lists of “nice to have”

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