Getting a gift for the outdoors adventurers in your life can be tricky.
This is a group, after all, that is known for being extremely well-prepared to strike off into nature, and who might be very particular about their gear.
That doesn’t mean you need to resort to a gift card to REI (though that isn’t a bad idea).
Instead, think about what kind of gear needs to be replaced regularly, or look for items that can be stocked for the future.
There are also those items that outdoors enthusiasts either don’t think to buy for themselves, or don’t worry about until the need arises.
Whichever direction you go, the key here is practicality.
Those kitschy checkout-lane items might be fun for a casual camping trip, but most people who are serious about backpacking, hiking or adventuring won’t want to bring along superfluous items that will just add extra weight to their packs.
Here are a few gift ideas for the outdoors adventurer in your life who already has everything:
TENT REPAIR KIT
We love our tents to death, yet rarely do we think about needing to fix them up.
Holes and broken poles can put a real damper on a camping trip, so having a tent repair kit on hand is nice.
The camp repair kit from Gear Aid is lightweight and comes with supplies to repair your tent, sleeping pad and other gear.
For hikers, backpackers and other outdoors enthusiasts, there’s no such thing as too many pairs of wool socks.
Good socks can be a little pricey, making them an oft-neglected necessity and thus a perfect gift.
Smartwool has a great line of socks, good for hiking, skiing or walking around town.
A headlamp is an extremely practical outdoors gift and also a safe one — even if your outdoors lover already has a headlamp, it’s actually really nice to have a backup.
There’s nothing worse than taking out the headlamp when you really need it to find that it’s not working, or that you left it in your other backpack. You can find reliable models from Black Diamond or Petzl.
Most backpackers will already have a water filter, but it really doesn’t hurt to have a backup.
Stick one in your backpack and another in the car. Keep one in your earthquake supply kit.
It’s also just a good idea to replace your old filter every few years, especially if you’re using it frequently.
Sawyer makes a series of quality water filters, including the compact Sawyer Mini.
A lightweight, affordable and practical item that many people overlook, the inflatable pillow is a perfect addition to a backpack or car.
Some backpackers opt to rest their heads on balled up clothes, but why rough it when you don’t have to?
Try the ultralight pillow from Sea to Summit, which is perfect for backpacking.
A backpacker’s best friend, freeze-dried meals like those from Mountain House or Backpacker’s Pantry make a great gift thanks to their ridiculously long shelf life.
Your outdoors enthusiast might not need to eat freeze-dried macaroni this year, or even next year, but come 2024 they’ll be grateful to have it.
Emergency supplies aren’t the flashiest gift, but they are something that every outdoors adventurer needs.
While they probably already have a first aid kit, it’s always nice to have a backup for a backpack, car, earthquake kit or wherever.
Adventure Medical Kits has a great series of first aid kits designed for hikers and backpackers.
This one might be a little trickier, since outdoors enthusiasts are typically pretty good about getting their annual public lands passes, but are there places they don’t go as often that they don’t think to get a pass for?
An annual pass might be a good excuse to check out some new spots.
GIFT CARD TO AN OUTDOORS STORE
The outdoors lover in your life might not need anything now, but they certainly will eventually.