This year, give the gift of practicality with these outdoorsy gifts.
Gift-giving isn’t always straightforward. It’s usually simple when it comes to people you know well, but every now and then, you get thrown a curveball (like a friend or relative who says he doesn’t want anything).
If you have a guy in your life who’s an avid outdoorsman but you’re more of the staying-inside-and-chilling type, you’re probably at a loss for what to get him. Outdoor gear is a world of its own, so how are you supposed to know which headlamp is best or what kind of specs a hiking pack should have?
I’ve done the hard work for you by curating these 20 outdoor gifts for guys who practically live in the backcountry. Any of these products will make for a fantastic gift; better yet, you’ll be able to give something truly useful.
The Best Gifts for Outdoorsmen
Here are my top picks for the best gifts for outdoor lovers. These gifts span all price points and include everything from running shoes to playing cards, so you’re sure to find something for the outdoorsman in your life.
Norrøna Falketind warmwool2 stretch Zip Hood
Chances are your outdoorsman already has a fleece jacket, but he probably doesn’t have the premium falketind warmwool2 stretch Zip Hood from Norwegian outdoor brand Norrøna.
This next-level fleece features a performance blend of polyester, wool, and elastane that provides ample warmth, durability, and mobility. This is a serious jacket that will hold up to the demands of the outdoors, and it’ll easily be one of the most thoughtful gifts your recipient will get.
Salomon SPEEDCROSS 6
If you know a trail runner who doesn’t already have a pair of Salomon SPEEDCROSS 6 shoes, do him a favor and get one this year.
These trail running shoes have arguably the best traction available today and perform excellently on mixed terrain. They can also often be found for under a hundred bucks, which is a nice bonus.
Garmin inReach Explorer+
Are you looking to really impress a lover of the great outdoors? Get him a Garmin inReach Explorer®+, and he’ll be in for one memorable unwrapping experience.
The inReach Explorer+ is a big step up from entry-level GPS devices. It connects to a global satellite network for reliable coverage (although a satellite subscription is required) and can send an interactive SOS to a 24/7 rescue monitoring center.
It’s a superb gift for the outdoorsman who likes to go really off-grid.
Garmin fēnix® 7S
If your outdoorsman is more into wearables, take a look at the Garmin fēnix® 7S.
The fēnix (pronounced like phoenix) is one of the best GPS watches on the market, and it can do seemingly everything. It monitors heart rate, tracks activity details, receives text messages, and plays music.
Right now, it’s on sale for $200 off on Garmin’s site, so don’t hesitate to get one for this holiday season.
Osprey Atmos AG 65
If you know an outdoorsman who’s been lugging around the same ratty old backpack for the last several years, you might want to get him an Osprey Atmos AG 65.
This rugged pack uses Osprey’s proprietary suspension technology to make the load feel lighter than it actually is, which is a boon for longer trips. It’s loaded with other useful features like an integrated rain cover, hip belt pockets, and removable sleeping pad straps.
Smartwool Men’s Classic Thermal Merino Base Layer 1/4 Zip
A good base layer is a necessity for doing most outdoor activities, so the Classic Thermal Merino Base Layer 1/4 Zip is an amazing gift for hikers, backpackers, skiers, and just about every other type of outdoorsman.
This 100% Merino wool quarter zip wicks moisture while providing a healthy amount of insulation, which means it’s a fantastic base layer for colder weather. (If you’re feeling really generous, you can spring for the matching bottoms.)
Solo Stove Campfire
Solo Stove has gotten a lot of attention for its fire-centric appliances. But as tempting as it might be to get a pizza oven, the Campfire camp stove is the better gift for an outdoorsman.
This lightweight, portable stove turns kindling into flames in minutes, and its design minimizes smoke for an irritation-free experience. It’s small enough to carry around but large enough to work for a group, so it’s great for both solo and team expeditions.
This is another “get it on the off chance that your recipient doesn’t already have it” situation. The Leatherman Wave®+ is an excellent multitool that’s useful both for the outdoors and everyday life.
Featuring 18 tools that range from pliers to a ruler, the Wave+ can be operated using just one hand, making it a perfect fit for MacGyver-esque situations in the backcountry.
Morakniv Garberg Full Tang Fixed Blade Knife With Carbon Steel Blade
It’s obvious that a good knife is a must-have for any outdoorsman, but what’s not obvious is which knives are good (at least, not to non-outdoorsmen). There are plenty of options out there, but for a well-rounded knife, the Morakniv Garberg is hard to beat.
This fixed-blade knife has a hardy carbon steel blade and comes with a built-in fire starter, diamond sharpener, and reflective paracord. It’s an extremely practical knife with a bevy of useful features, so it’ll come in handy whether your recipient is going on a camping trip or hiking through the forest.
Dakine Titan Gore-tex Mitt
For many outdoor situations, mittens are better than gloves because they trap warmth. If you know an outdoorsman who’s missing a pair, get him the Dakine Titan Gore-tex Mitt.
The Titan is one mean mitten. With a water-repellent coating, rubberized palms, and a Gore-Tex insert, it’s perfect for cold and snowy conditions when insulation is vital. And with extra features like a stash pocket and nose wipe, it’s also as practical as a mitten can get.
Gifts for Outdoorsmen Under $50
Being strapped for cash doesn’t mean you have to go with a subpar gift. Here are some thoughtful gifts for less than $50 each.
Darn Tough Men’s Hiker Micro Crew Midweight Hiking Sock
Every outdoorsman needs socks that can take a beating, and Darn Tough’s socks are some of the best in the business. In particular, the brand’s Men’s Hiker Micro Crew Midweight Hiking Sock is a top-notch sock that can easily take on the rigors of the outdoors.
These socks are made from a blend of wool, nylon, and spandex that offers both durability and flexibility in spades. The performance fit minimizes scrunching and slipping, and the reinforced footbed and Achilles cushion provide support and comfort where they’re needed.
Anián Recycled Cashmere Toque
Made from 40% recycled cashmere and 60% Merino wool, this toque (Canadian for beanie) is a truly versatile headpiece. It’s thick and warm enough to battle chilly nights under the stars, but it can also pair with just about any outfit for casual wear.
LifeStraw Go Series BPA-Free Water Filter Bottle
The LifeStraw Go Series isn’t your grandpa’s water bottle. It doesn’t just hold a liter of water; it also filters out virtually all bacteria, parasites, microplastics, and other debris.
It’s got a leakproof handle, covered mouthpiece, and two-stage filtration capabilities, all of which make this bottle one of the most sanitary H₂O containers available. It’s available in nine colors, and there’s also a 22oz option for guys who prefer smaller bottles.
Black Diamond Equipment Spot 400 Headlamp
Even if your outdoorsy guy already has a few flashlights, he could probably use a convenient headlamp, and you can’t go wrong with the Spot 400 from Black Diamond.
This affordable headlamp has instant brightness settings, one brightness preset, and even a night vision capability with dimming and strobe modes. The only downside is that it ships with AAA batteries, so you might want to fork over a few extra bucks for the rechargeable battery and charger.
PARKS Board Game
The PARKS Board Game is a wonderful gift for outdoorsmen of all ages and experience levels. The object of the game is to visit as many National Parks as possible while collecting photos, buying gear, and lighting campfires.
PARKS supports 1-5 players and takes roughly 40-70 minutes to complete. The gameplay is refreshingly laid back and offers an opportunity to slow down and connect with your fellow players.
Smokey Bear Playing Cards
If your recipient is an avid fan of analog entertainment — or if he happens to be a magician — then pick up these Smokey Bear Playing Cards.
Art of Play and the USDA Forest Service teamed up to design this retro deck of cards that features Smokey and a dozen of his fellow forest inhabitants. It’s a no-brainer gift for any outdoorsman — after all, what’s camping without a game of cards by the fire?
Unique Gifts for the Outdoorsman
Are you looking for something a bit more off the beaten path? I’ve got you covered.
Moorswood Dart Roll Harris Tweed Field Rug
The heirloom-quality Dart Roll is quite possibly the best outdoor blanket you can buy. Crafted from handwoven wool tweed from Scotland, this durable field rug provides comfort wherever it goes.
The Dart Roll consists of a tweed blanket layer and a water-resistant waxed cotton base, and you can separate these layers to use the blanket by itself.
It comes with oak bark leather scraps (though Moorswood offers hemp as a vegan alternative) and a canvas storage bag for easy transportation.
Best of all, you can personalize the bag with a short, hand-stamped message for free.
Carrier Company Long Rain Cape
Sometimes, you just need a layer to go over all your other layers, and that’s what the Long Rain Cape is for. This oversized cape is designed to fit over a mid layer (like a wool jacket) to protect the wearer from precipitation of any sort.
Despite being a utility item, the Long Rain Cape is surprisingly stylish. The sturdy, proofed cotton offers warmth, and the optional hood provides even more protection from the elements. Like all Carrier Company products, it’s made by hand in the UK and designed to last for decades to come.
Hôrd Custom Topographic Map Hip Flask
If the outdoorsman in your life already has a regular old water bottle, give him a way to drink it in style with this Custom Topographic Map Hip Flask.
This leather-clad flask can be engraved with the contour lines and elevation of your chosen location. It’s one of the rare gifts that’s sentimental and practical, and you can bet that this will be on display when it’s not in use.
Rite in the Rain Weatherproof Mini-Stapled Notebook
You can even use this to write in the middle of a downpour, provided you use either a #2 pencil or an all-weather pen. It’s a handy solution to taking notes or sketching in the outdoors that makes for a great stocking stuffer.
Have someone else in your life who’s trickier to shop for? We’ve got some gift ideas for guys who don’t want anything.