I’m a firm believer that adding extra junk to someone’s house is the opposite of a gift, it’s a burden. There I said it 😬 But a high-quality gift that gets you outside is the best kind! In this Outdoorsy Gift Guide you’ll find something for every budget and every person on your list including the smallest among us. And best of all, it won’t end up in their junk pile.
As a long-time hiker and lover of the outdoors, I know these items will help keep your loved ones comfy, warm, safe, and having fun on their adventures big and small. Even as one with a hearty amount of gear, I’d be *excited* to receive any of the items on this list. In fact most of these are items I use and love! I’ve broken the guide up into sections so you can easily skip to the section that’s right for you. Happy gifting!
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Below you’ll find gift guides for:
- Gifts under $25
- Gifts under $100 for Outdoorsy Folks
- Outdoorsy Gifts for Kids
- Gifts for Outdoorsy Women
- Gifts for Outdoorsy Men
Outdoorsy Gifts Under $25
We snagged a couple of these Luci Inflatable Lanterns at REI Garage Sales over the years. Currently you can get a brand new one for the same price we got our used ones for: $15 marked down from $25! They work great for camping and backpacking, pack flat, add ambience to your table as the sun fades and our kids love them. We got them the color changing lanterns this year.
Kula Cloth! If you don’t know what this is, let me explain: it’s an antimicrobial pee cloth that attaches easily to the outside of your pack. It doesn’t stink, the pee won’t leak through to your hands, and if you can’t tell I’m a big fan. It’s perfect to wipe with after all your trailside tinkles. Grab one for all your hiking gals!
Darn Tough Socks
These socks come with a lifetime warantee. That means if you wear a hole in them, Darn Tough will send you another pair free of charge. Beyond that, though, they are great socks and I love hiking in them and wearing them casually. They are comfy, merino wool and the patterns keep getting more and more fun.
Add some ambience to a friend’s next trip with these twinkle lights! Perfect for wrapping around your tent, car, or campsite.
Give a gift with mother earth in mind. We use our Stasher bags for snacks on the go and dehydrated meals on backpacking trips. We’ve had ours for many years and they are still going strong.
Everyone can use a Swiss Army Classic Knife on their adventures. Both for safety and for fun.
This Hydroflask Coffee Cup is currently on sale for $25. If you don’t love the sip lid, any of the wide mouth lids fit. I have this model with the straw lid and I like it’s little size for most everyday activities.
GSI Pot Scraper
This $5 gift from REI has utterly changed my dish cleaning experience in the backcountry. It comes with me on every backpacking trip and instead of washing with soap and water I just use it to scrape my bowl clean and lick the last yummy bits off. It’s clean enough for backcountry life for me and is sooooo much easier!
Gifts under $100 for Outdoorsy Folks
Crazy Creek Hex 2.0 Original Chair
I’ve had a stadium seat for over a decade and I’ve loved it to death. It’s worn to pieces now (after a few MacGyver-style fixes along the way) and I am stoked to be getting this new seat for myself this year! It rolls up small enough I’m going to try taking it backpacking too.
Stoked NZ Towel Poncho
We’ve been using towel ponchos from Stoked NZ for over a year now for the whole family and I have to admit it makes our lives easier. It’s smaller to pack than a standard towel by quite a bit and I can easily fit 4 into my day pack for a wild swim. The kids love that they can throw them on themselves and stay warm. I love that I can change anywhere with it so I’m not stuck in a wet swimsuit. Big fan.
Plus they are 10% off as I write this or use code SPIRITANDGUTS for 10% off your purchase anytime.
We were gifted a Rumpl for Christmas years ago and it has a seriously impressive ability to keep us warm on cool evenings. Lightyears better than other blankets. Great gift for someone who already has everything else.
I feel like these socks are a little bit magic. I wore them all last winter and my feet have never been so content. I usually have cold feet and these were the first socks that actually kept my feet warm, but somehow they also didn’t get sweaty or anything. I’m a huge fan.
Trail Magik Carrier
If you follow me on Instagram, you likely know how much I love and use our Trail Magik Carrier. It is an absolute game changer for backpacking with toddlers.
In case you’re unfamiliar, it’s a carrier that attaches to your backpack and requires a pack that has load lifters and a hip belt structure to use. Any backpacking pack should work. I find it to be comfortable enough with my Gregory Juno 30L day pack as well.
Use code SPIRITANDGUTS for 10% off.
Wool layers can be expensive so they are great to stock up on during the holidays and sales. Here are a couple of my favorite brands we use and wear regularly.
Iksplor is a woman owned shop and their kids layers were Best Kid’s Baselayer in Outside’s 2024 Gear Guide. We have base layers sets and joggers sets for each of us. We use them for pajamas for much of the year and base layers go underneath mid layers during colder months to help us stay out longer. I started wearing base layers under my casual clothes this winter even at home and I was so much more comfortable.
Bonus: Iksplor is currently having a big sale AND my discount code SPIRITANDGUTS stacks to add an extra 10% off!
Nui is another woman owned business and Amanda is a native Kiwi living partially in the U.S. Nui has lots more styles to choose from including base layers and casual wear for both kids and adults. I love our Merino Tencel tees for summer too.
Use code SG20 for 20% off.
I think hikers should always wear or carry a bandana, especially if you’re hiking with kids! Bandits Bandanas are super cute to wear and they have all the tips for styling and tying them in fun ways. I carry bandanas to use for wiping sweat, boogers, and grubby kid fingers. I use them to sit on, to set food on, to wrap up dirty/sticky/muddy items with.
Get yourself a cute bandana and you’ll be surprised how often you use it.
Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer Pant
These are the warmest pants I’ve ever owned. If you play in the snow or cold I highly recommend them. They pack down really small to take with you as well.
My only complaint is that the pack back is separate instead of just being into a pocket on the pants. It’s a little annoying to keep track of the bag.
Mac Ride or Kids Ride Shotgun Bike Seat
We have one of each of these and the current models are quite comparable. We’ve had so much fun riding with the kids up front so we can chat and hit some more technical rides.
Outdoorsy Gifts for Kids
Stoked NZ Towel Poncho
Trying to get a toddler dry and warm is lightyears easier with a towel poncho. Even my 2 year old can get hers on herself and doesn’t have to deal with holding it up or dragging it around. It’s reduced our post swim/beach whining by a whole lot. Plus my kids love having their own special towel.
Use code SPIRITANDGUTS for 10% off.
Ro Sham Bo Sunglasses
These are the ultimate kids sunglasses. We went through so many pair before I found these from cheap ones to more expensive ones and they all ended up broken from toddlers being toddlers and being curious about them. These are so bendy that we’ve had the same pair through 2 kids for over 2 years.
Use code SPIRIT for 10% off your order.
Morrison Outdoors Sleeping Bag
We’ve used Morrison bags for the last few years and they are the bomb. Before that I would put my baby in a fleece onesie and then my puff jacket over the top to sleep – ha! These are rated for safe sleep and the sizes range from 6 months to 6 years and there’s even a new adult bag.
Curious if the 20 or 40 degree bag is a better fit for you? Check out this blog post and I’ll help you decide.
Use code SPIRITANDGUTS for 10% off your order.
Patagonia Micro D Snap-T Fleece Jacket
I’ve been buying my kids a Patagonia fleece about every other holiday season as they grow out of them since they’ve been born. The fleece suit is perfect for babies too. It’s a really high quality piece that actually keeps your kids warm and can last a couple years if you size up.
We loveee our Iksplor layers and wear them probably every single week. They were recently voted Best Kid’s Baselayer in Outside’s 2024 Gear Guide. The neck gaiters add serious warmth if you’re in a cold climate too. The base layers make great pajamas most of the year and we wear them as a true base layer in winter and rainy weather.
The joggers are great for colder weather pajamas and as a second layer over the base layer. I especially love the jogger bottoms.
These are some of my favorite picture books that take place in or encourage time outside. I’m including the Amazon links but I highly recommend looking for these used or at your local bookstore!
- Yes, Let’s by Galin Goodwin Longstreth
- The Hike by Alison Farrell
- When the Wind Stops by Charlotte Zolotow
- Rocket Says Look Up by Nathan Bryon
- We Are the Gardeners by Joanna Gaines
- The Golden Glow by Benjamin Flouw
- Sally Jean, the Bicycle Queen by Kari Best
- Over and Under the Pond Kate Messner
- River by Elisha Cooper
- The Raft by Jim LaMarche
- Otters Love to Play by Jonathan London
- A River by Marc Martin
- Here We Are Oliver Jeffers
- The Shaman’s Apprentice by Mark Plotkin
For 4/5+ starting to enjoy chapter books: The Magic Treehouse Series by
REI Tarn 12 Backpack
This is one of our holiday presents to my 2 year old this year. It’s made with 5-8 year olds in mind but a number of people in the comments said it worked for their toddlers too. My daughter loves bags of all kinds and I know she’ll be stoked to have one she can take when we hike!
Keen Kids Sandals
My kids have these and they are great for causal wear, water play, and summer hiking. They have all the good things you should look for in a shoe: wide toe box, flexible sole, and minimal-style cushioning.
Cons: they do take a while to dry if they get wet and if rocks get in this style sandal its hard to get them out.
Kids Chaco or Teva Sandals (REI)
I think these are great for older kids as opposed to the Keen sandals. They are a little cuter imho, have less material to stay wet if you’re using them in the water, and its a lot easier to get rocks out if they get underfoot.
Con: they don’t protect toes like the Keens do.
You can get a kids specific headlamp but I find it’s just as easy to get an adult one that’ll last longer.
Balance bikes are sometimes easy to find used so I recommend that avenue first, but this one from REI is a great option as well. We went the balance bike route. My oldest wasn’t super into it until she was almost 4 but once she got going on it then she learned to ride a pedal bike by the time she was 5. Not every kid is going to love it but so many do!
Micro Mini scooter
The Mini is a perfect first scooter if you’re starting at 18 months or 2 years. Once you get to age 3 I’d start with the Macro so it’ll last longer. This is another item to look for used first! Our kids have absolutely loved these and they’ve gotten untold hours of play.
Giro Tremor MIPS Bike Helmet
Our kids both have this universal youth helmet that should last them for the foreseeable future. It even fits my head.
Patagonia nano puff jacket
If it’s in your budget, I think every kid should have a good puff, a good fleece, and a (non-cotton) base layer. I usually use holidays to get these items for them and they get a ton of use and are high quality so they can be passed down and/or sold after your family is done.
Looking for more gifts for kids? Check out my favorite travel toys for toddlers for more ideas.
Outdoorsy Gifts for Women + Moms
Any Patagonia fleece is a great choice. I have way too many fleeces and I’d still be stoked to receive another as a gift! They are such high quality pieces that last forever and actually keep you warm. Plus you gotta love Patagonia’s company ethics. The resale value on Patagonia pieces is pretty great too if you want to move on someday.
I got tired of hearing how great Blundstones were and I thought it was just another overhyped piece of clothing but I finally got some to try last Christmas and I had to eat my words. They are not only really cute but they are very comfy and have the wider toe box I’m looking for these days to take good care of my feet. They work well in cold and wet weather. I’m a fan.
Chaco Z Cloud Sandals
I loooooove my Chacos. I wear them 3 seasons for casual wear and hiking. I love the Z Cloud model as it’s lighter and less bulky/clunky. I also prefer the models without the big toe spot personally.
Teva Re-ember Slip On
I have not personally tried these but they’ve been on my list for a long time. I love having a colder weather camping/adventure slip on. These are cute and Teva makes high quality products.
I tested the Stanley IceFlow and the highly hyped up Quencher and while I refer to the Quencher as my ‘annoying Stanley’ the IceFlow is my favorite water bottle I own. It’s in the little details. I tend to bring one big water bottle to share with my kids when we leave the house so I like the size of the IceFlow and the handle makes it easy to pass to kids. Also, weirdly, I really like the shape of the straw mouthpiece. It’s rounded, unlike the square shape of other bottles and it apparently makes a difference to me.
Gregory Juno 30L
This is my favorite day pack. It is the most comfortable day pack I’ve found to use with the Trail Magik too (and was recommended by Katie, the Trail Magik founder so it’s legit!).
Free People Hot Shot Onesie
This romper is all over the internet too and when I tried it I decided to get two colors because I loveeee it. It’s comfy and cute and I wear it at least once or twice a week. 11/10 would recommend.
REI co op overalls
The stretchy shoulder on these overalls make them a dream! Comfy and functional.
Nursing Queen has my favorite casual breastfeeding-friendly clothing I’ve seen. The zippers blend in really well and make it look more like normal clothing, especially the color-block styles.
Kojo Activewear is a woman owned company making many styles of merino wool activewear. They have short sleeve and long sleeve in different thicknesses depending on your weather conditions. I loved the fit of my long sleeve.
No Reception Club
No Reception Club makes the best bags for traveling with baby. We’ve tried out both the Getaway Bag and the new Hideaway Duffle and they are incredible. I’ve been using my Getaway Bag even after the baby bag phase because it’s just a great bag with the best organization I’ve ever seen.
I legit have no cons on their bags if they are in your price range. No complaints.
Use code SPIRITANDGUTS for $20 off the Getaway Bag (backpack) and SPIRITANDGUTS30 for $30 off the Hideaway Duffel.
My Nani swimsuit is my absolute favorite I’ve had in a long time. It is comfortable, the pads stay in place and it feels sporty and cute while feeling comfortably covered. I have the Atlantic Cutback Crop.
Matching outfits from Petit Montagnard
Petit Montagnard is a small Canadian company with the cutest cold-weather matching outfits! I have my eyes on the One Piece Polar for me and the kids someday.
You Swim Swimsuits
This is the ultimate swimsuit if you’re in the middle of young motherhood. One suit has a 7 size range so it can stick with you and look cute from pre-pregnacy, to pregnancy, to postpartum to nursing and whatever comes next for you. The styles look great on a range of body shapes and sizes. It’s super stretchy and comfortable. The only ding is that the material takes a bit on the long side to dry.
These baby bag + carrier all-in-ones are so cool! The carrier is tiny so its easy to keep with you and it attaches right to the Hatcher Backpack. The backpack can be used well beyond the baby years and contains ultra marathon technology. The carrier is rated for 6-18 months. The system is just as good for the trail as it is for a trip to the grocery store or the library so you can skip moving your baby items back and forth from a hiking pack to an everyday bag. This covers them all.
My cons: the shorter age range and the pack is mostly one big pocket which makes organization a bit tough.
Use code SPIRITANDGUTS20 for 20% off.
Outdoorsy Gifts for Men + Dads
Patagonia Better Sweater Quarter-Zip Fleece Pullover
Any Patagonia fleece is a great choice that will last a long time. This is one of my favorite men’s styles. Great for casual wear and as a layer for adventures.
Sahara Shade Hoody
We all got Sahara Hoodies this year to battle the New Zealand sun and have loved all styles (men’s, women’s and kids). The material is soft and the fit is comfortable. I love skipping sunscreen on my arms. My husband hardly ever sunscreens but at least he wears his sun hoody now!
Lululemon T.H.E. Linerless Short
The past few years, I’ve given my husband a pair of these each year. He loves them and can’t go back to other shorts. They are high quality, the fit is athletic but not baggy and they are comfy too.
Lululemon City Sweat Jogger
My husband received these as a Christmas gift a couple years ago and he honestly can’t go back to anything else. They are soft, have great pockets, and the fit is both good looking and comfy. He’s worn them so much they are finally getting worn so I’ll be surprising him with a new pair this year.
Chaco Z Cloud Sandals
I am a huge fan of my Chaco’s. They are great catch all footwear for beach days, summer hiking, and casual wear. The Z Clouds are my preference since they are less bulky and are lighter.
Travis and I each have a Leatherman we bring on adventures. It’s a great safety item and it feels pretty good when somebody needs a knife or pliers and you can casually pull out your multitool all prepared and fancy like.
AllBird Wool Runners
Travis and I have been wearing AllBirds for years and we absolutely love them. They are washable, less stinky, more earth-friendly material and quite comfy for casual wear.
What We’re Actually Gifting in 2023
For Mom (aka me)
Side note: I have a December birthday so these are birthday and Christmas presents combined for me.
- Panasonic LX10 Camera
- Merrell Vapor Glove Trail Runners (shop REI or in NZ)
- Rachel Pohl Poppies Tee (currently out of stock but shop her other gorgeous products here)
- Crazy Creek Lounge Chair
For 5 Year Old
For 2 Year Old
- REI Co-op Tarn 12 Backpack
- Yoto Mini + Adventure Jacket + Travel Case + Cards
- My Mud Kitchen is Rad book
Grandma is buying the ‘something you want’ gifts this year for both kids.
I got a big stack of board games used for about $40 including Monopoly Junior, Scrabble Junior, puzzles, Operation and much more. We’ll wrap these individually in our soon-to-be-made reusable gift bags and let the kids open them.
Whatever you decide to purchase this holiday season, I hope you find joy in simplicity. Let’s normalize giving used gifts, gifting items that get us outside, and giving fewer but higher quality fits. Plus keeping Mama Earth in mind. There doesn’t need to be a whole lot of gifts and nothing needs to be perfect. The best gift you can give is a stress-free you. Happy holidays 😉