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Holiday 2020: 10 Practical Gifts Perfect for Outdoorsy People

A man and woman hiking.
Jacob Lund/Shutterstock

Do you have an outdoorsy, adventure-lover in your life? From headlamps to lightweight rain jackets, we’ve rounded up the perfect gifts for all the avid campers and hikers you know.

Hitting the outdoors is a great way to connect with nature. And you want your adventurer to be well-equipped for whatever comes his way, whether it’s a humid heat or an unexpected rainstorm.

When it comes to the outdoors, quality really counts. If a product fails, you might be miles into a hike or navigating a river in a kayak. This is why we focused on quality while preparing our list.

The following items should last for years.

A Sturdy Water Bottle

A man and woman holding Hydro Flask water bottles.
Hydro Flask

A leaky water bottle is never fun, but especially not when the closest tap is 10 miles behind you. The Hydro Flask is practically bulletproof. Made of stainless steel, it’s also BPA- and phthalate-free.

It has a slip-free powder coating, which prevents it from sweating while you explore nature’s finest territories. You can also alternate between an open-mouth or sippy lid.

The Hydro Flask will keep your drink cold or hot for your entire journey. Plus, it’s dishwasher safe, making cleanup a total breeze. Tack on the lifetime warranty, and you’ve got a real winner!

Hydro Flask Water Bottle - Standard Mouth Flex Lid - 21 oz, Cobalt

This durable trail companion will keep your friend well-hydrated.

Water Bladder Backpack

A sturdy water bottle is handy, but the ability to drink while you’re on the go is pretty cool, too. This heavy-duty backpack is incredibly durable and protects against rips and tears. Hands-free hydration has never been easier than with a bite valve tube, clipped right to your shoulder.

The 2.5-liter water bladder is BPA-free and provides enough water for a day of running, hiking, cycling, or even kayaking. We take our hydration seriously! You can even freeze a small portion of water in the bag the night before, and then add water before your journey. You’ll then have cool, refreshing water all day.

The backpack has chest straps that prevent it from sliding, bouncing, or shifting during your adventure. There’s also extra space to stash your wallet, keys, phone, or a quick-drying towel.

Merino Wool Base Layers

We love the Minus33 Merino Wool brand because everything is 100 percent wool, but it’s processed to be extremely soft, comfy, and itch-free. Plus, everything is machine washable!

All the pieces also have anti-odor and moisture-wicking properties, which means they don’t have to be washed as often. You couldn’t ask for more!

You choose one of the following base layers depending on the level of warmth you need:

Check out the video above for more tips on finding the perfect layering weight.

A Rain Jacket

A man and woman wearing Columbia rain jackets.
Columbia

We love this rain jacket because it’s made from durable, waterproof nylon. It also has sealed seams and a moisture-wicking liner. Just think: you’ll stay toasty and dry no matter how far you hike, bike, or run. Pair this with one of the Merino base layers above, and you’re totally set for anything Mother Nature throws your way.

The jacket is available in both men’s and women’s sizes, and a variety of colors. It easily packs away into its pocket, making it an easy addition to your hiking backpack. It also features two zippered pockets, plus an elastic hem and cuffs. It blocks everything from drizzle to a monstrous downpour.

Columbia Men's Watertight II Rain Jacket, Black, Large

Your friend will never again finish a hike soaked and shivering.

Hiking Socks

Protect those feet while climbing mountains, sailing down hillsides on your mountain bike, or cuddled up in your family tent.

These socks are made of 80 percent merino wool, offering comfortable, soft, long-lasting warmth without any itchiness. The insides are lined with warm fuzziness, which will make your feet feel like they’re walking on clouds. The extra padding keeps the material from wearing thin and also protects your feet from getting nasty blisters.

The two sizes fit most men and women, making these socks the perfect gift for coworkers, friends, your spouse, or yourself!

A Quick-Dry Towel

You never know where your adventures might take you. You could stumble upon a picturesque lake and decide to take an impromptu dip, or get drenched by an unexpected downpour. That’s when a quick-drying towel comes in handy.

This one by Rainleaf is lightweight and ultra-compact—you can easily fit it in your backpack. The material is super-soft and dries quickly, allowing you to reuse it multiple times per day.

It comes with an easy-carry bag that has a convenient loop, so you can snap it on the outside of your pack. There are a variety of fun colors to choose from, making it the perfect gift for the adventurer in your life.

A Headlamp

Keep the adventure going all night long with these sturdy, dependable LED headlamps.

They generate a powerfully bright beam that can last up to 45 hours on Low, or three hours on High. Powered by three AAA batteries, these headlamps are lightweight, comfortable, and compact.

The removable strap is washable and adjustable, and it will fit both children and adults. Plus, there’s no need to get his and hers—you get both in one purchase!

Worried about inclement weather or dropping it on a rocky surface? These babies are water-resistant and can withstand all sorts of harsh conditions, including rain- or snowstorms.

The light is also adjustable, allowing you to direct the beam wherever you need it. This helps avoid blinding your camping buddy by shining the light directly into their eyes. You can also choose from seven different modes: Low, Medium, High, Strobe, and two Red Light settings.

Because you get two lights in this pack, you can keep one in your car; it’ll really come in handy for changing tires late at night. Keep the other tucked safely in your backpack and ready for your next adventure.

A First Aid Kit

Keep everyone safe with a compact, 100-piece, travel First Aid Kit. The bright red bag allows you to easily locate it within your pack, so you can quickly attend to the matter at hand. It includes all the essentials, like a CPR mask, Band-Aids, a blanket, a tourniquet, tweezers, and more.

You’ll have everything you need to take care of anything that comes up, even if it’s just a splinter stuck in your foot.

Waterproof Dry Bags

Keep all your valuables and essentials protected as you brave the elements with this three-pack of lightweight, waterproof dry sacks.

They’re perfect for every outdoor adventure, including camping, kayaking, or even a day at the beach. This set includes a 2-, 4-, and 8-liter bag. The bright colors make them easy to find in a larger backpack or bag.

The material is soft, durable, and rip-proof. The top rolls closed for maximum compression. The polyurethane coating and double-stitched seams keep the contents completely dry, even when submerged in water.

Reusable Snack Bags

No outdoor adventure would be complete without some hearty, energy-boosting snacks! Make your own trail mixes and goody bags with these food-grade reusable snack bags.

Thicker than regular ziplock bags, these can be reused 100 times or more. The 12-pack includes various sizes, perfect for meeting everyone’s nutrition and dietary needs. The heavy-duty seal guarantees a leak-proof experience.

Just hand wash, and then let them air-dry. The clear material allows you to quickly see what’s inside, making snacking on the go easy!


Treat all the outdoor adventurers you know to practical gifts this year! They’ll appreciate you keeping them dry, warm, and safe while they explore the great outdoors.

Jill A. Chafin Jill A. Chafin
Jill A. Chafin is a freelance writer, aerialist, dancer, food enthusiast, outdoor adventurer, and mama, based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Read Full Bio »

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