It’s that time of year. Thanksgiving. Black Friday. The day after Thanksgiving where we forget everything we’re grateful for and storm head first into a pile of people fighting over the best deal in town. I’ve been curious what’s going to happen this year with all of the shut-downs and new rules that 2020 caused. Not curious enough to venture out into the crazy myself, of course. I, myself, shall be outside.
For the last several years, I’ve been participating in #OptOutside, REI’s Black Friday protest. One of my favorite outdoor stores, REI, started a movement to shut down Black Friday. Instead of throwing a sale that causes people to choke each other, they SHUT DOWN THEIR STORE and encourage people to opt outside: a.k.a. Choose to go outside instead of shopping. Choose to walk off those extra Thanksgiving calories. Choose to appreciate nature instead of fight for another inanimate object.
Now don’t get me wrong, who doesn’t love a good sale? I love buying things on sale and am crazy for discounts. However, why is it that stores don’t hold other sales and why do they sell things so low that it takes away from the Holiday? It’s almost like they enjoy seeing people fight.
We blame the people who are fighting, but I blame the stores. Of course someone who cares about their family and doesn’t have a lot of money is going to do whatever they can to grab that sale item. It’s an unfortunate reality that stores take advantage of.
I love that REI does not participate in this because it means every employee there is free to enjoy the holiday with their family instead of get called in to work to handle the craze. It’s my utter hope that 2020 changes Black Friday for good. Have it online! Then people don’t have to fight. The internet may shut down though. ::Laughs::
Either way, it’s a time when we all start thinking about what to get our loved ones for Christmas. Maybe you have some outdoors-loving people in your life and have no idea what to get them! Well, my friends. That’s what I am here for. I’m an outdoors lover myself and I know the things that we are drooling over. Want to spoil that nature buff in your life? Check this list out:
Outdoor Gear Christmas List
SPLURGE: $500 & up!
Got cash to spare? Your outdoor-lover is going to DIE for these cool gadgets.
A Tiny House Kit
Now you can buy a house on Amazon! Any outdoor-lover would love a little tiny home getaway or cabin in the woods. Honestly, I included this mostly because I wanted to laugh at the fact that you can order a house on Amazon nowadays, but hey- some people can afford it.
I personally do not know enough about this house nor do I recommend buying a house from amazon, but of the two reviews it does have, they’re good! I just wanted to take a moment to admire how far technology has come and the fact that Amazon literally offers everything delivered to your door. It’s REDONKULOUS.
Honestly, if I could buy everyone a home (not this one) or a camper van, I would totally do it. That would make my heart so incredibly happy to surprise people with things they never thought they could have! Ugh. ::Melts:: Next Oprah anyone?
Okay, jokes aside… let’s get to some other splurge options!
Jackery Power Box & Solar Panel
I have been eyeing this little sucker since the day I first saw it go by on my Instagram. A gigantic battery that can be powered by the sun? HELLO.
For all the van-lifers out there, something like this is an absolute MUST-HAVE. For people who love to camp a lot, but don’t like to give up ALL the luxuries? Those glampers? You could charge your cell phone up to 100 times before having to recharge this battery. You could inflate your electronic luxury air mattress! You could plug in your twinkle lights and have the best camp site on the block.
Heck, you could bring a blender to camp! I sure could have used this when I was on my crazy diet to heal leaky gut. I had a smoothie EVERY DAY and having to have a shake for breakfast when camping was never filling enough.
If you like to dance or listen to music when camping like a lot of my social circle, there will be no more DJ disasters when their JBL speaker dies with no way to recharge! (Don’t worry, that JBL is on this list too! Keep reading!)
Anything under 1000 watts and this battery can charge it. And it’s top rated. There’s some other options out there, but this one looks stylish, comes in a myriad of sizes (just click around!), and is rated 5 stars! It even beats out yeti, which is a very well-known and reliable company.
I’ve been wanting this so that I could have location freedom. And by location freedom, I mean, I want to be able to go get some work done on my laptop without missing out on camping! With this little device, it’s totally possible. I could go camping with my laptop and jackery battery and not need an outlet for weeks! My laptop could be charged up to 16 times WITHOUT recharging this battery.
Which reminds me, there’s an optional solar panel, therefore making it totally sustainable and rechargeable from the road. It fully charges in 8 hours of sun! Which basically means if you have the solar panel always set up, you’re never going to run out of battery.
Now at a hefty 22 lbs (not including the solar panel), this is not ideal for those who like prefer to go backpacking, but you’ll find a great battery for them under the budget friendly options below.
A Samsung Galaxy S20 Phone
I’m obsessed. If you’ve got a photographer in the fam whose favorite part of being outdoors is documenting how BEAUTIFUL it is, this is a great gift. Besides, we all need a cell phone! I recently bought one and I LOVE the photo quality (see some examples in my Gothic Basin post). Why a cell phone instead of a camera?
Well, I personally hate lugging around a camera for hiking and backpacking or anything I do outside! Paddle boarding, Kayaking, Biking… It’s just too heavy and bulky in my opinion and with technology as amazing as it is today, I think this phone suffices! Others may disagree, but hey- Go curate your own Christmas list. 😉
Garmin Fenix 6
This is one of, if not THE best multisport watch, according to TechRadar.com. For those who love to track their outdoor activity, a good functioning sports watch is a must have. Built to endure extreme weather, this baby can even track your heart rate under water.
Tech Radar says they took it for a beating and it’s still intact. It has a multitude of ToPo Maps for the hiker, ski-maps, a compass and more. And get this. This Garmin battery can last up to 48 days! Maps are a must-have for any hiking trip and you can’t go wrong with this watch.
Who doesn’t love kayaking? Even my friends who don’t claim to be big nature buff seem to love a good kayak adventure. The only problem? Roof racks. The thing is, there is such a thing as an inflatable kayak, but unlike the inflatable paddle boards, these are pure shit in my opinion.
And then they invented origami. My friends, I give you the folding kayak! This kayak literally folds into a boat. How that works? I have no idea, but I’ve seen these advertised and they seem rated pretty well! Don’t got $1000 to spare? Keep scrolling down for a more budget-friendly SUP board instead. (Back to Top)
Moderate Budget $100-500
Maybe $1000 ticket items are a bit much for you, but you’ve still got some cash to spare. For some awesome snags that won’t break the bank, check out these sweet deals!
A Yeti Cooler
It’s a cooler! Why would you spend $400? I’ve asked myself this every time I see it, even though I’m enamored with it’s sleek design and virtually indestructible exterior.
And then I read reviews that say it keeps ice ICE for 4+ days. Not ice floating in water, but ice. I tried a knock-off brand for $80 and it didn’t do that. It was maybe better than a cheaper cooler, but did not hold up to that standard.
Not only is it the top rated cooler in keeping stuff cold, but it’s CERTIFIED bear-resistant. Camping somewhere where there’s a bear problem? Yeti’s got you covered.
This particular $400 model comes with wheels, which is a relief considering how heavy this cooler gets. But heavy duty durability comes with a hefty weight! Opt for the one with wheels so you can move your cooler around with ease.
An inflatable SUP board
These babies have become all the rage recently. What once cost at least $1000 and required a roof rack for your car can now be folded up and towed around in a backpack. It’s hard to say which brand to buy because there’s a multitude of SUP boards, but I think if you spend at least $250-$300 and order from a trusty company like Amazon, you’re in the clear.
Don’t buy a $50 one from Wish like I did. I ended up with a bracelet charm. SCAM. A friend of mine had this cool Koi fish board and it worked great and was really fast!
If you want to spend a little more and feel assured that it will be better quality, here’s one for $700.
Coleman Road Trip Grill
One of these babies was gifted to me for my birthday one year. Couldn’t be happier. I needed a grill for the back patio, but this awesome person knew I also loved to camp and stumbled across this beauty for me.
It’s a stove. It’s a grill. It’s fantastic and it’s perfect for all of those who love a home cooked meal, but love the nomad life. It folds up conveniently and you can drag it along on wheels just like a rolling cooler.
No fire pit? No problem. You’ll never be without cooked food again, no matter where you end up camping.
I don’t think I know anyone who loves the outdoors who doesn’t love a good fire. Having a fire pit makes it so much easier because it keeps the fire contained. I have one in my backyard and I love it.
This fire pit is extra cute because it has a moon and star on the side to cast pretty lights on the ground!
Baby, it’s cold outside! You don’t have to be an outdoors lover to appreciate a good cozy blanket this time of year. This is another thing that’s been on my personal wish list for a while. Why the Rumpl when there are so many blankets out there?
Rumpl is reinventing the blanket industry. They use a lot of materials that other outdoor gear uses like tents and sleeping bags and copy a lot of Patagonia’s practices such as using recycled plastic bottles to make filler for their blankets. And you all KNOW how I feel about single-use plastic.
I hate that it’s almost impossible in our current society to avoid plastic depending on where you live and how much you can afford, as I quickly learned in trying to live without it for 30 days. Rumpl is committed to recycling plastic for their synthetic fills and finding ethically and humanely source down feathers for the down blankets. They also give back to certain causes you can read about here.
They’re incredibly warm and I’m all about it. I love their different designs. As a backpacker, I most want the featherlite because it’s so lightweight. But I’m disappointed about the different style choices for this one so my other favorite is the original puffy because you can get it with National Parks printed on it!
I’m a dancer and I’ve been to a lot of outdoor dance socials and I haven’t been to one where SOMEONE did not bring their JBL. This is a great quality speaker for those who love to have music at their campsite or out on the lake! It’s waterproof, so on the lake is no problem. This has been on my to-buy-when-I-have-the-money list for a while and would make a great gift for any music lover, even if they don’t love the outdoors! The waterproof factor just makes it outdoor friendly.
The battery lasts about 4 hours fully charged, but if you got that jackery battery above, you’ll be good all day and all night. Want a more expensive and fancier version with a 15 hour battery life? Check this one out. Need to save a little more? This smaller version is super cute too! (Back to Top)
More Budget Friendly Items Under $100
These are a little easier on the wallet if you aren’t made of money, but still pack a punch when it comes to holiday glee!
Hammocking has gotten popular these days. Hammocks have been around for a long time, but ENO was the leader in revolutionizing the industry. Now, there’s tons of knockoffs that may work well enough, but why not go with the head honchos themselves.
Like Rumpl, they are also heavily involved in outdoor charities, the ones which they support you can read about here.
The reason I trust companies like this and am willing to spend the extra bit more than a knock-off brand is TRUST. Many ethical outdoor companies such as REI, Patagonia, Altra, ENO, etc. have worked to develop a relationship with their consumers. I have bought some knock-off hammocks as well because I don’t have the budget for ENO all the time, but I like my ENO the best. It’s the lightest weight and it also comes in the biggest variety of colors.
A few of the knock-offs do a good enough job, but some of them came with really bad straps. I’ll post some of these other brands I like below in case you’d like to save a little more, just note to do your research on their weight, durability, and strap design before you make your choice:
Smartwool Base Layer
Smartwool doesn’t make just socks, they also make shirts and leggings and boy are they COZY. Base layers are great for backpacking in the cold, hiking in the cold, skiing and snowboarding and even just wearing around the house! Think long underwear, but updated, soft and attractive!
My smartwool shirts are some of my favorite shirts that I own. I especially love my pullover. It’s attractive enough to wear out in public as a stylish sweater jacket and it keeps me cozy on those winter camping trips. Because it’s made of wool, it is quick-drying and sweat-wicking, two things that are VERY important when exercising in frigid temperatures. You can’t go wrong here, unless you don’t know what size to buy your loved one. 😉 But you can always exchange!
Anker PowerCore 26800 Battery
Remember above I said I’d have a smaller battery for you in the budget section of this post? Here we go! This is my battery pack I take with me backpacking. Nowadays, technology is an important part of outdoor gear. I use my phone for my GPS AND my camera, and if there’s service where I’m at- to check in with friends and let them know I’m okay.
Having a fully charged phone is important and when you start getting into 2+ night trips, you’re definitely going to need a recharge. This powerful battery will fully charge your phone over 6 times!
Rheos Floating Sunglasses
I remember this lake crash I was at where a grown-ass man was basically crying and spent hours diving for a pair of sunglasses, missing out on all the fun! All because he dropped his pair of Oakleys.
Now, I’ve never been one to spend over $10 on a pair of shades for that reason alone (I always lose my FAVORITE pair), but for those who love good quality sun protection, Rheos are exactly what you need.
Low Budget Under $40
You’ve got lots of people to buy for so let’s not get too crazy. There’s several fun things you can still get for that outdoor friend of yours for less than $40. Here’s some examples.
Aeropress Coffee Maker
Who doesn’t love a good cup of joe? (Why do we call it joe by the way?) I know hardly anyone who doesn’t like a good tea or coffee when out on a camping trip. Honestly, the only reason I avoid is is because of my gut issues 🙁 But most people would love coffee and this is one of the best ones for camping!
It’s super popular in the outdoor industry and lightweight enough to be taken backpacking! Because of it’s design, it eliminates the acidity and bitterness of a french press all while speeding up the brewing process!
Darn Tough Socks
The PERFECT stocking stuffer. Who doesn’t love a good pair of cozy socks? When you buy these for a little over $20, you give someone a gift for life! Darn Tough has an unconditional lifetime guarantee. Got a hole in that sock? They’ll replace it for free.
Check these out on ebay here. These are also one of the top rated outdoor socks in existence, every hiker and backpacker will appreciate another pair of these and for those die-hard Americans: They’re made in the USA.
Luci Solar-Powered Inflatable Lantern
Every camper needs a lantern. They’re also useful if you’re out paddle-boarding at night. Powered by the sun, your loved ones will be happy to not spend money on batteries!
Everyone needs a little illumination and for under $20, you can’t possible go wrong with a Luci lantern.
Black Diamond Moji Lantern
Speaking of lanterns, if you prefer to have a back-up in case your Luci didn’t see the sun, buy your loved ones one of these!
Super small and packable and only $20, Black Diamond is a company you can trust. I have a headlamp and light from them, both of which broke and they replaced them 100% free no questions asked. Buy a moji today!
No, not a set of abs. A Buff is actually a Balaclava, but like Kleenex took over tissues, Buff did the same to balaclavas, so we call it a buff. What is it? It’s a neck gaiter that keeps you cool in hot temperatures or warm in cool temperatures.
Broke as a Joke- Keep it under $5
Hey, I’ve been here man. This is for people who can barely take care of themselves, let alone think about buying Christmas presents for anyone else, but still stubbornly insist on buying something. Gifts under $5? Yes please..
GoBites Travel Spork
Ah, my first love. This was the first utensil I bought for backpacking trips. It’s super lightweight, comes in cute colors, and is essentially all you need when you’re on the trail!
I also lost mine for a year because it got buried in a backpack I never use. Since it’s so small, it’s easy to lose, so there’s never harm in having 2 or 3! Your backpacking friend (or anti-single-use-plastic friend) will love it! Best part, this spork is only $3!
One of the essentials for an emergency kit if you’re out hiking, kayaking or a myriad of outdoor activity. It’s a survival cord. Paracord can be used for multiple things. In the hiking world, most known for hanging a bear bag.
You can also hang tarps for shelter with it, make traps, tie sticks together to collect for a fire, make a hammock, use it to construct a raft if you’re ever stuck a raft if you ever end up like Castaway. WILSON! Make sure it’s at least 550, type III paracord.
Anyone who does any winter activity outdoors needs handwarmers and will use them all the time. Kinda like food, it’s disposable, so you could restock your friend every year!
These keep your hands roasty-toasty when your gloves just aren’t doing their job. Perfect for camping when the weather gets colder than you expected, they’re easy to throw in a backpack and keep for emergencies. Best part? Only $1 a pair at your local REI.
If you’re going to make a fire, it’s always good to have a lighter. These aren’t under $5 on Amazon, but you can pick them up at your local grocery store. Makes a great stocking stuffer for the outdoor lover.
Another item easy to pick up at your local grocery store is a bag of marshmallows, chocolate, and a box of graham crackers. No campfire is complete without s’mores.(Back to Top)
For you jokesters out there, I thought I would compile some things that make your gift a little more… silly! Surprisingly though, these are still extremely useful gifts for the right person! (I personally hate gag gifts that aren’t useable and create waste for no reason!)
For the women who always wished they could pee like a man, this is gold(en showers). A female urination device allows a woman to do just that: stand and pee!
There’s several different companies that offer these types of devices and I haven’t tested them all so I can’t direct you to the best one, but do your research and decide which one you think is best.
She’ll either smack you or love you.
A kula cloth. A rag designed to replace toilet paper (well, for #1 anyways!) for all those women who are sick of having to pack out toilet paper, this antimicrobial cloth disinfects itself in the sun and allows you to reduce some of the weight you have to carry.
It also clips right on to the outside of your bag so you can wear your flag with pride. You know.. If you’re into that sort of thing. It’s an awkward funny gift, but also useful to the right girl!
It’s not what you think, I swear! I was browsing amazon one day and came across this and thought the title was hilarious.
It’s actually a book full of really cool cabin build ideas! If you know anyone who wants to build their own cabin, they’d love you for this (after having a laugh at the title, of course).
Did you hear? You can wrap your wounds in bacon and they will heal up real good. (Thank god I have legal protection in case someone takes that seriously and goes and gets a parasite from wrapping an open wound with pork).
No, but not actual bacon. If you are trying to wrap a wound with actual bacon, you clearly did not read my first aid post. Don’t do that. But these bacon bandages are sure to make a bacon lover happy (and every outdoors person loves a good strip or bacon. Or needs band-aids. You know. One of the two.)
A lump of coal
Has someone been naughty? The notorious Christmas tradition of giving someone “naughty” a stocking full of coal might be over done, but I would say this may be the best gag gift yet.
For the outdoorsman, a bag of coal might actually turn out to be a fabulous gift once they get past the eye rolling. Christmas burgers anyone?
Well, that just about wraps up this Christmas list. Wraps up. Like a present. Heh. Heh. Ok, I’m not funny. Anyways, I hope this helped inspire some of you who have no clue what to get for your adventure loving family and friends.
Happy online shopping!