Let SBM ease some of the burden of the season with our outdoor gift ideas.  Tis the season for REI gift cards and boxes of Clif Bars you say?  We here at SBM say Bah Humbug – Tis the season to rock the outdoor gift ideas and let that special outdoor someone know just how much you care!

With Black Friday and the even more ominous Cyber Monday just around the corner, it is time to make your list and check it twice.  This year we thought we would let you in on a little outdoor adventurer secret…we like gifts, actual gifts, not just the kind used at the checkout.  For the first time in the history of Seattle Backpackers Magazine, the somewhat skeptical, always creative, super knowledgeable contributors of SBM have come together to give you some hints on great holiday outdoor gift ideas to stuff in your special someone’s stocking this year.

Holiday Outdoor Gift Ideas Under $$

Gifts for your outdoor enthusiast don’t have to break the bank.  Here are some amazing outdoor gift ideas that will show your adventurers you know what makes their blood rush while still leaving you cash to buy groceries.

Nuun Hydration

outdoor gift ideasWhen you are adventuring, hydration is important business.  Nuun makes great tasting electrolyte replacement tablets that are light weight and easily packed on short or long expeditions.  Electrolytes play a key function in maintaining fluid balance, preventing muscle cramping, and aids in muscle contractions and movement.  Most electrolyte powders or pre-made drinks are packed with sugar, the innovative effervescent technology, plant-based ingredients, and lack of sugar in nuun makes it a great choice for your outdoor enthusiast.  Single containers or variety box sets are available.

SOL Survival Kits

outdoor gift ideaHere is a hint; most outdoor enthusiasts skimp on first aid and survival gear – boneheads! Survive Outdoors Longer (SOL) makes compact inexpensive excellent survival gear that experienced adventurers can use.  Check out one of the many emergency blankets, survival kits, or compact first aid kits all under $25.  These kits are packed full of items that are absolute necessities in emergency situations and just plain nice to have when you are exploring the outdoors.  These are the items your loved ones will not buy for themselves, do them a favor and show you understand their outdoor itch and want them to come back safe.

Recover Brand Eco-Friendly Performance Wear

outdoor gift ideasWhat do eight empty plastic bottles get you?  A great looking performance Tee!  This is the perfect gift for the eco-concerned person on your list…or anyone that needs an awesome performance Tee.  Recover apparel uses 100% recycled materials (post consumer PET and post industrial cotton).  The shirts are awesome moisture-wicking performance wear that can go from the woods to the gym and everywhere in between.

Cairn Outdoor Gift Box

outdoor gift ideaCairn makes it easy to give the gift of the outdoors to the adventurers on your list.  This is a subscription program, so you gift a Cairn box to someone and each month a box arrives packed with personalized outdoor gear or themed products.  A questionnaire is used to tailor the products to the interests of the recipient.  The products are high quality and useful…and who doesn’t like getting a package every month!

Holiday Outdoor Gift Ideas for $$$

So you have a few extra dollars in the budget this year, or maybe this is the year you eat Ramen for a month so you can buy cool holiday gifts for your friends and loved ones.  Whatever your situation, these gifts may cost a few extra ducats, but the smiles will be worth it.

Tentsile Tree Tent

outdoor gift ideaThis may be one of the coolest outdoor products currently made.  Tentsiles are hanging tents, yes awesome hanging tents like something out of a Sci-Fi movie.  Tentsile Tree Tents were conceived as treehouses that you can take anywhere. The Tentsile tent has an attaching system that makes the floor semi-ridged even when suspended by tress.  It is simply something you have to experience to believe.  Models come in several sizes and are not for the ultra-light crowd.  If you decide to gift a Tentsile, order early, these popular tents go fast.

ThermaCELL Heated Insole

outdoor gift ideaHeated wearable technology has increased in function and comfort in recent years.  ThermaCELL makes a rugged heated insole for those on frigid outdoor adventures.  The insole will keep your feet warm with a rechargeable heater housed in a durable flexible polyurethane insole.  Control the temperature with a remote to keep your feet comfortable in changing temperatures and levels of exertion.  The insoles can be customized to fit different boot sizes and individual preference.  This is a great gift idea that many outdoor adventurers would not think to buy.  Nothing says “love” like warm feet!

Casio Expedition Watch

outdoor gift ideaCasio has long been known for making bombproof watches.  The new ProTrek line combines that indestructible construction with expedition features that are a must for extended adventures into wild places.  Most adventurers hesitate to spend a lot of money on a watch, but they will be over joyed that you cared enough to gift them the very best in outdoor technology.  One of the best features of this watch is the incredible solar battery that lasts for seven months on a single full charge and can be charged with everything from sunlight to a headlamp.  The watch is packed full of features you need on an expedition; barometer, altimeter, compass, thermometer, stopwatch, sunrise/sunset data, world time, and multi-band atomic timekeeping.

Contributor’s Top Picks

These experienced adventures have racked their collective brains to offer you unique outdoor gift ideas.  Find out what these outdoor experts think you should put under the tree this year.

Liz Forster:  Glacier Stainless Nesting Wine Glass

outdoor gift idea

One of my favorite drinks during the holiday season is mulled wine. It combines the citrus and spice of a great cranberry sauce and the comfort of a hot drink. What better place to drink mulled wine then the backcountry? With the Glacier Stainless Nesting Wine Glass, you and your loved ones will never have to make that compromise.

outdoor gift ideaSarah Vaughn:  ENO Twilights LED String Lights

outdoor gift idea

I don’t know about you, but I love to decorate. So when I learned I could be jazzing up my campsites with a set of string lights, I was ecstatic. ENO offers a variety of colored lights that are battery powered, 120 inches long, and packable into a tiny pouch perfect for creating that unique ambiance in any outdoor situation. Coming in at under $20, they are easy on the wallet and would make a great gift for practically anyone on your shopping list.

outdoor gift idea


dutch franz:  Outdoor Books

outdoor gift ideas

You never know when the winter weather will keep you couch or tent bound.  For times when you can’t get into the wild, my outdoor gift ideas include amazing adventure themed books for all abilities and interests.

Hiking Washington’s Pacific Crest Trail guidebook breaks down Washington’s portion of the PCT into sections and legs that renowned guidebook writer Tami Asars took years to document.  Each leg is illustrated with a detailed relief map that will tell you much of what you need to know at a quick glance; mileage, water source, trail numbers, camp sites, and elevation gain/loss are all at your fingertips.  Sections itineraries are also suggested to help you plan your time on the trail.

Woman’s guide to the wild.  As the outdoors increasingly becomes a mystery to our screen bound society, Ruby McConnel writes a practical guide to all the secrets of the wild that beginners need to know.  This woman’s outdoor guide is humorous, conversational, and packed with vital outdoor skills and tips.  Reading it is like having a lively chat with your best friend at your favorite coffee shop.  Everything from how to start a fire, to how to handle hygiene on the trail, Ruby covers it all with humor and humility.

Good food for outdoor adventures.  Food is important, especially in the outdoors where weather and exertion can put the body in a diminished capacity to perform.  Beyond the physical need to fuel the body, food is also an important aspect of positive mental attitude and resiliency in the wild.  Tanya Krezevska understands the importance good food in outdoor adventures and has written a wonderful and informative trail recipe book for the rest of us.

outdoor gift idea


Kristin Wuhrman:  The Perfect Survival Kit & Fun Necessities for the Backcountry Female


Dark Chocolate Varieties
A cute hiking skirt
FUD (Female Urination Device) like GoGirl or SheWee
Feminine Disposable Wipes (urine issues solved)Action Wipes (no need to shower)
Body Glide for Her for Chafed Areas
A cute Buff! Create a head scarf! It works great for hiding dirty hair, preventing food contamination, and keeping the bugs at bay while preparing or cleaning up a meal.


Jonathan Burnham:  Kickr Snap Bike Trainer

outdoor gift ideaDon’t let rainy Seattle stop you from riding! The new Kickr Snap Bike Trainer from Wahoo Fitness is ready to take your indoor training to another world, literally. This smart trainer allows you to ride in virtual locations with programs like Zwift and Bkool. These virtual programs automatically adjust the tension to simulate hills, weather and even drafting! Some of the important features are ANT+ connection for reliable power measurements, electromagnetic resistance for a super quiet ride, ultra-stable stand, wireless updates to continue to bring you the best performance and compatibility with iOS, Andriod, PC (Mac & Windows). The SNAP’s legendary flywheel also gives you that real road feeling, making it a much more realistic experience when you’re cranking out the watts. The Kickr Snap is a real game-changer for your training, don’t let this winter’s goals slip away due to soggy weather and get after it.

outdoor gift idea


Stocking Stuffer Bonus:

Muscle Roller/Trigger Stick: Show your beloved fitness gurus that you really care by helping them recover faster and stronger. Trigger point sticks are great for working out all the knots and tight spots after a long day of charging and you can easily find one for under $20 on Amazon.


Melissa Farage:  Umbrella Hat – Seriously

outdoor gift idea

In the great Pacific Northwest, we spend a disproportional amount of time trying to figure out how to stay dry in the lovely liquid sunshine. In our efforts to stay dry, there are always trade-offs. If you wear a raincoat, you’ll soak through from condensation. If you hike with an umbrella, you’re stuck holding it for hours on end. Make your loved one’s day by giving them the option to stay dry – hands free! With an umbrella hat they can enjoy all the benefits of the umbrella – superb ventilation, superior coverage and exceptional style – without the hassle of having to carry it all day. Why wait? Take a new spin on an old staple with the umbrella hat today. Give your loved one an unforgettable gift this holiday season!

outdoor gift idea

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